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Moving Mac OS X to a new hard drive System
If you're looking for a way to move your installed OS X to a new volume, Robert Hancock posted a new method in this Macintouch Reader Report.

Supposedly, if you download Apple's Software Restore program (note: I can't find it on Apple's servers, but there's one on my 9.1 volume), you can boot into OS 9.1, run Software Restore, and tell it to restore your OS X partition or drive to your new drive. This will handle all hidden files and folders. Sounds like a fast, simple way to move a complete OS X installation to a new drive.

NOTE: If anyone can help with this, it'd be appreciated. I found Apple Software Restore, but when launched, it simply says "Cannot find any configurations to restore" and quits. Robert claims to have used this method a number of times, but I can't make the program do anything other than launch and quit.
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Apple Software Restore
Authored by: greenergrad on Apr 12, '01 10:36:17AM

I dont' know about the article you read but whenever I use ASR, I have to carefully prepare the source file before restoring. We use ASR to build custom restore CDs for all of our 200+ workstations.

You need to download the Apple Installer engine from their developers' Web site. It contains the ASR software engine, instructions, and a custom AppleScript you will need.

To restore a volume, you need to first create an image file of the entire volume with Disk Copy then run the included AppleScript from within DiskCopy. This creates the proper checksum for ASR. I've never heard of anyone being able to run ASR from an unprepared disk image or even a raw volume.

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Authored by: robg on Apr 12, '01 11:00:25AM

Thanks for the clarification; I didn't think it could possibly be quite as easy as it sounded like!


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ASR from Raw Disks
Authored by: knirps on Apr 12, '01 01:39:28PM

I ran into the same problem as robg, to solve it I booted from an OS 9.1 CD, dragged
OSX volume onto ASR and let it "restore" a new partition on a second drive. I did this
with my OS 9.1 partition as well and there were no problems booting from either volume.

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Apple Software Restore
Authored by: SkinnyT on Apr 12, '01 07:36:34PM

My experience is much like Greenergrad's, using ASR with properly prepared disk images to restore HDs on anything from LC 575s to iMac DV SEs in classroom and lab environments.

I recently attempted to create a restore image for a single partition install of OS 9.1 and OS X and was unsuccessful. The entire process, done is OS 9 because of using Disk Copy, seemed to go normally. After restoring, the machine booted into 9.1 just fine. The problem came when I tried to boot into OS X and it came up in a screwed up command line. (I'm a UNIX newbie, but know how to exit and reboot in command line-- no luck.) Restarts didn't help and I couldn't boot back into 9.1, so I restored it back to 9.0.4.

I understand that there is a version of ASR for OS X that Apple is working with now, but it's not currently available on Apple's Developer FTP site. I'd bet that when consumer machines start shipping with OS X installed that the new version of ASR will be a part of any restore CD that they come with, and that a new SDK will be available for download from Apple.

For a brief tutorial on the ASR process for OS 9.1 and earlier, check out my website:

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easier way to use ASR
Authored by: dodono on Apr 23, '01 07:32:00PM

ASR can be used to copy a non-prepared disk image to any hard drive. You just need to mount the image (using DiskCopy) and then drag the mounted disk (not the file) onto the ASR icon. You can then select your target drive and restore from your image.

We use this method because it allows you to keep you images in Read/Write format, which allows us to do quick fixes without having to re-image the whole disk again.

I have not tried this method with X, but use it every day with OS 9 setups.


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easier way to use ASR
Authored by: slandvogt on Jun 07, '01 11:13:05AM

This almost works. All the latter steps work perfectly, BUT: You have to create a disk image. Using Disk Copy for that does NOT preserve the links from /private/etc to /etc and /private/var to /var and so on: They are there, but as files not as links... Maybe I am using Disk Copy (6.3.3) wrong... Any hints how to create disk images, that conserve the links?

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easier way to use ASR
Authored by: bombich on Jun 19, '01 03:59:41PM
Check out my ASR tutorial for complete instructions on imaging an OS X system!

