How perfectly is drive cloning (SuperDuper etc)?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mr Skills, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    I have a Mac Pro I use for work (running Logic and lots of plug-ins) and I would like to clone my system drive using SuperDuper or CCC so if the computer ever dies, I can just hire another Mac Pro and slot in a clone drive. But I have a couple of questions:

    1) Many of the plug-ins I use (Waves, Native Instruments etc) have copy protection. Are they going to 'notice' that they are on a cloned drive (and possible a different computer), or is the copy really perfect bit-for-bit?

    2) Best of all would be if I could clone to a firewire drive - then for lighter sessions I would not have to hire in a computer. I could just firewire-boot my iMac from home. Is this likely to cause any problems?

    Thanks :)
  2. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    I have heard from time to time of certain apps/plug-ins etc that would require re-installation on clones, but you may just have to try it & see, or contact the people who wrote them to verify......

    Having said that, in the 3+ years of using SD &/or CCC, I have never had any problems with any of my Photoshop plug-ins not working on my clones......

    And yes, you can clone to firewire drives nottaproblemo :p
  3. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Just to add a few more examples to what SmurfBoxMasta said, in all the time I have been using CCC to clone drives I have not had to re-register anything either. With the entire Adobe CS3 Design Premium suite and a lot of purchased Photoshop plugins from multiple companies, none have given a hint of problem upon being restored.

    The simplest way to test your particular array though is as suggested- to simply go ahead and do a clone, then boot and run from that drive. That way your original installations will still be fine on their original drive if by chance they don't work when booted from the clone. If there are any troubles they will definitely appear at that point. If they work fine then you can have full confidence that if the clone needed to be restored at a later point it will work fine-- as restoring from a clone is really nothing more than running the clone program again and reversing the "source" and the "target" volumes.
  4. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Thanks :)

    The reason I'm asking about the firewire drive is because I'm deciding whether to buy a SATA drive that I could slot into the Mac Pro, or a FireWire drive, which would mean that I could substitute my iMac if I had to. Of course, in order to test it I have to spend the money on the drive!

    I think I might just have to go ahead and, if it doesn't work flawlessly, at least I'll have another normal backup.
  5. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Oops, I just noticed my typo in the thread title :eek:
  6. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    for safe keeping, regardless of using it with a MacPro or iMac, its definitely handy and wise to have an external enclosure. most have usb/firewire 400 or 800 jsut depending.. and theyre just as suitable as a manufactured external drive.

    with clones; i just did a full clone of my Main HDD on my MacPro.
    i have 339.54 available on the drive and cloned it to a matched drive and said i have 339.62 after not concerned about that .08 its probably some cache that was removed or temp files.

    ive never had a single issue with cloning as it mirrors precisely what you have on your main drive your cloning, so it acts as if it were your main drive.
    and ive booted the clone off many Macs too for testing the apps and OS.

    so you can clone your MP drive to your iMac too and have the same set up.
  7. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    I've been using SuperDuper for years now, no issues at all, even when cloning a whole MP system to an MBP .

    The only apps I ever had to re-install was USBOverdrive, and Little Snitch is acting up a little on a clone, but it always does that . ;)

    I second an external HDD for clones and other backups, it's safer imho.
  8. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Nov 21, 2005
    Well, I bought a drive and used Carbon Copy Cloner... but it didn't work.

    Nothing to do with CCC - that perfectly, even if it did take 10 hours to clone the drive! Unfortunately, some of my plug-ins (particularly Native Instruments) were able to detect that they were running on different hardware and so wanted re-registration.

    I'm still going to keep a clone, because presumably it will be good if the hard drive crashes (since it would slot into the same computer) but it clearly won't work if I temporarily get another computer.

    So instead I have installed a second copy of everything on my iMac as a spare system - luckily all the plug-ins either allow multiple installs or use an iLok.

    And you know what? It's running everything like a champ. I'm wondering if I need to keep the Mac Pro...

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