I have a Macbook Air set up for dual-boot (Lion & Windows 7) and am planning on buying a newer model. How would I go about cloning the entire hard drive to the new machine?

Do I need to separately clone the Mac & Windows halves? Or is there a tool to move the whole thing verbatim?


3 Answers 3


I would highly recommend Carbon Copy Cloner. I believe it copies invisible files.

  • It's not a matter of copying invisible files, it's a matter of copying other filesystems. The FAQ says that CCC does copy boot camp, but you'll apparently have to do some additional work to make it a bootable partition Sep 4, 2011 at 23:47
  • @Kyle So this wouldn't work?
    – daviesgeek
    Sep 4, 2011 at 23:55
  • I suspect that it would work, but there's probably some EFI flag you'll have to flip to make it bootable Sep 4, 2011 at 23:57
  • @Kyle - how about dd ?
    – ocodo
    Sep 5, 2011 at 2:10
  • @slomojo dd would work, assuming you cloned the entire disk, bit for bit. The downside is that the new Air has a Lion recovery partition that would be wiped out by this, though, and there's the practical matter of how you even manage to run the command in the first place - it's not advised to remove the disk from the air and there's no target disk mode as there's no firewire port on the air Sep 5, 2011 at 2:17

If you had any other Macs besides the MacBook Air, it would be trivial - put one Mac in Target Disk Mode, boot the other with the Installer disk, fire up the Terminal and dd from one disk to the other. If the new disk is larger, boot the new computer and either use diskutil resizeVolume to resize your OS X partition to take up the rest of the space, or create another partition in the free space (if the free space is not adjacent to the OS X partition).

However, since you have two MacBook Airs, this gets considerably more tricky. The MacBook Air does not have a Firewire port, so it doesn't support Target Disk Mode. And you can't boot from the Installer disk (to bypass mounting the internal HD) because the new Air comes with a recovery partition instead.

The only thing that could conceivably work is to buy or make an installer USB drive and use that to boot your new Air and use the restore USB that came with your old Air to boot that one, connect them to the same network (via USB to ethernet, if you have the adapters) then pipe the dd through nc. This will take a long time, especially over Wifi, but it's in theory possible.


You can use SuperDuper!

  • IIRC SuperDuper works at the filesystem level, and requires HFS, so it doesn't copy Boot Camp partitions Sep 4, 2011 at 23:49

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