I have a faulty (hardware-wise) drive in my 2011 macbook pro and will probably get a replacement drive from the vendor, but I was wondering whether there is (by now) a way (tool) to clone the disk completely, including the (main) lion-, its rescue- and finally the windows7 bootcamp partition without having to completely re-install both systems?


I know this is not a fully integrated solution, but you can use the tools available on Mac OS X and on the Mac OS install DVD/FlashDrive. You will have to restore both systems separately, but it will save you from having to reinstall everything in Windows and OS X.

Note: If your drive is phisically damaged you might end up with corrupted data or being unable to clone your partitions.

There is a thread here explaining how you can save and restore your Bootcamp partition using only Disk utility and BootCamp: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=997823

It goes along the lines of (parts are just copied):

  • Use Disk Utility to backup your bootcamp partition to an external drive.
  • You can also use Disk Utility to backup your Mac OS partition if you didn't use Time Machine.
  • Install/Restore Mac OS to a new Hard Drive
  • Use Bootcamp to setup your drive for windows and to allocate the new space.
  • Use Disk Utility to restore your .dmg image to the new Boot Camp partition you just created. Be sure to run IMAGES --> SCAN IMAGE FOR RESTORE in Disk Utility before restoring. You may need to unmount the Boot Camp partition in Disk Utility before it begins to restore.
  • Use fdisk in Terminal to mark the Boot Camp partition active. First, enter the fdisk MBR edit mode by running the following:

    $sudo fdisk -e /dev/disk0

Ignore the error "could not open MBR file /usr/standalone/i386/boot0: No such file or directory". Then, determine which partition number to mark active by running the following (in bold):

fdisk: 1> show

Your windows partition should be #3 labeled "Win95 FAT-32". Now, mark the partition active:

fdisk: 1> flag 3
Partition 3 marked active.
fdisk:*1> write
Device could not be accessed exclusively.
A reboot will be needed for changes to take effect. OK? [n] y
Writing MBR at offset 0.
fdisk: 1> exit

Now, reboot and hold the OPTION key and Windows should be listed as a bootable option."

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  • Thanks! However my Windows 7 installation is on a NTFS drive.. does this (making a .dm image) work for ntfs ones, too? – Jörg Battermann Oct 11 '11 at 12:27
  • For me, it didn't work with NTFS. Sorry. – Coyote Oct 11 '11 at 14:50

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