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Copying SL system to an external HDD

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I want to save my Snow Leopard system to an external hard drive before downloading Lion. I have some apps that require PoserPC so I don't want to lose SL.

I would have liked to use SuperDuper as it can make a disk bootable; however, it does not have a script to back up and make bootable just the system. The scripts are for backing up user files or all files, neither of which are want I want.

I thought of using All Files and then deleting what I don't want on it; however, the external HD is not large enough to accommodate all files,

Frustration.

Does anyone have a solution to my problem. If I just copy the system files, would it be bootable? I doubt it.

How are you keeping SL OS along with Lion?
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post #2 of 9
Why not just partition your internal drive?

CarbonCopyCloner should do what you want otherwise, I think.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why not just partition your internal drive?

CarbonCopyCloner should do what you want otherwise, I think.

Is partitioning possible without losing everything on the disk? I got Snow Leopard from the library of the college where I teach. I don't have the disks to reinstall if I screw up what i have.

I have looked through my PowerPC apps and the only one I am keen to save and use under SL is Quicken. All of my financial info is in Quicken 2006. I don't want to buy SL just for that one app.

Edit: Eventually, I'll find another banking app that I like and can use, but I don't know if that new one will allow me to transfer all of my past into into it. I may have to keep Quicken if I can't
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

Is partitioning possible without losing everything on the disk?

Yep! You have to hit the plus to create a second partition. Or something.

Disk Utility is really stupid about it. Basically, if it lets you create a new partition while you're booted into the OS on the drive you're actually partitioning, you did it right. It won't let you erase everything on the drive while you're using the OS on it.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yep! You have to hit the plus to create a second partition. Or something.

Disk Utility is really stupid about it. Basically, if it lets you create a new partition while you're booted into the OS on the drive you're actually partitioning, you did it right. It won't let you erase everything on the drive while you're using the OS on it.

I've tried but it still says "To erase and partition the selected disk".

I can't find an answer by googling, either. The answers are not clear as to whether files in the old partition will be erased or not. Even iPartition isn't really clear IF I were to buy it.

I am just not tech savvy enough to understand the esoteric language that I find online. I need it spelled out for me.

If the old partition is erased, Is it possible to 'copy', 'drag and drop' or ???? the system files from another back up or the internal HDD to a new partition in the external HDD so that they are bootable. I still haven't found a clear cut answer.

i.e., One site says to grab the bottom of the partition (in Disk Utility) and lift it to create a smaller disk partition and then use the remainder to create a second partition. NO. That just reduces the overall size of the old partition and gives no indication of how to form a second partition in the blank grayed out remaining space It still comes up with "To erase and partition" etc.

As usual, Mac 'Help' is no help. It gives umpteen answers that have no bearing on the question asked, but nothing, nada, nil on the question asked.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post

I am just not tech savvy enough to understand the esoteric language that I find online. I need it spelled out for me.

Sure thing.

Hop on into Disk Utility and find the drive you want.

Hit the partition tab.

Here's the kicker. You have to hit the plus. You can't do it any other way.



Then resize them to what you want and hit Apply.



The kicker is that very last sentence. You know you've done it right when it says, "No partitions will be erased."
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Tallest skill,

Your directions were clear and easy to follow; however, this is what happened and the error message i got.:

\tPartition failed with the error.

\tCould not modify partition map because filesystem verification failed.


After verifying and doing a Repair Disk, I tried again. It went through all the procedures, verified the new partition, drew a transparent curtain over the desktop, and requested that the computer be turned off and then on again.

Upon turning the computer back on, I found that the HDD was still not partitioned.

Went through the same procedure. Partition verified, Computer off and then on again. NO new partition. Error message as above.

I think I'm jinxed. Thanks anyway.
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Why not just partition your internal drive?

CarbonCopyCloner should do what you want otherwise, I think.

Why doesn't CCC say that the destination volume will be bootable?

I have emailed Mike at CCC about making a CCC clone bootable, but in three attempts, I received no straight answer. This info from CCC 3.4 may clear up why Mike refused to offer a straight answer.

(Does anyone have this same situation? What do you plan to do about maintaining Snow Leopard when you switch to Lion?)

CCC 3.3.7 would make an affirmative statement that "This volume will be bootable" (or not) after you had selected a source and destination volume. CCC 3.4 no longer makes that affirmative statement about bootability. Rather, CCC indicates in the "What is going to happen" description of your task that "If you are backing up an installation of Mac OS X, CCC will make every effort to make the destination volume bootable."

Unfortunately, there are hardware matters beyond CCC's detection and control that influence bootability, and this can lead to a lot of frustration. Western Digital, for example, has a line of hard drive enclosures that can't boot a Mac. Everything about the device appears, from CCC's perspective, perfectly fine. CCC performs perfectly in copying a fully operational OS to that disk, blesses the system, rebuilds cache files -- everything that is required to make the OS installation bootable. It doesn't work though, because those enclosures are not capable of booting a Mac. There are plenty of other hardware-related issues that interfere with the booting of Mac OS X, so I decided that it was inappropriate to make that statement.

That's not to say that CCC says nothing about bootability, though. If there is something about your configuration that would negatively affect bootability, CCC will let you know. When there are configuration concerns, CCC places a yellow caution icon next to the "Customize these settings" button. You can click on that icon to view the concerns, and CCC will also present these to you when you click the Clone button. If you don't see any concerns, and the destination volume has an OS on it when the backup task is completed, and barring any hardware problems that might interfere, your backup volume *should* be bootable.
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post #9 of 9
CAUTION: This information will completely erase your external drive!

This is the procedure I followed when running Lion in Beta so that I had a working copy of my drive on an external Firewire unit.

When using CCC I prepare the hard drive in Disk utility first.
Choose your external drive
Select partition

Under partition layout change it from current to 1 partition
Then click the options button (under the partition map)
Toggle GUID Partition Map and click ok.

Now Apply the changes. The drive will be wiped and setup with a single bootable file table.

Now run CCC and clone your OS drive to the external drive.

To test, goto settings, choose startup disk. You should see the external drive listed as a valid startup device, choose it and restart. The Mac should now load up from the external drive.

Once you are satisfied that the drive is OK, you can happily upgrade to Lion.
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