Really Riding a Bike Friday, May 21, 2021

On Saturday, I'll be heading up to New Boston, NH to participate in the first group ride I've done in, well, years.

I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it, because like a lot of others I'm pandemic portly, out of shape, and out of practice.

But the only way to get out of that particular rut is to start riding in some other, muddier we'll see how that goes.

More Relevant Info

What better time, then, to release SuperDuper! v3.5 B3?

This new beta is another relatively minor update that polishes the experience a bit, deals with some common situations better, and fixes a few bugs.

  1. Under Big Sur and later, When you copy from a source volume group to a destination with Smart Update, we don't convert the result into a volume group with only a Data volume. This ensures the result is readily visible in Finder.

  2. We've added additional information to the What's Going to Happen? section to clarify, well, what's going to happen in your particular situation (and to suggest changes if needed).

  3. We've fixed a rare situation where, with certain disk configurations, the copy would fail before getting started with a "Can't obtain volume capacity" exception.

  4. An old error about metadata copying failures actually said it was copying "HFS+ metadata", but it could also be APFS metadata, so now it's just...metadata. Yes, we regressed this one carefully, to ensure it didn't start saying "exFAT" or "5.25-inch floppy disk", not to mention "disk pack".


One thing we've definitely noticed is that Apple silicon systems tend to sleep even when many individual processes are saying, quite explicitly, that they should not.

For example, on a scheduled copy, our schedule driver, interface and copy process all hold assertions that are supposed to prevent sleep. asr, when used, holds one itself. And yet, for some reason...

So, if you're seeing "Resource busy" errors after about, say, 10 minutes of copying, and you weren't actively using the system at the time, try setting the screen so that it "never" sleeps...

C'est Tout

So, see? Not much to say, because the beta has been working well, other than to ask you to

Download v3.5 B3

Have at it, and thanks, as always!

Like Riding a Bike Wednesday, May 05, 2021

You know it's been a while since you last released a Beta when you don't quite remember the rhythms of the process.

But, it doesn't take long for muscle memory to kick in... and I'm happy to say that it's going really well. A lot of that is due to you: thanks for your support, encouragement and reports of both success and, occasionally, failure.

To deal with the latter (and celebrate the former), here's v3.5 B2.

A few things to mention as we continue this process:

  • Make sure you have "Check for Updates" turned on in our Preferences. You may have turned it off if you were using the v3.2.5 workaround: it's time to turn it on again, since that's how you'll get Beta updates.
  • Some users were confused by the macOS 11.4 Beta requirements. 11.4 is only required for M1 Macs. Intel Macs work fine with SuperDuper under all versions of Big Sur.
  • Startup volumes will often not show up in the Startup Disk Preference Pane in System Preferences under Big Sur. This does not mean the drive isn't bootable—it's a weird bug in Big Sur.

    To start up from the backup, use Option+Power On on an Intel Mac, or hold down the Power button when powering on with an M1 Mac.

    If you do this, you'll note that the Mac's regular drive doesn't appear in the startup disk preference pane...but the backup drive does! It's weird. But the backup is OK! You can breathe!

  • If you only made a Smart Update, and didn't start with an Erase, then copy backup, you'll note that your backup drive seems "empty". That's because you're looking at the "empty" System volume...and the Data volume is mounted by the OS as "no browse"—basically, it doesn't show up readily in Finder.

    It's still there, though. Use Finder's Go To Folder, in the Go Menu, to open /Volumes and you'll see your Data volume.

    For less stress—and who doesn't want less stress?—start with an Erase, then copy backup.

  • We've actually figured out how to get at least a little useful information out of the weird errors system tools produce:

For Beta 2 we've addressed a few things and polished some others: it's a relatively minor update. Details are in the Revision History, but to highlight a few things:

  • Backup on Connect no longer runs over and over if you use Erase, then copy on Big Sur. This had to do with some very low-level changes to some Big Sur APIs that messed with our code that detected whether we were already running a copy for that volume.

    The bug was useful for testing a zillion back-to-back Erase, then copies, though, so there's that. Yeah! We meant to do that! Sure!

  • Erase, then copy was using asr to copy Catalina, which was unintentional. It now does the same thing v3.3.1 did.
  • Send to Shirt Pocket was failing for users in all versions of SuperDuper due to an locally cached response of a value that had been updated on our server. This turned out to be rather interesting, and frustrating, because we don't have a way of "fixing" old copies...although they will "fix themselves" over time...anyway, it won't happen any more in v3.5 B2 and later.

That'll about do it. Enjoy the new version, and thanks for the emails and tweets!

Download SuperDuper! v3.5 B2

Thanks, again, for using SuperDuper...we look forward to your comments.

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