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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive System 10.5
Early on after Leopard was released, I followed this tip on how to make a small partition on my Time Machine (TM) drive and clone a copy of my install DVD to it. The point here was to have faster access to the restore feature of TM, without the need to locate and boot from your install DVD. This worked well, but I've since discovered an even simpler method which does not necessitate the need to partition the TM drive.

Starting with a clean, newly-formatted TM drive, use Disk Utility and do a restore (source: Install DVD; Destination: TM drive). Once the restore has completed, you'll have a bootable TM drive which can be selected on startup by pressing and holding the Option key down. All that's left is to go into TM's preferences and select this drive for your TM backups.

Simple, quick, and works like a charm, without the need to partition the drive.
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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: fefo on Jan 24, '08 08:21:07AM

I, maybe wrong, thought that TM used the whole disk to perform backups. If so, once selected as the TM volume it would overwrite the restored DVD image. Am I correct?



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: joab on Jan 24, '08 08:28:36AM

You can have other things on the same drive as TM, sure. I have my Aperture vault on it for example.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: Timmargh on Jan 24, '08 08:31:24AM

Time Machine will use all available space but it won't overwrite other non-Time Machine files on the same drive/partition.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: macavenger on Jan 24, '08 08:33:21AM

No, TM won't overwrite any data already on the disk. It only uses all available space on the drive. Actually, in my experience so far, even that isn't quite accurate. I've been running it since about a week or so after 10.5 came out, and the space used by time machine appears to be holding fairly steady at about 10 GB more than the space used on the drive it is backing up, far less than the available space on the TM drive. Course, my files are relative static- if you change a lot of files, especially big ones, it would doubtless use more space, but probably still not gobs more.

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Aluminum iMac 20" 2.4 GHz/3GB/300GB HD



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: fefo on Jan 25, '08 12:13:16AM

Ok, thank you all for the replies. I've an iMac 20" with a 250Gb disk, and another 500Gb USB disk (half of it filled with music & stuff) that was afraid to use 'cause of what I thought TM did.
Anyway, I'll have to free some more Gb off of the USB disk.

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Fefo



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: jbarley on Jan 24, '08 08:30:58AM

Time Machine creates a folder on the TM drive called "Backups.backupdb",
this is where all TM related stuff resides.
Even if or when TM does fill the drive it does so by filling all the "unused" disk space, never overwriting other existing data.



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Restore DVD without formatting first?
Authored by: joab on Jan 24, '08 08:40:38AM

Can I somehow restore the install DVD to a firewire drive without formatting it first? I have files on it that I don't want to lose.



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Restore DVD without formatting first?
Authored by: robogobo on Jan 24, '08 05:51:56PM

no. a restore will erase the partition.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: emax on Jan 24, '08 08:41:41AM

As others have commented, Time Machine won't overwrite your OS info. And it may not fill the entire hard drive. But if it does nearly fill the hard drive, OS X will have a difficult, if not impossible time booting.

You always need some free space on your boot volume that the os can use for swap.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: joab on Jan 24, '08 08:45:27AM

I don't think this hint is about booting an actual Mac OS X system, bur rather just the installer, which comes on a DVD that is read-only anyway so there shouldn't be a problem with swap.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: jbarley on Jan 24, '08 04:16:05PM

You are spot on, I probably could have made this clearer in my original post.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: georgl on Jan 24, '08 09:35:30AM

I thinks thats the (almost) only way Time Machine is really usefull. The main reason for data loss (and the need for a backup) in my case until now was hard drive failure.

So I need a harddrive from which I can boot and continue working. Actually ... I use super duper, which safes you from the hassle of reinstalling everything.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: Felix on Jan 24, '08 09:59:08AM

>>Actually ... I use super duper, which safes you from the hassle of reinstalling everything.

I doubt that since SuperDuper is not (yet) compatible with Leopard. If you are able to make a bootable backup with SuperDuper and OS 10.5.1, please pass your method on to the developer, Dave Nanian. He's been feverishly working on a compatible SuperDuper since the Leopard release date.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: georgl on Jan 24, '08 12:19:41PM

Hi, sorry, that wasn't clear:

I am still on Tiger, and one of the reasons is that SuperDuper doesn't work on Leopard + I am a bit paranoid about backups after some bad experience.

