Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

topic posted Thu, September 20, 2012 - 12:39 AM by  Tarot Readin...
Hi all,

Still using my osx 10.4.11 pre intel, and have very little space left on my hard drive...

So I bought a 2 tb external hd from Western Digital and took it to the mac genius bar and had them durplicate my whole system onto it. They created an image/dmg of my internal drive.

Now can someone explain to me how to create a bootable copy on this external hd? Is that possible?

I also want to get another more inexpensive hd to keep for safe keeping. Any recommendations for ones compatible with my mac?
posted by:
Tarot Readings by Jeannie
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

    Thu, September 20, 2012 - 1:52 AM
    Probably not. Here's what that external drive needs to be bootable:

    The external hd has to have a firewire port
    The external hd has to be formatted with the Apple Partition scheme
    The partition on which the bootable backup resides must be HFS+ format

    Most new drives these days will be formatted either Master Boot Record or GUID schemes, neither of which can be used to boot a PPC Mac. The GUID scheme is the formatting of a harddrive to use when trying to make an Intel Mac bootable backup.

    I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make bootable backups of Macs and it works quite well.
    • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

      Thu, September 20, 2012 - 7:25 AM
      Thank you Timb...and which hd would you recommend? What do you have?
      • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

        Thu, September 20, 2012 - 9:58 PM
        You need one that has a firewire port and cable that is compatible with your Mac and has a bigger hd than what you have in your PowerPC Mac. I don't know what to recommend brand-wise at the moment for what you need. However, if you seem to never have enough USB ports on your current Mac, you might look at getting a NewerTech miniStak drive…it's extra money but it solves two problems at once. And remember, you'll likely have to reformat the entire drive using Disk Utility before you make a clone of your system (so that the external drive can boot a PPC Mac).
  • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

    Thu, September 20, 2012 - 11:01 PM
    Apologies to all of you for the pedantry ~ as this is of general interest to all non-intel peeps, I'm setting this out in tedious length. Skip the bits you know.

    Assuming that your Mac has one or more firewire ports (it should) which are either (FW400) a rectangle shape with one end having the corners removed at degrees or (FW800) rectangular with a hole inside that looks like a B on its side, then you need a firewire hard drive enclosure and hard drive to fit it. Do not go to the Apple store ~ to them firewire is so old, or to the big shed guys, but to your independent computer guy. You could go on line, but your independent guy should have all the bits, if not to sell, at least to show you and he does the ordering. If you get a 2 1/2 inch drive enclosure it should be able to be bus powered, which is great if you have a laptop rather than desk-top ~ I keep all my I-tunes on a fire wire drive like that.

    Once you have all the kit, plug it in and run disk utility. It should see, even if it doesn't mount, the new hard drive. For the sake of argument I'll assume you've got a 250 gig drive. Partition it into chunks roughly the size of your existing internal drive. The format everything as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then download the very good (guilt ware) Carbon Copy Cloner and make one of your partitions a bootable clone of your internal drive, but take the opportunity, with CCC, of trimming your stuff down. CCC will tell you what is essential in the software line. The data, pictures etc. can be shifted to another partition on the firewire drive. It doesn't need to be on your bootable clone. iPhoto is a challenge ~ that's why I don't use it. There is quite a bit on here and elsewhere about backing up iPhoto etc.

    Hoping that is helpful
    • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

      Sun, September 23, 2012 - 8:31 AM
      I appreciate your responses.

      I'm leaning towards a hd made by OWC with 400 firewire and wall plug.
      • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

        Wed, September 26, 2012 - 9:37 AM
        Tarot, that drive would be fine. Remember a backup is a secondary copy of something. Meaning that you have TWO copies of everything. If one drive fails you still have the backup.

        If you are hoping to make a backup of your drive so that you can then delete files from your computer, that is a dangerous game. What happens if that secondary drive fails? Everything that you only have on that drive will be lost.

        So I make a distinction: there is Backup (at least a secondary copy of something) and then there is Storage ( a place to offload data that you don't want on your main computer's hard drive.

        You have to backup your Storage, so that there are two copies of everything.

        Fortunately, you can do this relatively easily since you are going to buy a second external hard drive anyway.

        So make the WD drive be your Storage drive. In fact I would actually rename it that.

        Then make sure your new Firewire drive is big enough to contain your computer's hard drive and your Storage drive.

        You can then offload the data you don't want on your computer to Storage, and then back both the computer and Storage drive to the Firewire Backup drive.

        You should be able to do this using Carbon Copy Cloner and having both drives plugged in. Carbon Copy Cloner will make a bootable drive and should also backup external drives as well. I haven't done that so I am not sure.

        On a side note and not related to Tarot's issues:

        Timbo - It's not accurate to say that the external drive has to be Firewire. In this case yes, but late model PowerPCs do boot from USB and all Intel macs do. You might not have wanted to confuse the issue and may already know that.
        • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

          Wed, September 26, 2012 - 10:14 PM
          Pink, I didn't want to get into a discussion of USB and OpenFirmware on PowerPC Macs, etc. Further, since Target Disk mode in PowerPC Macs only support Firewire, it increases the chances substantially that the user will have the correct cable(s) handy to use a Target Disk mode for recovery/repair/cloning while mounted on another Mac.
        • Re: Backing up internal hd onto external hd...?

          Fri, October 5, 2012 - 11:33 PM
          Thank you...I haven't put all of this into motion yet because I haven't rec. the 2nd hd...

          What I have done is gotten my internal hd image placed on the WD external drive by the apple store.

          So, it's not bootable right?

          That's where the carbon copy step comes in....should I create a partition on the drive for that step?

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