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Apple Software Restore
Authored by: 128K Mac on Mar 19, '02 05:26:18AM

While not for mass production purposes, I read on MacFixIt that someone had used the Duplicate feature of Retrospect to create an exact, bootable disk. Tried it. It worked.

I had about 12 of data, not a great lot, includings OS X and Developer Tools on a 30MB ATA. I used "duplicate" to copy everything on the drive to am 18GB Seagate Baracuda LVD SCSI internal drive (G4 tower). Took 20-30 minutes and now I have my alternative OS X boot disk if I ever need one. Can be used as boot disk and I've played with apps on it for an hour or two and all seems perfect.

I've used Retrospect since 1994. It's an old, old Mac app and one of the three, along with BBEdit and Disk Warrior, that I don't plan to ever part with. Steve Bombich and others have some up with some excellent ideas. And I I had a lab to run with 80 Macs I might go the disk image or Carbon Copy Cloner right. But for my little "home office" setup of 4 to 8 Macs, Retrospect 5 works great.

And a "verified" restore from a duplicated volume is just as accurate as the original duplicate. Been there and done that. Several times.

It's error checking ability is superb. If it reports an error in copying a file you'd better look closely at that file to find out why it couldn't be verified. It finds more bad files for me than Norton, Disk Warrior, and Tech Tools Pro combine. And when there's a sudden large number of files that are "defective," but really aren't, that's how in the bad old days, and to this day because I still have some SCSI drives arond, it's the best tool you can find for detectling low level SCSI voodoo or a drive problem with any kind of drive.

Endorsement ends. I don't work for Dantz. But they've garnered more than a few thousand dollars from me over the years. New *nix based Mac OS or not, they're still the top Mac backup specialists. And no one knows and understands low level disk routines better than Dantz, with the possible exception of Al Whipple of Alsoft.

Rant ends. :)

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Better yet....
Authored by: ahknight on Apr 12, '01 12:43:36PM

Don't even worry about backing the system up. Nothing really changes, anyway. When I moved my setup froma 3GB partition to a 15GB partition, here's what I did:

1) Formatted the 15GB partition; wiped it clean.
2) Copied my Users folder (as root, in OS X) to the root of the new partition.
3) Went into NetInfo Manager and backed up my database. Saved it on the new partition's root.
4) Installed OS X on the new partition. Made the first user the same as the existing main user.
5) When I first logged in, my desktop was completely back. I restored the NetInfo database and my wife's account came back as well.
6) Copy the applications from the old disk's Applications folder over to the new one. You should be keeping everything in here.. =)

If you were crazy enough to install actual BSD software (SSH, XFree86, etc.) you'll want to do this the BSD way instead:
1) From the root of the active system, make a tar file of the current system.
2) Untar it into the new partition.
3) Hope it works. ;)

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Better yet....
Authored by: ClaF on Apr 12, '01 08:08:25PM

Quite clear, except where you deal about "database" (in NetInfo Manager). What's that database? Where is located? How to use it?

Thank you!

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Moving OS X to new HD
Authored by: Robert Hancock on Apr 12, '01 07:15:46PM

I posted the original method of using ASR to move OS X.
There is a problem using the ASR supplied on the 9.1 CD--I got the same message as one of your posters when I tried it this morning. I use ASR 2.1.1 downloaded from Apple and also supplied in the OldWorld support package provided by Ryan Rempel (
In my posted 4-step list (written at 3 am), I forget one important first step; make a disk image of the OSX disk first. It is time consuming (about 30 minutes on a 733 G4+ when the Dveloper Tools have been installed) but I only did this once and then used this image for subsequent moves.
Hopes this helps.

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Full Tutorial available
Authored by: bombich on Jun 19, '01 04:05:11PM
I've written a complete tutorial on imaging an OS X system with ASR. You will need to get a very late version of ASR -- I got mine from the Dual USB iBook restore CDs. Check out the tutorial here.

