Can you Clone to Same Size HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    My new MBP has a 750 GB HDD in it. (Not the factory, but a 7200rpm Western Digital.)

    The other day, I stumbled across an old 750 GB HDD that I forgot I owned. :eek:

    Using *either* CCC or File Vault, is it possible to Clone or Backup my MBP's 750 GB Internal HDD to a 750 GB External HDD?

    (If I can get by without having to buy a new 1 TB HDD that would be a plus - not to mention I'd hate to let this extra HDD go to waste...)

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #2
    Yes, you can even clone to a smaller drive if the actually used space is smaller than the destination capacity.

    CCC, SuperDuper!, for example.
     
  3. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    You need CCC to easily clone the recovery partition.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #4
    But on my MBP, I am using FDE, so by design that would take up the entire HDD, right?

    So if I clone the entire encrypted partition - which in theory is the entire 750 GB - less a few MegaBytes for whatever - then does CCC have enough "elbow room" to effectively place that copy onto a HDD that is exactly the same size?

    Follow me?


    Debbie
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    I don't know.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    Joined:
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    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    what is FDE??
     
  7. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #7
    No... that is not how it works with Filevault2 and CCC. You are partly correct that the "vault" (encrypted sparse bundle image) fills the entire drive with its image, but you are not going to clone the entire bundle/image, you are only cloning the contents which will be the size we discussed in the earlier thread.

    When you run CCC you will be logged in to run it and the encrypted image will be open. CCC will run and clone the data content of the image and not the full image itself, so the CCC size will be actual space used and not the full drive capacity.

    When the CCC clone is done you will now have an UNencrypted copy of the contents of the FV2 image on the external drive. Note that that data is now NOT encrypted. To secure this you will want to use the encryption function of CCC to put the cloned data inside another encrypted image on the external drive.

    To do that, on the right side of CCC where it says select destination, click that drop down and choose "New disk image.." then read/write with encryption like in my screenshot. Pick your external drive in the Where: drop down where mine now says Desktop. You will be asked to pick a password and if you want to save the PW in Keychain.

    [​IMG]

    @old-wiz > OP is referring to Filevault2 full disk encryption (FDE).
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #8
    Okay.


    Okay.


    If I recall correctly, when I created my first Thumbdrive Clone, instead of using CCC to encrypt things, after CCC was done creating the cloned image, I then booted up from my Thumbdrive and used Mountain Lion to encrypt the drive using FV2. (It seems to me that even CCC hinted that that was a better way to do things, giving you more options/control.)


    So, to make sure I follow you...

    As long as my External HDD is the same size as my Internal HDD - I'll assume this will work across manufacturers (i.e. Western Digital to Seagate) - then I should be okay creating a clone of my Original HDD and then encrypting it using FV2.

    Right?


    And if I do this later when my Internal HDD is nearly full with data, would there be any issues? (Maybe a nearly full HDD + the FV2 layer would spill over the 750 GB size?) :confused:

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  9. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #9
    I don't see how then end result of one would be any different than the other. By encrypting the entire drive afterwards, I suspect you encrypted the recovery partition also and it won't be available. You should check on this by option key booting and see if the recovery partition is there as a boot option.

    Yes.

    No issues. If the two drives are the same size there will always be enough room even with FV2. CCC actually does not copy over certain cache files, so the clone will always be slightly smaller.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    I haven't done this since June.

    I spent a whole day reading the CCC manual. (What a PITA!!!)

    The Manual states that CCC can't do access or tweak Apple's encryption algorithm itself, and thus just provides an interface to Apple's FV2. And that you have more options doing the way I described. Of that I'm sure. (I don't have the Manual on this old MacBook, but chose this way because of what it said. It's in the Manual if you're curious.)


    No, you use CCC to create a Recovery Partition *first*, then clone your HDD, then use either CCC's interface to FV2 to encrypt or reboot using the new clone and use FV2 straight up to encrypt.

    No issues, as I tested it back in June.

