Creating a new image

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by davejay00, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. davejay00 macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Hi all,

    Just looking for some advice as I am fairly new to the Mac world. If I create an image via disk utility, can I then load this image onto another Mac?

    Where I work, we are currently building and installing Mac's from scratch. I wanted to install office etc, then take an image of the drive and hopefully load onto new Mac's to save time as ghost does for PC's.

    Is there anything I would need to consider, like for example creating new SID's on PC's etc? And would the image work on Pro's and Air's?

    Any advice would be greatfully recieved, many thanks for any help in advance.

    Kind Regards
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The easiest approach is to clone a drive, using Carbon Copy Cloner. This will create an exact bootable image on an external drive.

    You realize though if you clone the image and load it on to another computer you may run into licensing issues, both in what you are authorized to use and activation (in MS office's case)
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It would probably be faster to get an external USB 3.0 HDD or Firewire 800 HDD (2.5" shall suffice) to clone the already properly installed Mac's HDD/SSD to the external HDD via CarbonCopyCloner (version 3.4.7 is still free and available for download here and works with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion) or SuperDuper!, while everything is setup apart from iTunes and the Mac App Store (MAS) via having not yet logged into any of them via your Apple ID.

    After the first cloning is done, take the HDD to the next Mac, boot from the HDD via pressing the OPTION key right after the startup chime to select the external HDD to boot from.
    Once booted, format the Mac's internal storage device (HDD or SSD) properly*, then start the cloning application you chose and clone the external HDD onto the internal HDD.

    Once done, verify via booting from the internal HDD either via the Option key or System Preferences > Startup Disk*.

    You can repeat as often as you like, but know, you should have the licenses for the many Macs and the apps you clone. Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion once purchased, can be installed on as many OWN Macs as one wants, as far as I remember.

    As for drivers, Mac OS X contains all drivers for the machine it can run on, thus if you have 10.8.4, it will run on all certified Macs except the 2013 MacBook Airs (since they came with a special built, once 10.8.5 arrives, a 10.8.5 clone will also include drivers for 2013 MacBook Airs).

    Was that understandable?

  4. davejay00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Thankyou so much for the informative and helpful responses, love you long time!!!
  5. davejay00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Hi all,

    Hope you are well.

    So I tried using the Disk utility application, and get the following:

    I am trying to use the Mac Image I created, but it comes up saying 'To restore the disk image, Disk Utility must scan it first'. I click on 'Scan Disk Image', and it says 'Unable to scan 'Apple HDD' (The HDD I am trying to restore to)'.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.
  6. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Disk Utility needs to scan the disk image, not the destination drive. You should be able to select the original image on the left hand side and select "Images > Scan image for restore" from the menubar. This scans the original image and allows Disk Utility to later perform a block copy restoration using it as a source.

    With that said, will all of your Macs be identical in their software needs? If you anticipate some Macs needing XYZ software and some others needing ABC software then you might look at some technology beyond Disk Utility. Munki & JAMF are both big in enterprise environments, DeployStudio is big in educational environments. These bits of software allow for scripting, post image installation of software, copying of files, etc.

    For instance... I'm the Mac admin for a major church and will regularly have to deploy 5 - 10 new Macs every few weeks or so in addition to controlling our current Mac user base of 120~ users. Since help tickets often distract me from setting up new Macs manually I've setup DeployStudio to automate the majority of the process. Just recently I updated my base image using a fresh out of the box 2013 MBAir. Now my workflow is basically:
    • Connect new Mac to network
    • Netboot to DeployStudio by holding N while powering on (DeployStudio can also run from an external hard drive, bypassing the need for a server)
    • Select proper "New Mac" workflow depending on the recipient's department
    • DeployStudio restores the base 10.8.4 image (from the 2013 MBAir), sets up post installation files for MS Office, Citrix Receiver, etc and copies over Firefox, Dropbox, etc and configures Active Directory & Open Directory bindings
    • Once the workflow is complete the Mac reboots without any interaction from me
    • Upon the first boot the Mac will run all of the post installations that DeployStudio set up, these are visible on screen in the form of a log
    • Once finished DeployStudio's scripts delete themselves and the process is finished. From start to finish it's about 8~10 minutes.

    When Dropbox, Citrix Receiver, Java, etc are updated I can simply toss them into DeployStudio's repo, replacing the older versions, without needing to alter the workflows or build completely new images. You can also use Apple Remote Desktop to push these same updates out to your current Macs.

    When I worked in a repair shop I used Disk Utility and sometimes Carbon Copy Cloner to reimage Macs following hard drive replacements but often had to rebuild new images as iLife updates were released and whatnot. Looking back DeployStudio would have saved a load of time.

    Just some food for thought for you.


    This is partially true. In a business environment Apple's licensing asks that you have a license for each instance of their software. The problem people run into is that you can't repurchase items from the Mac App store using your same Apple ID. Apple instead asks that you purchase separate licenses from them, using either your Apple Rep or calling 1-800-My-Apple, under their volume purchasing program. At home though it seems like the license changes a bit since it's not being used for business purposes, though I've never been able to get a definitive answer on this from an Apple rep.

    Don't get me wrong, you can install OS X on however Macs you want since it has no serialization, it's just the licensing terms and moral obligation to watch out for.
  7. davejay00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Hi all,

    This is working well. One slight issue I have is that the cloned drive I created with SuperDuper will boot when plugged into a MacBook Pro but not an Air?

    Does anyone have any bright ideas please?

    Kind Regards
  8. davejay00 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011

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