You would have wished for a ready-to-use backup copy in hand, on an account of a dead Mac OS X. Causes of OS X death could be countless including the logic-board failure, overheating, hard drive failure & grave logical corruptions. Like a human body, computers too will fall ill, hospitalized and treated for medication and & may eventually dies. Unlike a human body, computers can be backed up timely to reuse the information on other machines. All we need is to keep timely backups by our side, in fact backups should be ready to use. External hard drive these days are much of a help & can be used in 3 manners -
- Simple Copy & Paste data to/from hard drive
- Time Machine
- Clone Copy
The first method is a lay practice followed widely by most users but is inefficient in many cases. Only a part of hard drive minus the other volumes & system information is kept on the external hard drive. The moment Mac system crashes the user could only access the external hard drive backup files after a fresh installation of Mac OS X. Isn't tiresome job? Also, the user had to be active in copying the necessary file on daily basis so that most updated information is backed up.
The lay practice is soon overcome by the use of Time-Machine & Time-Capsule which does the job on keeping the updated files without intervention of user on regular basis. To do this few time-machine settings are required or make your external hard drive a time capsule for your Mac which takes incremental backup. Upon a Mac crash, Time Capsule will make available all the necessary files updated to the most recent date. Although, the user have to fresh install a Mac again to access the capsule.
Clone, on the other hand is a supplementary technique that ensures both back-up of the Mac hard drive as well as available source of booting a Mac that crashed. Clone is combination for backup & system restore. A dead OS X Mac can be brought to life within minutes if there exists a ready-to-use clone copy of your hard drive.
Clone with Disk utility
- Keep the Mac installation disk ready to start your Mac. Insert the disk into the DVD slot & press C.
- Now, need to select the language which is 'English' in our case. This will navigates you to open disk utility through Menu<Utilities.
- View Restore tab in Disk Utility, mention source drive which is nothing but the Macintosh HD & destination drives which is an external hard drive.
- Finally, press the mouse click on Restore tab.
This is an absolute free method to clone your boot drive/entire Mac hard drives. What if no installation disk is available with the user which is a most common case? You might not be able to clone your HD in this way & may hunt out for a clone utility.
Clone with other utility (Stellar Drive Clone)
- Connect external hard drive to Mac & launch any of the both application.
- Navigate to the clone window where you can easily select & view source/destination drives. Once the hard drives are defined hit the 'CLONE' button to execute the process.
- If your purpose is to extract data from a bad hard drive (bad sectors) then chose Image over clone, which will image a hard drive with good sectors only.
- Else, navigate to tools to create a boot DVD & Minimal system disk that restores Mac back to life.
Cloned copy can be used for other machines of same OS X version & even rules out different Mac models. However, Time Machine backups are not bootable; still they hold multiple variants of your files which a clone does not hold. Choice is yours whether to clone a hard drive or use it as time-capsule. Good for those who have many disks available & are backup concerned can implement one hard drive for TM & another for clone.