For this reason the Hint about making the TM drive bootable was a very good one.

However, I might stay on Tiger, because I like the fuzzlessness and ease of use of SuperDuper. Its good to know, that a lot can happen, and you just have to plug in (or screw in) your external harddrive



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: reidjazz on Jan 24, '08 10:05:58AM

I've been using SuperDuper! for about a year now, doing a nightly, bootable clone of my main internal drive to another internal drive. I also have my machine wake up every morning at 3am, let the UNIX routines do their thing, then via an Applescript, backup my critical files to one of a series of 14 DVDs (2 week rotation) so that I've got a 2 week span to go back to, if needed.

Works for me.

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"When you're finished learning, you're finished."



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: RetroSpaceman on Jan 24, '08 10:15:06AM

You can use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the install DVD to your Time Machine drive if you don't want to reformat. Just make sure nothing at the root level of your Time Machine drive is named the same as any of the root level of the install DVD. You can see what these are once you launch Carbon Copy Cloner. I tried it and it worked without a hitch. I avoided having to shuffle 200GB of data already stored on the Time Machine drive.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: dashard on Jan 25, '08 08:10:45AM
You can use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the install DVD to your Time Machine drive if you don't want to reformat. Just make sure nothing at the root level of your Time Machine drive is named the same as any of the root level of the install DVD. You can see what these are once you launch Carbon Copy Cloner. I tried it and it worked without a hitch. I avoided having to shuffle 200GB of data already stored on the Time Machine drive.
That's an excellent hint all on its own. Well done.
Didn't think about that when I read the earlier question about Disk Utility.

Well done.

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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: barryf on Jan 25, '08 11:57:39AM

RetroSpaceman --

This seems like a great idea, so I gave it a while, using CCC to copy my Tiger Install DVD onto an existing volume that contains both my current TM backups folder and some other folders that I use for backing up things like my Parallels disk image that I don't want TM to deal with.

BUT... when I re-booted with the option key held down I was offered my TM drive as a start-up option. I got to the point where I had a grey screen with the spinning "clock" thingy, but it spun and spun and never got to the installer's welcome screen.

Any ideas? Did I miss a step that should be completed after running CCC?

Thanks,

-Barry



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Jan 25, '08 03:07:20PM

Wonder if the HD isn't initialized properly (old vs. GUID)?

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Two things in this world aren't overrated: Macintosh and Lemon Meringue Pie.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: gadgetdoctor on Jan 26, '08 08:50:22AM

I've had exactly the same failure after copying the DVD to a Lacie Firewire disk with CCC. Grey spin stays for as long as I can be bothered to wait until I power down.

Drive is formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Apple_HFS with GUID.

No idea why this won't work. I have another drive like this with a dedicated partition that I use with SuperDuper (I'm still running Tiger).

GadgetDoctor



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: Casemon on Apr 29, '08 12:04:06AM

Interesting tip. I tried this on my time machine volume and was able to successfully boot from the volume into the installer without losing my time machine backups (2 machines). The problem is when I select Restore from Time Machine the time machine backups do not appear on the list; it just keeps searching and searching...

any ideas on a work around? Would love for this solution to work without a hitch.



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How do I clone Install Disks to TM drive?
Authored by: RepentantFan on Feb 02, '08 07:38:09PM

I've read over the comments here and the referenced hint, yet both seem to assume one Install disk, not two. If it were one, I could see it simply easy to restore/copy the Install disk to the new drive. My assumption is that restoring the 2nd Install disk would destroy the contents of the 1st disk on the new drive. Am I wrong here? I confess I haven't checked the 2nd DVD to see if the contents are in separate directories. I would prefer to use the Disk Utility, though I have SuperDuper, also.

A follow-up question would be whether I need to manually create a boot block (make bootable) on the new drive after I've restored the Install disks to it?

Thanks.