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Use ASR to move MacOS X to a new volume
Authored by: VicF on Aug 05, '01 08:13:31PM

It looks as though you can indeed use Apple Software Restore _very_ easily to move MacOS X to a new volume. It's especially easy if your source volume -- the original drive that you're copying from -- is smaller than 4 GB. If it is, then simply:

1. Boot off of a software restore CD (like the one that came with your computer, if you have a newer Mac). This involves, of course, inserting the CD and pressing the 'c' key as the computer starts. You'll be booted in OS 9.1, probably.

2. Once the computer has booted, get both the source volume and the destination volume mounted onto the desktop. Probably, the destination volume is your new internal hard drive, and so it will already be there. For the source volume, in my case, I had moved my old hard drive into a firewire case ($125 from Other World Computing), so I could just plug the old drive in its firewire case into the firewire port. You can also use AppleTalk to mount either volume.

3. Drag the icon for the source volume onto the ASR (Apple Software Restore) application icon. The computer will chug for a little bit, and then give you a dialog that allows you to specify what the source is (it'll be the volume that you dropped on the ASR icon), the destination (probably the other volume), and a method of copying (restore in place, etc.). Specify the options you want (the explanations are quite clear within that dialog).

4. Click 'restore,' and let it go. After a bit, you'll have a new volume that's just like the old in every respect, as far as I can tell.

If your source volume is bigger than 4 GB, then this won't work -- ASR won't let you do it. I managed to work around this by using "FileCopier" (got it from to copy over a 3.5 GB folder (my "Applications (Mac OS 9)" folder) from the source to the destination volume, then deleting that folder from the source volume, which brought the source volume to under 4 GB. Then I followed the above steps, using the "restore in place" option (which replaces any files of the same name but leaves other files untouched, meaning it'll leave untouched the just-copied folder).

I hope this helps...

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Trouble booting from cloned disk
Authored by: Henry Reynolds on Mar 13, '02 12:08:33AM

I followed all this and it worked great for a while. I'm not sure why, maybe because of copying the wrong files to my cloned disk, but I can't get it to boot any more. I've initialized it, using zero all data option. I can install 10.0.4 onto that same backup drive and have it boot. But still after I clone to this backup drive it won't boot. The error I get is:

/etc/master.passwd: not a directory

Any ideas?

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Found the answer! Carbon Copy Cloner
Authored by: Henry Reynolds on Mar 18, '02 03:14:57PM

Here's how I've been doing it, works great:

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Using Apple Software Restore
Authored by: The Commander on Sep 08, '01 10:42:04AM

I have used Apple Software Retore twice now to install an existing OSX partition onto an external firewire drive partition. I have been able to boot off the firewire install no problem.
(pressing the option key at startup to select the drive--it will not work from the startup disk control panel since it is firewire.)

Do not open the Restore application. Take the drive that you want to copy and drag it onto the restore application icon. This will launch the Restore application and after some grinding it will ask you to select the drive onto which you want to restore the software. Select and press continue and wait. All is done for you but it does take some time. Not that bad, though, considering it is an entire drive. No more that it takes to back up an entire drive the first time.

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copying OSX to a new disk
Authored by: PaddyT on Dec 18, '01 05:18:08AM

The easiest way I found was get Disk copy 6.4, plug your new drive in (temporarily) via a firewire box, launch from an OS 9.1 or higher install CD (make sure you can get at Disk copy 6.4 via network or a small second partition on your new drive). Run disk Copy and choose clone from the utilities menu - choose your old drive as the source and your new drive as the destination and press OK. 25ish minutes later you have an exact clone of your original drive (mine was approx 4Gb copied onto a new 30Gb) which was then swapped into the powerbook. - no disc images required, no ASR, but not suitable for large scale cloning I'd guess.

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copying OSX to a new disk
Authored by: rpostma on Jan 11, '02 06:06:41PM

Where can I find Disk Copy 6.4. My OS 9.2.1 CD only has Disk Copy 6.3.3

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Disk Copy 6.4
Authored by: tombenson on Apr 16, '02 10:19:19PM
DiskCopy 6.4 is NOT available to the General Public.

It is an Apple internal tool, and is therefore only available to Apple and Authorised Apple Service Technicians.

