Any chance to clone Mavericks startup partition to smaller disk?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Mac2013orlater, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Mac2013orlater macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2014
    It is about Mavericks on internal drive. All data (os + all apps + user data + user files + others) consume no more than one tenth of drive storage volume. There is also external usb drive available, completely empty. It' capacity is nearly two third of internal drive capacity.

    An attempt was made to clone internal drive to the external usb using Disk Utility in recovery mode. The attempt failed with error message destination was too small.

    Is there any chance - using Mavericks on-board tools - to clone os x startup drive (mac internal) to a external usb drive of smaller capacity but much enough capacity to store present data?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    If you can forego the board tools, though RSYNC is one, maybe give CarbonCopyCloner (version 3.4.7 is still free and available for download here and works with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion) or SuperDuper! a try, since they do what you want.
    Or you read into the RSYNC process and do it via Terminal I suppose. Or Chess. I cannot remember.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Like you discovered Disk Util will not clone a volume if the destination is smaller than the source, but there is an easy work around.

    Use DU to shrink the internal volume to something smaller than the size of the external drive following this. Then do the clone then you can resize the internal back out to full size if you like.
  4. Mac2013orlater thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2014
    Thanks for hint from you.

    I am not sure if I want to follow it. Resizing back to original capacity can namely be riskful. Also the initial resizing before cloning in your post can be riskful.
    Just as riskful every manipulation on disk layout is.
    Investment for a big enough external usb drive just due to this problem
    is not in plan. Several smaller drives were purchased short time ago,
    they have to satisfy all backup needs.

    Despite the above, the internal os x startup drive is a ssd.
    I afraid collecting all data on the begin or end section of the drive won't be
    effective due to ssd special handling conducted by os/driver for more drive lifespan.

    All the efforts and investigations here are made because the element of bootable image is still missing in our backup plan so I afraid the RSYNC will not help as well. How do you think?
  5. jbarley macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    You're way over thinking the problem.
    Just download Carbon Copy as the previous poster said and clone your drive.
    It doesn't get any easier then this.
  6. Mac2013orlater thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2014
    Thanks for your hint.

    Before I decide to switch to other solution I want to know
    all needed was checked here.
    I am looking not only for working solution.
    A solution which is optimal for given situation is asked.
    A tool highest possible universality is asked.

    As every additional stuff it generates additional management efforts, additional risks, more side effects!

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