Cloning HDD (Mac+Bootcamp partitions)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macstatic, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. macstatic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    Is there a way to create a bootable backup (clone) of the Mac's internal hard drive when it's split up in two partitions (OSX and Bootcamp)?
    I have an external USB drive and would like to make an identical backup since I might be replacing its hard drive, but it's not obvious how I can include the Bootcamp partition. I'm on OSX 10.9.5 if that matters.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    There's not one single app that will clone both partitions.
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my OS X partition and WinClone for the windows but WinClone does not create a bootable clone, it creates an image file that you restore too
  3. doynton, Apr 1, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017

    doynton macrumors 6502

    Oct 19, 2014
    You want to clone your disk not image it. There are dozens of applications you can run to do this or you can even buy hardware to do it.

    Boot from external drive and run one. You can use OSX or Linux and use dd. Or boot from Macrium repair disk (free Windows software) and clone it. None care about the data on the drive be it Windows or OSX or Linux and copy your partitions and partition table just fine. Just make sure your destination disk is as big or bigger as your internal one. I've used both methods and both work fine on all my Macs (and PCs).

    Your only consideration is what external device your Mac will boot from. Older ones (like my 2006 MBP) will not boot Windows software from external USB without a boot loader. I therefore use either OSX or Linux normally.

    None are that fast mind you but they are free and you end up with an exact copy of your disk that is bootable in both OS.

    I don't know why MacOS people like recommending WinClone, CCC and Paragon. There is no point paying for software to do such a trivial (OS agnostic) task.

    You could have a look at these to explain dd and Macrium...

    or if your Mac will boot from USB then this is by far the easiest way
  4. Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    I'm always amazed how few people know that you can do this kind of drive cloning with the standard Disk Utility.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can image/clone the macOS part with DU, but are you aware of a way to clone the Windows partition with DU?
  6. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    So the Bootcamp cloning process involve creating a separate NTFS partition on the backup drive first, then running the cloning software (which, unlike most regular Mac software can read/write the NTFS format)?
    I was hoping I'd find something which would just clone the entire drive (both partitions) in one go.

    I was also hoping for a free solution (my Mac is due for repairs and I'd like to make it easy to reinstall everything as it was when I get it back), so I ended up download Paragon Boot Camp Backup which macupdate said was free (turns out "free" meant a 10 day trial version). Anyway I cloned the Mac drive first using Chronosync (which I use for all my backup needs), then ran the above which I understand creates a disk image file of the Windows partition. I assume to restore it I need to first have an empty Windows partition available on the Mac hard drive. I'm sure I'll find out when I get the computer back.

    In hindsight I should probably have partitioned the backup drive so that I'd have both a Mac and a Windows (Bootcamp) partition which I'm guessing should have made cloning the Bootcamp partition easier as well. Doynton: is this what you meant when talking about free solutions such as DD or Macrium repair disk?
    You mentioned that it won't be possible to boot Windows software from an external drive. Well, I don't mind as long as I can clone the drive (both partitions) back to the Mac as it was before, and I can carry on booting into OSX or Bootcamp as I like. I won't be using the external drive for anything else than a backup to restore from.

    If all fails it's no biggie. My Mac partition is safely backed up and I only use Windows occasionally for a Windows-only app, so it's just a matter of re-installing Windows from scratch and that app.
  7. Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    I can't vouch for NTFS drives, as I have never tried that (and not the means to try it at the moment) but I have successfully cloned ExFAT volumes with the Disk Utility in the past.
  8. Mike Boreham, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017

    Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    CopycatX and Drive Genius both have the ability to block level clone an entire hard drive (Mac and Bootcamp partitions) to another drive in a single operation. I have used both successfully to do this, but not recently.

    I have successfully used Winclone several times recently to image and restore the Bootcamp partitions, which, with CCC or similar for macOS would enable you to replace the hard drive in the same computer, but not in a single operation.
  9. maserluv macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    How did you do that?

