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Old 12-22-2008, 09:51 AM
Steve Kir Steve Kir is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3
Really odd cloning experiences

I am trying the unregistered version of SuperDuper! and have just made my first clone using the instructions in the pdf entitled "Backing Up Your Macintosh for the First Time" ("Backup all files", "Erase Backup, then copy files from Macintosh HD", "Do nothing").

All seemed to be going OK but there are several peculiarities:

Peculiarity 1: When SD had finished via its message, my external HD's activity light continued to blink, so indicating continuing activity when there ought to be none. This seems to continue indefinately. I ejected the Ext. HD (but the first time it objected to the clone partition being ejected) then remounted the drive

I opened the clone and all files seemed to be there.

I then rebooted my Mac with OPTION held down. At first the new clone did not appear but after again going round the search for bootable discs (by me presasing the left hand button) it appeared. I selected it and it seemd to boot OK.

Peculiarity 2: The new disk should have appeared on the desktop at the very top right corner, but that position was occupied by the icon for the internal hard drive which is always set as the startup drive. The new clone appeared merely as a generic HD icon elsewhere on the desktop. When opened, both the drive situated at the top right corner and the clone drive showed identical files. When I used to use Carbon Copy Cloner (for years) the clone appeared in the top right corner and the internal appeared elsewhere on the desktop merely as another HD.

Peculiarity 3: Furthermore, I found that the Mac had appeared to have booted on the internal HD, not on the selected clone, because I tried to eject the HD at the top right corner and was refused ("Disc in use...", obviously), but I was able to eject the clone which I should not have been able to do if it was the boot volume.

Peculiarity 4: On the other hand, I created a test document in TextEdit (launched in the usual way from the Dock, and I expected it to launch from the boot drive). When saving it I examined the offered file path and at the head of the path was indeed the clone!! And when it was saved, it appearted in the clone but was not on the drive in the top right corner. This seemed to confirm that the machine was booted on the clone.

Also, when launching DiskUtility (11.1) and selecting the drive containing the two partitions, the partition used for the SD clone is listed as the boot volume.

I am totally confused. Making many clones for the last 4 years using Carbon Copy Cloner under OS 10.3.9, and more recently under OS 10.5.4, everything went as expected. Now for some reason the evidence on the desktop is contradictory and confusing, and prevents me having any security that I have a bootable version of my OS in case of a failure.

What on earth is going on please?


Q1: if my machine has indeed booted on the clone in the partition, how come I can eject that partition when it is running?

Q2: how come the internal drive sits at the top right corner, the place always reserved for the boot drive, and why am I not allowd to eject it?

Q3: Why does that internal drive not appear as usual somewhere on the desktop and is ejectable as usual?

Q4: Do I have a reliable bootable clone from all the above conclusion?


Dnaian said:

"Finally, since some release of 10.4 after 10.4.0, probably right around the time Boot Camp came out, Disk Utility started being able to format a partition as HFS+, even though the underlying partition scheme is Master Boot Record (Windows)."

"Macs cannot start up from volumes that are partitioned with Master Boot Record, regardless of chip. So, make sure your external drives are partitioned with APM (if you want them to work with both Intel and Power PC Macs) or GUID (if you're only working with Intel).

Q4: What is APM please? Version Tracker lists it as a Qualifications Certificate! Is it a utility that will partition drives that SD will boot from without the peculiarities mentioned above, and where can I get it?

FACTS: OS 10.5.4 (until this Summer OS 10.3.9). G5/2 MHz, June 2004. 1 GB RAM. Lacie 500 GB external Firewire 800 drive, 2 partitions made by Disk Utility 11.1 (supplied by OS 10.54) Mac OS Extended (Journalled). The clone partition amply big enough for the cloning. SuperDuper 2.5 (v 84) downloaded today.

Thanks. (Sorry for the long post.)
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