8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2010 9:04 PM by Steve M.
Matt Fisher1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi Yesterday the guys at the apple store had to reinstall my OS and they installed OS X 10.6 is there a way to create a copy of this to an external hard drive to use in the future if i need to boot from an external source?


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Steve M. Level 5 (4,740 points)
    Most users around here use either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable clone of their Mac OS X installation to a peripheral hard drive.

    Steve M.
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,951 points)
    First, you need to do this:

    Repairing the Hard Drive and Permissions

    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 Utilities menu. After DU loads select your hard drive entry (mfgr.'s ID and drive size) from the the left side list. In the DU status area you will see an entry for the S.M.A.R.T. status of the hard drive. If it does not say "Verified" then the hard drive is failing or failed. (SMART status is not reported on external Firewire or USB drives.) If the drive is "Verified" then select your OS X volume from the list on the left (sub-entry below the drive entry,) click on the First Aid tab, then click on the Repair Disk button. If DU reports any errors that have been fixed, then re-run Repair Disk until no errors are reported. If no errors are reported click on the Repair Permissions button. Wait until the operation completes, then quit DU and return to the installer. Now restart normally.

    If DU reports errors it cannot fix, then you will need Disk Warrior and/or Tech Tool Pro to repair the drive. If you don't have either of them or if neither of them can fix the drive, then you will need to reformat the drive and reinstall OS X.

    Second, clone your drive to a freshly formatted external drive.

    Clone using Restore Option of Disk Utility

    1. Open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder.
    2. Select the destination volume from the left side list.
    3. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (journaled, if available) and click on the Erase button. This step can be skipped if the destination has already been freshly erased.
    4. Click on the Restore tab in the DU main window.
    5. Select the destination volume from the left side list and drag it to the Destination entry field.
    6. Select the source volume from the left side list and drag it to the Source entry field.
    7. Double-check you got it right, then click on the Restore button.

    Destination means the external drive.
    Source means the internal startup drive.

    Now, you can use other cloning software but the most reliable and easiest method is what I've described above.
  • BobHarris Level 6 (17,709 points)
    I'm a very Happy SuperDuper user. A full bootable Clone is free. If you want incremental updates to the clone, scheduled backups, etc..., you pay the shareware fee.

    SuperDuper has saved my bacon several times.
  • Matt Fisher1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Cool thanks for the help everyone. Using Disk Utility to copy one drive to another was exactly what i was looking for.
  • Matt Fisher1 Level 1 (5 points)
    So I was able to copy my hard drive to an external drive... but is there a way to only copy the OS and not the entire contents of my hard drive to the external drive
  • Steve M. Level 5 (4,740 points)
    If you are interested in doing this, you would first probably need to partition your external HD into at least two partitions, one for your clone of your internal HD and one for just a copy of the OS.

    What exactly are you wishing to accomplish? Do you just want a bare installation of Mac OS on the external drive (on one partition)? In that case you would actually just do an install onto the external drive by putting your installation DVD into your Mac and installing to the external.

    Occasionally someone will want to "copy" their installation DVD onto a partition of their peripheral HD. To do this you would use a similar technique to what you did when you used Disk Utility to clone your internal HD onto your external. In this case you would be copying your DVD onto the peripheral.

    Does this answer any of your questions?

    Steve M.
  • Matt Fisher1 Level 1 (5 points)
    basically, my computer recently crashed. I took it to the local apple store and they installed OS X 10.6. I have the disk that came with my computer but it is 10.5... so I would like to now create a bootable version of 10.6 on an external drive (because I dont have a physical 10.6 dvd disk version) that I can use in place of a dvd just in case my computer decides to crap out again.

    Hope that makes sense

  • Steve M. Level 5 (4,740 points)
    OK, I don't know how to create a bootable version of 10.6 on an external drive without having the actual DVD of 10.6. You successfully have created a bootable version of your entire OS 10.6 installation using Kappy's instructions up above, correct?

    Did you ask the Apple Store to give you a DVD of 10.6? Seems only fair since they installed it on your Mac.

    Steve M.