Safest way to copy a failing media drive

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by AVR2, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. AVR2, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016

    AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #1
    My 2TB media drive is showing early signs of impending failure. What's the best/safest way of copying everything onto a new drive?

    The last time I upgraded my media drive (going from 1TB to 2TB) I just did a Select All in Finder and dragged everything over.

    Obviously this will take many hours, and my main concern is that if the source drive craps out or otherwise suffers trouble partway through, I want all complete files copied up to that point to be accessible on the new drive.
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    Apple's Disk Copy (Restore) in Disk Utility works pretty well. Or, assuming you have no OS on the disk, it would, IMO, be safer to drag each folder over to your new disk one by one, rather than a wholesale dragging of everything. That way you can start with the most important files.

    Lou
     
  3. AVR2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #3
    I want to automate the process because there are over 1000 media files on the drive. Disk Copy doesn't seem to exist in the disk utility in El Capitan.

    Say I drag over a folder with 10 files in, and the source drive suffers a problem while copying the seventh file and Finder aborts the copy - will the previous 6 still be accessible on the new drive? Or will they, and the folder, vanish from the new drive because Finder wasn't able to complete the folder copy process?
     
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #4
    Do you have some files that are more important than others? Might want to prioritise/triage first?
     
  5. AVR2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #5
    Nothing is irreplaceable, but it would be a hassle re-ripping stuff.

    So is there an automatic disk copying solution that will work on a folder-by-folder basis (I don't need a bit-for-bit clone, I'd quite like the defragging benefits that come from a copy rather than a clone) and, in the event that the source disk suffers a problem midway through the process, will leave the files already copied to the destination disk in a useable state?
     
  6. simon lefisch, Mar 14, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016

    simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #6
    Use Terminal

    Code:
    cp -R (source) (destination)
    Make sure there's spacing between cp -R (source) (destination). Not sure why it's not showing up.
     
  7. AVR2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #7
    Could you clarify how that Terminal command is different from just dragging and dropping in Finder? And couid I drag-and-drop the volume names into the Terminal window?
     
  8. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #8
    If some files couldn't be copied, Terminal will continue to copy all other files whereas Finder will quit and you'll have to start all over again.

    Yes you can drag and drop the source/destination into Terminal.
     
  9. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #9
    It does - As I said above it's now called "Restore" - Look under "Edit" in Disk Utility. Apple just made it hard to find.

    Lou
     
  10. AVR2 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2006
    #10
    Thanks!
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    OP:

    Here's what I'd suggest:

    Use CarbonCopyCloner to copy the contents of the [suspect] failing drive to a known good one.

    If CCC encounters a "bad file" during the process (could be due to a bad sector on the drive, etc.), it will "skip over" the bad file and go on to the next file, and so on. CCC will also keep a log of the problems so you can see which files are affected.

    CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for the first 30 days.
    You can find it here:
    http://www.bombich.com/download.html

    Trying this method will cost you nothing, and it may do what you need...
     
  12. AVR2 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #12
    Thanks for that. I'd considered CCC before, but I thought that "Cloner" meant it made a bit-for-bit copy rather than worked at the file level.
     
  13. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #13
    Another option is to use rsync. Can use it multiple times, to make sure that if something got dropped, a second or third or... pass might catch it.

    That said, if drive is failing, some things might not ever get copied over. Hence, the need for backups, and multiple media (eg. I have two different TimeMachine drives that I swap every two weeks, and two other USB drives that I manually copy things to like pictures once a quarter to).

    For example, to rsync:

    Code:
    rsync -a -L /Volumes/MyOLdUSBDrive/Documents /Volumes/MyNewUSBDrive
     

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