Creating a copy of your HDD to SSD?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by XGO7, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. XGO7 macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    Aug 7, 2018
    #1
    Hey Everyone, First time poster, long time lurker.

    I have an iMac late 2013 1 TB HDD. I just bought an external 1 TB SSD that i'd like to create a mirror copy of my current HDD and put it on my SSD and make that my primary drive. Then i'd like to format the internal HDD and use that for storage. Basically i'd like to swap their data for speed purposes.

    Any suggestions on how i should go about doing that?

    I know I should format the SSD first for mac. After that, what would i do to transfer a mirror copy to the SSD, boot from the SSD, then format the HDD.

    Thanks in advance, sorry if this is a dumb question. The only tutorials I found didnt tell me how to make a mirror copy. Only how to install mac OSX to the SSD.
     
  2. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

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    UK
    #2
    Carbon copy cloner is the goto app for the cloning procedure - strongly recommended for data protection thereafter
    Unless you have a fast connection for your disk, the performance might be less then expected.
     
  3. XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    #3
  4. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #4
    I use those enclosures with my new ima and they are really fast over USB3. That is the key versus USB2. I think your iMac is new enough to have big USB3 and Thunderbolt on the back ports. If you you should be good for speeds up to the stated drive speed I expect.

    +1 for carbon copy clover. Great product. Have it set up to run automatic incremental bootable backups of main drives on all my macs. And it even copes with recovery partitions etc
     
  5. XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    #5
    Awesome, Good to hear.

    And yes, i checked my iMac's specs and it is USB 3.
     
  6. Bertrude macrumors member

    Bertrude

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    #6
    Sorry, this posted later than the 2 posts above so is a tad redundant. I'd imagine it would be OK, as long as your Mac has USB3 ports (which I think the late 2013 model had).

    I can't recall if this is correct (perhaps someone more knowledgable can clarify), but you might be able to just use disk utility to 'restore' from the internal drive to the new SSD to make a copy. Or use either Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper in trial mode.
     
  7. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #7
    Hook up the enclosure with the SSD in it, and yes your iMac has USB3 ports. If necessary, format the external to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) then using SuperDuper or CCC as mentioned clone the internal to the SSD. When complete, go into System Preferences > Startup Disk and select the external SSD as the boot disk by highlighting.

    The iMac will boot from the SSD and as you suggest, keep the internal for backups.
     
  8. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #8
    If you want to use the original HDD for data, then ensure you’ve done a backup from your new SSD to a different backup drive before you wipe the internal HDD. Just in case, so you always have 2 copies...
     
  9. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #9
    Isn't Time Machine just as good for incremental backup and restore Boot Drive in case of failure? I like CCC which is great for cloning and migrating to a new drive, but as a backup tool, Time Machine can do both and incremental restores of files correct?
     
  10. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #10
    Time Machine does not create a bootable backup clone of a system drive. The advantage of programs like CCC (or disk utility but that doesn’t do incremental backups) is that in the event of a main system drive failure you just boot straight from the backup drive and off you go... Also it supports keeping old copies of changed files optionally, like time machine.

    My own experience over years is once or twice I’ve used time machine to dig out an old versions of a file. But much more often I’ve used CCC to replace faulty HDD/SSDs via backup/restore and its much quicker to restore. I actually keep one of each per machine. In different locations.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    The OP wrote:
    "I have an iMac late 2013 1 TB HDD. I just bought an external 1 TB SSD that i'd like to create a mirror copy of my current HDD and put it on my SSD and make that my primary drive. Then i'd like to format the internal HDD and use that for storage. Basically i'd like to swap their data for speed purposes."

    This is a VERY GOOD idea.
    The iMac will boot and run MUCH FASTER once you do this.

    This is virtually child's play on the Mac, and you should have no fear of getting things set up this way.

    There are two AND ONLY TWO apps you should consider for the job:
    1. CarbonCopyCloner
    2. SuperDuper
    BOTH are FREE to download and use for 30 days -- long enough to get the job done.

    I suggest CCC, because it can also clone your recovery partition as well as the "main" partition.

    One important step to be aware of (that I think many leave out):
    Once you do the initial clone and you're ready to boot from the SSD, do your first boot this way:
    1. Power down, ALL THE WAY OFF
    2. Press the power on button
    3. IMMEDIATELY hold down the option key and keep holding it down until the startup manager appears
    4. Select the SSD with the pointer and hit return.
    5. Do you get a good boot? If so, do this:
    6. Open system preferences and go to the startup disk preference pane
    7. Click on the lock icon and enter your password
    8. Now click on the icon for the SSD so that it's designated to become your NEW boot drive
    9. Close system prefs and your done.

    If you follow these instructions, I guarantee a 98% chance of success.
    Print out this post and follow step by step.
     
  12. bplein macrumors 6502

    bplein

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    Location:
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    #12
    This is good advice.

    Also call the cloned drive something other than the boot drive name, at least temporarily while you do this, so you ensure you are booting the correct drive. Then rename the external drive to your preferred internal name like "Macintosh HD" and rename the internal "data" drive to whatever floats your boat.

    After you are all done, happy, and have made another full backup, then erase your internal drive.
     
  13. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #13
    CCC or Time Machine. In this specific case I would prefer TM and I'll explain why. This is just my personal preference and I'm not knocking CCC.

    You never want to clone (actual block level clone) a mounted drive with an active OS. There is a surprisingly high chance you will get data corruption. This is because if the drive is mounted and an active OS is running on it data is being manipulated constantly. CCC won't allow a block level clone but even with its copy function they still warn:

    Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 6.32.28 PM.png
    CCC will be doing more of copy than clone and I believe it won't even allow you to select a block level function while using the startup disk/mounted drive/etc...

