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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 114: Hot Image Your Mac for Instant Restoration

Level Medium

Platform Windows

Cost Free

If your Mac’s system drive were to fail, reinstalling OS X and restoring the operating system to its previous state — including all your must-have apps and preferences — is an incredibly time-consuming process. Even if you back up your computer’s files regularly using Time Machine (Hack 60), rebuilding a system is a daunting task.

The previous Hack detailed how to clone your Windows PC for a quick restore using DriveImage XML. For Mac users, freeware application Carbon Copy Cloner (www.bombich.com) creates a bootable backup of your entire system that you can restore to a new hard drive if something goes wrong with your system. Here’s how to use it.

Create a New System Image

To create a new, cloned system image, follow these steps:

1. Download and install Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) and run the application.

2. On CCC’s left pane, choose your Source Disk — the hard drive containing the operating system you want to clone.

3. Choose New Disk Image from the Select a Target drop-down, then navigate to where you want to save the cloned image of your system drive (ideally you’ll save the new disk image to a separate drive — either a separate data disk or an external drive), give that disk image a name, and set any additional disk image options. This example uses the default setting: Create a Read-Only Disk Image.

NOTE If you have a spare hard drive, you can clone your current drive to that disk ...

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