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Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
#20245 01/23/12 08:18 AM
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I want to backup my Mac OS X 10.7 and data in my drive. Cloning and Imaging are the options available for this task.

I want to know which one is reliable to backup OS.

Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
subastein ross #20252 01/23/12 08:46 PM
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any reason why you're not using Time Machine?

If you're interested in having your OS backed up, ask yourself if simply having a bootable OS installed on your backup drive (so that you can at least have something usable to boot off from in an emergency) would work sufficiently?


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Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
subastein ross #20258 01/24/12 02:34 AM
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agree with Virtual1 that Time Machine should be one of the programs being utilized. [to not employ that workhorse is foolhardy IMO.]


Originally Posted By: subastein ross
Cloning and Imaging are the options available for this task.

Where exactly are you seeing these options? I.e., name the app or supply a link or describe with more detail, etc.

And which definition of "imaging" are we discussing? Does that refer to creating a disk image file... or is it a verb adopted for some other context?


[if i were to guess, it sounds as if Carbon Copy Cloner is the app in question... and creating a image file for backup purposes is not something intended for folks who need to ask what that means. IOW, go with the vanilla clone job.]

Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
Hal Itosis #20259 01/24/12 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis


[if i were to guess, it sounds as if Carbon Copy Cloner is the app in question... and creating a image file for backup purposes is not something intended for folks who need to ask what that means. IOW, go with the vanilla clone job.]


Thanks for your reply,

Its not only in CCC but another mac cloning application from [spam removed] also offers different options for cloning and imaging.
I think clone a bootable backup of your OS whereas an image is just a compressed file carryng all the data of a volume.

So, I need to clone my Mac to create a bootable backup of Mac OS.

Last edited by cyn; 08/21/12 11:40 PM. Reason: Removed name of software.
Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
subastein ross #20261 01/24/12 03:05 AM
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true that


edit/ though i will add: there are literal 'bootable backups' and there also can be bootable volumes which might happen to contain backup data (e.g., a Time Machine target folder). The former is pretty straightforward, and is usually implemented by cloning. The latter comes about by virtue of the fact that we can render any volume bootable by simply installing OS X on it. Well... doing such was a simple task once upon a time, until Lion came along. Since i don't have Lion, i can't speak from experience as to how easy/possible that tactic remains nowadays.

[almost wish that 10.7 had a separate forum from 10.6 since they are so radically dissimilar.]

Last edited by Hal Itosis; 01/24/12 03:18 AM.
Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
Hal Itosis #20280 01/25/12 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
... we can render any volume bootable by simply installing OS X on it. Well... doing such was a simple task once upon a time, until Lion came along. Since i don't have Lion, i can't speak from experience as to how easy/possible that tactic remains nowadays.


When I got my hands on 10.7.0, I happened to have a number of brand new empty hard drives at hand, and experimented with different installation options. One thing I discovered is that it's very easy to clone the Lion installer (specifically the InstallESD.dmg file embedded in it) onto a Time Machine backup. (Mount InstallESD.dmg as a volume, then use SuperDuper to clone it to the TM volume. SD recognizes the TM backup, and does not erase it during a clone.) This worked extremely well. Booting from that volume gave you all the Lion Installer features, including both the ability to restore from backup, even from the backup on the very same volume, and the ability to install Lion fresh.

Then Apple came out with 10.7.2, which automatically makes TM backups bootable. Unfortunately, it makes them boot into the equivalent of the RecoveryHD partition. You can still restore from backup, but you don't have the full Lion Installer. In particular, installing Lion on a new partition entails re-downloading it from the internet, just as installing from Recovery HD would.

That's still almost as good as what I had, and has the virtue of being automatic. It just annoys me that in making things easier for most users, Apple downgraded my recovery options.

Re: Cloning Or Imaging - Which is better to backup OS
Hal Itosis #20432 01/30/12 03:09 AM
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Yes, I do agree with Hal Itosis.
If one want to create a bootable backup of a volume then it must possess an OS. But, if we create a clone of entire disk, it will also be a bootable backup.


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