Taking an image of a Mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kev2012, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. kev2012 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #1
    Hi,

    I've got a brand new mac mini and i wanted to take a image of it before i boot it up. How can I do this?

    I want to take a image before it boots up as i plan to play around with installing server OS X on it and setting up deploy studio so if anything goes wrong i want to be able to re-image the mac back to standard and then re-do it etc.

    Many thanks

    Kevin
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The only way to take an image of the drive before you boot it up, is to pull it, place it in an external drive case and use Carbon Copy Cloner.

    I think its a bit more feasible if you run CCC right after you boot up the Mini.
     
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    There's always Target Disk Mode. http://support.apple.com/kb/PH3838

    A.
     
  4. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #4
    What I and a lot of other Mac admins do is to do our testing like that in a virtual machine. I make my OS X virtual machines and then take snapshots and/or clone the virtual machines before making changes. Vmware Fusion is pretty seamless for this sort of work. It's a lot easier than having to reimage the entire physical machine.

    ----------

    You can also always boot from another volume and just make a copy that way. There's no need to pull the disk from the computer.
     
  5. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #5
    Hi,

    Thanks for replies.

    how would i go about creating a image to be used to deploy to several macs? could i boot it up and then run CCC and it will be fine or would i find that all the machines had the same SSIDs and i'd some how have to remove them?

    Thanks

    Kevin

    ----------

    Thanks chrfr.

    I'm setting up the mac mini in a very small lab enviroment (2 mac minis) at home to mess around with and try things out so its no real problem if i re-image them etc as nothing will be lost of any value etc.

    We use macs more and more at work and i'm not that familiar with them to support them and training in work is virtually non-existent so decided to buy a mac mini to run server OS and i'm hoping to put deploy studio on it and then i have a old mac mini which will do as a client.

    Last i knew, i didn't think OS X would work in vmware ESX? i heard rumours some people got it working but it was fiddly to setup etc so hence didn't want to go that route.

    Thanks
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    That's a complex question as there are lots of ways to do it. You should read through the Deploy Studio documentation and forums, and also read through
    http://www.macenterprise.org/mailing-list
    http://www.afp548.com
    In general, making one "master" image isn't a sufficiently flexible way to manage Macs. It breaks when new models come out and makes rolling in small updates difficult, and requires making new images frequently.
    My workflow uses DeployStudio to install a basic OS which creates a local administrator account, makes some other configuration changes, and installs the Munki client, which is what puts all my apps and updates on the system.

    This is a perfect reason to use VMWare Fusion for your testing.

    OS X will run in ESXi if ESXi is running on Apple hardware. I've experimented with it running on a Mac Pro which was seamless because it's specifically supported, but it can be done with a Mini as well. For learning/testing, I'd just get Fusion for your tests. Parallels Desktop tends not to work quite as well for these purposes.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Hold command-option-r when you first start the machine and that will take you to Internet recovery. You will need to enter your wifi password then you will see a spinning globe while the recovery console downloads.

    Once that is done you will see a screen like this.

    [​IMG]

    Start Disk Utility form there and use it to clone the drive to an external drive formatted to Mac OS Extended format. You can see how to do that at the 58 second mark in this video. (This video is cloning from an external to an internal, but just pick your source and destination and it works the same).

    This will give you a complete clone of a fresh, never booted Mini on your external.

    Once the clone is done just restart and it will boot right into the setup process for OS X.


    I assume you mean UUID? That won't matter as OS X will recognize the UUID of the new hardware without issue.
     
  8. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #8
    Hi,

    Thanks!

    so vmware fusion i may look into - can i use the mac mini for the server (as i bought it now) and run vmware fusion on that too?

    My esxi runs on a Hp server as i been using it for a windows lab and also holds home server on it.

    interesting ideal about the startup,whats the new image+? will that take a image of the mac before it boots up and put it in a .dmg, .iso file or similar as opposed to a copy of all the files?

    if the copy is the only way then i'll try and find out how big the OS is and find a USB HD bit enough for it to put it on.

    Thanks
     
  9. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #9
    If you're just doing testing and learning, don't run the server on the hardware; do it all in VMs.

    I wouldn't even bother with this. You can download the Mavericks installer from the App Store and make a USB installer easily.
     
