How to make Mac backups with burn folders (Part 4)

Mac CD/DVD backups - After the burn

When I came back from lunch I was very surprised that there was no "Success" dialog to show me that the Mac burn folder/backup process succeeded. However, I was returned to my original Mac burn folder, and there is a new disk icon named "My Data Files" on my desktop, as shown here:

This is a quiet way of letting me know that the burn folder backup process succeeded. (I suppose that if I had stayed and watched the whole backup process I would have seen the progress bar first show that the data was being written to the disk, and then being verified, but I'd still prefer some sort of "success" message here.)

To finish up I just close my Mac burn folder, and then eject my DVD by dragging it to the eject button on the dock.

Had the burn process failed ...

On the few times I've seen the Mac burn folder process fail, I've found that my CD or DVD is ejected when I come back. I'm also 98% sure that a "Verification Failure" dialog is also displayed, but this hasn't happened in a while, so I can't say for sure. Either way, I do know that my CD or DVD is ejected, and there is not a new icon on the Desktop.

If this ever happens to you, just insert a new CD or DVD, and try the burn process again. I've found that using a new CD or DVD always fixes the problem.

Mac backups - Re-using your burn folder

At this time you can delete your Mac burn folder if you want -- but -- the cool thing is that you can also keep it around after you've used it so you can make another Mac backup some time in the future. You can treat your Mac burn folder just like any other Mac folder, either leaving it on your Desktop, or moving it somewhere else to be more organized. Then, when you're ready to do your next backup, just open the burn folder again and press the Burn button.

This process automatically backs up the files and folders that are aliased in the Mac burn folder. And, if your folders contain any new data (new files or folders), that new data is backed up as well. It's that simple. As one last note, you can also add new folders to your Mac burn folder before pressing the Burn button.

Mac burn folders simplify the Mac backup process

For me that's what makes a Mac burn folder such a great backup tool. Dealing with backups over the years, I've learned to keep the data I want backed up in just a few main folders. Using Mac burn folders I just copy these data folders to one or more burn folders, and Mac backups are a breeze.

To describe my situation clearly, I normally have three Mac burn folders. One is for my working data files, which includes things like this tutorial. A second burn folder is for my Pictures folder, which has grown very large. And a third burn folder is for my iTunes Music folder, which is also very large. I use this approach because each of those folders is large enough to require its own DVD-R.

Before wrapping up this Mac backup and burn folders tutorial, this is a good time to mention that if you've purchased any applications for your Mac you should make sure you have all the license information you need for those applications. If the only place you have that license information is in a configuration file on your disk, you better find that file and make a backup of it.

Mac backups using Mac burn folders - Summary

To summarize, Mac burn folders make for a great Mac backup tool. Just copy the folders you want to one or more Mac burn folders, then keep those burn folders around so you can easily make Mac backups in the future. Unless you have some type of external storage system always connected to your Mac, it's hard to make the Mac backup process much easier than that.

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