Can a mac do a bitwise copy of a USB disk with proprietary disk format?

deacLL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2011
9
0
I have a USB disk with a propietary format that I want to bitwise clone to a new identical drive. So, not Mac HFS, FAT nor NTFS, some strange file system.

I have CCC but the disk doesn't show up in Finder.

It does appear in Disk Utility, but I don't want to erase and reformat. :)

I tried Terminal command of "mount" and do not see a device that might be it, so the dd command isn't an option unless I get the diskN number.

Any ideas?

Can it be done on a Windows or Linux machine?

Thanks for any help, -deac :)
 

PeterHolbrook

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2009
981
105
How would you normally access such a disk? Is it supposed to contain data, self-launching applications or what?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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30,534
Boston
The mac needs the ability to read the file system. If its not a recognizable format, then it won't mount.

CCC doesn't do a block by block copy or a bit by bit copy AFAIK, so it needs to be be able to read the disk which it can't
 

deacLL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2011
9
0
From Deac

How would you normally access such a disk? Is it supposed to contain data, self-launching applications or what?
I access the disk with another device, not a computer, that has its own proprietary format.

Disk Utility does see the disk as it's a normal USB ESATA hard disk, but it has my data so I don't want to erase and reformat.

It does not show up in Finder nor CCC since it's not Mac HFS, FAT, nor NTFS.

I just want a way, possibly a set of Terminal commands, to do a bitwise copy to an identical disk. I thought of dd, but "mount" doesn't show it either. Is there perhaps another command that can show the device and let me mount it?

thanks,
-deac
 

dmccloud

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2009
991
14
Anchorage, AK
I access the disk with another device, not a computer, that has its own proprietary format.

Disk Utility does see the disk as it's a normal USB ESATA hard disk, but it has my data so I don't want to erase and reformat.

It does not show up in Finder nor CCC since it's not Mac HFS, FAT, nor NTFS.

I just want a way, possibly a set of Terminal commands, to do a bitwise copy to an identical disk. I thought of dd, but "mount" doesn't show it either. Is there perhaps another command that can show the device and let me mount it?

thanks,
-deac
The issue is that the USB drive uses a file format not supported by OS X. Absent that support, you're not going to be able to mount it on your Mac. If it's even possible to find a tool that would copy the disk in question, it's probably going to be either very expensive or require a specific hardware configuration.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
Disk Utility can make images of disks even with unknown file systems on them. Just select the device you want to clone from the left pane, and click New Image. Disk Utility will save the whole disk as a DMG image, but for some reason can't restore an image with an unknown file system.

You could try something like PartedMagic, which is a bootable CD that can be used for various cloning, restoring, and repair operations.
 
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deacLL

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 2, 2011
9
0
Looks like dd may work after all

The issue is that the USB drive uses a file format not supported by OS X. Absent that support, you're not going to be able to mount it on your Mac. If it's even possible to find a tool that would copy the disk in question, it's probably going to be either very expensive or require a specific hardware configuration.
Thanks for the response. Since the device does show in Disk Utility, it seemed that I may be able to access it though it's not a supported file system.

A bit more digging turned up that the terminal command "diskutil list" does in fact show the device, /dev/disk4, designation needed for dd. I must now buy
the identical disk to clone to in order to try it.

Do you have a feel that this is likely to work?

Thanks again,
-deac

----------

Disk Utility can make images of disks even with unknown file systems on them. Just select the device you want to clone from the left pane, and click New Image. Disk Utility will save the whole disk as a DMG image, which can be restored to another disk.
Good plan, if my attempt at dd fails I'll try the image approach. Disk Utility can see the source disk and create a dmg file which can then be seen by CCC.

Thanks much,
-deac
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
Good plan, if my attempt at dd fails I'll try the image approach. Disk Utility can see the source disk and create a dmg file which can then be seen by CCC.
I edited my above post while you were replying: it occurred to me that while Disk Utility can create an image of the disk, it can not restore the DMG to another disk. But maybe CCC can restore the DMG file created by Disk Utility, at least worth a try.