  10. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #10
    Hi,

    Thanks for replies.

    So you reckon I should use the new mac mini as is and then purchase vmware fusion and setup OS X server in one VM. Then setup a Client VM running OS X mavericks or snow leopard and then effectively once i have a image in deploy studio, make it re-image the client pc, right?

    in work, they use a USB stick to boot up the macs and then it talks back to the deploystudio, and they choose whatever image they want to use. Will this work the same way, albeit virtually?

    I'm kinda wondering if maybe I've bough this mac mini for no reason not...

    i have a mac mini i use for personal use and don't want that messed up at all, the older mac mini isn't really used now hence why thought be ideal for the lab environment.

    i'm thinking maybe i should return the mac mini, get the vmware fusion and install it on my "main" mac mini but if something goes wrong, it might wipe the whole machine which is what i'm afraid of as i can't afford for that to happen so maybe i'm better off using the new mac mini and setting up vmware fusion on that after macing a clone of it, maybe the better option then nothing can happen to my one :)

    Thanks all! I'm getting the feeling maybe i should of asked here first :(
     
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    www.emiliana.cl/en
    #11
    Use your digital camera!

    :p & :D
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    For a 100% untouched disk image of the Mini's hard drive, Weaselboy's trick above should work.

    In my case, I also wanted a "copy" of the Mini's software install before using it (at least using it very much).

    So... I booted the Mini, created a "dummy administrative account", downloaded CarbonCopyCloner, and then cloned -that- to an external drive.

    If necessary to restore "from scratch", I can just boot from the "administrative clone", clone it BACK TO the Mini, and go from there -- with an almost-untouched copy of the original software (OS 10.8.2, which was a special release for use with the Mini).
     
  13. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #13
    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies.

    is there a way to back it up how you have suggested using command-option-r but to a image file instead of a copy of all the files?

    I have seen some posts regarding some external drives not being compatible, are the G-technology drives ok? I see they have a 1TB USB 3.0 drive for around £70 so thinking maybe i'll get one of these? I don't have any available external drives i can use for the backup, i have small ones or other larger ones but they have other data on them.

    Thanks
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Yes... it would work much the same way. Do the command-option-r boot to get to recovery and Disk Util like I described earlier. Then in Disk Util select Macintosh HD as the source in the restore tab. Now click the New Image icon in the toolbar and pick your external drive as the destination for the image. This will save the OS disk in a DMG file.

    The downside to that is I don't believe that will save the recovery partition where the other method does.

    Even without the recovery partition though, you could always repeat the command-option-r business to use Disk Util from there to restore from an image.

    I have not used G-technology drives myself, but I have seen quite a few users here who have used them without issue.
     
  15. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #15
    hi,

    Thanks for your reply, sounds like i'm better of doing the copy way, i thought the image would be like taking a ghost image of the PC where you can take everything on the drive.

    I've just trying buying the g-technology mobile 1TB USB 3.0 drive from apple store but it wont allow me, goes all the way though and then says my payment authorisation has been declined! tried twice on my computer and once from app on my phone, same result.

    I've contacted my Bank and they advise no attempts for payment authorisation have reached them at all since my last transaction yesterday so maybe a issue on apple's side is all i can think of. Weird.

    Guess maybe i try tomorrow...

    Was hoping to get the image taken and play around a bit setting the lab up the weekend, not looking likely at the moment... :(
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #16
    Looks like Amazon has those also if you are in the US. Maybe you will have better luck there.
     
  17. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #17
    Hi,

    Thanks for replies.

    I went to apple store on way home tonight and got one, its not 100% the same as online i don't think but its good enough. I'm based in the UK.

    Another question, i see some people saying they will return there mini's if new one comes out as still within the 14 day return period, does the mac need to be unopened, sealed etc or can it of been used and returned?

    reason being if a new model comes out then i will return it if within 14 days as might as well get newer one so just wanted to clarify before i start playing around :)

    Thanks all!

    Kevin
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #18
    It can be opened and used and they will still take it back.
     
  19. kev2012 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #19
    Hi,

    ah great thanks! Will hopefully try the steps you gave earlier in the thread the weekend.

    Kevin
     

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