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Trials and Tribulations
Authored by: Anonymous on Jan 12, '02 07:56:51PM

I'm working on a 400 Mhz Powerbook G4 and booting from a firewire drive. Here's my experience so far...

I created a disk image with diskcopy 6.4. The disk image was read only and nearly 10 gig. Restoring with diskcopy does not leave the X install in a bootable state.

I tried bombich's directions, based around the command line tool "ditto". When running ditto, you won't be able to browse affected files/directories in the finder. However, you can browse through them from the command line to check on its progress. (You'll have to open another telnet window.) At any rate, it doesn't get very far before stumbling over what appears to be the first file. Yes, I ran the command that is supposed to unlock all the files.

As for Apple System Restore...
Get "Apple System Restore" from I sliced my 10 gig disk image file down to three gig by removing the music and documents directories, outside of the image. When using ASR, i drag the image file onto ASR and select the drive I want to restore to. It works...right up until the end. The it errors out on the "TheVolumeSettings" folder. The resulting install does not boot X.

Three strikes, I'm reinstalling.

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ASR 2.1 and EZ-Gig Card
Authored by: neopunk on Feb 10, '02 08:17:15AM

This was my lazy man's way to duplicate an OS X partition onto a new drive in my G4 powerbook.

After installing the new drive, I put the old drive on an ez-gig card. I booted into 9.2 off the OS 9 partition on the new drive, dragged the OS X partition from the old drive onto ASR 2.1 and selected the wannabe OS X partition on the new drive as the destination.

It was slow- about 20 minutes, but 100% accurate.

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Errors with cloned disk
Authored by: Henry Reynolds on Mar 12, '02 01:46:04AM

I followed all this and it worked great for a while. I'm not sure why, maybe because of copying the wrong files to my cloned disk, but I can't get it to boot any more. I've initialized it, using zero all data option. I can install 10.0.4 onto that same backup drive and have it boot. But still after I clone to this backup drive it won't boot. The error I get is:

/etc/master.passwd: not a directory

Any ideas?

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ASR 2.x.x worked for me!
Authored by: sucram3 on Feb 20, '02 04:12:46PM

After unsuccessfully trying to use Carbon Copy Cloner 1.04b I came back here and read the posts on ASR. It worked! All I did was
copy it from my iBook Recovery CD to the desktop. Then I rebooted with my MacOS 9.1 CD that came with OS X 10.0. Once I was
booted into the finder I dragged my OS X startup volume to the ASR icon and after a minute was presented with the interface and
selected my new drive as the destination. After about 30 minutes it finished. I rebooted into OS 9.1, launched Ryan Rempel's
XPostFacto 2.1.1 and chose the newly cloned OS X volume as the startup device and Voila! I booted back into OS X on the new drive.
My machine is a Power Tower Pro so this method works with unsupported Macs at least. I imagine it would work for any Mac.

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Shell-based solution
Authored by: thinkyhead on Mar 12, '02 07:45:15AM
This simple little shell script named "clone" does the trick very nicely.

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Apple Software Install
Authored by: 128K Mac on Mar 19, '02 06:25:10AM

Apple Software Restore 2.06 is available through other means. If you upgraded 9.04 to 9.1 it's probably sitting in your Apple Extras or Utilities folder. If not just use TomeViewer to extract it from the main 9.1 Upgrade tome. Mine wasn't removed by 9.21 or 9.22.

There's extensive documentation on how to use & etc. on apple/support. Just plug in Apple Spftware Installer and all of the articles are linked.


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Apple Software Install
Authored by: 128K Mac on Mar 20, '02 03:18:01AM

Typos, typos, typos........

The last paragraph should have said that on apple/support you simply search using "Apple Software Restore" and there are three articles on the "official way" to use the utility.

The method described is the one I've heard used most often by admins in college labs to restore drives when some student trashes a drive inadvertently or intentionally.

The Steve Bombich discussion above is also quite excellent and I don't know that it deviates from Apple's suggestions, but simply makes it understandable and addresses certain concerns specific to OS X.

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