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Easy Way to make a Bootable Clone of your macOS System Drive

trs96

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Easy Way to make a Bootable Clone of your macOS System Drive

9/2019 Update: See https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/easy-way-to-make-a-bootable-clone-of-your-macos-system-drive.254705/page-4#post-2004715 for a new way to create a bootable clone for free with the Acronis Trial.​

  • 3/2019 Update: This doesn't seem to be working on Mojave APFS formatted drives. The original testing was performed on HFS + drives with High Sierra and that did work normally. For Mojave APFS drives use the paid 2019 or 2020 version to clone your macOS drive from right on your desktop or from the rescue USB.
Advantages of using Acronis True Image instead of Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or Terminal

1.
You won't have to manually copy the contents of your EFI partition or even run a script to do that.
2. Use of the Terminal is not required either. Just a a simple GUI interface in A.T.I. that is easy to navigate.
3. Since you'll be booting from an external USB or DVD your macOS system drive will be in a static state.

If you want to try out Acronis 2019 they offer a one month trial version. Make a backup from right within macOS.
https://www.acronis.com/en-us/lp/personal/time-machine-backup/
Cloning option requires paid version.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not try this cloning technique on a mixed macOS/Windows 7/8/10 dual boot drive
when both operating systems are on the same drive. It could cause issues. Clone only one OS at a time.

OS and File System Compatibility

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Overview of the Process
1. Download a Win10PE SE ISO and copy the contents of the ISO to a clean MBR/FAT32 formatted USB flash drive.
a. You'll need a 4GB or larger USB flash drive. Either a USB 2 or a USB 3 drive should work.​
b. Open the Win10 PE ISO image in Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 then copy the contents to your flash drive. Here's what you'll see after you've mounted and opened the ISO file.​
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If you only have access to Windows 7 then use http://wincdemu.sysprogs.org
Three ways to Mount an ISO in Windows
  1. Double-click an ISO file to mount it.
  2. Select the file in File Explorer and and click the “Mount” button under the “Disk Image Tools” tab on the ribbon.
  3. Right-click an ISO file and select the “Mount” option
c. Secure Boot should already be disabled in your UEFI. If not, do that now before attempting to boot this drive.​
d. I'd suggest you dis-connect the sata data cable to all other drives installed in your build before you make the clone, to avoid any mistakes on your part.
2. Boot UEFI from the USB drive on your CustoMac to load up Win10PE SE. (It runs in ram, so be patient as it loads)
a. If you have a 5 or 6 series motherboard and are unable to boot UEFI then you'll need to burn the ISO.​
b. Use a flash drive or DVD and burn it in Windows or in an older version of macOS that allows disk burning.​
3. Open up Acronis True Image 2017 on the desktop and clone your macOS system drive to the destination/clone drive.

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4. Disconnect all drives, except the clone. Test out the Clone drive by attempting to boot from it and run macOS.

5. Keep your backup clone drive in a safe place if anything (like an update) should mess up your macOS boot drive.
Believe me, at some point it will, and you'll be glad you made a bootable clone first.​
Comments
I have tested this out on a High Sierra APFS SSD drive and it worked perfectly. No need to copy your EFI folder from your source drive or run a script to do that automatically. Your Bootable Win10PE SE rescue drive can also be used on your Windows drives to recover data and fix problems among many other things. Obviously, this is a great tool to use for cloning Windows too. It is the easiest to use all in one backup and recovery solution if you dual boot macOS and Windows. See the following article for a discussion of the differences between cloning a drive and imaging a drive. Disk Imaging vs. Disk Cloning

Where to get the pre-built Win10PE SE ISO**

https://www.tenforums.com/software-apps/27180-windows-10-recovery-tools-bootable-rescue-disk.html

This was created by Kyhi and is based on the Win10PE SE project at TheOven.org

There are 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Its best to use the 64 bit (x64) version via the download section on tenforums.com if you have a UEFI capable system. If you have an older legacy only system and < 5GB of ram try the 32 bit (x86) version of the ISO image.

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I prefer to clone my macOS system drive when booted from a USB instead of when I am booted into my macOS system drive. Acronis is an all in one solution for Windows and Mac dual boot systems and is incredibly easy to use. It's free to give it a try.

If you do want to use the paid version, do not buy the Mac version. It doesn't allow you to clone your system drive, it only allows you to make backups. Buy the Windows version, create a bootable USB drive and you can do the same as has been shown above. The paid Windows version is $49 for a lifetime license. I have not tested the paid version so if you give it a try post below about how it has worked for you. I'm assuming that it will work the same for macOS cloning as the trial version does.

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Acronis True Image for Macs Only
The Mac Edition of Acronis True Image is an application that you run when booted into macOS. It will not allow you to make a bootable clone of your CustoMac system drive, only backups. You can do the same things the Mac Edition does with Time Machine or free online backup services. Get the Win/Mac version that you can boot from USB if you need a bootable clone.

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Learn more about WinPE here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/winpe-intro

If you'd like to build your own WindowsPE SE drive and add all the Windows apps that are useful to you then go to:
http://win10se.cwcodes.net/

Click on the Packages tab in the dropdown menu.

