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Aargl Aargl is offline
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Default Backup & Restore a working system - 12-25-2011, 08:07 PM

There are a lot of people asking for the best way to backup, once you have a working system running: there's no need to use other softwares, Disk Utility does the job perfectly and fast if you know how to do it.
Everytime you're trying something, it's a lot faster to recover from a disk image than reinstall everything! ;-)
So, while making my experiments, I made disk images at each stage of the process (bare 10.6.0, updated 10.6.7, updated 10.6.7 with my newly installed apps, and so on).

Of course, to do this, you need to boot from another disk or from the DVD (but then you also need an external disk to put your images on it (so I'll cover the case where you also have a working system on your external drive).
N.B.: for the DVD way, you can find inspiration in the various guides available to install things from scratch, the process is the same.

1) advice: partition your external drive with 2 partitions so if you clone your internal drive on it you put your images on the other partition; it's also useful if that system gets screwed and you have to reinstall it using an image

2) now, you're supposed to have started from the external drive: launch Disk Utility

3) TO BACKUP: on the left side, click on the partition you want to back-up (say itís called MYOSX); Menu File > New > Disk Image of MYOSX (if the menu bar is visible, you just have to click on the New Image icon); choose where you want to save it, let it work

4) TO RESTORE: on the left side, click on any partition to make the various tabs appear (if youíve already done something in Disk Utility the tabs stay visible); click the Restore tab; drag the disk image on the Source field; drag the partition where you want to install it on the Destination field; tick the Erase Destination box, click*the Restore button and then click Erase (it will make controls the first time an image is used)

N.B.: instead of whatís writen on the guide I followed for my basic installation itís not taking long if youíve ticked the Erase destination box; in fact itís a lot longer if you donít tick it (a few hours instead of 7 or 8 minutes for a typical OSX), due to the fact that it copies files and folders instead of blocks

5) if youíve restored on a disk that has never been booted before, you have to run NetbookInstaller (I know use NetbookInstaller 20100616212351), BUT with all options unticked!!! (this is very important, you only have to choose the name of your restored OSX partition and run it ó I wasnít doing it at first and was about to give up when one morning I awoke in a Eureka! style... :-D)

6) you now may startup from your restored disk

---------- Post added at 09:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 PM ----------

Here's the guide I followed for my basic install, that you can follow for your first backup from DVD, the principle remains the same.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.2 on Dell Mini 9 Guide
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