SuperDuper! Backup to Synology NAS (or any NAS/Home Server)

Synology feature image tile - blackAt one time I only used SuperDuper! (I’m dropping the exclamation from this point on) to create a backup image to an external disk that’s directly attached to my Mac. Because I don’t keep my external drive connected to my Mac I wanted a way to have a full image backup done automatically every night. This way I’d always get a full image backup without me needing to actually do something. I decided to use my Synology NAS for this, although any NAS or home server share should work.

I use my Synology DS1511+ NAS as my repository for everything backup. I created a new share on the NAS since no existing share was really suitable. I’ll use one share for all my SuperDuper images so that they’ll be easier to find and manage. I called it “SuperDuper” (imaginative, I know). My ID has read/write access to the share.

I could keep the drive mounted all the time and simply schedule SuperDuper to do the backup every night. But I dislike having my backups always connected to the computer they are protecting. SuperDuper will automatically mount the share if it’s not mounted. This was recent news to me, learned as I was creating a macro to auto-mount the share and found that SuperDuper was doing it already. This is SuperDuper 2.7.2 and OS X 10.9.2, both the latest versions at this time. I created a Keyboard Maestro macro to unmount the drive when SuperDuper exits.

SuperDuper Setup

  1. Select a disk image as the destination. The file does not need to exist, SuperDuper will create it. (click any image to see it full size)
    Screenshot of the SuperDuper Disk Image selection
  2. Then give the image file a name, select a “…Sparse Bundle…” as  the type (assuming your using OS X 10.5 or later). Then click <Save>. You’ll need to be sure the destination has enough free space for your entire hard disk. Include free space in your calculation so you aren’t surprised in a year after your disk usage grows.
    Screenshot of the disk image creation dialog boxThe file won’t actually be created until SuperDuper starts the first image copy.
  3. Then click the Options button so the copy can be configured.
    Click the Options button to configure SuperDuper
  4. Select the General Tab if it’s not already selected. Select “Smart Update” as the copy type and tell SuperDuper to shut down when the image copy completes successfully. Click <OK> to save the settings.
    screenshot showing the options to be set for the backup
  5. The last step is to schedule the backup so click the <Schedule> button.
    Screenshot showing the SuperDuper schedule button
  6. Setup the schedule you want. Mine is shown below.
    Screenshot showing my SuperSuper scheduleIf you have multiple makes I’d recommend setting a schedule so they don’t all backup at the same time. This will reduce the load on the network and the NAS which should allow the backup to complete quicker.
  7. As I mentioned, I don’t like having my backup drives always connected to the machine they protect. To accomplish this I have a Keyboard Maestro macro that checks to see if any of my backup drives are mounted when SuperDuper exits and unmounts them. Here’s the macro:

Writing images to the Synology NAS has been surprisingly reliable.  I open the image every couple of weeks to make sure there weren’t any issues. I’ve yet to encounter a bad image file. I had one case where SuperDuper wouldn’t mount the image file. In this case I created a new image file just fine. I could also open the old file in finder and copy files out of it, so I don’t know what the problem was.

The image backup isn’t bootable, but I have other solutions for that. At least I have a complete backup of any data, configuration and application files.

I’m pretty happy with this solution and it seems to be working pretty well.

2 thoughts on “SuperDuper! Backup to Synology NAS (or any NAS/Home Server)”

    • Hi Ryan,
      I do a SuperDuper backup to a local disk every week or so (I’m pretty bad at hooking the drive up) so I have something bootable. One day I’m going to try copying that Sparse Image backup to a physical drive and see if it’s bootable but I haven’t done that yet. My data is either on the NAS or a sync service so if I can get a bootable machine I can get current data even if the boot image is a couple weeks old. Plus I can then get to the NAS Superduper copy.


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