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Best software for cloning HD to back up HD?

by grimgraphix / October 19, 2007 9:25 AM PDT

Some of you may have followed this weeks saga of my hard drive crashing in my iBook, my efforts to boot off an external hard drive, etc. etc.

Well, I finally got my new hard drive in my iBook just now and I'm left wanting to clone the back up external hard drive onto my iBooks' new hard drive. Question is... what is the best program for doing this? I have noticed there are some payware, shareware and free ware programs that all say they will do the job. Does anyone have a favorite or alternatively, a program they wish they never used?

Thanks for any help offered.


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Not on the Mac.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 19, 2007 10:46 AM PDT

I have used G4U to clone many many things...

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(NT) I've personally never done this, but I'd do it manually.
by tleMega / October 19, 2007 11:34 AM PDT
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It is not really possible
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 20, 2007 12:22 AM PDT

to Clone a Mac drive manually.

It is not just a question of dragging everything from one place to another


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I came across this tutorial
by grimgraphix / October 19, 2007 12:42 PM PDT
This is from a blog written by Derek Punsalan - credit given where it is due Happy

I had already seen several recommendations for Carbon Copy Cleaner but I chose to use SuperDuper! which was a recommended favorite and has a free version which will do exactly what I was looking for (which was to create and exact clone of a boot drive). The pay version allows you to schedule a variety of extra back back up options which I may use later, but don't need now.

I have spent the past few days using an external boot drive while I waited for my new HD to arrive. While doing so, I have been reloading all the software I previously had used, minus the dreck that never worked out as advertised. Once I get this rebuilt to be the pristine boot drive, I will clone it to my newly installed HD in my iBook and leave the original external drive as an emergency backup boot drive (should I ever experience another crash).

There is one question I would like to explore. When I originally loaded Tiger 10.4.6 onto my external fire wire HD it ran perfectly, both on my computer and a friends I had borrowed. When I upgraded the external HD to 10.4.10... it refused to boot up on my iBook with the defective HD, plus my friends iBook wouldn't boot off of it either. When I took the external HD back to version 10.4.6... it again worked perfectly. What I want to do is upgrade incrementally from 10.4.6 to 10.4.7 and so on, until I find the most advanced Tiger version that will still allow my external HD to work as a backup boot drive for my iBook. Of course, if someone already knows and could tell me why 10.4.10 refused to work on my external boot drive... it would save me a lot of time and experimentation.

Does anyone know why 10.4.10 wouldn't allow my external firewire drive to work as a boot drive?

Thanks in advance for all advice, and thank you to those who have posted already.

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I spent all day, reloading updates onto my...
by grimgraphix / October 20, 2007 7:45 AM PDT

... external HD one update at a time. I specifically downloaded the updates for the power pc versions of Tiger updates (10.4.7 , 4.8 , etc) and could not recreate the original situation where my external firewire drive refused to boot up on 2 different computers, when I used the Software Updates utility to go from 10.4.6 straight up to 10.4.10.

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Take a look at
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 20, 2007 12:20 AM PDT

Carbon Copy Cloner.

Worked for me and it will clone everything on that drive and create a bootable drive for you.

You will find it Here

It's a very good price too


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I will check it out.
by grimgraphix / October 20, 2007 7:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Take a look at

I just happened to use SuperDuper first, but I am always happy to try out anything... if the price is right. Wink


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Lacie drives come with Silverkeeper
by Sugith / October 26, 2007 2:25 PM PDT
In reply to: I will check it out.

I've used Silverkeeper which is excellent. Remember that cloning a drive can't be done manually because you can't see certain hidden system files. Use cloning software if you want to clone, as opposed to backup.

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(NT) NT - Superduper! does what it says on the tin
by squirri / October 26, 2007 7:37 PM PDT
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(NT) Thanks to both of you for the input.
by grimgraphix / October 27, 2007 2:32 AM PDT
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Simple answer, just takes some terminal and CCC to do.
by Matthew R. / November 10, 2007 2:06 PM PST

Ok, the answer is simple, the process is time consuming.

Download Carbon Copy Cloner, after that copy the drive using CCC make the disk image bootable, and ASR compliant. This will make your hard drive image 100% bootable, this though will take a good portion of time.

After you have done that, copy the file to a place where you will not erase... remember where the disk image is, it will become important later...

Then boot from your other partition, then open the terminal and type in:

sudo asr restore -source <compressedimage path> -target <targetvoume path> --erase

This will copy the information in the disk image to your laptop, the problem here is two fold though.

1. the sudo command gives you nearly limitless accessibility through the terminal, so make sure that the target is exactly where you want it, for the erase command will wipe out the drive you are copying to.

2. You don't have to add in the --erase command, although it is highly suggested, especially with how you don't want to compromise your data.

This will take time depending on how large the disk image is. An average disk image of 6GB will take 30 minutes to copy over.

Once this is done, restart the computer and you will be good to go. If you have any questions ask, I'll help where I can.

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