Copy Mac OS X before upgrading to new hard drive - Cloning Mac



I want to upgrade my Mac drive and want to copy all my appplications, Data and OS on new drive.

Is cloning Mac the best solution? Is there any default application in Mac Lion or I have to search for some third party Mac cloning application?


Read the various discussions about “clonezilla” which is a Debian (Linux based) mini operating system written specifically to “bit copy” operating systems from one drive to another.

I’ve never used it to clone a Mac, in point of fact I can’t recall the last time, other than walking past them at BestBuy or walking past the starry eyed people waiting in line outside the Apple Store in the mall that I’ve been anywhere near a working Mac…

But it would cost you absolutely nothing to TRY clonezilla

Clonezilla’s best functional feature as far as I’m concerned is that it recognizes
external drives without any special efforts on the part of the user, both USB and eSATA have worked for me, Firewire? I have the hardware but I’ve never actually bothered to try, I’d be very suprised if it didn’t work…

And above all else, it’s FREE

Have a blank CD-R ready when you download it. On every PC I’ve downloaded Clonezilla on it automatically opened the Disc burning software whent he download was done.

To actually use it you connect an external drive (or your new drive in an enclosure) and boot from the CD-R



Hi and Welcome!

Full backup and restore is the best option imo.

Isn’t there a backup solution integrated in MacOSX? You might check the documentation including about this.



I would generally not use Clonezilla with OS X, except in an emergency.

You have multiple options for cloning in OS X:

  1. Disk Utility (included with the OS): Make sure the disk you’re cloning to is partitioned as GPT.

  2. Carbon Copy Cloner (donationware):

  3. SuperDuper! (shareware):

Note that, unregistered, SuperDuper! will clone for free. Registering gives you other features, like syncing.


is there any specific reason why Clonezilla would NOT work with OS-X?

Has anyone actually tried it?

as far as I can see the worth thing that could possibly happen is that you waste
the time making a clone that in the end wouldn’t work.

Cost? about 1.5hours of your time

Oh, and you’d waste a single CD-R disc making a Clonezilla disc.

Cost? <$0.25



Clonezilla Live may or may not be able to boot newer Macs with Thunderbolt ports. This seems to be a more general Debian Linux issue, and not necessarily specific to Clonezilla.

Yes, people have tried. There are threads all over the place. Some have had success, some haven’t. There’s also a difference between using a DRBL server and the live booting option.

More importantly, going with a known native solution, of which there are many, is better than speculation with Clonezilla. If you have nothing else available, then by all means, go with Clonezilla, but if you want to get things done with what’s known to work, then check out the solutions I listed.

There’s also an ease-of-use factor, and while Clonezilla is menu driven, it isn’t typical Mac software. I don’t like to throw people into unfamiliar environments unless absolutely necessary. I don’t play around when it comes to backups, so wasted time and something possibly not working are scenarios I try to avoid.


The software listed for clonning Mac are really great ones. Let me analyse these and see taht which one suits my requirements.


Oh, and you could probably just use Time Machine to create a comprehensive backup (first backup may take ages though! afterwards it’s incremental), that’s what I did when I reinstalled the OS and it restored everything fine.
You’d need to reinstall OS X on the new hard drive though and then restore the Time Machine Backup but it was pretty straightforward.