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Mac Thread, Mac OS X Creating image of boot drive in Technical; New to Macs, so still on the learning curve. I have a very nice Mac Pro here, which is configured ...
  1. #1
    theeldergeek
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    Mac OS X Creating image of boot drive

    New to Macs, so still on the learning curve.

    I have a very nice Mac Pro here, which is configured exactly as I like it! I'd like to back this up to a second installed hard drive, so if the Mac ever goes 'blurgh', I can restore it to its former glory.

    On the Windows side of things, I use Acronis True Image. This allows me to create an image of my C drive which can be restored by booting into an Acronis loader.

    I'd like to be able to do something similar with the Mac.

    I have 3 drives in this machine, 2 of which are in a RAID1 arrangement, and it is to there I would save the image.

    If I try and use disk utility to create the image, it halts, informing me the drive I am trying to image is in use.

    I do not want to clone the drive per se, and for this reason, I'm not using
    Carbon Copy Cloner, as this will overwrite data on the destination drive.

    Obviously seeking advice on how I can make an image of my main drive so that in the event of failure I can boot into 'something' and restore from an image.

    Any ideas please?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I o are running Leopard and have Time Machine running to an external drive then to rebuild your machine you only need to do a basic build from your Leopard CD and then when it gives you the option to transfer settings from another machine it now gives you the choice of restore from Time Machine. It takes the lastest backup you made.

    This saved me a few weeks ago when my MacBookPro had a logicboard problem and the drive was reimaged (by agreement) by the ASE at the local Apple Store.

    Pretty smooth and have had no problems since.

  3. #3
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I o are running Leopard and have Time Machine running to an external drive then to rebuild your machine you only need to do a basic build from your Leopard CD and then when it gives you the option to transfer settings from another machine it now gives you the choice of restore from Time Machine. It takes the lastest backup you made.

    This saved me a few weeks ago when my MacBookPro had a logicboard problem and the drive was reimaged (by agreement) by the ASE at the local Apple Store.

    Pretty smooth and have had no problems since.
    I figured Time Machine would come into play somewhere, but I was hoping for a full image solution. I do the same with my Windows machines - build 'em and then create an image so I can restore to exactly how I want in one easy motion without any need for further configuration.

    Sounds like Time Machine will do the job though. I've got it backing up to the RAID at the moment, presumably if a re-install/restore becomes necessary then I'll be able to call on that drive for the stuff I need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tx2online View Post
    I figured Time Machine would come into play somewhere, but I was hoping for a full image solution. I do the same with my Windows machines - build 'em and then create an image so I can restore to exactly how I want in one easy motion without any need for further configuration.

    Sounds like Time Machine will do the job though. I've got it backing up to the RAID at the moment, presumably if a re-install/restore becomes necessary then I'll be able to call on that drive for the stuff I need.
    Hello. See if SuperDuper is what you want: SuperDuper!

  5. #5
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitcheln View Post
    Hello. See if SuperDuper is what you want: SuperDuper!
    Yeah, I saw that, looks good, but as it costs, I'm not going to buy it out my own pocket

    Will have to see what the Finance Office says!

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Boot from the install disk, don't run the install but use disk utility to take an image while the boot volume is not in use.

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    To add to DMcCoy's post - what he said will let you save the image to a destination like it was a file, ie, not wipe your destination.

  8. #8
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fulucy247 View Post
    bump then lurk as soon as possible...
    Oh, riiight....

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    Use CarbonCopyCloner:

    Bombich Software: Carbon Copy Cloner

    You can even schedule it. Best of all its Free! Otherwise use the Restore feature in Disk Utility as already mentioned. Must be used when booted from another drive or the installer disk.

    Another way of doing this is to use NetBoot/NetInstall. This technology is only available on OSX Server. Essentially you build your mac as you would like it and then use System Image Utility to save the image as a NetBoot Image or nbi for short. You can build as many nbis as you like with as many variations as you like. You're only limited to what you are able to store. NetBoot Images can be stored and served from any drive that's physically attached to the host server. Stay clear of externally attached USB drives.

    If your mac's drive goes belly up you can rebuild the mac (once you replace the drive) with an exact clone of what you had before. You can build nbis for MacPros, iMacs and MacBooks. Each nbis would be unique to the specific mac hardware.

