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Create Versioned Virtual Machine Backups
Whatever the benefits of backing up an entire virtual machine, one
downside is that Mac backup software can't normally see into your
Windows volume to back up and restore individual files and folders.
If you spend a lot of time creating and modifying files in Windows, it
may important to have frequent versioned backups of your Windows
data, rather than waiting until you can pause your virtual machine
to perform a full backup.
You can create versioned backups of your Windows data in any of
several ways, but I suggest trying one of the first two suggestions that
follow if feasible, because they'll make your life easier:
Use a shared Mac OS X folder: Both Parallels Desktop and
VMware Fusion let you set up folders from your Mac (or even
your entire Mac drive) so that you can access them from within
Windows. So you could use a shared Mac OS X folder to save the
Windows files you create and modify, and simply have your Mac
backup software include that folder in your backups.
Use a shared Windows folder: This is the flip side of the
previous item. In Parallels Desktop you can share folders (such
as My Documents) from Windows so that they're available in
Mac OS X—as long as your virtual machine is running. Do that,
and your existing Mac backup software can access your Windows
data directly.
Back up from within Windows: Use any option noted earlier in
Versioned Boot Camp Backups under Windows —sync your data to
the cloud with a service that supports versioning (such as Dropbox
or SugarSync); use cross-platform, network-based backup software
such as CrashPlan or Retrospect; or run your favorite conventional
Windows backup program. Of these, my first inclination would
be to install CrashPlan. Since I have a multi-user family account,
adding computers—whether real or virtual—is free.
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