External Hard Drive Question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macuser1232, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Hi I was wondering when I get my external hard drive will there be a way to only copy certain applications(and their related files) on to my external HD instead of everything? I am only wanting to copy my pictures, documents, and some applications to my external hard drive so when I do a clean install I can put them back on my Mac. I will be getting the Western Digital Passport Studio. And I'm using an early 2011 MBP i5 with 8gb of ram running Mountain Lion 10.8.2.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Download the free version of CarbonCopyCloner (version 3.4.6) from:

    In the main window, after you select your "source" drive, you can work your way down the list of files and folders, and de-select those items you do NOT want to be copied.

    A suggestion, however:
    You should consider using CCC to create a fully-bootabled clone backup of your main drive.

    In a moment of extreme need (computer won't boot, etc.), NOTHING will get you up and running faster than having a bootable backup drive "close at hand". It will become INVALUABLE if something goes wrong with your internal drive...
  3. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Does CCC copy ALL of the related files of the applications?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    CCC can make a bootable clone of your entire drive, including the recovery partition.
  5. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    But what I want to do is only copy my System folder, Library folder, and some Applications so that I can restore my Mac when I do a clean install soon.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Applications may store components in various locations, so if you really want a clean system, reinstall all the apps after a clean install, then move your user files over. If you simply copy some folders, it's possible to miss some application files.
  7. fortysomegeek macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2012
    If you don't want to use Carbon Copy or other apps, you can use rsync. It is a command line UNIX tool.
    Rsync is built into the OS and is a powerful command line utility.
    Pretty much all the cloning apps use rsync and put a pretty GUI over it. This includes Carbon Cloner.

    It is very easy once you do it a few times.

    Open up your terminal console.

    Type in:

    rsync --progress --delete -auvE

    Then drag the folder you want to copy from
    Add a space.
    Then drag your destination folder.

    You will see something like this.

    rsync --progress --delete -auvE /Users/Admin/Pictures/2012_2/ /Volumes/mybook3/Photos/2012_2

    As for the parameters I use,

    --progress shows me the progress of the file copy in the terminal
    --delete will delete what is on the backup drive that doesn't exist on the source. If you are paranoid, you can leave this flag out. I use this so I can have an exact copy of my source.

    -a = archive
    -u = update
    -v = verbose
    -E is mac specific. extend attributes which will preserve mac resources like color labels, icons of folders, layout of folder.


    You can take that line of code and copy into a text editor and save it to a file like


    And save that drive on your computer. Whenever you want to run it, you simply drag the file into the terminal to run it or run it from the command line.
    I usually have scripts like this for all my external drives.
  8. macuser1232 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
    Yes I've used rsync before.

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