Once the backup process is complete, you can rename the destination disk. You now have an exact replica of your startup disk. If you intended to create a bootable replica, this is a good time to ensure that it will function as a startup disk. In order to confirm that your backup will actually work as a startup disk, you'll need to restart your Mac and verify that it can boot from the backup. The easiest way to do this is to use the Mac's Boot Manager to select the backup as the startup disk.
We will use Boot Manager, which runs optionally during the startup process, instead of the Startup Disk option in System Preferences, because the choice you make using Boot Manager only applies to that particular startup. The next time you start or restart your Mac, it will use your default startup disk. Once the desktop appears, you know that your backup is usable as a startup disk.
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You can restart your computer to return to your original startup disk. If the new backup isn't bootable, your Mac will stall during the startup process, then after a delay, automatically restart using your original startup disk. Your backup may not be bootable because of the type of connection FireWire or USB an external drive uses; see the first page of this guide for more information. Share Pin Email.
Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About.
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He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Updated February 18, An internal or external hard drive that's large enough to store the data on your current startup disk. A drive that doesn't contain any data you wish to keep.
How much space do I need for a backup?
The method we will use will erase the destination drive during the backup process. Some early USB 3 external drive enclosures did not always work as bootable sources. Be sure and check that you can boot from your external device. An easy way to make sure is to create a bootable backup of an OS X installer , and then try booting from your external. Thunderbolt external storage works fine as a startup drive for any Mac that includes a Thunderbolt port.
Here is how to back up your Mac:
Select the destination drive from the device list in Disk Utility. Select the 'First Aid' tab in Disk Utility. Click the 'Verify Disk' button.
If Disk Utility lists any errors, you will need to repair the disk before proceeding. Click the 'Repair Disk' button. Select the startup disk from the device list in Disk Utility. Click the 'Repair Disk Permissions' button. Select the Restore tab. Click and drag the startup disk to the Source field.
What You Need To Know About the Mac Disk Utility
Select Erase Destination. Click the Restore button. Close all applications , including Disk Utility. While Time Machine is a great way to backup your Mac , sometimes it can be very useful to create a disk image of your Mac OS X hard drive to store on an external drive. Creating a backup disk image with Disk Utility allows you to take an exact snapshot of your present hard drive, and then restore it to the new drive once it is fitted.
All You Need to Know to use Disk Utility on your Mac
First, ensure you have a external USB 2. Go to Applications , then Utilities and double-click on Disk Utility. The application will open, presenting you with this interface:. Click on File in the toolbar, then select New then Disk Image from [your hard drive]:.
Back Up Your Startup Disk Using Disk Utility
Name your Mac backup and then select your external drive as the destination in the Where drop-down menu:. Click Save to begin the process of creating the disk image on your external hard drive. Disk Utility may require some considerable time to create the backup of your Mac depending on how much stored data your internal drive holds. Disk Utility will notify you when the process is finished.
Founder of Switching to Mac and managing editor. He began blogging in and quit his job in to blog full-time.