Cloning a Mac OS X System Disk -OS X
You may copy, or clone, the operating system from one Macintosh OS X hard drive or
computer to another. The simplest way to do this is to use the freeware utility "Carbon
Copy Cloner." We use a firewire hard drive with several partitions and create an copy, or
image, of the operating system on one of the firewire hard drive's partitions. Then we
boot the second computer from the firewire hard drive and copy the image on to its hard
drive. This works pretty well if you have computers with firewire capability and a
firewire hard drive and the instructions below assume you are using a firewire hard drive
to transport the image between computers. You may also connect the computers directly
together with a firewire cable (A to A, with 6 pins on each end) and boot the target
computer as just a hard drive by pressing the 't' key during startup. With this method you
may skip the first part "Creating the Image" and go to the "Cloning an Image" section.
Creating the Image
1) The source and target systems should be at least OS X version 10.2.2. Use Carbon
Copy Cloner Version 2.2 or higher. You may find Carbon Copy Cloner at
http://www.versiontracker.com/ by searching the Max OS X tab for "Carbon Copy".
2) Connect a firewire hard drive or other drive with partitions to accept the image.
4) Set the preferences by clicking on the “Preferences” button. Choose to either make a
bootable volume or to create a disk image on the target volume. Save the preferences.
You do not need to “repair disk permissions before cloning” because we will do it
You can launch the Disk Utility from the Carbon Copy Cloner program to repartion the
hard drive or just erase the destination volume (partition) if the disk is already
partitioned. It's best to clone the image onto an empty volume if you want that volume to
5) Choose the Source Disk, usually, but not necessarily your startup disk. Choose the
target disk. If you’re creating a disk image instead of a bootable volume the program will
create the image file at the root level of the target disk, but won’t erase any files there.
6) Click on the lock and enter an administrator password to enable cloning.
6) Click the Clone button and watch it whir.
7) When the cloning is finished you should get a success message in the program
window. Quit the program.
8) Unmount (eject) the firewire disk volumes by dragging them to the trash. You can then
unplug the firewire hard drive without shutting down the system since it's hot swappable.
Cloning an Image
Note: If you have cloned directly to a bootable volume in the steps above you may
boot to the newly created volume and skip to “Cleaning Up the Cloned System”
1) Connect the firewire hard drive to the target computer.
2) Power on the system while holding down the <option> key, then choose to boot from a
bootable partition the on firewire drive.
3) Run the Disk Utility in the Utilities folder. Partition the target hard drive as desired.
This usually means three partitions, a system partition, a data partition, and a small
scratch partition (500 MB to 1 GB) for use with Adobe Photoshop.
4) Double-click on the image file to run Disk Copy and create a virtual disk on the
desktop of you may choose to clone a bootable partition on the firewire drive to the target
5) Run Carbon Copy Cloner (v2.2 or higher for Mac OS X 10.2.x. Click “Preferences”
Delete directories before overwriting– yes (or no if the drive is already empty)
Make bootable – yes
6) Choose the Source Disk, It will be the name of the virtual drive on the desktop (system
7) Choose Target Disk. You can launch the Disk Utility from the Carbon Copy Cloner
program to repartion the hard drive or just erase the destination volume (partition) if the
disk is already partitioned. It's best to clone the image onto an empty volume.
8) Click on the lock and enter an administrator password to enable cloning.
9) Click the Clone button and watch it whir.
10) When you have finished quit the Cloning program and open System Preferences -->
Startup Disk. Choose the new startup partition/disk.
11) Power down the system and remove the firewire hard drive.
Cleaning Up the Cloned System
1) Power up the system and it should boot properly to the new system partition. If it
doesn't then power down the computer and start it while holding the ‘option’ key. This
should allow you to choose the proper boot drive.
2) Log in as an administrator and open System preferences --> Network and change the
name of the system so it's different from the original system. Click "Apply Now."
3) Open System Preferences --> Sharing and change the name of the system to match the
name in the Network preferences.
4) Open System Preferences --> Classic Startup and choose the proper startup partition
for Mac Classic (OS 9). It's usually the same as the OS X system partition.
5) Run the “Disk Utility _ First Aid” and “Repair Permissions” on the System Partition.
6) Open System Preferences --> Accounts and create new user accounts as desired.
7) You should be ready to go.