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Bob 11-15-2008 06:41 PM

Is it possible to create an encrypted disk image file with SuperDuper?
I'm new to SuperDuper and am trying to do something that seems should be simple, but I can't figure out how to do...

I want to create a fully encrypted (i.e. must have password to open) disk image file of my main Mac HD. I know I can do this directly in Apple's Disk Utility program, but this process requires first booting from another volume (or from the installation DVD). I just want to create an image of my disk without rebooting from some other volume. SuperDuper can create the disk image file, but I never see any option to enable encryption of that file (Disk Utility does have this option). Maybe this option is available when using the fully registered version of SD? I'll be happy to pay the fee but don't want to do it if I can't create an encrypted disk image file while running from the volume I want to backup.

As an aside, but in a related theme - I'm a recent convert to the Mac realm from the Windows realm where full encrypted disks (via bios) and disk images (via Norton Ghost) are very easy to create and use. I'm quite frustrated so far in not being able to fully encrypt the hard disk on my new MacBook Pro (Leopard 10.5.5) without performance penalties or risk of corrupted large image files, and also frustrated in not easily being able to create an encrypted backup image. I've scoured the web for info on full disk encryption to no avail (FileVault, PGP, TrueCrypt, etc. all have problems and/or limitations) - looks like I'm not alone in this challenge.

Thanks for any help on how to create an encrypted disk image in SuperDuper and/or any help on full disk encryption.

Many Thanks,


dnanian 11-15-2008 06:53 PM

Basically, you create the image in Disk Utility with encryption on, and then point SuperDuper! to it. We don't have encrypted disk image support in the UI, but we're happy to work with one that's already created.

Bob 11-15-2008 07:51 PM

Thanks for the quick reply!

So is there no way to create an encrypted disk image without booting from a volume different than what I'm backing up? Seems like quite a hassle to have to reboot with another disk or DVD just to make an encrypted backup image.

Also, if I just want to make encrypted backup disk images and restore them if needed, is there any reason I need to use SuperDuper rather than Disk Utility?

Again, I'm just trying to replicate the simple yet very effective capability of Norton Ghost for Windows (as well as my earlier mention of enabling full hard disk encryption).

One other related question: If I want to be able to fully recover from a totally damaged (or lost) laptop hard disk, when I do my initial backup disk image, should I create an image of the "Macintosh HD" ("disk0s2" - assume this is just the active volume) OR should I create an image of the actual hard drive ("disk0" in my system "Hitachi HTS7... Media")??

Thanks again,


dnanian 11-15-2008 07:53 PM

No, I never said that. You create a sparse image (of the appropriate size) using disk utility, and then SD! copied into that image... from the volume you're running from, if you'd like.

SD! doesn't image a drive, just a volume, and you select the volume in the source pop-up.

Bob 11-15-2008 08:26 PM

I guess I'm a bit confused and am not sure I understand your last reply...

From my experience (and all of the research I've done), Disk Utility will not allow creation of a disk image created from the active volume. i.e. if I do a normal boot into my "Macintosh HD", then I can't create an image of this volume with Disk Utility - I've tried and receive an error message and have since found out I must either create the image via boot from another volume or from original install DVD.

Now once I have that original disk image created I can do things with it with SD!, but until I create that initial disk image file (which requires reboot from another volume) I can't move forward. Maybe I'm missing some obvious option?



dnanian 11-15-2008 09:17 PM

You don't create a disk image from the active volume: you create an (empty) sparse image. Drop me a note to support and I'll provide you with instructions.

Stoopidlie 04-24-2010 01:16 AM

I'd be curious to know if that ever worked out: Using SD to back up a TrueCrypt-ed computer.

Seems like it might be a less-work alternative to FileVault (which forces me to log out of my FileVault-enabled user account to do a SD back-up).

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