mac osx (leopard,lion) + bootcamp(win7 ) cloning/imagebkup tips

!eek i just realised my mac has been running flawlessly for a couple of years and now with added lion (and mountain lion across the way v soon) I. thought its about time i try to work out how to bkup all this mixed up goodness .I mean, installing windows from scratch is so 2003 dudes.I need to fix a potential dead system within 3 hrs or my internet/hacking fix will not be met and all hell will break loose in my tiny little mind. if you’ve seen idle hands you’ll know the score here..

Soooo…   mac osx (leopard,lion) + bootcamp(win7,win8 ) cloning/imagebkup for migrating to larger drive/different mac [same cpu family  mind]

the highlights :

  1.  if your selling  your mac (ebay ) and its on a weeks bid for example ,using the usb bootable clone ,you can use it right to the point of selling then pack it up as the internal drive is clean and ready – very handy if its your only machine?
  2. you have a quick way to launch your work ,photos without the need to clean, install ,restore- which in itself can take a whole morning and/or afternoon to complete.
  3. plus you’ll have the clone image anyway as bkup for the times you can waste a day restoring etc

first things you need for this :

  • ccc v3.4.5
    (download carbon copy cloner) is free +donatable and works great to bkup and restore mac os

  • winclone
    (i used v3.3 with its osx lion support for recover hd partition etc)

  • spare external usb drive 
    or internal drive same or bigger size as source to clone to.(i used a 1tb drive to bkup a 500gb osx drive  but you could use a 500gb too on destination machine/bkupext)
  • a couple of hours per bkup max(.rough guideline times for a drive this big :130-2hrs for mac ,1.20 -1.50hrs based on a 500gb originally split in half for bootcamp and osx partitions, restoring  is marginally faster for both and you could see a fully restored laptop osx lion + bootcamp in a mere couple of hours.

 backup image of os’s

Using this method you can get a mac book pro hard rive with mac osx lion + a win7 bootcamp partition  migrated/cloned exactly as it is now to a different mac (like the macbookpro retina edition :)  ) all settings intact minimal time needed.   first things first lets bkup up both partitions , starting with CarbonCopyCloner for the mac partition ,get the trial download going,whilst thats going install and plug in your external drive and lets split that up using your macs built-in disc utility software into two partitions like our original drive has.

  1. the mac osx one should be formatted as  Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  2. the bootcamp(for windows) should in exFat.(both mac and windows can read this)
    almost forgot , dont forget to have a mac bootable partition remember to format with a GUID table (instead of MBR like windows drives) if asked by disk utility

ie.( mainly for sake of organisation and usability right after this process is done – well at least for the mac side of things.,its not a real problem having one big drive as the bootcamp+osx image  bkup it will be a file like any other after all  , but i thought that later on if i had a windows machine only and id like to peek inside the win7 image i could if the drive was formatted in exfat which windows can read (as can osx) and having it like this makes it easy to not get mixed up later.. it’s mirroring the flow of things on both sides which helps sometimes when you’re doing things late at night etc so now using disc utility we’ve made two partitions with the names:

1 macintosh hd (mac extended journaled) [this will be bootable]

2 bootcamp usb (exFat) [this can be a storage place for our images too]

basically your usb drive partitions setup should look something like this 

but the real great reason for splitting the drive up is that once [osx]its backed-up, your external usb drive is now a fully operational mac system ! you can try yourself hold alt at startup(to see the  os launcher screen) whilst usb drive is plugged in and watch as a new icon appears with your cloned mac osx lion! click that and you’ll be able boot into your  mac os via the cloned system on your usb drive ! nicey nice nice.

(don’t worry we can use the bootcamp partition to store an single  cloned image file from CCC of osx lion  as well ,for safe keeping in the cloud like dropbox.)

