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Thread: Clone HD

  1. #1


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    Clone HD
    What is the best way to clone my HD before having someone install a new SSD drive?

  2. #2

    IWT's Avatar
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    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/SuperDup...scription.html

    Tutorials accompany these products online at the links above.

    Ian
    Ian

  3. #3

    ferrarr's Avatar
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    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.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  4. #4

    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    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/...or%204.0.4.zip
    Review:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/2602...any-drive.html
    http://lifehacker.com/re-create-os-x...-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.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  5. #5

    Slydude's Avatar
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    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.
    Did you know these forums are soon to be shut down?
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  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7

    Slydude's Avatar
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    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.
    Did you know these forums are soon to be shut down?
    Long story here. Short storyhere

  8. #8

    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    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.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10

    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    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.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  11. #11

    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    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."
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  12. #12

    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13

    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    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.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14

    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Rod Sprague; 05-10-2017 at 11:47 PM.

  15. #15

    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    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/
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

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