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Using SuperDuper! To Backup Your Mac Hard Drive

These instructions were created for faculty use, for Macintosh computers running OS 10.3 or higher. 

Installing SuperDuper!

  1. Download the SuperDuper! disk image.
  2. Once the disk image is mounted, drag the SuperDuper! application icon into your Applications folder.
  3. Double-click on SuperDuper! in your Applications folder to run it. The SuperDuper! user guide will automatically open, but you can close it and continue to follow these instructions.
  4. From the SuperDuper! menu, choose Register.... Enter the Registration Name and Serial Number that CUS has provided you, and click the OK! button.

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One-time configuration

Note to Spotlight users: If you use Spotlight to search for and open files on your hard drive, it's very important that you disable Spotlight indexing of your backup drive.

  1. Check that your backup drive is plugged in, turned on, and showing up on your desktop.
  2. Open SuperDuper!.
  3. At the top of the SuperDuper! window, select the drive you wish to back up on the left, and select your external backup drive on the right. For example, your setup might look like:

    Copy Drives

  4. Now click the Options... button.
  5. Make sure that there is a check mark next to Repair permissions on Macintosh HD.
  6. From the During Copy drop-down box, select Smart Update MyBackupDrive from Macintosh HD.
  7. From the On successful completion drop-down box, select Do Nothing.
  8. Click OK to exit out to the main SuperDuper! screen.
  9. Follow the instructions below to run your first backup. Keep in mind that your first backup will take an hour or longer, if you have a lot of data on your hard drive. It's okay to let it run overnight.

Note: When using SuperDuper!, you cannot use your backup drive for extra storage. The backup process will make a mirror image of your computer's hard drive... and it will erase any extra files that it finds on your backup drive!

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Running your backup

  1. Open SuperDuper! from your Applications folder. Your most recent backup settings should show up. Double-check to make sure they are correct.
  2. Click the Copy Now button.

    Copy Now

  3. If prompted to authenticate, type your computer password.
  4. You'll now see a warning that says, You are about to Smart Update MyBackupDrive. Click Copy, and your backup begins.


After the first run, a daily backup will take about 10 minutes to complete. You can continue working while backing up. When SuperDuper! is finished, click OK, and then quit the program.

If you have any trouble setting up or using SuperDuper!, send us an email at or call us at x7525.

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