I have a development machine that only uses about 50gb hdd disk.

I would like to create a backup of that disk and restore it in case my machine goes wrong.

I used to use carbon copy cloner to do it, but I don't have a spare disk now.

Is it possible to create a directory on a hdd disk and copy everything from my machine to that directory? Am I going to be able to recover the disk from the directory later?

  • Note the cost of the time that you have taken to think and write about this is less than the cost of a new drive
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:00
  • @Mark that's true. 64gb ssd or hdd is less than $40, but that does not solve my curiosity. I could probably just test it myself, but that would require at least a few hours. I think it was worth to ask this question. Not everything has to do money :)
    – Moon
    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:36

1 Answer 1


Carbon Copy Cloner essentially requires you to backup one Volume to another.

It doesn't have to be the entire volume, there are some quite comprehensive filtering options, but it does need to be to a distinct Volume, not just another folder on the same one.

It's always wisest to have a full bootable backup, just in case, but single folder backup is actually possible.

A separate Volume on the same physical disk would be acceptable, though of course if the disk dies, it takes both copies with it.

  • CCC can do one directory to another on the same volume but I doubt it would be able to deal with overlapping directories
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:00
  • hmm... I didn't think it could. Can't check right now as I'm actually using it to do a huge diff clone ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:11
  • I do use CCC to backup[ one directory(and its children) to another on the same disk but I do not think one can be a sub directory of another. Even if it could if you mess up the disk the original and backup are lost. Note CCC here is I think just a front end to rsync
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:49
  • @Mark The question to ask yourself is 'what is the goal I am achieving with this back-up'. If the goal is 'if I accidentally mess something up I want to be able to go back' then a back-up on the same disk is fine. If the answer is 'if something goes wrong with the machine I want to not lose my files' then an on-disk backup seems useless...
    – Cronax
    Jun 29, 2018 at 13:39

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .