Restoring OS X from External HD Backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Chris2121, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Chris2121 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Hello all - I have a MBP (200gb internal HDD), and a 1TB external USB RAID1 drive. In an effort to reformat my MBP's internal disk, I:

    -used Disk Utility to create a backup of my entire internal HDD to my external RAID1, so it would be bootable. Used the standard source/destination feature, and it worked great. No problems booting to the external HDD, and everything looks fine...wouldn't even know I was on a different drive.

    -erased my MBP's disk via Disk Utility's erase feature. Worked great, drive is empty.

    Now the problem comes when I'm booted to my RAID1, and try to restore the the MBP's disk. If I use Disk Utility's standard restore source/destination tool, I get an error that the disk sizes mismatch, or something like that (presumably, because it's trying to copy a 1TB drive to a 200GB drive). I also tried to just drag all the system-critical folders to to the drive via Finder, but that didn't work either, because the folders copy but I can't boot to it. I tried to make a disk image, but it seems that in Disk Utility, I can't make a customized image by picking and choosing which folders I want to include. I can only make an image of a single folder (which does me no good because I need to restore multiple folders that are all located in the root directory of the drive).

    Any suggestions of how I can restore my internal HDD to make it bootable again? OS X is running beautifully well from my external RAID1 as I sit here and type this, but it's understandably making me nervous that my entire system is external right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    You could install Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! and clone your RAID drive to the internal drive.

    When it's done, just change your Startup Disk in System Preferences and you should be back up and running.
  3. Chris2121 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Hmm...that sounds like a good idea, but would the fact that the external is 1TB and the drive I'd be copying to is 200GB be a problem?
  4. STXSTEVE macrumors member


    Mar 9, 2009
    What OllyW said above should work fine, doesn't matter the drive size, as long as the drive you are cloning to has enough room for that data. Which should be fine in your situation. I have used SuperDuper to do this exact process transferring the backup from a 1TB external. Just be prepared for it to take a few hours to transfer all the data.
  5. Chris2121 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2008
    Nope, SuperDuper! didn't work. It's still trying to squeeze 1TB of information onto a 200GB drive. I guess what I really want to know is how I can get only my essential SYSTEM files and programs (i.e., applications folder, users folder, an system folder), onto the 200GB drive, and have it be bootable. That's really all I'm looking to do.
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Not much left to take out after those. If you use Carbon Copy Cloner, you can exclude certain directories from being copied. You'll have to sift through your files and decided what to clone and what not to clone.
  7. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    You can install the OS from the installation disks (the ones you got with your computer - Leopard I assume; or a retail OS X Leopard DVD), then use the Migration Assistant to bring your data from the external disk. Do software update(s) to bring it all up to date.

Share This Page