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I'm looking for some OS X Lion software that can periodically backup certain folders.

I can't use Time Machine because the storage disk is NTFS and I'm using Paragon to r/w on it.

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@Daniel: NTFS does, however, support file hard links, and it is possible to link each file separately to conserve space in a similar way. (rsnapshot does that on Unixes.) –  grawity Sep 24 '11 at 17:54
@surfasb Not directory hard links. Mac OS X, since version 10.5, is the only OS crazy enough to support this, allowing, in theory, infinite loops/recursion when traversing directories without traversing symbolic links/junction points. The only reason it was implemented is Time Machine, and they don't expose this feature to user space tools (e.g. ln) to reduce the potential for problems. –  Daniel Beck Sep 24 '11 at 20:19
@DanielBeck: You need to stop while you are ahead. .…. Keep in mind NTFS was created to complete with UNIX, so it is POSIX compliant. –  surfasb Sep 24 '11 at 21:31
Access denied is because, just like in OSX, you need admin privs. No need to answer the API question because you never bothered to read the link, which answers your question. –  surfasb Sep 25 '11 at 10:17
@surfasb: Daniel commented on directory hard links, which neither Windows nor POSIX allow. (Windows junctions are more like symlinks. Linux could support it, but no one's implemented it yet.) Mac OS X 10.5 is the only one that allows hardlinking directories from user-space, and the feature has been added specifically for Time Machine. –  grawity Sep 25 '11 at 23:31

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you're not looking for any fancy features that NTFS does not have, I'd basically go with Carbon Copy Cloner.

Its features include:

  • Incremental backup of files and folders to external hard drives, network or disk images
  • Scheduled backups (hourly, weekly, etc.)

Given a proper NTFS driver, it should work with NTFS drives.

As Lukasa pointed out, adding a cron job that runs rsync on a regular basis would also do the trick, albeit with a less user-friendly approach due to lacking GUI.

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CCC is not free. –  RDAM May 29 at 9:57
It used to be though. I removed the "free" part. –  slhck May 29 at 12:18

Copied from an Ask Different answer to Enabling Time Machine for a USB HDD with NTFS:

Backup to NTFS

If you wish to use Time Machine in Lion or greater with an NTFS volume – and if you have a write-enabled driver for NTFS:

  • with tmutil you can configure Time Machine to back up to a sparse bundle disk image, the .sparsebundle stored on NTFS.

In some situations you may find that Time Machine simply offers to use an NTFS volume. This may occur if, say, a write-enabled driver for NTFS is installed before a physical disk with NTFS is introduced to OS X.

Restore from NTFS

OS X can read NTFS, and so should be able to restore from a .sparsebundle in this environment.

Whether Recovery OS is similarly prepared to read from NTFS and restore, I don't know.

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Time Machine can backup to an NTFS drive using a sparsebundle but there's a bit of work involved. If you've already got a read-write driver like Paragon then your remaining steps are:

  • Create the sparsebundle diskimage
  • Create the 'magic' Time Machine preferences file, containing the UUID of your machine, and save it in the sparsebundle's Package Contents
  • Mount the sparsebundle image by doubling-clicking in Finder
  • Tell Time Machine to use it.

The blog post contains a script to do the fiddly bits, especially getting your UUID and creating the preferences file, and to set it as Time Machine backup destination.

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