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Bootable Backup Disk - How?


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I have successfully upgraded my Dell Optiplex GX 520 (2.8GHz/500GB-SATA/4GB-RAM/Intel GMA950) so that it now runs Snow Leopard 10.6.8.


Everything works fine (Ethernet, Hardware accelerated Graphics, Sound & USB)

– for your reference Unreal Tournament 2004 runs fine with low graphic settings (Intel GMA 950 J).


Here is my problem (not related to Hacintosh – I guess):

I would like to make a bootable system backup hard disk of my system – cause I’m pretty sure I will f..k the system up at some point. I am unable to create a mirrored bootable disk.


I have tried to recover the system disk to an external USB disk using the OSX Disk Tool. It mirrors the disk fine but I’m unable to boot it (BIOS selected USB boot as well as internal SATA boot)


I have tried to use CCC (free version) in the same way, but still without luck.


Could someone guide me here – this must be a common task – and I cannot think of a reason why the Chameleon Bootloader would not be transferred via the backup/mirror process and be capable of booting the mirrored system – bu maybe I’m wrong?


Best regards


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Do you have Chameleon installed to your Snow Leopard partition or to an EFI partition?


If it's on your SL partition it should be bootable after cloning via either CCC or Disk Utility. If it's not, you can always install chameleon to it manually or via the GUI installer.


My PC refuses to boot from USB with AHCI mode enabled, it's a flaw in the BIOS. This may/may not be your problem but I thought I'd just mention this because it does happen and it may prevent you sitting there, scratching you head and wondering why the USB drive doesn't appear to be bootable.

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Hi James,

Tanks for the speedy reply.

My main system disk boots without any extra disk meaning that Chamelion is installed ón the main system disk.


I have read that USB boot might not work, but I would have expected it to work if I attached the backup disk as internal SATA - but it does not.


I Will try to install Chamelion to the backup disk and post back.




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Hi again,


Thanks again for your comments. You are right! None of the cloning methods transfers the boot-loader.


I ran Chamelion 1.1.4 from my master and installed it to my backup disk. I then tried to boot and this time the Chamelion boot screen appeared - however it must have ruined my original files, because the system re-booted while trying to start the the OSX - fair enough since I made no additional configurations and used Chamelion 1.1.4 (approved for 10.6.3 and not for 10.6.8).


I then did another CCC from the master to the new boot-loading Backup disk ensuring that existing files would be overwritten by files from the master. After CCC did its thing I rebooted the system using BIOS USB boot selection and everything worked like a charm (in fact I'm writing this using the backup boot disk


I still think it is somewhat misleading that a disk cloning tool only clones what it thinks is relevant to a real Mac. In my world a block cloning program running Windows, Mac or whatever should clone everything - hmm.


Thanks again, for your comments


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