Cloning a Mac HD.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by skinnylegs, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. skinnylegs macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    #1
    This may be a really lame question but I *think* I read or heard about this somewhere.....

    If I copy my *entire* Mac HD onto and external drive, wipe out my HD, reinstall the copied HD from the external drive back to my Mac will my Mac be the same as it was prior to erasing the HD? I mean....will my wallpaper and preferences and stuff be the same? More importantly, do I have to reinstall applications?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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  3. skinnylegs thread starter macrumors 65816

    skinnylegs

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    #3
    Thanks for the link, Multimedia! I'll check it out.

    BTW.....so I suppose my little scenario above is incorrect eh? It must be otherwise apps. like the one you linked me to wouldn't be necessary.
     
  4. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #4
    Yes You Cannot "Copy" A System HD From The Finder Successfully

    Yes you are correct. You cannot just "copy" a boot dirve with the finder because there are a lot of invisible files in the system that will not get copied without a utility like Carbon Copy Cloner which is the Gold Standard of apps used for that purpose. Everyone uses Carbon Copy Cloner.
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #5
    While I personally use CCC, SuperDuper is also very good and even better than CCC is some areas. The problem is that SD is not free. They do have a free trial though.
     
  6. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #6
    SuperDuper is awesome, but I like CCC even more. They both seem to complete identical backups, however, in my case, CCC was faster by about an hour. If I were in your shoes, paying for SuperDuper seems worthless over the free CCC unless you want the active scheduling backup features that SD offers. All I care about is speed :D
     
  7. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #7
    If you are running an intel mac, SuperDuper is UB, however, I don't think CCC is.

    EDIT: appears the new beta version of CCC is in fact a UB.
     
  8. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

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    #8
    You can also clone an entire volume or device using dd at the command line:

    dd if=/path/to/device of=/path/to/image conv=sync,noerr

    For example, if I want to make a block level clone of my external disk located at /dev/disk1s2 I would use

    dd if=/dev/disk1s2 of=myDisk.img conv=sync,noerr

    To find what /dev/disk* matches a mounted volume, use the command df.

    The of= option could also point to another device to make a block-level clone of one disk onto another disk.

    conv=sync,noerr forces dd to pad bad blocks with zeros and continue reading, rather than failing. This is useful if you need to recover data off of a failing disk.

    There is, however, a caveat when using this method with GPT partitioned disks . GPT (GUID Partition Table) is used on EFI based Macs, and tags every disk with a Globally Unique Identifier. This GUID is used by the firmware to identify boot devices. If you make a block-level clone of a disk, it also copies the GUID. If you do not then change the GUID of the copy, the Mac may randomly decide to boot from the clone rather than the original.

    If you are just creating an image for the purposes of restoring with Disk Utility, you don't really need to worry about the GUID.
     
  9. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #9
    True, but who in GOD'S name would want to do that? Especially when CCC is free and so much more easy?
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    Well put.

    CCC works great and is easy to use.

    SuperDuper is okay as well.

    For my needs, ccc is preferred.
     
  11. Coffeeguy macrumors newbie

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    transplanted from New Orleans to Boston area
    #11
    If you are using Carbon Copy Cloner, be very sure that you read the directions carefully (novel thought). You will notice that the support area gets a little testy because people don't do that and mess things up a bit. Just a caution to think about.
     
  12. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

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    #12
    My understanding is that SuperDuper! is free as long as all you want to do is clone your drive. But if you want a "smarter" version of SuperDuper!, you'll have to drop the $28 to get it.

    Am I wrong about that?
     
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #13
    No you are correct.

    Paying for it adds a scheduling function and incremental (they call it "smart") backup.
     
  14. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #14
    Actually, SuperDuper's Smart Copy feature isn't what I think of an incremental backup. Correct me if I'm wrong - I thought an incremental backup was a partial backup containing only the changes, and needing to be applied to the last full backup as well as all the incrementals before it to do a full restore. Smart Copy, on the other hand, is more like a modified full backup, in that it creates a restorable full backup while only altering what's changed.
     
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #15
    Technically you're correct, but since SD isn't a backup software perse, it's a cloner. But we all call it backup software. The "smart" backup only changes the files that have been changed since it's last full clone. So, call it a partial clone, or an incremental clone. In this age of personal computing, people using secondary/tertiary/etc disks for "backup", I think the correct terminology has been lost in translation. Personally, I'll still call it an incremental backup and most people will know exactly what I mean.
     
  16. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #16
    Agreed there :)

    I use SuperDuper myself, and highly recommend it. It's the only Mac OS X cloning software I know of that preserves all metadata. :D
     
  17. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    #17
    I used to be a big fan of CCC, but the last time I needed it, neither the new version nor the last version worked properly. So I tried SuperDuper. Damn slow, but it worked, and skipped the right files with no fuss.
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #18
    I've been using ccc with no problems at all to back up the following:
    - PowerMac G4
    - PowerBook G4
    - Intel iMac

    What didn't work with your copy?

    What computer were you trying to backup?
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #20
  20. Nitromaster macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland.
    #21
    getting a mac book in two months,
    Would this be a good way to backup?
    Considering a 160gb internal hdd,
    would it work?
    Every saturday clone the hard drive to a usb one and delete the old version using ccc,
    if there is a problem with the internal,(virus from windows?),boot from the external and clone back to the internal.
    would it clone other partitions or ntfs partitions?
    If i wanted to boot from the external,should i get usb or firewire400 hdd?
     
  21. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #22
    No.
    Yes. At least, I prefer FW over USB2. However, Intel Macs will boot from either.
     
  22. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

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    #23
    I have to second this suggestion. FireWire400 is quite a bit faster than USB 2 High-Speed.
     
  23. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #24
    To get the most milage, I'd sugggest getting an external case that supports BOTH USB2.0 and FW400.
     
  24. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #25
    Especially if you might want to connect to a regular PC at some point.
     

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