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lydialambert
05-09-2017, 06:09 PM
What is the best way to clone my HD before having someone install a new SSD drive?

IWT
05-09-2017, 06:20 PM
A warm welcome to Mac-Forums.

The two main contenders are Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) and SuperDuper! (SD!). There are free trials of both, but if you intend to make cloning a part of your Backup (BU) strategy, which is strongly advised, then you'll have to purchase one or other.

Links: https://bombich.com and http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

Tutorials accompany these products online at the links above.

Ian

ferrarr
05-09-2017, 08:29 PM
One of the differences between the two, is that CCC will clone the Recovery partition as well, but SD, does not. So, if you have a separate Mac OS X/OS X/macOS USB bootable installer, you don't really need the Recovery partition.

Randy B. Singer
05-10-2017, 12:09 AM
One of the differences between the two, is that CCC will clone the Recovery partition as well, but SD, does not.

I've spoken with the developer of SuperDuper about why his software doesn't copy the Recovery Partition, and as with everything else he does, he had an excellent reason for not implementing that in the software. Unfortunately, I forget what the reason was...[sorry]. Just know that there is a good reason for it.

He did point out that it isn't any sort of big deal at all; if you want to recreate the Recovery Partition on your clone drive, you can easily do so, using this free utility:

Recovery Partition Creator (free)
http://musings.silvertooth.us
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/13872235/Musings/Recovery%20Partition%20Creator%204.0.4.zip
Review:
http://www.macworld.com/article/2602951/mac-gems-recovery-partition-creator-adds-os-x-recovery-to-any-drive.html
http://lifehacker.com/re-create-os-xs-recovery-partition-if-youve-removed-it-1585382425

Interestingly, you don't have to purchase or download anything to create a clone of your hard drive. Apple includes the tools for doing so in the MacOS. It's just that the commercial utilities are faster, and include additional features.

Plug the backup external hard drive into your computer.
Launch Disk Utility.
Select the HD you want to copy in the column to the left.
Click on the Restore tab.
That HD you just selected should appear after Source:
From the window on the left, drag the icon of the HD to which you want the Source HD copied.
You should see a note with something to this effect: Erase the Destination HD and copy the contents of the Source HD to it?
Click on the Restore button and that’s it.
However, with this method is no built-in ability to do smart updates. If you want to update your clone, you have to erase your clone and start over from the beginning.

Slydude
05-10-2017, 12:42 AM
I've wondered about that decision to not clone the recovery partition myself Randy. At some point it occurred to me, perhaps with the prodding of someone on this forum that in some ways having a clone of the boot drive makes a recovery partition somewhat redundant. In fact, in some instances the clone has a distinct advantage. The clone gives you immediate access to everything on your drive including any additional auto;otoes you may have. The recovery partition does not offer that luxury.

chscag
05-10-2017, 12:53 AM
Let's keep in mind that the Recovery Partition contains useful utilities and is also used by some apps to provide special booting in order to run that particular app. One example is iDefrag. And there are others. I have no idea why the developer of SuperDuper does not include it? I use CCC and it has never failed me and has saved my bacon several times. :)

Slydude
05-10-2017, 01:04 AM
Same here. I've used both CCC and SuperDuper and both have worked well for me. For the last couple of years though I've used CCC exclusively. Personally I prefer to copy the recovery partition though I can see why many users don't mind not having it.

Randy B. Singer
05-10-2017, 02:52 AM
Let's keep in mind that the Recovery Partition contains useful utilities and is also used by some apps to provide special booting in order to run that particular app. One example is iDefrag. And there are others. I have no idea why the developer of SuperDuper does not include it? I use CCC and it has never failed me and has saved my bacon several times. :)

I've used both. In fact, I was a CCC user before I was a SD user. I switched because one day CCC failed me. It wouldn't create a backup complaining of a permissions problem. SD had no problems in the exact same situation.

I'm sure that either product would be fine to use.

