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If you’re having troubles booting off of a backup of your Leopard OS X install made by SuperDuper!, you’re not alone.  SuperDuper! full system backups are not bootable under Leopard. If you try to boot off a SuperDuper! created backup on an external USB disk or external firewire disk, the Mac OS X boot screen with the spinning/twirling little circle will continue forever.

ShirtPocket, the maker of SuperDuper! notes on their homepage that their SuperDuper! product is not fully compatible with Leopard, but they do not say what incompatibilities exist.  As far as I can tell SuperDuper! under Mac OS X Leopard does not:

  • Backup all personal settings such as backgrounds, menu bar items, dock preferences, keyboard preferences, etc.  Consider all of this information lost if you are planning to back up only with SuperDuper!.  You cannot use this backup to transfer your personal settings using Migration Assistant. Some things such as user accounts, passwords, files, etc. will transfer OK using Migration Assistant and SuperDuper! created backup, but nearly all other settings will not be transferrable.
  • Backup all Applications properly, such as LittleSnitch (outgoing network traffic firewall). Count on having to reinstall certain software when trying to restore from a SuperDuper! backup.

For now, consider Time Machine your preferred backup provider until SuperDuper! manages to fix the incompatibilities with OS X Leopard.  ShirtPocket makes great products and they have a stellar pricing model (unlimited trial, but pay for it if you use it).  Also, SuperDuper! is extremely easy to use and hopefully it has a niche that allows it to work side by side with Time Machine.