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Moses3d 03-23-2008 09:16 AM

Sizes: disk, partition, backup... Any thoughts?
Hi there,

I has digged the forum, but has not found an answer to a simple (at first sight) question. This relates to sizes: disk size, partition size, backup size.

Right from the beginning, I am NOT going to speak of ANY OTHER type of backup rather than ONE-TIME BOOTABLE (meaning: system installed on the system HD, fine-tuned, then cloned to an external HD and made bootable - end of story. No more backups to this HD, no additions in a week's time or so. Just a recovery measure: bootable clone of the system drive, made once and for good).

Now the question itself. I guess, it would be better with an example. Let's say, the INTERNAL SYSTEM HDD is 300 Gb. The complete system (fine-tuned, with all updates applied, all necessary apps installed, etc.) takes up 10 Gb. Here, the user files are NOT included or considered at all - they are not the part of the story and have no relation to the whole thing.

The EXTERNAL HDD (where the system bootable clone would go) is, say, 500 Gb.

So, we have:
System HDD: 300 Gb
System itself on the system HDD: 10 Gb
External (target) HDD: 500 Gb.

Now, the question: to use SD! to clone the SYSTEM from the system HDD (that is, the 10 Gb data load), do I need to format my TARGET HDD in such a way, that the TARGET volume would be 300 Gb (the same SIZE as my system HDD) or I can simply create an 11 Gb partition (10 Gb to accommodate my system data and 1 Gb just in case - for the OS to have room to work when cloning and to make sure that the 10 Gb piece actually fits there).

1) 300Gb (10Gb used) => 10Gb TARGET


2) 300Gb (10Gb used) => 300Gb TARGET ?

(obviously, in (2) it is a waste of room...).

In other words: what is the relationship between SOURCE drive SIZE, DATA to be cloned SIZE and TARGET disk/volume/partition SIZE? Remember, we DO NOT consider evergrowing data sets which require more and more room when the backup is updated. No, we are speaking about a one-time action to clone a completely set-up and fine-tuned system to another partition.

Any thoughts? Or, maybe, some experience? I am about to do this (I mean, fresh install Leopard, all my apps, update and fine-tune the system (no user data will be placed on the disk) and then partition my external FW HDD so it has a partition of exactly the same size as the to-be-cloned dataset and then use SD! to clone and make it bootable). But if anyone has already done this, maybe you would share?

Thanks in advance!

dnanian 03-23-2008 09:22 AM

We only need sufficient space to store the data. The system would prefer about 15% free space. So, I'd probably make a 12-15GB partition.

Moses3d 03-23-2008 09:30 AM

So, the 10Gb data piece WILL fit into the 12-15Gb partition, regardless of the real source disk size, right? All my questions are because I plan to use my new external 500Gb HDD to store two bootable clones of the systems (an iMac and a MacBook) AND to use the rest for data storage. And, as you understand, I cannot afford using 300Gb of the 500Gb space just to store 10Gb of system data...

dnanian 03-23-2008 10:09 AM

Yes, 10GB will fit on a 12-15GB partition. But storing a system on a partition without user files means it won't boot properly. But you know that, and since you've preempted any discussion of that kind of thing...

Moses3d 03-23-2008 10:17 AM

Oh, no, I didn't mean to complicate things: by saying "no user files" I meant that there would be no USER-CREATED files (documents, photos, movies, etc.). Of course, the User folders with all subfolders will be created by the system and those will also be cloned together with the system itself... In this case, the clone WILL boot.

dnanian 03-23-2008 10:26 AM

As long as you're sure the configuration is valid.

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