Historically, I have more faith in the developer of SD, though. Back when OS X was fairly new, very few backup programs for OS X did a good job with metadata. That included CCC. SD did a perfect job. I've always had the impression that the developer of SD was more meticulous than other developers. Also, the developer of CCC went a number of years letting CCC languish while he worked on his day job. SD has been developed continuously with no breaks. But all of that stuff happened a bunch of years ago.

Just like the choice between a Ford and a Chevy, I don't think that there is any significant difference these days. Use whichever you like best.

chscag
05-10-2017, 03:52 AM
As you say, both work well. As for meticulous developers, I don't think anyone is as meticulous as Bombich is. Check out his site sometime and read thru some of his blogs. CCC is more expensive to purchase than SD and SD has a free version whereas CCC does not, although CCC does have a 30 day fully functional trial.

Rod Sprague
05-10-2017, 04:30 AM
Bombich have been great for the few issues I did have. Mostly just preference settings and i have used CCC for some years now. Absolutely no complaints. I have used the cloned Restore Partition once in that time for my wife's 2011 MBP but it was extremely handy on that occasion.

Randy B. Singer
05-10-2017, 08:39 AM
An interesting post from someone on another list:

>> Any thoughts about CCC over SuperDuper?

"I have always preferred SuperDuper over CCC.

"The impression I have is that the guy who wrote SuperDuper is a perfectionist. He won't release a version until he's run exhaustive tests and is satisfied that it correctly handles every situation, including some really bizarre edge cases.

The guy who wrote CCC seems (to me) to have slapped something together that correctly handles 99% of all cases, and called that "good enough". When deficiencies are found, he eventually gets around to fixing them, but in his own time.

"Case in point: when Leopard was released, CCC was Johnny-on-the-Spot with a new Leopard-compatible version. SuperDuper wasn't available for Leopard for several weeks. Why? Because one of the new features introduced in Leopard was Time Machine. SuperDuper wasn't released until it could not only correctly duplicate a Time Machine disk, but any other disk that contained the same sort of hard links that made TM backups so difficult to duplicate correctly. CCC decided that 99% of all users would never attempt to duplicate a TM backup, so it wasn't necessary to get that right.

"Case in point: I do not trust sector-level (aka block-level) copies for my backups. A sector-level copy of a disk volume with a corrupted catalog will give you a copy of that corrupted catalog. If you have a corrupted catalog, you usually don't know about it for days, weeks, or even months. By the time you realize you have a problem, your sector-level backups also have the problem, and you find yourself with no backup just when you need it most. SuperDuper never uses a sector-level copy; it always copies file by file, and that's the way a backup program should work. CCC prefers to do a sector-level copy, probably because it's usually faster. But for backups, given a choice between fast and correct, I'll take the correct method every time. Who cares how quickly my backup program can destroy my backups? CCC does have an option to force a sector-level copy, but does not offer the complementary option to force a file-level copy. It's either "make me do it the wrong way, or let me do it the wrong way. Your choice."

"BTW: Most of the times I've had to restore a disk from backup, it's because the catalog got corrupted, not because of hardware errors. Because I always use file-level backups, I've always been able to recover. Had I been using sector-level backups, I'd have lost everything I have several times over by now. The perils of sector-level backups are not merely hypothetical.

"BTW: CCC still will not back up a TM volume correctly UNLESS you force a sector-level copy, but then you have to pray that there's no catalog damage. But hey, 99% of the time there isn't.

"When it comes to backup, I want mine done by the perfectionist. If I could be 100% sure that nothing would go wrong, I wouldn't be wasting my time doing backups. I back up precisely because that last 1% is worth worrying about."

Rod Sprague
05-10-2017, 09:02 AM
Randy, your post is very interesting. I have never had a sector level error myself but that's possibly because I have a tendency to start fresh with a new OS or device by performing a clean install or in the case of my most recent MBP I simply transferred items one at a time as required. On the other hand my wife's MBP is a combined reincarnation of previous devices.

ferrarr
05-10-2017, 10:05 AM
As you say, both work well. As for meticulous developers, I don't think anyone is as meticulous as Bombich is. Check out his site sometime and read thru some of his blogs. CCC is more expensive to purchase than SD and SD has a free version whereas CCC does not, although CCC does have a 30 day fully functional trial.
I have been using CCC for free, since I downloaded it, 2 years ago, only used it about 8-12 times.

