6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2008 8:30 PM by Limnos
You Got Pwnd Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
I know this question's been asked before, but I also know things change with programs, compatibility, software updates and all that stuff and it varies program to program and machine to machine.

So I bought a replacement hard drive that I intend to to install and I have my USB drive ready. That said, how do I painlessly backup my hard drive and reinstall it? (e.g. What program do I use?)

iMac G4 USB 2.0, Mac OS X (10.4.11), External USB Drive
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (44,510 points)
    imac, so I'm guessing there isn't enough room for 2 drives in there at the same time.

    USB external. You can clone a drive to it, but it isn't bootable which makes things tricky. usually you'd clone everything to a bootable firewire drive, put the new drive in the computer and clone everything back. But...

    I don't know if this would work, but can you put your new drive in your USB external? After doing that you'd need use Disk Utility to partition the new drive (if you want to) and format it. You could then use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to do a complete bootable clone of your current internal to the volume you wish to use. Then take the drive out of the USB enclosure and put it into your computer.

    Somebody (I forget who) who frequents this forum has a long description of things to do with new drives and is sure to be along and paste the whole thing here once he sees the "new drive" question so I won't go into details.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,355 points)
    First prep the new drive properly:

    Extended Hard Drive Preparation

    1. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder. If you need to reformat your startup volume, then you must boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger or Leopard.)

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (only required for Intel Macs) then click on the OK button. Set the number of partitions from the dropdown menu (use 1 partition unless you wish to make more.) Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the volume(s) mount on the Desktop.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.

    Steps 4-6 are optional but should be used on a drive that has never been formatted before, if the format type is not Mac OS Extended, if the partition scheme has been changed, or if a different operating system (not OS X) has been installed on the drive.

    For backup:

    Basic Backup

    Make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):

    1. Retrospect Desktop (Commercial - not yet universal binary)
    2. Synchronize! Pro X (Commercial)
    3. Synk (Backup, Standard, or Pro)
    4. Deja Vu (Shareware)
    5. PsynchX 2.1.1 and RsyncX 2.1 (Freeware)
    6. Carbon Copy Cloner (Freeware - 3.0 is a Universal Binary)
    7. SuperDuper! (Commercial)
    8. Intego Personal Backup (Commercial)
    9. Data Backup (Commercial)

    The following utilities can also be used for backup, but cannot create bootable clones:

    1. Backup (requires a .Mac account with Apple both to get the software and to use it.)
    2. Toast
    3. Impression
    4. arRSync

    Apple's Backup is a full backup tool capable of also backing up across multiple media such as CD/DVD. However, it cannot create bootable backups. It is primarily an "archiving" utility as are the other two.

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on backup and restore. Also read How to Back Up and Restore Your Files.

    Now the problem you will have with the above is that your computer cannot be booted from an external USB drive. Rather, you will need a Firewire drive if you want to be able to boot your computer from your backup drive.
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (44,510 points)
    Ah, Kappy!
  • You Got Pwnd Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Yay, kappy!

    u are teh Solved!
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,355 points)
    I read your reply and couldn't let you down.
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (44,510 points)
    Let us know how you end up solving the one drive at a time in the machine problem.