Taking regular backups of your Mac is really important in order to avoid any kind of issues in case of mishaps. And, whether you use a local backup option like Time Machine or you opt for a cloud backup, you can be sure of keeping your Mac data safe. However, you have another good option for taking Mac backups and that is to clone your Mac. Further in this article, we’ll explain exactly how you can create your Mac clones with the help of programs like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!
Jump To Section
- How Cloning Is Different From Time Machine Backups
- Initial Preparations For Mac Cloning
- Preparing The External Hard Disk Drive For Cloning Purposes
- How To Create Your Mac Clone?
- Restoring A Mac From Clone Drive
- Steps To Boot The Clone To Another Mac
How Cloning Is Different From Time Machine Backups
Whether it is Time Machine backup, cloud-based backup or a clone backup, all serve the same purpose as they keep your Mac data safe and avoid data loss in case of any unfortunate event. But how is cloning different from the other two options? Well, it allows you to create your hard drive copy that is bootable as well. It means that everything on your Mac can be accessed without any issues from another Mac and all you will have to do is to export your clone to some external drive and connecting that to the Mac on which you want to access your data. One more thing that you’ll have to do is to select the clone drive from Startup menu.
Clones can come in handy in a variety of different situations and if, for instance, you need to give your Mac to a technician for certain repairs and you want to do that without stopping your regular work, that’s the way to go.
Most of the cloning software come with added features including the one that allows you to take frequently scheduled backups. It’s an ideal choice because whenever something goes wrong, you won’t have to start things from one year back. In fact, even if such features come at an additional cost, you should not shy away from them as they prove to be really beneficial in the long run.
Initial Preparations For Mac Cloning
Before getting started, just ensure that there is some external hard disk drive having enough storage space for accommodating all the stuff that you currently have on your Mac. Smartest option for you, however, is using portable hard disks.
You should also have a reliable cloning program installed on your Mac. We recommend SuperDuper, but you can also choose one you like as most of them work in almost the same manner. They also come with detailed instructions and guide you through entire cloning process step by step.
Preparing The External Hard Disk Drive For Cloning Purposes
To begin with, you’ll need to have clean external disk so that it can be made bootable for the cloned backup. Here are the steps to follow for that.
- Start by connecting the external hard disk drive in an appropriate Mac port.
- Search Disk Utility application with Spotlight.
- Double-Click to open Disk Utility.
- In External tab find your hard disk drive and click to select it. Usually, the name of the disk is same as its manufacturer’s name.
- Now click Erase tab that you can see on top of this window.
- Change drive name to something which is easy to memorize for you. Make sure that you remember the name that you give here, especially, when you are going to make your drive bootable.
- Now in format list, choose macOS Extended (Journaled).
- Click the Erase button.
- As soon as the process completes, click on Done.
- Now you can close Disk Utility.
The steps above have successfully formatted your drive and it is ready to clone your Mac.
How To Create Your Mac Clone?
Once you have downloaded the cloning program and installed it on your Mac, it’s time to get on with the cloning process. Here we’ll be referring to SuperDuper! as that’s the program we’re using for cloning purposes. Also, remember that you will need administrator password for cloning your Mac.
Here is the cloning process described in detailed step-by-step guide.
- Search for SuperDuper through Spotlight on your Mac.
- Launch the clone program.
- Select the hard disk drive of your Mac from drop-down menu present next to the “Copy” option.
- Select your formatted external hard disk drive from drop-down menu present next to the “To” option.
- Ensure to select “Backup – all files” option in drop-down list present next to the “using” option. You won’t be able to create bootable Mac clone with “Backup – user files” option.
- Start the cloning process by clicking Copy Now button.
- When prompted, provide Administrator Password.
- You will be prompted to confirm that you’re really looking to erase your external hard disk drive, click on Copy.
- Once the copying process gets completed, click OK.
As most of the cloning programs work in same fashion, you won’t likely be having any issues no matter which program you go with and the same process should work fine.
Restoring A Mac From Clone Drive
If you have to restore a Mac from backup for one reason or another, your clone drive can come in handy. Here is how to restore a Mac using clone.
- Turn your Mac off.
- Connect the external hard drive to your Mac using an appropriate port.
- Now Turn the Mac On.
- Press and hold Command + R keys right after restarting your Mac so that you land in the Recovery Mode.
- As your Mac boots, you’ll be taken to Utilities screen.
- Click Disk Utility first and then the continue button.
- Choose your hard disk drive.
- In upper part of Disk Utility screen, you’ll see a Restore tab. Click it.
- In front of “Restore From” option, choose your external hard disk drive from the list. Remember, it’s the same drive that you had used to clone your Mac on.
- In the “Restore To” option select the hard disk drive of your Mac on which you are planning to restore the clone.
- Finally, hit the Restore button.
Once the restore process is complete, restart your Mac.
Steps To Boot The Clone To Another Mac
Finally, if your Mac is somehow unavailable and you want to work on the backup from some other device, you can boot the clone from startup menu.
Note: It is important to mention here that you will have to partition the hard disk drive to be able to boot the clone as separate startup drive. Once you have partitioned the drive, it’s time to move on to the next steps as given below.
- Turn your Mac off.
- Connect the external drive to your Mac using an appropriate port.
- Now turn your Mac back On.
- Press and hold Option key right after hearing that startup chime.
- Choose your external drive on which you have the clone from the list featuring systems that can be used for starting up your Mac.
Congratulations, you can now user your clone for restoring files to the partitioned drive.
So, that’s how you can create your Mac clone and use it as a backup of your Mac. Whether you want to use the backup on some other device or want to keep it for using on same drive in future, all the possibilities are there.