Rod Sprague
05-10-2017, 09:31 PM
I do a twice weekly ccc backup and my wife who is permanently connected to a EHD does a daily scheduled ccc backup.
Neither of us have ever had an OS crash. (touch wood) if as Randy's quotation suggests there is a possibility that a problem at the sector level could be duplicated rendering the backup useless after a system crash then I might seriously consider using SD for my wife's device.
If her MBP were to crash irrevocably it would be disastrous.

Randy B. Singer
05-19-2017, 01:06 AM
Here is a follow-up to the discussion on which is better, Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Some folks point out that SD doesn't backup the Recovery Partition, and I responded that the developer of SD purposely didn't include that feature, though I didn't remember why. Here's why.

Here's what the developer says:
"In general, we try to do things the way Apple basically documents - or implies - they should be done. They don't have a supported way of copying the recovery partition - which is hidden by them - so we decided not to work around that, and to support *their* way of doing it instead.

First, Apple gives you a way to create a recovery volume on a separate thumbdrive (the "Recovery Disk Assistant"), something I would recommend, so you have the volume should you need it, even when the drive may have failed. Even better, you could actually do a full OS install on a thumb drive, along with a copy of SuperDuper and other disk tools, like Disk Warrior. Quite handy.

Second, you don't need a recovery volume to have a bootable backup...and they change the recovery volume so you kind of want the newest one.

Third, if you restore a volume, there's no reason to restore the recovery volume too, since it's still there.

Fourth, if you need to recreate a recovery volume, you can simply install the OS from the App Store, which refreshes the OS under your existing applications and data (retaining them), and creates a recovery volume with the latest recovery code.

Finally, a 3rd party tool that creates a recovery volume from the App Store installer is readily available and works fine:
http://musings.silvertooth.us/downloads-2/

Slydude
05-19-2017, 09:20 PM
Thanks for that update Randy. The first time I realized that SD didn't clone the recovery partition I thought it was an oversight on the developer's part. As subsequent versions /updates were released I realized there must be a reason. I figured the thinking was that if one had cloned the drive there was less of a reason for the recovery partition. This is a much better reason than I had.

chscag
05-19-2017, 10:22 PM
Be as it may, I still like to have a recovery partition that I can use for Disk Utility, and some other utilities which rely on it such as iDefrag and Paragon Hard Disk Manager. Remember, you can not run First Aid on a drive that you're booted from nor can you access certain other utilities without the recovery partition.

Let's face it, if you didn't need a recovery partition, then why does Apple include one? I don't buy the SuperDuper developer's reasons. I'll stick with CCC and continue to let it create the recovery partition on my cloned drives. Never know when I may have to rely on that cloned drive to boot and run my iMac. Been there done that when I had a hard drive go south on a former iMac. ;)

Randy B. Singer
05-20-2017, 10:47 PM
Be as it may, I still like to have a recovery partition that I can use for Disk Utility...

As the developer for SuperDuper explains, if you want a recovery partition on your clone drive, it's super easy, and free, to create one:

Recovery Parititon Creator (free)
http://musings.silvertooth.us/downloads-2/

I like that the developer for SD is extremely meticulous about doing everything *the right way*. When it comes to the all-important backup of my data, I don't want to take any chances whatsoever.

But as I said in the beginning, CCC is good too. It'll probably be fine in 99% of all cases.

MacInWin
05-21-2017, 10:52 AM
It'll probably be fine in 99% of all cases.Randy, what does that statement mean? Can you name a case in which you think CCC will not be "fine?" Making a statement that way implies that you have little to no confidence in CCC, but it "might" work. One of the other articles you have posted criticized CCC because of sector-level backups, which, while possible with CCC, is not the default backup method CCC uses. So that criticism is wrong technically and therefore renders the rest of the comparison unreliable. In fact, sector-level copies ONLY work if the geometry of the source and destination drive are identical, a situation that I suspect is rare.

