Time Machine & Carbon Copy Cloner Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gregrose, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. gregrose macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Hey guys, im very confused on what I should do here, need some advice, because im just not finding my answers on the internet.

    Im looking to upgrade my HD in my mbp13inch and I want to exactly replicate my old HD to my new one.

    So what im trying to figure out is. lets say I freshly install my new HD with my mbp cd & all, would TM completely clone my old HD onto the new one, or will I have to reinstall all programs i had from my old HD?

    And with CCC im confused on how I clone over to the new HD, can I do the fresh install of my OS, then plug in my external HD & will it clone over, or do i have to boot from the external HD, very confused, i dont want to mess anything up.

    I need an exact replicate of my old HD.

  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    All the apps will transfer.

    You can boot directly from the external drive, launch CC, then copy to your new drive.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Time Machine can copy everything from your drive and restore it to your new drive, including applications and the OS. Carbon Copy Cloner can make a bootable backup (clone) of your drive and restore it to any drive.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Buy the new HDD and an HDD enclosure for 2.5" S-ATA drives, with USB 2.0 they can cost around 10€.
    Insert the new HDD into that enclosure and connect it to the MBP.
    Open Disk Utility and format that external HDD to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". http://macs.about.com/od/applications/ss/diskutilformat.htm

    Open CCC and select the old internal HDD as source and the external HDD as target.
    Let it clone over night.
    After the clone is done, swap the HDDs and boot from the new HDD and you will see, that CCC made a 1:1 copy of your old HDD.
  5. gregrose thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    This seems like more work, if time machine will do a complete restore/replicate copy of old HD, isnt it just easier to go with time machine?
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Time Machine won't make a bootable copy. simsaladimbamba is suggesting that rather than copy once to an external drive, then copy again to your new drive, you can copy only once, using CCC to copy directly to your new drive, before installing it in your Mac.
  7. msavwah macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    What if I already have an external drive cloned with ccc?
    Can I just use that after installing a new hdd?
    And what steps should I take?

    I'm guessing install new hdd, boot from install cd, clone from external clone.

    Which sounds ridiculous, a clone of a clone.
    But would that work?
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As an example, I have an external drive that I used CCC to make a bootable clone of my internal drive. If my internal drive ever fails, I simply replace the drive with the external drive and boot up. Done!
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    No, as more steps are involved using the Time Machine method.

    You also need an extra HDD for the TM backup, then you have to backup the old HDD to that extra HDD via Time Machine, which might even take longer than cloning via CCC.
    Then you have to swap the old HDD with the new HDD, while the extra HDD stays put in its enclosure or whatever form you chose.
    Then you need to insert the Snow Leopard Upgrade DVD or the Restore DVD that came with your Mac and perform the Disk Utility step and then you can finally choose to recover from your Time Machine backup (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/15638.html), which will copy the data onto the new HDD, which again, will take longer than a direct CCC clone.

    Therefore going via CCC you save one HDD and one copying process and one use of the Mac OS X Installation DVDs and also save some time, especially if you have a lot of data (100GB+).
  10. gregrose thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Ok well, I already have an external HD with my time machine backup already set & on it. I dont mind putting in new HD & the OS cd & all that, my MAIN worry is that i do a time machine restore it will be like i never switched to a new HD & will be exactly the same.

    will TM do exactly that?
  11. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    I agree with this one. I use CCC tri-hourly to clone changed data to an external HD. Then CCC to clone that HD to another. And another clone to create yet a third portable clone.

    Since they're bootable, if I ever lose my internal HD or have to reformat, it's as simple as booting from the external HD and cloning back. I can still USE the computer while it's doing this. I simply run one last clone after it finishes the bulk (100+GB clone) to make sure the data's up to date then boot back onto the newly cloned back HD.

    There is NO downtime with CCC. If you only rely on Time Machine, you lose a lot more time while you wait for the Time Machine to copy everything back into the right place. I used to keep both, but now have just begun to rely on CCC since it creates an exact duplicate whereas TM puts files in hundreds of folders and is not bootable and actually takes longer to copy the files back.

    Three clones you say? Yes. Three. For good measure. For redundancy. For safety's sake. Because I have actually had two drives die at the same time. Both my internal and one of my backups. If I hadn't had that third one, I'd have been screwed. Now I have 4 copies of the same data, one being portable in case I need to be away from home for a while.

    You can never be too safe. As I have found out many times in the past 20 years. Only took me 10 years to realize how handy backups were. (Also had to wait for the invention of USB/FireWire and the availability of external HD's that didn't require SCSI or Serial ports. Damn the 90's sucked for technology.)
  12. BobbyCat, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011

    BobbyCat macrumors regular


    Jul 22, 2002
    Totally agreed

    Same here. Any drive can fail at some time, and when it does, it's usually when you least want it to. Time Machine is fine if you want to find back some documents at a certain date. But I want a ready-to-use copy of my original system, and I want it ready and updated at all times.

    So I also have an external drive with a partition about the size of my boot volume, which CCC cloned a long time ago. Since then, everyday, CCC replaces this clone with an updated (bootable) exact copy and it's a quick everyday job in the background. I find this to be the ultimate safety. But then again Jasoco is even 4 times safer :)
  13. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816


    Nov 8, 2010
    South Carolina
    I bought the conversion kit from OWC (macsales.com) and did a HDD upgrade about a month ago. Here are the steps I did and recommend for you.

    1. Do a TM backup of your current Hard Drive.

    2. When new Hard Drive arrives, swap them out. Install the new HDD without doing anything at all to it (straight from factory).

    3. Put the Apple install DVD into the computer. Turn it on and hold down the alt/option key. You'll be given the opportunity to boot from the DVD...do so!

    4. Click on your language and wait until the Utilities option appears at the top of the screen.

    5. Click on Utilities/Disk Utility. Format the new hard drive (partition) to OSX Extended Journaled. Click on Advanced and ensure GUID Table is selected. The advanced option won't be selectable until you select a partition scheme.

    6. Once formatted/partitioned, close disk utility.

    7. Click on Utilities again at the top of the screen. Select install using a backup. Follow the on screen instructions using your TM backup created in step 1 above.

    That's it...you're up and running. There is a ton of YouTube videos on doing this. Recommend you watch a few if you feel uncomfortable doing it.

    If you screw something up, you'll still have the original HDD you can re-install if needed.


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