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A DIY solution to an invalid node structure problem
Authored by: gerritdewitt on Feb 18, '07 05:34:17PM
Very good tip. If you're comfortable using Terminal, you can perform the same operations that Carbon Copy Cloner would in this way:

1. Boot from your Mac OS X Install DVD.

2. From the Utilities menu, choose Terminal.

3. Issue the following command:

ditto -V /Volumes/<old disk> /Volumes/<new disk>

You'll see a detailed listing of files as they're copied. Two notes here:

a. Technically you only need to copy the following directories: Applications, Library, Users, System, bin, sbin, cores, usr, and private, and the mach.sym and mach_kernel files. Then create new, empty directories on <new disk> for Volumes, dev, automount, and Network, and create symbolic links for mach to mach.sym, etc to private/etc, tmp to private/tmp, and var to private/var.

Of course, that would eliminate any Classic installation or other root-level custom folders that you have, and it wouldn't preserve your Spotlight Index (copy .Spotlight-V100 to preserve that).

b. Depending on the extent of the filesystem damage on <old disk>, you may have to segment your copy into several, iterative steps: copy a few files, stop the copy if it hangs, then manually copy any subdirectories skipping the troublesome one. This is a bit tedious, and it all assumes that a troublesome directory or file would be a worthless desktop picture instead of a critical item!

4. When copying is finished, quit Terminal, then open Disk Utility (Utilities > Disk Utility) and verify the filesystem (Repair Disk) and permissions (Repair Disk Permissions).

5. When you quit Disk Utility and Installer, choose to select the startup disk, choose <new disk> and restart. (Or you could use bless from the command-line to choose the startup volume.)

One other detail point:

The Intel-based Macs do not require that you use a GUID Partition Table; they boot from both GUID Partition Table and Apple Partition Scheme/Map (APM). See http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2006/tn2166.html for more details. Of course, Apple only supports booting them from GUID, because features like Boot Camp require it, and it offers many advantages. However, install CDs and DVDs like the Mac OS X Server (Universal) discs use APM to boot both PowerPC and Intel systems. It's likely that will continue to be the method for Leopard, as APM is compatible with both Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and Open Firmware.

--Gerrit
Apple Certified System Administrator

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