Carbon Copy Cloner

I have been using apps like Carbon Copy Cloner (herein after referred to as CCC), SuperDuper and others to clone hard drives for many years. I always have a weekly clone backup of my iMac HD available. I went away from using CCC for a while, but decided to start using it again. I am sure glad I did!!


The “Simple” Interface

Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich Software has really developed a “New Improved” app in version 4. It is much nicer than older versions, and in my opinion, much easier to use. This is a very sophisticated application. It has a “Simple” interface and a more “Advanced” interface. Too much info to do all of this in one article so today we will take a look at the “Simple” interface which is more than adequate to get the job done.

Here is the CCC’s main window when you first open it:

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There is a very easy interface for setting up your first clone. Select the Source drive and the Destination Drive (usually an external HD connected via USB or Thunderbolt). Save and then, just click “Clone” and you are on your way. If you have never cloned a whole HD before you might consider doing it during the night, it can take quite a while. Keep in mind, you are creating a “bootable” drive just like the one on the Mac you are cloning.

This is what it looks like with it setup on my iMac:

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Select what files you want to clone (in this case All Files), and decide whether you wish to use the SafetyNet feature (not a bad idea). You can also setup an email address for notifications (I have not done that yet). Then just click “Save” and you are presented with this window:

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When you click on “Clone” CCC starts doing your clone on the external device. It is as easy as that. It explains what it is going to do at the top of the window after you have “Saved” this Task. Yes, you can setup all kinds of “Tasks” (different clones) using CCC. More on that in the next installment.

You will see a progress bar during the cloning process:

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Keep in mind if you are cloning to make a “Backup Drive” it can be time consuming. When you clone is done CCC gives you a finished message. Depending on how you set your Preferences CCC will then do nothing or it may boot from your new clone.

You can see that I have Scheduled a Task. I will cover the Scheduling, Tasks, Preferences along with more Advanced features in our next article on this very cool app. Until then, cloning your Mac is very doable using the “Simple” interface.


Some people might balk at the $39 price tag for Carbon Copy Cloner, but if your serious about cloning your Mac(s) I think it is worth every penny. CCC has a very elegant interface and is very powerful software.