I have two 27" iMac's running Mac OS X Version 10.6.7 with the following specs:

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: iMac Model Identifier: iMac10,1 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz Number Of Processors: 1 Total Number Of Cores: 2 L2 Cache: 3 MB Memory: 4 GB Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz Boot ROM Version: IM101.00CC.B00 SMC Version (system): 1.53f10

I use one as my primary machine. It has all the software and files I use (I don't use a server at home). I currently use the 2nd iMac just as a second display to expand the desktop of my primary machine.

Does anyone know of a way I could also use this 2nd iMac to fully mirror or replicate everything on the 1st iMac? And this in as close to real time as possible.

I would like to do this because I run time sensitive applications for clients. I recently had a hard drive failure and while I had everything backed up by Time Machine, it took me a few days to get everything restored and working again.

So, I'd like to have a perfect duplicate of my first machine, which I could immediately switch to in the event of another HD failure or similarly serious problem.

Hooking up the 2 machines via Firewire could facilitate this. Not sure where to go from there.

Someone at the Apple store near me suggested setting the drives of the two machines up as a RAID, but I don't think that would work.

Apple's coming "Cloud" would make all of this easier, because (if it works as promoted) I'd only need to replicate the few non-Apple apps that I wouldn't have access to from the cloud. I could put all my data and files in the cloud.

Until then any thoughts or immediate solutions much appreciated.


3 Answers 3


use superduper to create a clone on a external firewire harddrive, this will allow you to boot any other mac directly from the clone.

we have superduper scheduled so it smart update our clones once a day, in fact we even use this on servers for minimal downtime.

  • All three offered solutions seem workable, Superduper takes the edge for its simplicity. Many thanks .
    – Jagra
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 12:18

Have you tried ChronoSync?


You could boot the 2nd iMac into Target Disk Mode and mount it on your primary machine like an external drive. I'm assuming there are only a handful of directories that you need to have transferred over since they're both running the same OS.

You can then set up rsync cron jobs that (for example) run in the middle of the night and when you break for lunch. This definitely is not real time, but without a RAID configuration (which I don't think would be possible) you're not going to achieve real time duplication between the two hard drives.

Your basic rsync command would look like:

$ rsync -avz --progress ~/Documents /Volumes/secondiMac/User/Documents

You can also use this link to help with the cron scheduling in OS X. http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=2001020700163714


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