Blog Post

How-To: Image OS X and Boot Camp to a New Mac

You get a new Mac and even though you know you should, you don’t want to start over from scratch and reload the whole system. To make matters worse, you have Boot Camp installed and really don’t want to start over on the Windows side. So, here’s how you can image both OS’s to a new machine using free tools.

You need to download the Carbon Copy Cloner and Winclone software packages. CCC was created by Mike Bombich and has been used for years to clone Mac machines. It is the standard tool for this job. Winclone is made by Twocanoes Software and this is what we will use to image the Windows Boot Camp partition.

Let’s Get Started

Lets start off with Winclone first. After you install the app and run it for the first time, it will tell you it needs to download and install NTFSProgs. Click the download button and install NTFSProgs by following the wizard. The NTFSProgs software allows Winclone to properly read NTFS formatted partitions.

Now run Winclone again and select your Boot Camp partition in the Source dropdown. You can write some notes in the Item Description field if you’d like. When you’re ready, click the Image… button.

It will prompt you for a name and location to save the image to.

Now we wait for Winclone to do its work. When it’s completed, this dialog box will appear. You can now quit Winclone.

Carbon Copy Cloner is a little different in that it can image from your old machine to your new one using a Firewire or network connection. For this tutorial we’ll use the Firewire method. Setup your new machine and connect a Firewire cable between the two Macs. On the new Mac, hit the power button and hold down the “T” key on the keyboard until you see the Firewire symbol on the screen. This boots it into Target Disk Mode where it will act as if it’s just an external Firewire hard drive. On your old Mac we need to launch Carbon Copy Cloner. Your Source Disk drive is your local drive and the Target Disk is the Firewire drive. Click the Clone button and off we go.

After CCC is finished, reboot the new Mac and it should be identical to the original. From here on out, we are done with the old machine. When we imaged the Mac partition, we also brought along the Winclone image with it so now we can restore that image on our new Mac. Launch the Boot Camp Assistant in the utilities folder to create a new Windows partition.

Launch Winclone and click on the Restore tab. Click the Select Image button and browse to your Windows image. Mine was in the Documents folder.

Restore it to your newly created Boot Camp partition.

You know have a new Mac that’s a complete clone of your old one, Boot Camp and all. Windows will probably complain, as it always does, about drivers. Just insert your OS X DVD while in Windows and let it re-install the Boot Camp drivers for you. Of course, starting over from scratch is cleaner but sometimes you just don’t have the time. Proper cloning offers a reasonably quick solution.

7 Responses to “How-To: Image OS X and Boot Camp to a New Mac”

  1. I still don’t have the guts to give Boot Camp another try since the disaster with Windows XP. It took me ages to figure out how to get win XP to run smoothly.. and then it crashed. Perhaps it works better with Windows 7? have you tried it and can give a comparison?

  2. A couple of notes: You can use this to clone your drive to a external one which makes it hold option boot able, excellent in case your primary drive dies one day. Always repair permissions on both after cloning. And any new drive should be Disk Utility Erase with Zero option once before using to map off bad bits and sectors a head of time.

  3. Unimpressed

    WinClone sucks.

    I’ve tried several times so far to restore the image created from my old laptop, but every time I try it tells me that the destination partition is too small for the image. The image size is 31.12GB, and the smallest partition I tried was 32GB (31.57GB as reported by WinClone). The largest partition I tried was 100GB.

    Glad I didn’t pay anything to find out that its crap.

  4. iphonerulez

    I’ve used Winclone before and it basically works perfectly. Keeping all the serials in perfect working order. I only had one glitch with Microsoft Office for Windows. Some of the desktop icons/aliases for Office stopped working and I had to make new ones from each individual Office application.

    CCC works perfectly every time. I have clones for all my computers. Any major updates and I build a new clone. Safest way to go.