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How To Clone Mac Encrypted Hard Drive?

Posted In OS X - By Techtiplib on Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 With No Comments »

Backups are an essential part in order to secure the crucial digital information. No matter, which operating system you are using, it is always advisable to take regular backup, as there could be various situations arise when you might need these backups. Whenever it comes to take backup along with all the setting and structure then the most recommended backup form bootable backup. Basically, a clone is the complete & identical copy of your startup volume, which can be stored on any external drive in a bootable format. If you are using a Mac machine then creating a bootable clone of your Mac drive would be an easy task, as you will get inbuilt cloning app combined with Disk Utility.

Clone Mac

In case your Mac drive is encrypted with FileVault then it will not let you to make any changes with created partitions. In order to resize the partition of Mac drive, you need to turn off FileVault and decrypt the drive. In case your Mac drive doesn’t need any changes while cloning then there is no need to decrypt the encrypted Mac drive, you can clone it like a normal drive after unlocking it using your password.

Let’s discuss the steps to create bootable clone of an encrypted Mac drive:

  1. Connect the new drive to the system where you want to store clone copy
  2. Open Disk Utility and choose the original or main HDD from the drive list
  3. Select the partition tab and resize your Mac Partition according to the size of the drive where you want to store the clone. Make sure, the size of the clone is equal or lesser than the size of destination drive. For example, if the original drive size is 1 TB, and your destination drive is 512GB, then you will need to resize your original partition to 512GB, which can be done by simple drag and drop.

Note: If the destination drive is of same size or larger than the original drive and you do not need to perform any resizing process then skip this step. In case of Encrypted drive, first you need to disable FileVault and let the drive decrypt, then only you will be able to resize the Mac drive partitions.

  1. In the next step, shut down Mac system, and boot the recovery partition or OS installation CD.
  2. Hold the option key while booting to access the boot manager and choose ‘Recovery-10.x’ or installation CD
  3. Now, select language and go to Disk Utility
  4. Select the startup disk form the available device list in Disk Utility and click on Restore tab
  5. Now, drag the startup disk volume and drop to the source field.
  6. Choose ‘Erase Destination’ check box if required and select the Restore button

Note: When you have multiple partitions, always select the individual partitions instead of the complete drive. Additionally, in case of encrypted drive, do not forget to turn FileVault again after successful cloning of your Mac drive into the new external drive.

Steps to Check the newly created Clone:

  1. Reboot the Mac system
  2. Connect the external Hard Drive and hold the “Options” key while boot-up and select the Clone.

Note: When you want to restore some specific files or folders from the clone, you could always access them from “Finder”, like accessing any external Hard Drive. However, in case of Hard Drive failure or corruption, you just need to reverse the above explained process and restore the Clone to a new Hard Drive.

  1. Go to boot manager and select the cloned disk
  2. Your system will boot normally, in case of successful cloning process
  3. But if the system is doesn’t start as the cloning unsuccessful, then you can simply reboot your computer normally from your original drive.

Things you should keep in mind while initiating Cloning:

  • There is always a need of identical partition structure on both the source and destination Hard Drive for cloning. Therefore, first you need to create identical partitions on the targeted drive (in case of multiple partitions) then only you can easily clone each partition/volume using above described method.
  • Except OS partition, you can clone all other partitions while logged into the system.
  • You can’t clone your Boot Camp partition using this method.

Although, Disk utility should always be your priority to create Clone, but there are also dozens of third-party cloning tools available that will not only clone your drive, but also avail you many more options to customize it, which you will not be provided by disk utility. As these professional cloning tools have dedicated module to clone a Mac encrypted hard drive and provide simple and interactive interface along with various additional features like scheduling clone that make them a good choice to create or maintain these bootable clones.

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