Each[partition] has enough of the extusb bkup drives 1tb space to fit the 200+ gigs for each os cloned image and lets not forget these cloning apps do a good job of removing the fluff before writing the image out so it won’t necessarily even be as big as it states in win/osx  harddrive info panels( ,e.g.. getting rid of page file.sys or hibernating files etc which could be 10’s of gigs worth)
CCC should have finished downloading lets run this and get started on backing up the mac osx lion(or snow leopard if you’ve not been brave enough to upgrade to cupertinos latest & greatest )

pick your source partition ( macintosh hd for mine) on the left panel and then on the right panel select the mac osx  partition as mac extended (journaled) format you created earlier on your ext USB drive as destination. Theres some settings on destination panel but you can leave them alone on default. They are the safest for bkup drives which may have previous files/system still on them and will only bkup the files needed from the source or missing on the bkup drive & not deleting any on the destination drive files which may not be on the source .make neither.. not to worry as we have a completely empty bkup drive we can select the bkup everything option in the source panel (in the cog settings button) and hit clone.

wait…wait a bit more ..1hr50 mins later mine was done..
As i mentioned earlier, this way of writing direct to the usb drive on a mac formatted partition will give you a portable usb mac os that will boot up right now! ;that you can run if the internal drive ever failed.. but we can make an image of the osx lion too for safe keeping,like so:

in the destination panel instead of selecting the usb drive like previously you choose new disk image as below will show:

you can go ahead and choose the external usb bootcamp_usb partition, it won’t overwrite anything its just a single file (remember this image is a bkup not bootable on its own its good to restore to another volume one day and its easier to send this up to dropbox or a another usb drive for storage etc)

thats osx side done now lets do the bootcamp windows bkup say hello to winclone 3.3

this should be in easier than the last task ,you launch the app( its cost around $19 or £16 ) you get a simple window it should show your bootcamp system drive click image choose the bootcamp_usb on the external usb drive . And go.
it may ask to clean up some files to make the image smaller say yes ( its just gonna be temp hibernation ,swap data etc that we don’t want.)

wait a while like before and you should have been left with a nice big image file in the ext bootcamp_usb drive . now we have this.. you could delete it all format drive reinstall snow leopard and sell it on ebay or buy a bigger drive and migrate it over and its a pretty simple process to if you follow some steps..


I’m doing bkup-delete-restore-rinse & repeat to test now ,whilst i have the time, so that i can guarantee  i won’t lose stuff later down the line when I’m in a rush and no time to get this all up and running- doing this as a test to see if it all worked/will work in the future.

next I’m formatting and reinstalling snow leopard so it would be the same as the day i opened the machine no lion no bootcamp assistant done yet.. i wanted to be able to get  osx lion back on and win7 partitiion restored as quick as possible .

win clone does the neat trick on expanding the image on bootcamp into the exfat formatted bootcamp_usb drive and magically turning it back  into the ntfs drive it ,as it originally when bootcamp assistant set it all up for me first time round.
but before doing that i had to reinstall from the dvd it goes a little something  like this .hit it>

  • make two partitions on external usb drive
  • format 1st as mac & 2nd as fat(for windows/bootcamping)
  • bkup using ccc and winclone
  • once ccc and winclone images are made, reboot system using ALT key to boot up using the mac osx on the usb drive.
  • as im testing i still have the internal drive with system+bootcamp so ill format and clean first in order to restore the image from usb drive..
  • load ccc on this usb drive and run restore bkup of recent up-to-date osx lion image
  • once thats on its all back to normal ;have a working internal mac osx lion drive (i could switch off my usb osx lion now if i wanted &boot up from internal in macbookpro ) now I need to run win clone
  • load winclone image of bootcamp win7  and then pick bootcamp drive(of macbook) above it in the list(if its not listed it probalbly due to wrong format or still in macformat winclone needs a fat formated drive partition for the windows restore.

once done restart ,should have options in alt startup to load which ever you want. complete works as planned ,have the osxlion booting without usb attached and can switch using alt back into bootcamp native windows 7 with all settings games as it were .no installing from scratch , phew…and relax..

There also the time capsule waybut that’s never fully yours to play with + what would happen to the windows bkup? – with ccc /winclone/cloning gives you a full accessible bkup of everything in your system.


I’m writing this on the very mac which has been backed up ,deleted  and repartitioned,restored to osx and to windows7 in the bootcamp partition, all without using bootcamp assistance -which must have shaved off some time for sure?! now the slow dropbox upload of my clones ..zzzz -piklz

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