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: bobbabe on Mar 09, '08 04:54:29PM

One user posted a very interesting question. Two install discs are provided with the new system. How is the installation done in this case?



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: morespace54 on Mar 10, '08 02:15:22PM

I think the O.P. was talking about a retail version of OS 10.5 (which comes on one DVD-DL).

If you try to do this with the CDs/DVDs provided with your computer (Restore Softwares DVD, etc.) you will probably have to "trim" down the DVD to get only the System Install (extract the System Installer and not the iApps and cie).



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: pgflmacrob on Jun 28, '08 10:18:51AM

I,m trying this technique. I have been using a Time Capsule Time machine for regular MacAir Time Machine backups and using it as a place to store files for transfer (overflow from my old large Tiger Macbook). I am willing to scape all this ( I have an extra backup.)

1) why doesn't disk utility see the time machine time capsule disk.
2) how does one go back and make Time Capsule a virgin time machine disk?



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No need to restore to a clean partition
Authored by: mamby on Dec 28, '08 09:25:25AM

maybe this hint is too old, and apple has since changed the way Disk Utility works, but I tried restoring the installation DVD to a not empty partition, and it worked perfectly without erasing a thing.

Am I missing anything?



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10.5: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: beeflin on Dec 28, '08 02:39:06PM

I have had no problems with a 2 disk install. My Time Machine drive now contains the following: various invisible Unix items; the "Install Mac OS X and Bundled Software" app; an alias to "Install Bundled Software Only"; and folders named "Instructions", Xcode Tools", "Optional Installs" & "Backups.backupdb" - the last-named being, of course, my Time Machine backup folder.

I can boot from it, restore from it, whatever - nothing overwritten or broken.

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Steve Rogers, The Difference Engine
http://www.difference-engine.co.uk



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: neocodesoftware on Jul 30, '10 07:35:23AM

this works great in 10.6 as well

the instructions weren't very clear

1. launch disk utility
2. choose your hard disk you want to use as time machine
3. click the restore tab
4. drag the mac os x install dvd icon to the source from the finder desktop
5. drag the hard disk icon to the destination from the finder desktop
6. click the restore button
7. get a coffee

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Neo Code Software, Design - Develop - Deploy mission critical web apps for SMEs to Fortune 500s, http://www.neocodesoftware.com

FileMaker, AppleScript, PHP /



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: DocMan on Aug 24, '10 02:33:57PM

I have to wonder: Can this method be used to put the Install DVDs on a 32GB SDHD card as an emergency disk for the new MacBooks with SD drive slots? Has anyone tried this?

Doc



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: everkleer80 on Aug 25, '10 12:46:28PM

As soon as I bought my SL DVD, I put it in an SD card (simply because it takes 5 mins to boot off the DVD - at least on my iMac) and I believe this is the method I used.



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: DocMan on Aug 25, '10 01:10:07PM

Cool beans. I am in the midst of using this method to put both of my Macbook Pro install DVDs onto a 32 GB SD card. First restore predicted a run time over 24 hours.

I will report back when the process has finished. If fully successful, my SD card should be able to a) Boot Mac OS X, b) install Mac OS X to new hard drive, c) run diagnostic Apps to troubleshoot or recover problem drives, d) run hardware tests, e) install individual applications.

Wish me luck.

Doc



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: DocMan on Aug 30, '10 03:07:01PM

Update: I was able to put both Original Install Disks for my MacBook Pro onto a single SD card. With that card I can boot, install Mac OS X, Run Disk Utility, and perform the Apple Hardware tests. I still need to install more utilities on the card.

Doc



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: willhl on Jul 31, '10 06:05:13PM

Quick silly question, I just wanted to clarification on step 5. Which hard drive are you dragging to the destination and what is this doing? Thanks



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10.6: Make a bootable Time Machine backup drive
Authored by: Koerone on Aug 25, '10 06:38:05AM

I tried to copy the installer dvd onto a partition using a ccc or a disk utility but then i had some errors and notification about some files missing, is about copy protection of the dvd? should i use the time machine instead? it's kinda urgent 'coz my dvd is barely dead and i want to have it back, i ain't goin' to polish it :D



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