Best way to clone/copy internal drive?

psymac

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Jul 17, 2002
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Planning to replace my 2017 iMac Fusion Drive with a SSD (970 Evo). Understand that I will need to format the SSD with APFS, is there a better way to clone/copy all data and apps from the FD than Carbon Copy Cloner or similar program?
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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I use CCC. It is easy to use.

I think I remember being able to creating a bootable back up your drive using Apple's old Disk First Aid app, but if it was there, I don't think it was brought over to Disk Utility. I could be wrong about this.
 

gfbaldin

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Oct 2, 2014
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Hello I just cloned my hard drive on my 21.5 late 2014 iMac (Mojave) to a T5 from Samsung (1tb) using super duper. When i reboot and hold option i can select the SSD, however once booted its amazing but once i restart it defaults back to the HDD. I looked in startup disk and it wasn't listed only the HDD was any thoughts on how to fix this?
 

mikehalloran

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Oct 14, 2018
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The Sillie Con Valley
Apple recommends Migration Assistant. It works just fine without the potential for problems that cloning software can cause.

Hello I just cloned my hard drive on my 21.5 late 2014 iMac (Mojave) to a T5 from Samsung (1tb) using super duper. When i reboot and hold option i can select the SSD, however once booted its amazing but once i restart it defaults back to the HDD. I looked in startup disk and it wasn't listed only the HDD was any thoughts on how to fix this?
I answered your question in one of the other threads where you posted it under my correct answer from a few weeks ago.
 

psymac

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Original poster
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So this begs the question, what are the problems CCC and MA each create? I assuming possible HFS vs APFS compatibility, boot up times, passwords, etc?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper).

Nothing else will do the job easier.
Nothing...

Both are FREE to download and use for 30 days.
Doing it this way costs you nothing.
 
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vertical smile

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So this begs the question, what are the problems CCC and MA each create?
The main reason I like cloned drives is because I like to have a spare drive(s) that I can use to boot up in for trouble shooting, or for accessing old software that I can no longer use. The Disk Utility GUI on older MacOS comes to mind, having more options such as creating software RAIDs.

One other issue with Migration Assistant is the time it takes. Every time I use the MA, it seems to take a very long time, much longer than cloning a drive.

Also, I have had MA fail on me before.

IIRC, after using MA, there is still things that have to be set up, loaded, signed in, such as Photos app. A cloned drive it ready to be used, with maybe the exception of Keychain and maybe iCloud if the cloned drive is used on a different computer than the source drive.


One thing that MA has over cloning is if there is corrupt data on the source drive, then it would be more likely to see it on a cloned drive versus a MA set up.

One issue I am not sure about, maybe one of the more knowledgeable people on here can answer this, is whether all system files, such as drives, are on each OS install. Meaning, if I clone my Mac Mini drive, and try to use it on my Mac Pro, does the Mac Mini system folder contain all the files needed to use the Mac Pro's HW, like GPU for example.

One mroe thing about cloning, I noticed when using a cloned drive from a 2011 MBP on a mid-2011 iMac, the iMac is labeled as a MBP. I am not sure if this is a problem other than the name being off, the iMac runs great otherwise.
 

vkd

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Sep 10, 2012
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You won't gain anything, you know. A Fusion Drive functions at the read/write speed of the SSD portion, so replacing the mech. part won't bring you any practical benefit.
 

vertical smile

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You won't gain anything, you know. A Fusion Drive functions at the read/write speed of the SSD portion, so replacing the mech. part won't bring you any practical benefit.
I don't think this is true. Maybe I am not understanding what you posted, but the Fusion Drive will only function at SSD speed if the data is on the SSD part of the Fusion Drive.

This is why the Original 1TB Fusion Drive from 2012 is much better than the current 1TB Fusion Drive, due to the much larger SSD portion of it.
 
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ignatius345

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You won't gain anything, you know. A Fusion Drive functions at the read/write speed of the SSD portion, so replacing the mech. part won't bring you any practical benefit.
Welll, that's only true up to the capacity of the SSD portion. My iMac has a 1TB Fusion Drive with 128GB of that being SSD -- it's generally super fast as you say but if you launch or bring up some big file you haven't been working with for a long time, you can tell the difference as it gets migrated to the SSD.

Also, some of the Fusion Drives out there have pretty miserly alotments of flash memory, which sort of blows. As little as 32 GB, if I'm not mistaken...
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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it's generally super fast as you say but if you launch or bring up some big file you haven't been working with for a long time, you can tell the difference as it gets migrated to the SSD.
This is my experience as well with the 27" Late 2012 iMac with the 1TB Fusion Drive.

It was very noticeable with the boot times of WoW. I played a lot for about 10 years, then I quit in 2016 after my latest daughter was born. I was still paying for the accounts, so I would occasionally log in to manage items that I was mailing from one character to another to save on bag slots.

When I was playing on a regular basis, the load screens would only last a few seconds. After taking a break for a month, the load screens would take much longer to load. I just recently started playing again, the first week of load screens were very slow, but now they are much faster, only a few seconds.

I have also noticed this with boot times. There were times that I wouldn't restart my iMac for months, and the boot times sucked. If I would do a lot of restarts in a short period of times, the boot times greatly increased.

Also, some of the Fusion Drives out there have pretty miserly alotments of flash memory, which sort of blows. As little as 32 GB, if I'm not mistaken...
This is correct, except I am pretty sure the lowest was 24GB of SSD, which was the late 2015 models, then they were increased to 32GB for the 2017 Fusion Drives.
 
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ignatius345

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When I was playing on a regular basis, the load screens would only last a few seconds. After taking a break for a month, the load screens would take much longer to load. I just recently started playing again, the first week of load screens were very slow, but now they are much faster, only a few seconds.
I mean, I guess this is just confirmation that the Fusion system is working as it should! People around these forums crap on Fusion Drives a lot, but honestly I think that as long as the SSD part is big (and you have to get a 2TB one these days to get a good-sized SSD portion) it's very much the best of both worlds -- especially since Apple charges such nosebleed prices for SSDs in new Macs.
 

psymac

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Original poster
Jul 17, 2002
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You won't gain anything, you know. A Fusion Drive functions at the read/write speed of the SSD portion, so replacing the mech. part won't bring you any practical benefit.
Replacing the OEM 128GB Nvme blade with 500gb Samsung 970 EVO and removing the hard drive. Current R/W speed is about 2100/700 MB/s and hoping to get somewhere near R/W 3000/2000 MB/s speeds.
 
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vkd

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Replacing the OEM 128GB Nvme blade with 500gb Samsung 970 EVO and removing the hard drive. Current R/W speed is about 2100/700 MB/s and hoping to get somewhere near R/W 3000/2000 MB/s speeds.
My bad. I was thinking of a SATA III SSD.