Reading what the SD developer said, what I took away that unlike Bombich, he was too lazy to look into the Recovery Partition. You quoted him as saying,
In general, we try to do things the way Apple basically documents - or implies - they should be done. They don't have a supported way of copying the recovery partition - which is hidden by them - so we decided not to work around that, and to support *their* way of doing it instead.which translates, to me, to be "Apple didn't spoon feed me a way to backup the Recovery Partition and I don't want to mess with figuring it out." That is, to me, not a perfectionist, just someone who wants it easy.

BTW, I have both SD and CCC. I have a preference for CCC because of the Recovery partition. I'm not saying SD is bad, just that it probably would work for people 99% of the time. :)

Slydude
05-21-2017, 01:14 PM
Reading what the SD developer said, what I took away that unlike Bombich, he was too lazy to look into the Recovery Partition. You quoted him as saying, which translates, to me, to be "Apple didn't spoon feed me a way to backup the Recovery Partition and I don't want to mess with figuring it out." That is, to me, not a perfectionist, just someone who wants it easy.

BTW, I have both SD and CCC. I have a preference for CCC because of the Recovery partition. I'm not saying SD is bad, just that it probably would work for people 99% of the time. :)
That's not what I took away from the statement Randy quoted at all. I think following the Apple guidelines increases the likelihood that things are going to work as they should and continue to do so for as long as possible. That could be an especially important idea for a backup utility.

MacInWin
05-21-2017, 06:11 PM
Not that it's critical, Sly, both of them are good, but the original quote was
In general, we try to do things the way Apple basically documents - or implies - they should be done. They don't have a supported way of copying the recovery partition - which is hidden by them - so we decided not to work around that, and to support *their* way of doing it instead. The fact that the developer of SD wanted documentation and didn't do any independent research is what struck me. He left the user to have to remember to create the recovery partition and to find out how to do that, whereas the CCC approach was to figure it out and provide an option not only as a reminder, but as a tool to create the RP on a new clone.

But, hey, as I said, both products are fine and either is better than not having any clone at all. How the developers got to where they are now is not really important.

pm-r
05-21-2017, 08:14 PM
Not that it's critical, Sly, both of them are good, …


Not meaning to get in any crossfire, but I've been a long time user of CCC but at one time I did try SD!, it didn't work properly, something that has never happened with CCC, or at least the problem was not due to CCC.

Also Mike Bombich was a developer and engineer who worked for Apple and stated some years ago that he followed their guidelines for backing up and cloning and did not do some of the cloning stuff that SD! did do.

Adding to that as I recall, SD! took ages to update when it was needed some years ago, and that scared me off as well.

Anyway, that's my two bits worth and why I still use CCC.

PS: I was also a bit surprised by some of Randy's comments, or at least the way I took to understanding them.




Patrick
=====

Randy B. Singer
05-21-2017, 09:18 PM
Reading what the SD developer said, what I took away that unlike Bombich, he was too lazy to look into the Recovery Partition. You quoted him as saying, which translates, to me, to be "Apple didn't spoon feed me a way to backup the Recovery Partition and I don't want to mess with figuring it out." That is, to me, not a perfectionist, just someone who wants it easy.


It sounds to me as if you translated that to meet your already made up preference.

I won't argue the point any further.

IWT
05-22-2017, 04:30 AM
C'mon guys. Both products are excellent.

I suspect that personal preferences are more to do with loyalty. And that is a great thing.

It certainly applies in my case. I bought one of these products many years ago because, at that time, it seemed to a novice like me that it had an easier-to-understand user interface.

Since then, both have upped their game, but I stayed with the one I bought through loyalty to the product and its developer.

Being loyal also recognises that an alternative has certain nice feature or advantages, but we're happy with what we've got and grown accustomed to it.

And this applies to just about everything in life from cars to holiday destinations.