    Regardless once your clone is complete I would highly recommend setting it to the startup disk via an external enclosure and booting from it. Make sure it works fine before proceeding.

    The safest way to clone (and avoid data corruption) would be to have both drives unmounted and then just use terminal on Mac or Linux with the 'dd' command, ex. dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb you can then checksum to verify it is a bit for bit replica of the source drive. This is easier done from a separate computer.

    Something else is you'll be restoring an HFS+ clone which will then need to be converted to APFS. Not a big deal I guess but I prefer the startup disk starting with the file system I intend on using on it.



    Time Machine is not perfect and there are a lot of valid reasons people hate it and use CCC for their incremental back ups. However it does have a nice benefit, you can download an unmolested copy of MacOS from Apple and than load only the data you want from it and leave specific data behind like old user data or whatever.

    Assuming you want high sierra, just install the new drive, perform an internet recovery for the latest OS and once that is loaded you can select your time machine and restore specific/all users and only the data you want from those users. Thats it. Everything will look the same as you left it and you'll have a fresh copy of MacOS High Sierra using APFS.

    Regardless no matter what you do I HIGHLY recommend you doing a manual back up of data you aren't ok with losing. Just drag and drop to an external source that won't be touched during this process.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #14
    Time Machine CANNOT produce a "bootable cloned copy" of the internal drive, which is what the OP wanted...
     
  15. XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    Aug 7, 2018
    #15
    Success! Its so much faster. Wish I had done it sooner.

    I have to admit, not much of a big difference in start up speed, but a huge difference in performance once i'm using it.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  16. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #16
    Great! What method did you use in the end? The anticipation is killing me :)
     
  17. XGO7, Aug 10, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

    XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    #17
    I used CCC. It was really simple. Then I just held option while rebooting to boot under SSD and changed the start up disk.

    I was wondering how necessary is this?
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #18
    The OP wrote:
    "I used CCC. It was really simple. Then I just held option while rebooting to boot under SSD and changed the start up disk..."

    See how easy this is?
    See how much better the Mac performs this way?

    I've been promoting this quick, safe, easy and cheap method to squeeze more performance out of a Mac on this board for years now.

    Yet still... you'd be amazed at the folks who won't touch CCC or SD, because Time Machine is from Apple... so "it has to be better... right?"

    Some other thoughts:
    The advice to give your new external boot drive a distinctly different name than the internal drive is good. You want to be able to quickly tell them apart on the desktop.

    Also good is the advice to:
    1. Use disk utility to ERASE the internal drive
    2. Use CCC to "re-clone" the contents of the (new) external SSD BACK TO the internal drive.
    WHY you want to do this:
    Over a few years, the platter-based internal drive has probably built up some fragmentation. Not only of files, but of "the free space between them".
    When you erase and then re-clone like this, the files will pretty much be re-written "contiguously", eliminating the fragmentation and free space.
     
  19. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #19
    With CCC you can set up scheduled automatic incremental backups (with or without the ‘safety net’ of old file versions, or just a straight copy). I use it to run every couple of days in the background and email me if there is an error only. SImples. Time machine is my second whole disk backup - actually several disks, which is a nice feature of TM it does multiple drives. Then certain critical files are offsite in cloud backup.
    I think the OP wanted to use the internal drive for other data not a backup copy of the new external SSD boot drive...
     
  20. XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    #20
    Are SSD’s typically more reliable than HDD’s?
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #21
    wardie wrote:
    "I think the OP wanted to use the internal drive for other data not a backup copy of the new external SSD boot drive..."

    OK, then I'd make another suggestion:

    Partition the internal drive.
    Make the "first partition" about 30gb or so.
    Install a copy of the Mac OS onto it.

    Use the other partition for "other storage".

    Why suggest this?
    Because even though the OP won't be booting from the internal drive, there will then be an "emergency bootable partition" of the OS "just sitting there" on the internal drive, if for some reason he can't boot from the external SSD.

    This will become FAR MORE VALUABLE than the recovery partition in "a moment of need".
    If the SSD fails -- just "goes dark" (and I've had one that did this) -- the recovery partition on it will be as "inaccessible" as the main partition, and there will be no way to boot (other than perhaps internet recovery).

    Having that "second bootable copy" of the OS is the best way to run.
    You might not need it very often, but when you DO need it, it's great to have.
     
  22. ChrisChaval macrumors 6502

    ChrisChaval

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    Aug 30, 2016
    #22
    create a time machine backup and restore from it when installing on SSD

    everything will be right there where you left it

    that's what I did and it worked great
     
  23. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #23
    Agreed. I would have thought easiest solution is to have a second external disk (say cheap HDD) and maintain full bootable backup in it too via CCC. That serves same purpose in emergency and leaves internal SDD free for simple single partition of data. Whatever. Boils down to user preference really.
     
  24. wardie macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2008
    #24
    Both fail eventually but I would say in my experience HDD more than SSD. Lots of things to consider about that topic, never mind about price/GB and performance. For example SSD have no moving parts and lower power so if that is relevant to your use case say in a mobile device e.g. laptop then SSD better. Etc. Read this it’s about enterprise use but gives good relative merits.
    http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/storage-hardware/ssd-vs.-hdd-performance-and-reliability.html
     
  25. XGO7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    XGO7

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    Aug 7, 2018
    #25
    Hey guys, quick question. When I try to erase the Internal HD it gives me the following error (image attached).

    Any ideas?
     

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