Clone a Mac disk

Posted on 2012-09-12
Last Modified: 2012-09-18

A Client is having problems with their MacBook pro, it wont boot and is displaying error disk0s2: I/0 error.

They have taken it to a apple store and because it still under warranty however they have said that they will not do any data recovery and they cannot have the old disk back.  

The client requires some of the data on the disk so we will look the recover the data before it goes to apple.  

Before we do any work on the disk I would like to clone it then try to recover the data from the cloned drive.  As it is a MAC do you need to use any special software for cloneing the disk.  For a PC drive I use DriveImage XML.

Also will it be okay to run the clone on a PC or would it be better to run a clone on a Mac.

Thank you
Question by:afflik1923
    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    I'd suggest using CloneZilla or DD to clone/backup the HD which are included on the PartedMagic LiveCD. After you have the cloned disk you could attach it to the repaired MAC via a USB bridge to access the data.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I have used Carbon Copy Cloner from

    Easy to use. Not free unfortunately!
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I would definitely run the clone on the mac (so you can quickly mount and test the target volume to see if it's usable - I'm assuming that the volume is HFS+) and use CCC as suggested above in the first instance. If you can read the data after CCC has cloned it you can stop there. If that fails, I would then use dd to try and make a bit level copy of the partition but if the hardware is crapping out, you're on pretty shaky ground. If these two fail you're looking at an expensive data recovery service.
    LVL 53

    Expert Comment

    If CCC won't clone and the drive still spins, the you can probably recover the data using DataRescue III:

    You can get free demo from the link above which will let you make a list of recoverable files and let you recover one file as a demo. For the rest of the files, you have to purchase the software.

    Author Closing Comment

    We used clonezilla.  Had a few problems but got the information we needed off the disk.


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