When it comes to keeping your Mac's files and folders protected, you'd think Time Machine would have it covered. It's capable of backing up and restoring files and folders from any given time and – if you boot from your Mac OS X installation disc – can even restore your entire system.
That's fine and dandy, but if you hanker for a more traditional form of backup tool, then Carbon Copy Cloner has most bases covered. As the name implies, it can be used as a simple cloning tool – pick your OS drive as the source, choose your backup drive as the target and off you go: a perfect replica of your hard drive on your backup drive. This also enables you to upgrade a hard drive easily too: all you need is a spare drive bay or external enclosure, clone old to new, then install the new drive.
Carbon Copy Cloner also offers more features: it can be used to back up selected files and folders only, and perform incremental backups so only the changes to a drive are recorded on subsequent backup runs.
If the idea of giving over an entire drive or partition to a cloned backup of your main drive isn't practical, Carbon Copy Cloner can also back up to disk images too - just click the Destination button and select New disk image... from the dropdown menu to create a dedicated file, which can happily sit on the backup drive without disrupting it (you can even store multiple images of the same drive at different stages in its life this way too).
What's new in 5.0.5 (see release notes for more)?
- Fixed a scheduling issue in which tasks would not be scheduled for the original start time hour (in local time) after a time zone switch and a restart.
- Progress indication during a "Backup with Health Check" is no longer errantly indeterminate.
- Addressed an issue that was introduced by the 10.13.2 update which causes Remote Macintosh setup to fail with an internal error.
- Fixed an issue in which CCC was unable to mount the source for an HFS+ Recovery HD cloning task.
- Custom port numbers are now supported for AFP and SMB hosts.
- The task outlook table now correctly displays the run times for tasks configured to run weekly with a repeat interval greater than 1.
- Fixed an issue in which some tasks were getting errantly marked with a "task failed" badge.
- Clicking on a task finished notification will now open the CCC application and select the relevant task.
- Fixed an issue in which a backup task involving a remote Mac would stall if the source or destination volume on the remote Mac was not available.
- ZFS volume mount notifications are now handled more effectively.
- The CCC command line application will now exit immediately after starting a task group.
- Made some minor improvements to CCC's task database that should make it more resilient to corruption.
- Fixed a minor window sizing issue specific to Yosemite and the dialog that is produced when disabling the SafetyNet setting.
- Suppressed an errant error message produced by High Sierra that can occur when converting a sparse disk image to a read-only format.
Powerful, and even easier to use, Carbon Copy Cloner is the backup tool that should be your first port of call should you want to invest in drive-imaging software for your Mac.