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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive Pick of the Week
Carbon Copy Cloner iconThe macosxhints Rating:
9 of 10
[Score: 9 out of 10]
Although mentioned here a few times previously (including this hint from a year ago), Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) has never been listed as a Pick of the Week. This is a definite oversight on my part, as it's an amazing little program.

I'll let the original article and comments do most of the explaining, but basically CCC allows you to clone one OS X hard drive to another, maintaining permissions and ownership, and copying all the hidden files. Since the original hint on CCC was published in April 2002, the code has gotten even better, and new features have been added that allow you to use CCC as a backup system. If you run a lab, you can also use CCC to create a NetBoot image for installation on all machines, using a fully customized OS X installation.

I've used CCC a few times when I just wanted to do some experimenting on my "good" boot drive. I run CCC and mirror it to another volume, then modify the OS X install on that volume and reboot from it. It's really an amazing little program and well worth checking out if you've never given it a look.
  • Currently 2.33 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (9 votes cast)

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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: bambideer on May 29, '03 10:34:11AM

I used it for making a Netinstall image for 45 iBooks. A 2.9 Gb image takes 12 min. to install, no problems yet.

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9 out of 10?
Authored by: mrmister on May 29, '03 11:22:03AM

I rarely disagree, but this app should really be 10 out of 10 stars.

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Authored by: Paul Turnbull on May 29, '03 11:32:25AM

I use this combined with Psync as a backup utility. I run it nightly to a partition on an external firewire drive.

I also used it this week when my work PBG4 needed to go into the shop. I grabbed one of our training iBooks, put it into target mode and used CCC to duplicate my PB onto the iBook. In a couple of hours I had migrated seemlessly to a new machine.

Definitely 10 out of 10.

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Genius App
Authored by: matx666 on May 29, '03 01:21:32PM

I could not do my job as a Mac Tech without Carbon Copy Cloner and his companion app NetRestore. Get a build just right, clone it to a ASR (apple software restore) disk image, then netboot from a special NetRestore boot image hosted on a Xserve (or anywhere) and then wipe the drive and restore image made in CCC. Use Remote Desktop too, it's all laid out at Mike's site, 10 out of 10. I would like to meet the man. I have imaged hundreds of machines and I do it every 2 months at my work, everything wiped and reimaged, all in two days. It would not be possible without Mike's apps.


Mat X
mac tech

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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: bluehz on May 29, '03 01:22:44PM

While CCC is an excellent app. I would have to agree with the 9 rating. Unfortunately CCC still has s few kinks. for instance, recently I bought a new HD for my Applications drive. I used CCC to clone my old Applications drive to the new one. All went well, no errors, etc. Then turns out over the next week I ran into a few applications that did not survive the clone so well. They appeared normally or as dirs instead of launchable applications. Either way they were not launchable and any attempts to repair them failed. Granted this was a small number of apps... maybe 5 out of 500 that had problems. Still - my main beef is that CCC in no way indicated a problem. What if this had been an important data backup for my business? IMHO, for a backup to be considered a legitimate backup it must archive and restore %100 of the files to %100 of the original state. So far CCC has failed to do that for me in many a usage.... not just applications.

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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: mrmister on May 29, '03 01:27:03PM

I hope you wrote Mike about this.

I've done hundreds of clonings, on hundreds of systems.


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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: Isbiten on Jun 01, '03 09:43:58AM

You should have copied your application support folder as well. Many apps installs things there and if you have copyed that Im 100% it would have worked.

If you can read this you are definitly to close.

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Carbon Copy Cloner deserves a 10!
Authored by: mikego on May 29, '03 01:23:52PM

Carbon Copy Cloner deserves a 10! Not only for the fact that is is uncrippled shareware, but because Mike Bombich has generously given this gem to the Mac community way back when Retrospect and other backup utilities were a non-existent speck in the MacOS X world.

CCC is still much faster than Retrospect and I use it as my quick and dirty backup utility over Retrospect.

The fact that Mr. Bombich still continues to unselfishly maintain this app and that CCC has become an indispensable utility to hordes of MacOS X users definitely deserves the first "10" rating! :-)

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Authored by: poultryfarm on May 29, '03 03:24:35PM

another vote to make it a '10'
i love this program

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Cloning a G4 lab
Authored by: dabeatles on May 29, '03 11:35:18PM

I'm a student, and the teacher approached me about all the problems they'd been having with our G4 lab, after we met and discussed for a while, we volume liscenced all new software (the Adobe Design Suite, Office X, Final Cut, DVD Studio... a truly mind-numming list). I took one machine out of commission, working on setting it up perfectly for three weeks (I did it when I had free class time, which was rare). Then, after hopping on the Mac OS X Hints Chat room for advice, I was pointed towards Mike's wonder app, that really saved me MONTHS of work. I had the entire lab cloned and up and going the next week, with no issues. Thanks, Mike!

P.S. I'd have to agree with everyone else, Rob. It needs a 10 rating.

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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: dave@mmu on May 30, '03 04:10:38AM

I recently used it to clone 3 new 12"powerbooks, and it did it great. I did it by first building one up with FCP3, Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, Flash MX and Dreamweaver MX which took about 2 hours, then via firewire (which is just brilliant technology) and target disk mode clone the new built up Powerbook to the other 2. Brilliant! Saved me a day's work! I had to reinstall FCP3 though as the security ID file didn't like being moved but that only took a couple of mins anyway.
Kudos to the author..

Dave L

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Carbon Copy Cloner - Mirror an OS X drive
Authored by: MarsViolet on May 30, '03 05:25:09AM

I've been using Carbon Copy Cloner for something like a year now. It's an indispensable app. I paid the $10 a while back, but because CCC is so valuable and useful to me, and because Mike is such a generous guy, I've decided to pay him another $10 to help support his efforts. If you haven't paid, I encourage you all to do so, and if you have, and you've been using CCC for a long time, why not send Mike another $10? Surely the app is worth it.

(And no, I'm not Mike ;) )

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What about Clone X from Casady & Greene?
Authored by: kiran on Jun 01, '03 10:00:38AM

I wish I came across this post earlier! I just paid for "Clone X" but have yet to use it. Has anyone or does anyone use it? Is it better or worse then Carbon Copy Cloner? Should I have saved the $40 bucks (Clone X costs $50)?

Another question in terms of cloning... Let's say your computer crashes. How do you restore the clone off of a FireWire drive on a computer that has no OS or has not been initialized? That's the part of cloning I'm not sure about.

Great topic! Thanks.

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What about Clone X from Casady & Greene?
Authored by: quentinsf on Jun 01, '03 06:30:04PM

On most macs you can hold down the option key while booting. It then gives you a choice of drive.

Did my first clone onto a Firewire drive using CCC the other day, and tested it by booting from it. Worked beautifully.

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