For the attention of the FAQ team
Would it be possible to have an FAQ about how to make disk images of successful installs (and even ones that are work in progress before you attempt something like an update which is sure to break it, so that you don't have to start from scratch every time)?
I have two installs that I'd like to back up: the first is on the 80GB SATA drive that came with my Dell Optiplex GX620 having a Leopard 10.5.3 that the previous owner had installed; the second is on my own 64GB SATA SSD which is a SL 10.6.6i which I've been trying to update to 10.6.8 with little success.
As I understand it, to make a Disk Image within OS X, you need three drives:
1) the drive with the operating system to do all the donkey work with Disk Utility
2) the source drive eg my 80GB SATA
3) the destination drive eg my blank 64GB SSD which I can then copy the image to my 2TB Windows PC
Is that right?
The problem is my Dell only has 1 (yep, count 'em, one) SATA port on its mainboard. I have a Sharkoon USB-SATA interface (very good bit of kit, highly recommended, very inexpensive, accepts both 2.5" and 3.5" drives, though not at the same time, although I believe other models in their range do have space for multiple drives). But that still leaves me with a logistics problem (without shelling out for another Sharkoon - not really viable at the moment) of how to plug in the 3rd drive. And I don't actually have a third drive I can use with my Mac just at the moment.
On my Windows PC, I have an excellent program called Reflect Macrium which is very easy to use, intuitive,and quick. It also has 2 added advantages: first, it only makes an image of the USED part of the drive; second, it compresses that image further when it saves it onto your hard drive.
So, for example, if I have a new installation of Win 7 on a 32GB SSD which is only taking up 15GB of space (no personal data yet, it's a fresh install, but it is set up just the way I like and I don't want to lose those settings), Reflect will take that partition, compress it by about 50-60% to approx. 8GB, and save it. Both save and restore are also very speedy - about 10-15 mins for each for that example.
Can Mac OS X disk imaging also do the same thing? I see in Disk Utility the function 'Resize Image' but isn't that AFTER the image has been created? If so, that gives me another logistical problem - how do I save a 10GB Leopard install on an 80GB SATA to a 64GB SSD??
If someone has the knowledge and the patience and the desire, could they write such an FAQ? Thanks in advance.