Cloning a HD vs a complete reinstall of Leopard

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by tekulvi, May 29, 2009.

  1. tekulvi macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    #1 it goes. I have a white macbook which I purchased in 2007 ( it is the version that only goes to 2MB of Ram total). In anycase I have a Hard Drive that i want switch into it. The question I have is there any benefit to just reinstalling a fresh copy of Leopard vs using a cloning software (SuperDuper or Carbon Copy)? Here is why I ask:

    I cant remember ever defragging the current drive ( if that possibility even exists in Leopard.
    I dont remember running any system tool like utility.
    I have basically kept computer on ( or on sleep) for the time Ive used it. It is the best computer i have ever had. It is VERY low maintainance.

    So with that said....does cloning copy over every characteristic ( an fragmented drive...slowness {of which none really exists}....or the time to launch the OS when it is rebooted)?

    With all of this said, I dont use this computer for much storage. I have a couple of MP3s on there which can be ported off of there with a USB flash drive....and a couple of documents. Everything else is pretty much expendable.

    I dont know...something tells me that its just better to freshly install the OS.
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    If there's no problem, there's no reason to do a clean install.

    As for cloning, just use Apple's Disk Utility Restore function.

    Here are the steps I use to clone the old drive:

    Boot from your install DVD (or the Mac's restore disk), run Disk Utility, and verify the source disk with First Aid.

    If you hadn't done so already, format the new drive with a single partition using GUID map and format as Mac OS Extended (journaled).

    Next, use Disk Utility Restore to clone the original to the new drive. Drag the old volume to the Source and the new to Destination. Check the "erase destination" to enable block copy. Double-check source & destination. Check it again. Disk Utility will ask if you are sure you want to erase the destination. Check your source & destination again.

    Wait a while (it could easily take an hour or two, depending on how much data is being moved).

    If you already have the new drive installed in the Mac, then just restart. The startup disk should remain set to the internal, but you can verify and restart from the Startup Disk app. Otherwise, now's the time to swap drives. Once that's done, you can restart per above. You should now be booted on your new drive.

    If you have a Boot Camp Partition and Windows installed, it can be cloned to the new drive too. I've had great results using WinClone:

    With the old drive mounted, use WinClone to create an image file of the old BC Partition.

    Next, use the Apple Boot Camp Assistant to create a new BC partition on the new drive. It needs to be the same size or larger than the old, but larger only works if you had formatted the BC partition as NTFS. Actually, it will work with FAT32, but you won't have access to the additional space.

    Finally, use WinClone to restore the image file to the new drive's new BC partition. Windows should boot right up. I've done this method several times over the last month and it's worked fine. Also, if you had created a new, larger partition AND it was NTFS format, WinClone will expand the old partition to the new BC partition size.

  3. tekulvi thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Rotterdam Junction, NY
    Thanks for the info. So is there no benefit to doing a clean install? Is using the disk ultility preferred over CCC or Super Duper....or is it just that there are many ways to skin a rabbit?
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    There really isn't any advantage to doing a clean install, unless you are having problems.

    I prefer Disk Utility. It's Simple, reliable, and fast (in block copy mode). It uses ASR, which is Apple's backend for imaging (both direct and network distribution). I just don't see any advantage to the others for just imaging/cloning. They probably have some use for doing other types of backups.

    from the current ASR man page:
    Apple Software Restore got its start as a field service restoration tool
    used to reconfigure computers' software to 'factory' state. It later
    became a more general software restore mechanism and software installa-
    tion helper application for various Apple computer products. ASR has
    been used in manufacturing processes and in shipping computers' System
    Software Installers.

    For Mac OS X, asr was rewritten as a command line tool for manufacturing
    and professional customers. asr is the backend for the Mac OS X Software
    Restore application that shipped on Macintosh computers as well as the
    Scan and Restore functionality in Disk Utility.

    I also got burned by one version of CCC a few years ago. "Once burned" in doing backups is once too much... I know there are a lot of members who swear by it, but, as you can tell, my swearing was more directed to CCC. ;)

    SuperDuper looks OK - again, I don't see an advantage over Disk Utility.

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