View Full Version : Newbie question

08-02-2006, 03:09 PM

I'm new to SuperDuper!, but it looks like a great product.

I have a problem that I was hoping to get some of your help with. I attempted to clone my PowerBook 100GB hard drive last night to a removable Firewire Acomdata 250GB hard drive, formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), partitioned into three spaces: 100GB for the PowerBook, 60GB for my iPod, and the remainder for extra files.

It took about an hour and a half, but it seemed to have copied over all of my files to the 100GB partition on the drive.

I'm new to cloning, and really to back-up in general, and am not sure what it's supposed to look like on the new partition: is it supposed to be a single disc image to boot from, or should I just see all the files that I have on my PowerBook hard drive. I see the files.

Anyway, this morning, when I tried to boot from the Firewire drive to another family member's PowerBook (by re-setting the Startup Disk in System Preferences and then restarting the computer) I saw a question mark for a moment on restart and then the Finder OS symbol and then the computer booted from its own internal drive, and not the Firewire clone.

What am I doing wrong? Did I do something wrong in the cloning process. I seem to have effectively created a full backup of my PowerBook hard drive, but I don't seem to be able to boot from it?

I looked around in the preferences in SuperDuper! and noticed an option in Advanced for creating a Disk Image. Do I need to create a disk image in order for the cloned drive to be bootable? And if so, how do I do this? Where do I create the Image? In the new partition, alongside the cloned files?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give me.


08-02-2006, 03:26 PM
You should see the files, just like you do on the "real" drive.

The reason you can't boot from it is likely because the Acomdata drive isn't fully Mac compatible for boot. Do you know if it uses an Oxford (true) chipset, as opposed to a Prolific or Initio? The latter are known to cause problems, both during copying and during boot...

08-02-2006, 04:46 PM

I thought that might be the issue. I had read that some drives aren't Mac clone compatible.

I'm not sure about the specifics of this drive, and was planning on buying a Lacie drive, but figured I'd try the one I had first to see if I could save some money.

Thanks for your response.


08-02-2006, 04:49 PM
No problem. The main drives that work well have true Oxford chipsets: I'd suggest a LaCie d2/d3, Maxtor OneTouch III (various FireWire models), WiebeTech and most OWC drives (check with them about Oxford... some models use Prolific).

08-03-2006, 01:22 PM

Thanks again.

Would this one have the proper chipset, do you think?


08-03-2006, 03:26 PM
Yes, the Porsche Design LaCie units do have the proper chipset. However, for some reason, they don't like booting if formatted "journaled", so make sure you don't use journaling with this drive.

08-03-2006, 05:13 PM
Thanks, Dave.

I really appreciate it.

The Porsche design is the most appealing of the LaCie models I've looked at, because it seems to deliver the most capacity for the least amount of money.


08-03-2006, 05:17 PM
It is certainly their least expensive drive. Another inexpensive drive to consider is the Maxtor OneTouch III series. They have high capacity drives for quite a low price - Staples, for example, is running a current special (http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StaplesProductDisplay?storeId=10001&siteSection=specials&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&productId=147052&cmArea=SEASONAL) where their combo FW400/USB2 drive, with 300GB capacity, is only $169. I think this is a much better deal (and drive) than the LaCie Porsche Design model, personally.

08-03-2006, 05:29 PM
Even better. I think I'll have to go for the Maxtor 300GB.


08-03-2006, 06:20 PM
Happy I could help.

08-04-2006, 12:16 AM
I'm also a newbie at this and am just switching back to the Mac after 5 years in the Windows world. That means the last system I was using was 9, so I am unfamiliar with the new system.

Just following up on the previous discussion, the Maxtor drive you recommend would not allow for bootable backups, because it does not have a Firewire connection, correct?

Can you recommend a reasonably priced drive which does have Firewire?

The Lacie Little Big Drive looks very nice but it is way overpriced in my opinion.


Paul D.

08-04-2006, 12:23 AM
Just a quick follow-up. I see now after a little more searching that there are Maxtor drives which only have USB and others which also have Firewire. Sorry for my earlier post. I assume that the Maxtor Firewire Drives would allow for bootable backups.

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon...


Paul D.

08-04-2006, 06:39 AM
Right. The one I linked to had both FireWire and USB. And, Intel-based Macs can boot from USB. It's Power PC Macs that can't.

08-04-2006, 12:08 PM
Oh, that's great to know!

I just bought a Macbook and I am in the process of switching over from Windows. Your product looks great -- I love the very user-friendly interface ("What will happen" should sweep the software world) and I'm sure I'll buy it.

I have two bus powered Western Digital "Passport" USB drives, an 80 Gb which I use for storing music, and a 120 Gb which I use for backup. I'm about to swap out the 60 Gb drive in the Macbook for a 120 Gb drive.

At the moment I have three tasks ahead of me:

1) Since I have been using the Macbook for a few days and have accumulated some software, changed a lot of settings, etc., I figure it would be easiest to copy the 60 Gb drive which is currently on the Macbook over to one of my WD drives, then copy it back to the Macbook when I have installed the new 120 Gb drive. Can you point me to a thread or document here which will show me how to do that using SuperDuper?

2) Of course I have lots of data on my Windows laptop I need to move to the Mac. I will use the WD drives for that -- even though they are currently formatted NTFS, the Mac will read them, I understand.

3) Once I'm switched over, I'd like to use the WD 120 Gb drive to back up the Macbook. Do you recommend that? On the subject of bootable vs. non-bootable backup, does it really matter for someone like me who is not a computer professional? I wonder if you can also point me to a thread here or document which discusses the pros and cons of each.

Thanks so much for the excellent support and taking the time to answer such basic questions.

Paul D.

08-04-2006, 12:21 PM
I can't think of any thread offhand that shows how to do what you're doing, but it's just a matter of copying to the backup (which you want to name the same as the internal before starting up from it), swapping the drives, and copying to the new one.

Yes, the Mac will read NTFS.

And, you could use the WD drive to back up the Mac, but in general, I think if you have a FireWire drive you're better off. If not, it'll work, but might be slower.

You should definitely use a bootable backup, absolutely if you're not a computer professional. It makes it much easier to restore from.