Then you will see the following page:

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trs96

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Easy Way to make a Bootable Clone

EDIT 8-22-18


One community member has said that the 2018 Trial version of ATI doesn't let you clone your drive.
I'll have to do some more research into this. For now, just use Kyhi's Win10 PE USB instead. If you
dual boot with Windows it's still a great idea to have a Hiren's Boot USB handy if you ever need it.

UPDATE 7-5-18
A new version of Hiren's BootCD PE has just been released about two weeks ago. One day after I had written post #1 of this thread. You can use it exactly the same way as the above Win10PE SE ISO.

Link to Hiren's Boot CD : https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

You can also burn this to a DVD or make a USB from the directions on the Hiren's BootCD website.

ISO2USB Portable Tool: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/usb-booting/

It's a version of Windows 10 Enterprise with all the stuff you don't like about Windows removed (Win10 Start Screen Tiles) and it has just what you want. Includes the updated version of Acronis True Image, the 2018 version.


Highly recommended !

Here's the path to get to Acronis 2018 when you're booted into Hiren's :

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You also have the option to use the Lazesoft cloning software if you can't get Acronis 2018 to work for you.

Hiren's has a large number of very useful free tools for Windows that can help you find product keys, scan for malware and manage and repair your hard drive partitions. If you use Windows at all you should have this on a USB or DVD.

If you want the very simplest clone method of all, buy Acronis 2019 and you can make your clone from right within macOS.
Click here to see the video and learn more about features of ATI 2019. It costs less than the paid version of CCC.

Here's the USB adapter cable I used to connect the PNY "clone" drive to the CustoMac. Good idea to buy one of these. Very handy.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJZJI84/?tag=tonymacx86com-20
 
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trs96

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How to get Acronis True Image 2018 at a discounted price. Sign up for the free trial with your email address. Wait about two weeks and they'll offer you a lower price. I'll see how low it goes to a few weeks from today. Amazon.com usually sells it for 36USD plus tax. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074WL2PLP/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Some sellers are selling it for 30 dollars and free shipping. A very good deal. The paid version of CCC is $39.99 on the Bombich software site.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Acronis or Bombich software. I'm providing this info so you have choices for your cloning software needs.
 

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trs96

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Here's a current deal from Newegg on Acronis T.I. Backup 2018
If you are signed up for Newegg email deals you can use the promo code and get a real low price on Acronis.

Screen Shot 8.jpg
 

trs96

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I have Acronis 2017 already. I just didn't realize it could work with Mac partitions and files system.
Me too. Until I saw that a system drive clone of macOS will work when you boot from a Win10 PE USB with Acronis on it I had no idea you could use it. Have you tried using it to back up or clone your macOS drive yet ?



Remember that Acronis 2017 or 18 backup only runs on Windows and not on macOS. That's why it's required to make the WinPE drive to boot from. Acronis has done this because many businesses and homes have Macs and Windows PCs on the same network.
 
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Hi @trs96, just to make sure I understand everything.

I need a USB thumb drive with WindowsPE on it, to make the clone.

But the clone will be in another external hard drive. And this one needs to be as big as my boot drive (of MacOS), can I choose boot drive only to clone, if I have other storage (say, a 2nd SSD)?

And what can you do with the clone:
- Install, try out the new updates of MacOS on the bootable clone?
- Restore back to the original boot drive? I would think this is not ideal, unless you make the clone right before you mess up your boot drive a.k.a update MacOS.
 

trs96

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If you download Hiren's and make your bootable USB drive with it, everything will become clear to you. Here's where you select the drive you want to copy to in Acronis True Image. I used a 240GB SSD connected to a USB 3.0 port. Disk 1 is the boot drive. (HP M700) The GUI in Acronis makes it literally fool proof. It's clear you would never clone your system drive to itself. If your boot drive would fail that's of no use. It would also affect the booting process in a negative way. I'd suggest you dis-connect the sata cable to all other drives installed in your build before you make the clone, to avoid any mistakes on your part.



Here's the USB adapter cable I used to connect the PNY "clone" drive to the CustoMac. Good idea to buy one of these.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJZJI84/?tag=tonymacx86com-20
 

trs96

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Acronis True Image -- Backup
On sale at Newegg.com for $9.99
This price of $9.99 is after an email promo code and rebate. It is worth it if you also use Windows and want Acronis running on the desktop full time making scheduled backups. It also allows you to make a WinPE drive with just Acronis on it to use for backups, cloning and recovery after a HDD or SSD failure. This is macOS High Sierra and APFS friendly as stated previously.
Screen Shot 20.jpg

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832200139&ignorebbr=1

Make sure you're signed up for Newegg email deals to get the promo code to apply for an extra 10 dollars off.
Acronis states you should get your rebate check within 6-8 weeks.
Rebate offer expires if the rebate check is not cashed within 90 days of the check date.

Acronis 2018 works for macOS Yosemite through High Sierra and Windows 7 through Windows 10.
 
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I just tried this using the version of ATI that I owned (2016 version) and it worked! Both the main and the EFI partitions were cloned. I like it.

As a side note, I downloaded the Hiren's version and made a bootable thumb drive but the version on the Hiren's would not let me complete the clone - saying that that feature was not available with that ATI version installed....
 
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