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  1. #1

    ranmac's Avatar
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    Question MacBook Pro backup conundrum
    Not being a Mac maven, I at least know where to start cause this forum has bailed my girls many times. They create problems and then it's Dear Ol' Dad

    The first Mac I bought my girls was the oldest daughter upon college graduation in the spring of 2008> She has a MacBook Pro 15" with a 200 GB hardrive. Even though I bought her a Maxtor One Touch for backups, she has put it off...sound familiar?

    Since then she has had 2 internships and is currently in Grad School with a load of software that she needs to keep in tact. Most of the biggies are in Win7 Ultimate which she runs from BootCamp and include: Adobe Creative Suite 5, several AutoCad programs and Microsoft Office Suite. She gets this on her Mac to use at her intern job and school for Graphic Design/Architecture.

    Sorry for the long prolog, but the simple question is:

    What's the best way to back all this up?

    I would love to be able to clone her HDD to a portable HDD and in the event of a meltdown, just swap the drives. Is this possible and where do I start.

  2. #2

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
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    I think you have the right idea. Set up a partition on your external HD - and use something like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner - Home to create an exact clone of her drive that is bootable. In addition - you may want to encourage her to start using Time Machine - so she can recover individual files quickly.

  3. #3


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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)

  4. #4

    ranmac's Avatar
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    I may be a little confused

    Will CCC or Super Duper clone the whole works at once or do I need 2 separate clones? Guess I didn't realize Bootcamp was a separate partition.

    If my girls would take my hints they would get me a Mac so I can properly learn what seems to be the greener grass : D

    Thanks for getting headed somewhere...it's a start. Now back to the Sticky: Backups, Backups, Backups.
    Edit: After reading the entire Sticky confusion still exits; one reply said clone the works and another said separate.

    Maybe my thinking is off. I would have thought one could clone the complete harddrive with all partitions.

  5. #5


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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    You are backing up two separate partitions, so ultimately, this is like having two separate drives in different formats to back up.
    You can partition an external HD to 2 partitions, and use one to clone your windows partition, and one to clone your OS X (Mac) partition.

  6. #6

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranmac View Post


    Edit: After reading the entire Sticky confusion still exits; one reply said clone the works and another said separate.

    Maybe my thinking is off. I would have thought one could clone the complete harddrive with all partitions.
    Sorry for the confusion. Follow 6string's advice - he covered the piece I forgot - which is the Windows partition.

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    You'll need to partition the external into two partitions.

    On one of the partitions, I recommend using CCC or SD! and create a bootable backup. This will allow for booting the machine from that backup if/when the internal drive fails. It will only backup the OS X partition. Time Machine could be used in lieu of these. It would not be bootable - but it does allow for retrieving previous versions of files and/or files that have been deleted.

    On the 2nd partition, you'll back up the Windows partition separately. If running Windows 7, use the backup tool provided with Win 7. Although others are reporting some issues, I use, have not had any issues with and still recommend Winclone with XP. Either way, this partition will not be bootable.

    (The issue here is that OS X can be booted from an external drive - natively, Windows cannot be booted from an external.)

    You won't have a clone you can pop out of the external and into the Mac. But, they'll be backed up and ready to clone a new drive when the need arises.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  8. #8

    ranmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    You'll need to partition the external into two partitions.

    On one of the partitions, I recommend using CCC or SD! and create a bootable backup. This will allow for booting the machine from that backup if/when the internal drive fails. It will only backup the OS X partition. Time Machine could be used in lieu of these. It would not be bootable - but it does allow for retrieving previous versions of files and/or files that have been deleted.

    On the 2nd partition, you'll back up the Windows partition separately. If running Windows 7, use the backup tool provided with Win 7. Although others are reporting some issues, I use, have not had any issues with and still recommend Winclone with XP. Either way, this partition will not be bootable.

    (The issue here is that OS X can be booted from an external drive - natively, Windows cannot be booted from an external.)

    You won't have a clone you can pop out of the external and into the Mac. But, they'll be backed up and ready to clone a new drive when the need arises.
    Confusion has been erased...I thank you all. Took a little trip to CCC and SD only to discover that neither is capable of cloning a BootCamp partition.

    Plan A will be as you all have advised with 2 partitions on the ext drive and the 2 cloning apps to get a bootable backup.

    It did burst my bubble hearing that even going to a 2 partiton backup I couldn't swap the drives themselves with a meltdown.

    Here's another question (with fingers crossed): If after replacing the failed HDD in the Macbook and cloning back from the ext drive, will all be as new and nothing occurred? Or, will jumping through hoops be needed?

    I gots to get one of these Macs

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    I've never had Windows installed on my Mac (sigh of relief), so I can't answer that question for the Winclone side, but I can tell you that CCC has always given me an identical copy (an exact clone) of the drive that I have cloned, and restoring a new HD has been as simple as having a cup of coffee while I cloned back to the new HD and then it was as if nothing had changed.
    I can safely assume that even though it may take a second cup of coffee to take care of the Windows partition, that it wouldn't take much more than that.
    I am sure that bobtomay can fill in the blanks for you there

  10. #10

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Once you place a new drive in the Mac - if using CCC or SD!, you'll simply boot to OS X on the external drive - open up Disc Utility and format the drive - single partition.