Ian

MacInWin
05-22-2017, 11:03 AM
Randy, as I said, I have both, have recommended both to folks here, and both work just fine. I didn't mean to drive you off, just to comment on my different impression from the article you quoted. My preference is based on one, and only one, factor. CCC backs up the RP, SD does not. Otherwise, both are great products that work well to accomplish the same thing (except for RP). Your history with the developer of SD is different, and the RP isn't important to you, so you have different preference. That's fine! That's why there are horse races!

Randy B. Singer
05-22-2017, 10:23 PM
Randy, as I said, I have both, have recommended both to folks here, and both work just fine. I didn't mean to drive you off, just to comment on my different impression from the article you quoted. My preference is based on one, and only one, factor. CCC backs up the RP, SD does not. Otherwise, both are great products that work well to accomplish the same thing (except for RP). Your history with the developer of SD is different, and the RP isn't important to you, so you have different preference. That's fine! That's why there are horse races!

You obviously are extremely biased. You have totally ignored that if you want a recovery partition with SD, there is a free, dead easy to use tool to do do. SD not duplicating the recovery partition isn't any kind of disadvantage. You've twisted what I've quoted into an unrecognizable conclusion, and now you are saying that I have "a relationship" with the developer of SD. Your posts sound more like political commentary than anything else.

MacInWin
05-22-2017, 11:55 PM
I'm not biased. I've said both products are good and that I have both. I happen to prefer to use one for a technical reason in the way they both work. To a reasonable man that is not being biased, just having preference. For me, while I *could* do the two-step dance you suggest by getting yet another tool to do what CCC already does, I choose to have it done automatically for me by CCC. I see little to no reason to do what a computer can do faster and quicker, and I have the advantage of not having to remember (or create a script) to do it. But hey, if you want to do two steps, go ahead, it's a free country.

Don't twist my words to try to say I implied any "relationship" with the developer. You were the one to say you had communicated with the developer of SD, not me. (Post #4).

Randy B. Singer
05-23-2017, 12:16 AM
Don't twist my words to try to say I implied any "relationship" with the developer. You were the one to say you had communicated with the developer of SD, not me. (Post #4).

You said:

"Your history with the developer of SD is different..."

I have no "history" with the developer of SD. "History" implies that I have a relationship with him. Indeed, I've presented no evidence that I have any sort of history with him. That's something that you pulled out of thin air.

I think that anyone can see the you are extremely biased and that you are twisting things.

pm-r
05-23-2017, 12:24 AM
I do a twice weekly ccc backup and my wife who is permanently connected to a EHD does a daily scheduled ccc backup.
Neither of us have ever had an OS crash. (touch wood) if as Randy's quotation suggests there is a possibility that a problem at the sector level could be duplicated rendering the backup useless after a system crash then I might seriously consider using SD for my wife's device.
If her MBP were to crash irrevocably it would be disastrous.


I'm a bit late here, but if you have any qualms about her CCC cloned backup, by all means try booting from it and test it. And maybe also consider having at least a second cloned drive kept and stored separately.




Patrick
=====

Slydude
05-23-2017, 12:25 AM
Gentlemen, I'm afraid this thread is on the verge of going off the rails. Let's all go to neutral corners otherwise I'll have to conclude that the thread has served its purpose and I'll close it.

Slydude
05-23-2017, 12:31 AM
I'm a bit late here, but if you have any qualms about her CCC cloned backup, by all means try booting from it and test it. And maybe also consider having at least a second cloned drive kept and stored separately.


Patrick
=====

Here's my effort toward getting things back on track

I wholeheartedly agree with that Patrick. I've used a couple of different cloning programs and have had a clone fail before. It has only happened once but was rather annoying to say the least. Unfortunately, I don't remember which one failed. It could have been one of these but could easily have been something else.

MacInWin
05-23-2017, 12:43 AM
I vote close it.

Slydude
05-23-2017, 12:51 AM
I took this up with the rest of the team and we agree. Any unanswered questions about cloning can be addressed in a future thread.