How to clone a hard drive mac os x

The volume you select will be the destination drive for the Restore operation. A sheet will drop down, asking you to select from a drop-down menu the source device to use for the Restore process. The sheet will also warn you that the volume you selected as the destination will be erased, and its data will be replaced with data from the source volume.

Use the drop-down menu next to the "Restore from" text to select a source volume, and then click the Restore button.

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The Restore process will begin. A new drop-down sheet will display a status bar indicating how far along in the Restore process you are. You can also see detailed information by clicking the Show Details disclosure triangle. Click Done to close the Restore sheet.

When you use the Restore function, both the destination and the source must be able to be unmounted. Instead, you can start your Mac from another volume that contains a bootable version of the Mac OS. This can be any volume attached to your Mac, including a USB flash drive, an external , or in the example we will use, the Recovery HD volume.


  • Introduction;
  • How to Clone a Mac’s Drive with Disk Utility.
  • How (and Why) to Clone Your Mac Hard Drive [MacRx].
  • Use Disk Utility to Clone a Mac's Drive.
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Once you've booted from the Recovery Volume and used the step-by-step guide to launch Disk Utility, return here and use the Restore a Non-Startup Volume guide, above, starting at step two. You may have noticed over the years that I've recommended cloning apps, such as Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper , for creating bootable clones as part of a backup system. So if cloning apps are better, why use Disk Utility instead?

Disk Utility's Restore Function Lets you Create a Bootable Clone

The reasons can be many, not the least of which are the simple facts that Disk Utility is free, and included with every copy of the Mac OS. Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. The process utilizes the UNIX ditto command and can be done from Terminal, but running a standard Mac app is easier for most people. Both are reliable and capable. I generally default to CCC out of habit in the pre-Jaguar era this was the only such utility available , and because its developer works for Apple though Cloner is not an Apple product.

The process is simple with both programs. Select your source and destination volumes, choose your cloning options, start the process and wait for it to complete. You can continue to use your Mac while the cloning process is running, though I prefer not to tempt fate. Total time required depends on how much data you have and how fast your drives are. Could take anywhere from a Coffee Break to Dinner and a Movie.

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If you have a really large system several hundred GB of data , run the clone overnight. Once complete test that your clone works to boot your Mac.

You can choose to keep the entire drive updated, or just a subset of files e. In SuperDuper!


  • How to Clone and Backup Your Hard Drive.
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  • Conclusion.
  • Newer Technology® : Cloning Your Data to A New Hard Drive in Mac OSX.

Another good program for performing incremental backups is ChronoSync. This handy utility works with both local and networked systems, offers sophisticated logging and filtering options, and can be scheduled for automatic operation. I use ChronoSync to handle disk backups for my business clients.

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I suggest making full clones of your Mac every 3 to 6 months. I typically run interim backups daily, or as necessary after making changes to my system. The clone and subsequent incremental updates serve as a backup of your data. You can easily find and copy files as needed.

How to Clone a Mac Hard Drive

If you run into problems you can then boot off your clone and keep working, then when time permits you can perform more troubleshooting, or erase and reclone the older system back to the primary drive. This can be very useful. You can use the clone of an iMac to boot a MacBook, or an XServe clone to boot a Mac Mini albeit with a slight difference in performance.

This capability offers great mitigation against hardware failure, especially in a business with multiple similar Macs. It also allows you to carry your virtual computer with you on a portable hard drive.