    Next, startup CCC or SD! and re-clone the external back to the internal.

    (If using Time Machine, you'll boot to the OS X disc and start a regular install where it will give you the option of restoring from a TM backup.)

    Now, you'll boot to the internal drive, open up BootCamp and have it create the Win Partition. Then, if using Winclone - you'll simply clone the external Win backup to the new Bootcamp partition. (I have not used the Win 7 backup utility yet to do a restore, but I'll bet it's equally as easy.)

    It takes me well under 2 hours (using firewire external) from the time I begin taking my MBP apart to put in a new drive, clone everything - moving around 200GB of data - and be back up as if nothing happened.

    (6string types faster than I do)
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  11. #11

    ranmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Once you place a new drive in the Mac - if using CCC or SD!, you'll simply boot to OS X on the external drive - open up Disc Utility and format the drive - single partition.

    Next, startup CCC or SD! and re-clone the external back to the internal.

    (If using Time Machine, you'll boot to the OS X disc and start a regular install where it will give you the option of restoring from a TM backup.)

    Now, you'll boot to the internal drive, open up BootCamp and have it create the Win Partition. Then, if using Winclone - you'll simply clone the external Win backup to the new Bootcamp partition. (I have not used the Win 7 backup utility yet to do a restore, but I'll bet it's equally as easy.)

    It takes me well under 2 hours (using firewire external) from the time I begin taking my MBP apart to put in a new drive, clone everything - moving around 200GB of data - and be back up as if nothing happened.

    (6string types faster than I do)
    Now that you put it that way, it sounds like music to my ears.

    The Mac way always seems like the right way. I'm actually glad the girls still need my help on occasion cause I get to play with a Mac. I'm beginning to think my oldest made the best decision asking for the Macbook Pro even though her future career is in Design Architecture (high priced Windows based software, especially the 3D stuff).

    How 'bout a curve ball?
    Say I buy my oldest a new 17" Macbook Pro for graduation from Grad School, will I still be able to run Bootcamp and put that same cloned partition on the new Mac if I delete it from the old?

    Once again, it is a pleasure coming here to learn.

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Well, I'd make sure she wants a 17". Those things can seem to be big and heavy for someone that carries it around a lot or likes to use it on their lap.

    With a new machine, start up the Migration Assistant to import from the old machine.

    Windows... That's a good question. Doubt seriously due to driver issues with Windows, that a Wincloned version would work properly copied onto a new machine. I'm still on my first Mac though (4+ years now and have never had any computer make it to 2 years as my primary machine over the last 30 yrs), so I haven't tried it either.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  13. #13

    ranmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Well, I'd make sure she wants a 17". Those things can seem to be big and heavy for someone that carries it around a lot or likes to use it on their lap.
    With her using her 15" for school, internship and work, I thought the extra screen, etc. would benefit her more and she could keep the 15" for play and home use only. Or, if she finally joins the full time work world, she can spring for a smaller Mac.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    With a new machine, start up the Migration Assistant to import from the old machine.

    Windows... That's a good question. Doubt seriously due to driver issues with Windows, that a Wincloned version would work properly copied onto a new machine. I'm still on my first Mac though (4+ years now and have never had any computer make it to 2 years as my primary machine over the last 30 yrs), so I haven't tried it either.
    I'll do some more investigation into that scenario, but would appreciate if you would keep the eyes and ears at work. I understand your mouth can be risky

    Thank you so much

  14. #14

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranmac View Post
    With her using her 15" for school, internship and work, I thought the extra screen, etc. would benefit her more and she could keep the 15" for play and home use only. Or, if she finally joins the full time work world, she can spring for a smaller Mac.
    She can always use a larger external monitor for the times that she needs that extra screen real estate. Just a thought. This becomes even more useful if she's using programs that really do well on two separate screens.

  15. #15

    ranmac's Avatar
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    Kismet...my oldest showed up at the house this week-end. Seems as though I'm dog sitting for 2 weeks while the young take off to Vegas for 5 days.

    It did give me the chance to look at her Macbook Pro to see what she has on it. She may be a master at all those high priced programs, but she sucks at the "care and feeding" of her laptop

    She has a 250 GB HDD with 200 GB set off for OS X and 47 GB for Win 7 Professional. I'll leave my Bootcamp questions for later until I can read up a little first, but I would like to partition/format her Maxtor One Touch as a clone device only for her Mac.

    It's a 300 GB drive with FW 400 & USB 2.0 ports formatted in Fat32. I explained to her that the One Touch feature would not be used cause she would benefit more from a newer and larger portable HDD for Time Machine.

    I know Disk utility is the tool of choice but have a question or 2 about the first partition 200 GB Extended (Journaled) for the OS X clone by Super Duper. Do I need to erase the existing drive first, then create the partitions?

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