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I'm running CCC (carbon Copy Cloner) beta 3.4.4-b1

I would like to change the Hard Drive in my iMac and wanted to know if there are any hurdles, steps I should take in cloning my current Hard Drive


Looks like my HD Dock stops the hard drive disk after a long period while backing up, Here is what I have:

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's generally a good advice not to run beta software for critical operations. Use a stable version. I use SuperDuper personally.

After cloning the drive, you should be able to just hook up the new cloned hard drive to your iMac and the computer will be just like when you cloned it. If you do any work after cloning it, the cloned drive won't have that changes.

Every Lion installation creates a recovery partition for when you want to reformat the drive or when something bad happens to your OS.

If you just clone your main hard drive partition, your Lion recovery partition will not be cloned.

This means that you will not be able to boot into your recovery partition in your cloned drive. There are a few ways to get around this, but I haven't tested this myself:

  1. Install Lion on your new drive before you clone your old data to it.
  2. Install Lion on your new drive and use Migration assistant instead of cloning.
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If I install Lion on the new drive can this be done on one machine? Using one as a USB External Drive? Same with Migration Assistant? – Phill Pafford Dec 31 '11 at 0:55
I believe so. You can install it using either your Lion recovery partition or the USB thumb drive creator utility. For migration assistant I think you'd have to boot into your new drive first. – Enrico Susatyo Dec 31 '11 at 0:57
Hmm well I have an issue with installing on the External Hard Drive. on reboot the install process starts but the external drive stops spinnings and the install gets stuck. Any thoughts? – Phill Pafford Jan 1 '12 at 0:46
updated question. any thoughts? – Phill Pafford Jan 1 '12 at 21:16
Thanks, I went with SuperDuper and changed the External Hard Drive casing as the dock I was using would shut off after about an hour. Thanks – Phill Pafford Jan 2 '12 at 15:35

I did exactly what you're trying to do recently using CCC 3.4.3 with no issues. I'd advise against using the beta as well. No reason for it really. 3.4.3 works with Lion.

CCC's standard file-level copy will create a bootable copy of your Mac's main partition, but it will leave behind the Recovery partition.

If you're worried about that, you can get CCC to do a block level copy instead of a file-level copy, which will preserve the recovery partition. This requires the new drive to be slightly larger than the original, and it also requires that you're running CCC from neither of the drives you're trying to clone.

My approach was to do a fresh install of Lion onto a 16GB USB drive. 8GB might work, and I like having a bootable USB version handy anyway. I then booted my machine from this USB drive, downloaded and installed CCC and started the block level copy from my internal drive to the new one in a FW800 enclosure.

The result was an exact duplicate of my old drive, but with more space. Booted up perfectly. You can read more about the block level copy feature here.

PS: According to this FAQ, you could just do the file-level copy of the main partition, then recreate the recovery partition after the fact using the Lion Recovery Disk Assistant. So that might be worth a shot too.

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updated question. any thoughts? – Phill Pafford Jan 1 '12 at 21:16
It should only spin the drive down if the drive is idle. If you suspect it's spinning down while a backup is taking place, the hardware might be defective. I've used this and that successfully. – Vickash Jan 1 '12 at 21:47
Placed the HD in another casing, starting the process over – Phill Pafford Jan 2 '12 at 0:30

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