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I want to clone the HDD on a late 2014 Mac Mini onto a Samsung T5 or T7 portable SSD, and use that drive as the boot drive. Is that possible, and if so, how would I even start going about such a thing?

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The two most common utilities for this are Bombich Software's Carbon Copy Cloner, and ShirtPocket's SuperDuper. Both will allow you to create a bootable clone of your current OS on an external volume; then at next startup, hold down the Option key and choose the external volume.

Note that model Mac mini only supports USB 3.0, so while it'll be faster than the internal drive, you won't get the full performance from a Samsung SSD that supports USB 3.1 or greater.

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  • Thanks. I understand from your answer that there is no built in cloning software by Apple. Is that true?
    – ispiro
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 20:45
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    While macOS ships with Disk Utility as well as the typical *BSD tools like dd you'll have a much easier time using a 3rd party utility like CCC.
    – da4
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 20:46
  • Searching around it looks like Disk Utility Restore can clone as well. Thanks again.
    – ispiro
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 21:07
  • It can, but CCC and SD have a lot more functionality built into them to make it easier. Disk utility is just not suitable for cloning a booted macOS system.
    – da4
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 15:18

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