    And I think doing it via Mountain Lion is better. (Don't remember the specifics, but it just is.) ;)


    Cool.

    So I can finally use this old HDD I bought 2 years ago and forgot about! :)

    Thanks again!!!


    Debbie
     
  11. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #11
    Not necessarily. I understand you started CCC and used the Disk Center in CCC to make a copy of the Recovery HD partition on your backup disk, but that is not necessary. If you just attach a blank drive of any kind and click clone, CCC will automatically see there is no copy of the Recovery HD partition on the destination drive and put one there on its own. So you normally never need to use the Disk Center like you did, although there is no harm in doing it that way.

    CCC will also automatically update changes to Recovery HD without using that Disk Center. As a matter of fact if you made that clone in June, and since updated to 10.8.5, and you do another clone today you can see in the CCC progress bar when the Recovery HD update form 10.8.5 is copied over.

    The built in CCC encryption makes an encrypted sparse bundle DMG on the destination and puts all cloned files inside that bundle. The size of the sparse bundle will grow and shrink depending on content size. Like I explained, this is done at the outset of the first clone, then automated in subsequent clones. The advantage to this approach is it only uses space equal to the size of the clone.

    What I was concerned you had done was make a CCC clone then after that just right click the drive in Mountain Lion and click encrypt. That is a different process entirely and would turn the entire drive into a encrypted core storage volume like FV2 does. If you do that with a drive (not just a partition), I was concerned the Recovery HD partition would not be accessible. It sounds like you used the Encryption tab in CCC's Disk Center to encrypt the volume (partition) only and not the entire disk, which was my concern.

    This method of encryption turns the entire partition into a encrypted core storage volume, so that volume (partition) can't be used for anything else. You could work around this somewhat my limiting the size of the partition, then that of course may be subject to change in future backups.

    There is a distinction between the two methods.
     
  12. doubledee, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Weaselboy,

    It has been a long time since I did all of this, and my memory seems not so great.


    As I recall, on a blank drive, CCC asks you if you want to create a Recovery HD partition, so I think the correct answer is a combination of what we are saying.


    Makes sense.


    I am editing this post because some of this is coming back to me now...

    If I may be so bold to challenge someone who clearly knows more than I ever will, this is what I recall (now)...

    Once the Recovery HD partition is created in CCC, it is hidden from CCC and Mountain Lion in the sense that when I used Mountain Lion to encrypt my thumb-drive, I'm pretty sure that I only encrypted the non-Recovery HD partition and not the entire physical thumb-drive.

    Now, I could be way off on this, and relying on Debbie's memory from June is very unreliable, but that seems to me what happened. And I'm pretty sure that I had both a bootable Recovery HD partition and an encrypted bootable Main HDD partition on my thumb-drive.

    Don't have my new MBP or said thumb-drive with me. (Why spend thousands of dollars on a new MBP and actually use it?!) :rolleyes:


    Don't recall why, but I DEFINITELY know that I used Mountain Lion to do the encryption because it offered some small thing over doing it in CCC.


    Again, as memory serves - or doesn't serve - me, I'm pretty sure that Mountain Lion can't see the Recovery HD partition after it is created, so you don't have to worry about encapsulating it in an encrypted container that would prevent you from using it.

    (I'm sure I'm not describing things in the most eloquent way?!)


    Anyways...

    Next week I should have yet another Corsair thumb-drive, and time permitting, I will have to work through all of these scenarios we are discussing and see what the truth actually is.

    This is a good discussion, and one on which I need to become an expert - and not forget - because having a clone that is either not bootable or a thumb-drive which leaves data that is not encrypted and thus exposes me to hackers would be really bad!!!

    More on this next week...

    Thanks,


    Debbie
     
  13. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #13
    Mountain Lion can see it, it is just in a hidden partition so you the user can't see it (or hurt it!). Just enter "diskutil cs list" in Terminal (without the quotes) and you can see the 650MB Recovery HD listed.
     

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