Friday, May 17, 2024

Carbon Copy Cloner 7

Bombich Software:

CCC 7 focuses on helping you build a better backup strategy. Up to now we’ve given you the tools for creating backups, and of course CCC offered some coaching suggestions in the past, but largely has left the user to deal with some logistics that could be difficult for some people. CCC 7 introduces functionality that will not only tell you how to set up your backup correctly, but will do the more complicated parts for you.

As with many other apps recently, the price has increased: from $40 to $50. The flat $25 upgrade fee remains a bargain compared with the typical subscription I see.

Mike Bombich:

With just a couple clicks, you can get your new backup disk reformatted using the best filesystem for backups. The Setup Assistant works with existing backups too.

Disk Utility is a pain these days, so the less I need to rely on it the better. The CCC assistant also identified a few older backups that I had forgotten to update to APFS. It’s described more in the release notes.

CCC 7 introduces permanent snapshots, which not only allow you to add that context to a snapshot, but also allow you to flag it for permanent retention. We also added controls that allow you to limit total snapshot disk usage and maximum age so that multiple volumes on a given disk can share space more democratically.

There’s an interesting feature called the Snapshot Thinning Simulator, which lets you see which future snapshots will be retained.

The Snapshot Browser will compare the content of each snapshot against the current state of the backup. Enter a search term in the sidebar to find specific files in any of the snapshots, then see how the file differs in each snapshot.


Want to bring backups of files and photos from your iOS devices into your CCC backup ecosystem? Now you can! The CCC Dashboard includes a new CCC Diplomat tab where you can designate a volume for your mobile device backups. The Diplomat advertises a service on your local network to iOS devices that are running the CCC Mobile companion application.

I’m pleased to see this, since I think iOS needs more backup options, but I probably won’t use it at this time. The initial release is limited in that you can only do one backup (photos or a single folder) at a time, and there are no filtering options like with the Mac app. iOS doesn’t have a root folder, so each provider or app’s data would need to be done separately, selecting a different destination folder each time (which means enabling the menu bar icon). It backs up the data that’s on the phone without downloading cloud photos or files that are not resident. (The press release notes that the Mac version can do this, though it was added in a previous version.)

But the main problems are due to iOS limitations. Backups can take a long time, but you can’t schedule them to run unattended, and you have to keep the iOS app frontmost for the duration. What I really want is to be able to back up and restore data from individual apps, but most of my iOS apps store their files outside of the shared area that CCC and other apps can access. The bulk of the files that are accessible are in iCloud Photo Library or iCloud Drive, which I can already access and back up from my Mac. Still, I could see this being useful for people with more iOS-centric workflows who can’t keep everything in the cloud. The destination can also be an external drive or server if you don’t have your Mac with you. The iOS app costs $2.99 per destination type.

CCC’s next-generation file copier retains folder inode information, so now we can detect renamed folders and simply rename those folders on your APFS-formatted destination.


If snapshot support is enabled on your source volume, CCC will now create a snapshot on the source at the scheduled run time even if the destination is absent. CCC gives you complete control over these “local backups” – you can determine if snapshots should be kept on the source, and you can fine tune exactly how long they’re kept and how much space they’re allowed to consume.

This is great since local Time Machine is not really predictable enough to depend on.


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For automatic wireless backup of iOS devices to a Mac, I’m using iMazing.

It has allowed me once to restore a few Minecraft worlds that my daughter accidentally deleted from her iPod Touch, without needing to do a full system restore.

With iMazing, it’s also possible to scan the local iOS backup for signs of compromise from malware like Pegasus and others.

I just upgraded to CCC 7 because I thought seamless backups would happen in the background from my iPhone. That was not the case so a completely useless upgrade and feature for me.

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