How to make an image of my hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jcafaro10, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm new to OS X and I'm wondering if there is a way to make an image of my hard drive that I can store somewhere. That way when if I ever need to reinstall OS X if my HD dies or something, I can just load the image that I have saved. I've done this with a PC before using Acronis and Ghost but I'm not sure how to do this for a mac...please help!

    Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    Disk Utility, in your Utilities folder.

    If you ever need to restore, you boot off your Leopard install DVD, then use Disk Utility's "restore" function.
     
  3. macrumors 604

    jmann

    #3
    I like carboncopycloner. It makes a duplicate clone that boot from or restore from.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the fast responses. Whats the difference between the built in Disk Utility and CarbonCopyCloner?
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #5
    I tried using disk utility but when I needed to select a place to save the image to it won't let me save it to any of the externals I plugged in. The only thing it lets me select is the hard drive I'm trying to save it to but I get an invalid argument exception when I try and do that.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #6
    I tried using superduper and carbon copy cloner and they both failed near the end. Is it because I'm trying to make a copy of the drive I'm currently booting from?
     
  7. macrumors 604

    jmann

    #7
    Yes, I believe it needs to be a separate drive. Especially if you are making a bootable copy.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    Location:
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    #8
    i believe superduper has the maximum number of features and options ;)
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #9
    No, they should both work copying from the drive you are booting from. But, you need to have a sufficiently large external (or additional internal--or different partition on same drive) drive to copy to.

    Basically, the best local backup on a Mac is:

    Internal hard drive-->clone to different hard drive or partition of at least the same size as internal using CCC or SuperDuper.

    If you use either, use the automatic backup option (you must pay for SuperDuper to get this functionality) and set it to backup every night. If you ever have a problem with your internal you can simply boot off the external or duped hard drive (hold down option key at boot up to select drive to boot from.)

    Note that having only local backup is not enough. You also need offsite backup in case of fire or theft, etc.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #10
    I tried running ccc overnight and it had stopped right at the end and didn't seem to be making any moreprogress. I'm trying again without compression. I really just would like one working backup of this installation. I can't use disk utility bc it won't let me save the image to any of my externals prolly bc they are ntfs
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    #11
    Are you trying to back it up to a ntfs drive? If so, maybe that's the problem.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #12
    I booted my OS X DVD and ran disk utility to make a backup image. I made a compressed image of my leopard installation and saved it to my 8GB flash drive (which I formatted correctly so it would be recognized). Then I tried to restore that image to another hard drive and boot it up but it would not boot. I verified/repaired disk/permissions etc. What am I doing wrong?
     
  13. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
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    #13
    Try this.

    Boot from your install DVD.

    Then run Disc Utilities and repair permissions. Once successful, repair permissions one more time to be sure.

    Then run Disc Utilities and repair the HD. Once successful, repair the HD one more time to be sure.

    Install Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to the HD. Make sure that you have the latest version.

    Set up an external HD:
    - Mac formated.
    - Same size or bigger than your internal.
    - Preferably FW as USB is slow.

    Run CCC from your internal HD and clone to the external.

    Once cloning is finished, restart, hold down the ALT button, select the external HD to boot.

    Once that you have verified that you can boot from your external, then restart to your internal HD.

    At this point, you have a decision to make. Do you clone regularly, or do you do incremental back ups? Personally, each week I clone to alternating external HDs.

    This covers your backup. Now you need to consider backup data security and need to consider off site storage. Another option is cloud storage. Personally, I use Carbonite, MobileMe, and a few others.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 13, 2008
    #14
    I'd really prefer to have a working image so I can store it somewhere and just use it if I ever need it. It seems like I've created the image correctly just booting to it seems to be a bit of an issue. I suppose it could be that the drive I'm trying to restore the image too has issues but I've run Repair/Verify Permissions/Disk on it and it seems fine. I repaired permissions and everything before creating the image. I also tried repairing permissions on the drive I cloned it too. Thing won't boot.
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    To be sure that we are on the same sheet of music.
    • Creating an image using Disc Utilities creates a non-bootable image on your external HD.
    • The only way you can create an image to boot from, is via Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or SuperDuper (SD).
    • You should be cloning from the internal HD to the external. Meaning you should be booted and running your system from the internal HD when cloning.
    • You should be cloning from a User ID that has administrative privileges.
    • Before cloning the first time, you should boot your Mac via the install DVDs, then use Disc Utilities to repair permissions and repair the internal HD. Once you've done your first clone, you can boot from the clone.
    • Once the clone is complete, you should be able to boot to the external HD.
    With an Intel based Mac you should partition your external HD with the GUID partitioning scheme. Then Mac format that partition.

    BTW, once you've completed your clone, and it is a good clone, then you can boot to the clone to run Disk Utilities to repair permissions and the repair the internal HD. Works well and beats booting to the install DVD.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    #16
    You're saying the image that I get from using Disk Utility is non-bootable? What would I do with it if I couldn't even restore it to a hard drive and have it boot? I couldn't get CCC or SuperDuper to work. SuperDuper always crashes and CCC hangs right at the end.
     
  17. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
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    #17
    Correct. Images are not bootable.

    You cannot boot from the image that you create via Disk Utility. This is same as when you use Ghost to create an image. You must restore them to a HD, then you can boot from the HD.

    IMHO, that is why clones are so much better. Clones create a copy of your internal HD to an external HD. You then can boot your computer from the external HD.

    Are you using the latest version of CCC?

    What do you mean by it's hanging up at the end? Are you stopping it prematurely? Note, the status bar goes across until about a quarter of an inch and then it will stay there for a while depending on the size of your HD. It might take an hour at that point for CCC to finish the clone.

    BTW, did you boot from the install DVD and run Disk Utilities to repair permissions and repair the internal HD? You need to do this before before you clone your internal HD to an external HD using CCC.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

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    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #18
    Original poster: you still haven't answered the question:

    What format is the external drive you are trying to clone to using CCC? If it is not Mac HFS+ I don't think it will work.

    And you are trying to over complicate things with the idea of "imaging." That is the Windows way of backing up. On a Mac you make a bootable exact copy as if it was the same hard drive, meaning you could boot one, then the other, back and forth at your whim. CCC should work. Something is wrong with your setup for it not to work. Please give all details of your computer, OS, hard drives, external drives, connection method to external drives, etc. We can get this fixed, no doubt.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #19
    I've used superdooper in the past and found it to work well for making bootable drives on my external hd.
     

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