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Dan - Master Tech
Dan - Master Tech, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1904
Experience:  I have worked with Macs going back to the IIE. Installation, diagnostics, repair of all variations.
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I want to backup my main data files to an external hard drive,

Customer Question

I want to backup my main data files to an external hard drive, but I don't want to replace the last backup. I have an iBook, Mac OS X, 10.4.9
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Dan - Master Tech replied 7 years ago.
GreetingsCustomer are you using a backup program? Are you using any type of file compression utility such as Stuffit? Did you store the original backup on the external drive?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am not using a backup program. I don't know how to use stuffit. I see it in my Applications Folder under Utilities. "Create Archive" seems to be a file compression utility, according to mac help in Finder, but I wasn't able to use it.

Yes, I did store the original backup on the external hard drive. What I want to do is to burn (on an external DVD burner) DVD's of my back ups, because I have had to move iPhoto and iTunes off the laptop and on to the external hard drive. So I will be using the external hard drive for data files for the laptop
Expert:  Dan - Master Tech replied 7 years ago.
You can create an archive backup of a file or folder by holding down the "ctrl" key and clicking on the item in the finder window. This will create a .zip archive and you can then copy it to another location or burn it to a disc. The other option is to hold the "ctrl" key select the Copy option instead. This will create an uncompressed copy of the original folder or file. Drag the copied file/folder to a newly created folder labeled "Backup Files" or some other appropriate name and burn or copy to another drive.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I tried again to create an archive using the control key as you suggested, and got the same message as twice before: "A file reference cannot be created" I am trying to back up my home folder, it is 3.74 GB - too large to burn on one DVD.
When I select copy with the control key nothing happens. Where does the new copy show up?

If I use the copy method, where do I create the new folder.
Expert:  Dan - Master Tech replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, I meant to say duplicate. It will create another file/folder of the same name with the word "copy" attached in the same directory.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to just create a new folder with the date on the external drive such as Backup 10_05_08 and drag your home folder to it and it will copy it without transferring the contents. Just open two windows and drag and drop.