    Unless you have the correct infrastructure in place it will only work on Class C subnets.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

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    ranj's Avatar
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    I have been trying to image one of our Intel iMacs via our Xserve Mac OSX Server 10.4.11server for the past couple of days. I can click N on the client, boot to the NetInstall, click Continue, accept agreement, all that jazz. When I click "Install" it instantly says you are done and doesn't do anything. Says "The software was successfully installed. Please restart your computer." This is after 1 second. It obviously did not copy the image to the computer. I don't think it even erased the drive and I had that option checked.

    I am sure I have put the Image in the correct area as Server admin is able to pick it up and I can select options like enabled and if a particular image is the default image.

    I have put the nbi folder on our Xraid under Library/Netboot/NetbootSp0/netbootimage.nbi

    Does anyone know why this may not be working

    Thanks

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranj View Post
    I have been trying to image one of our Intel iMacs via our Xserve Mac OSX Server 10.4.11server for the past couple of days. I can click N on the client, boot to the NetInstall, click Continue, accept agreement, all that jazz. When I click "Install" it instantly says you are done and doesn't do anything. Says "The software was successfully installed. Please restart your computer." This is after 1 second. It obviously did not copy the image to the computer. I don't think it even erased the drive and I had that option checked.

    I am sure I have put the Image in the correct area as Server admin is able to pick it up and I can select options like enabled and if a particular image is the default image.

    I have put the nbi folder on our Xraid under Library/Netboot/NetbootSp0/netbootimage.nbi

    Does anyone know why this may not be working

    Thanks
    I've had that with a failed creation of the boot image, all I could do was recreate it again. Takes ages though. Does the install work on any other machines?

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    rolfea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranj View Post
    I have been trying to image one of our Intel iMacs via our Xserve Mac OSX Server 10.4.11server for the past couple of days. I can click N on the client, boot to the NetInstall, click Continue, accept agreement, all that jazz. When I click "Install" it instantly says you are done and doesn't do anything. Says "The software was successfully installed. Please restart your computer." This is after 1 second. It obviously did not copy the image to the computer. I don't think it even erased the drive and I had that option checked.

    I am sure I have put the Image in the correct area as Server admin is able to pick it up and I can select options like enabled and if a particular image is the default image.

    I have put the nbi folder on our Xraid under Library/Netboot/NetbootSp0/netbootimage.nbi

    Does anyone know why this may not be working

    Thanks
    i'm guessing you've put which image to use in server admin?

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    ranj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolfea View Post
    i'm guessing you've put which image to use in server admin?
    I have yes. I taken the old image out of there and only put the new one in, tried all sorts of combinations, just cant get it to work.

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    ranj's Avatar
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    Do you know if I could put the image onto a firewire external drive and restore it from there?

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    Ranj

    If your client mac is 10.5 then you should not be using 10.4 Server's SIU to create the image. Basically the 'rule of thumb' is 10.4 Server's SIU to create 10.4 images, 10.5 Server's SIU to create 10.5 images.

    With 10.4 SIU you have to be careful which index number you use. Don't use anything over 4095 and each successive image should have its own unique index number. Basically start with 4095 and move downwards in sequence. With 10.5 SIU you don't have to bother as it's 'smart' enough to do it all for you.

    You can 'serve' 10.4 or 10.5 nbis from either 10.4 or 10.5 Server. You don't need to take nbis out of the /Library/NetBoot directory. Simply enable or disable desired images using the Service Interface. If you have more than one image you wish to serve you can select whichever one you want using the Startup Disk Preference Pane on the client. If there is no system on the client boot from the installer disk as there is a Startup Disk selector there as well. You can also use the option key (start up disk manager) to select any/all available bootable sources.

    You can 'clone' a client mac (the Golden Mac) using DU or Mike Bombich's CarbonCopyCloner to an external drive (preferably firewire although USB can be used for Intel Macs). You can then boot any other suitable mac with the external drive and deploy that way.

    You could use a cascading method to deploy a single image. Configure a mac as you would like it. Boot from an appropriate Installer Disk. Target Disk Mode another mac to that mac and use DU to image from one to the other. Once you have two use the same technique on the next two. Keep on going until you have four. You're only limited by the amount of firewire cables you have as well as physical desk space.

    Netboot image creation can fail if you used aliases or links (symlinks) to files/folders or network resources that were subsequently removed or no longer available after the client was configured. Changing hard drive name is not a good idea as well. Try to stick to Macintosh HD.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

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