I need to make an exact (bootable) copy of my secondary Mac’s startup-HD. Someone suggested me to use an application called Carbon Copy Cloner, but since I am running OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion on my primary Mac, I would need to use Carbon Copy Cloner version 3.5 or newer, but that’s not free software any longer…
As I only need to do this once, I’m not willing to pay more than €5 to be able to do so. What’s the best alternative ?
The best alternative for making a bootable clone version of a Mac startup-HD is what you already have : Disk Utility …and best of all : it’s completely FREE.
Here’s how to do so :
– connect both HDs to your Mac (using USB or FireWire for example)
– on your Mac, open the Disk Utilities application (which can be found inside the folder called Utilities which is in the Applications folder)
– you will now see both HDs appear on the left side of the Disk Utility window (they will be listed as the disk size followed by the manufacturer name and some additional info, directly below them the name of the partitions on it are listed – on Macs there’s normally only one partition per HD)
– on the rest of the page (middle & right), you will see 5 chapter buttons : “First Aid”, “Erase”, “Partition”, “RAID” and “Restore”
– click on the “Restore”-chapter button
– now put the cursor in the white area behind “Source:” and then click on the partition you want to copy in the menu on the left
– then put the cursor in the white area behind “Destination:” and in the menu on the left, click on the HD (or on the partition) you want to copy to (or drag & drop it from there onto the
– if for some reason your chosen Source or Destination now lists something else than what you would like, just try again
– then click on the “Restore” button that’s bottom right
– …now all you have to do is wait (using USB 2.0, about 10GB of used disk space will be cloned in about 10 minutes)
– when the cloning is finished, both HD’s will have the same name, and therefore might not properly mount at the same time, so only one will be visible on your Desktop
– use the ‘drag disk to Trash’ procedure (or the eject-icon next to the HD’s listing), and unmount both HDs
– then plug just one HD back in to make it visible on your Desktop, and check if the cloning went okay (by browsing though it in the Finder)
– then eject the first HD, and check the second HD the same way
– that’s it !
You can quickly check if the HD you’ve cloned is bootable, by connecting it to your Mac using a USB cable and then restarting your Mac with the ALT-key pressed
…that will enable you to choose any connected HD as the startup drive
if the cloned HD turns out not to be bootable, plug it into your Mac again, and use Disk Utility to check if the Partition Map Scheme is ‘GUID’ (it should not be ‘Apple’ !), if it’s not, re-partition the HD and do the cloning process again