Monthly Archives: March 2013

Backup My MacBook Pro

My internal hard drive failed recently, but because of my backup plan, I did not loose any work. Because it works well enough, I would like to share my backup plan with you. Please let me (haiv) know if you have any additional questions.

The Plan


I back up my MacBook Pro’s internal drive using two methods: clone and time machine backup. My Mac’s drive is 320GB in size, so I purchased a drive that is more than twice its size, 750GB or 1TB will do, but not 640GB. I am going to partition the drive into two separate drives: the first partition is of the same size with my Mac, and the second utilizes the rest of the available space.

Get An External Drive

I choose a 1TB Western Digital drive because it offers plenty of room and its reliability. When choosing a drive, keep in mind that the size must be larger than twice the size of your Mac’s hard drive. Remember that we are doing two kinds of backup: clone back up requires the backup drive to be the same as your original, while Time Machine requires the backup drive to be larger than your original drive. Thus, if your Mac comes with a 320GB drive, you will need something bigger than 640GB.

Partition My Drive


With the drive insert, I fire up Disk Utility, select my drive (1), choose the partition tab (2) and make two "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" partitions. The first, called "mac-clone" (3) is the same size of my Mac’s drive, the second, called "mac-timemachine" (4), uses the rest of the space.

Download and install Carbon Copy Cloner

Install Carbon Copy Cloner from

Setup Clone Backup


Run Carbon Copy Cloner for the first time, select the source (1) and destination (2), then optionally customize your backup (3), then click on the "Schedule this task" button to go to the next step.

Setup Clone Backup Schedule


Give your backup task a descriptive name (1), click on the schedule tab (2), then customize the backup schedule (3), then click Save (4)

Setup Time Machine Backup


Launch Time Machine from the Applications folder, then click "Select Disk" (1) to choose your backup drive. Turn on menu bar status by checking the "Show…" box (2). That’s all.

When Your Drive Failed

Replace your drive, then turn on your Mac while holding the "option" key (the alt key). Choose to boot from your clone drive (mac-clone). Then clone from mac-clone back to your internal drive. It’s that simple.

Related Videos

I have created a couple of short 2-minute tutorial videos outline various steps. Please watch, rate, and comment them. Thank you.

    [watch] Partition an External Drive for Backup
    [watch] Time Machine – How To Set Up
    [watch] Time Machine – Restore a File
    [watch] Clone a Drive Using Carbon Copy Cloner