    Can you explain the steps please,

    Regards Wayne

  10. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Which are you asking about? CopyCatX, Drive Genius or Winclone?!
  11. cobracnvt macrumors member


    Apr 6, 2017
  12. maserluv macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    The Winclone.

    How to do you restore back the winclone image back to the Partition. Do you have to re-install Windows first to create the partition before restoring back the image?

    Regards Wayne

  13. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Everything is done from the Mac side.
    First you create a Winclone image of your Bootcamp. The image file is stored on the Mac side. This contains your Windows installation and all data and settings)
    To restore the image you create a MS-DOS FAT partition on the Mac using Disk Utility. (max four partition allowing for RP and EFI and BC)
    Then, still running Winclone from the Mac side, you restore the Winclone Image to the MS-DOS FAT partition.
    Job done.

    Caveats. You have to turn off SIP before restoring, and back on again afterwards. If you want to restore the image to a different computer you have to run Sys Prep in Windows before making the image to remove all the drivers, which will be wrong for the new computer.

    More here:

    Winclone support is very good.
  14. maserluv macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2008
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the Tips! I'm glad i have the winclone and has been doing the imaging my bootcamp whenever i find the latest Windows 10 Version released is stable. In fact i'm using the Windows 10 Creator Version right now.

    I have been using time-machine too.

    Do you think I can upgrade to a new ssd harddisk via restore time machine and then create MS-DOS FAT Partition, "turn off SIP" and follow by winclone restore?

    Regards Wayne

  15. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    There is a bit of a risk in this but I believe it will be OK. I have changed the drive within the same machine and restored with Winclone successfully in the past. If it was me I would just do it. If it fails to boot you can always go back to the original hard drive and start again.

    If you are nervous about doing this I would email Winclone Support with the specifics and see what they say.

    Probably the cast-iron method would be:-

    Winclone image of your BC as it is now (for fall back if the rest goes wrong)
    Boot up from Bootcamp and run sysprep
    Make another Winclone image of the sysprep'd Bootcamp
    Restore the sysprep'd image to the new SSD
    Reinstall Bootcamp driver package. (need to download this separately)

    I have never used sysprep, and the above seems like overkill for changing the drive in the same computer.

    Note that if you are restoring the image to a smaller partition than the original you need to shrink the file system.
  16. macstatic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2005
    It all seems quite complicated (except the physical hard drive copy/clone dock doing a block copy of the drive).
    For now I've decided to do a fresh re-install of everything on the hard drive since the computer was in for hard drive related repairs, and my clone copy would potentially contain errors because of reading errors.

    As I use Chronosync for my backup needs (in addition to Time Machine) I'm going to look into (or suggest a new feature) doing backups of Windows partitions. That would make life a lot easier.

    By the way, are there any good FAQs on installing Bootcamp? I struggled a lot with it and don't really understand how it got installed. It would be nice to do it correctly this time.
  17. cynics, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017

    cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Unlikely in disk utility however the original quote that you quoted said dd. And I believe dd or cat should work. Just unmount the drives and from terminal ' cat X > Y ' or ' dd if=X of=Y (options) ' X being the paths of the input Y output. Then use the shasum command to verify its an identical copy.

    I've never done it before but it should work from the MacOS terminal without the need for additional software.
  18. Digitalclips macrumors 65816

    Mar 16, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
    I have a Mac Pro 6 Core early 2014 trashcan Mac with a 256 GB internal SSD with macOS High Sierra and a Windows 10 Boot Camp partition.

    I use CCC and Time Machine for the macOS partition. To back up the Boot Camp partition I do the following:

    I simply run the free version of MiniTool Partition (I use version 9.1) from within Boot camp and select 'Copy Disk Wizard' and select an attached external SSD. It's simply a couple of clicks.

    Once done to make the new clone bootable I simply run the Free EasyUFI App from Boot Camp and repair the EFI on the new clone. Now I have a bootable back up of Windows 10 made from my Boot Camp partition. Easy and Free.

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