:::: MENU ::::

Cloning my Boot Camp partition to a new hard drive

UPDATE: See my other cloning post for alternative instructions that don’t require UNIX commands; it’s easier, faster, and less likely to fail.

My MacBook needed a new hard drive. Leopard was quite helpful in moving all my old Mac OS information from the old drive to the new one, but it won’t move my Boot Camp partition. I backed up my data, swapped my hard drives, and stuck my old hard drive in an external USB case. The instructions that follow assume that you have both your old and new drives connected, but they should work whether you’ve already physically swapped your drives or not. If you formatted your BootCamp partition NTFS, you can try using WinClone instead. Mine’s FAT32, so that didn’t work for me.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL YOUR DATA BACKED UP. THESE DIRECTIONS ARE OFFERED WITHOUT GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY OR ANY OTHER KIND OF “TY”. THIS MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU. YOU CAN’T BLAME ME IF IT DOESN’T.  THIS ALTERNATIVE METHOD WORKS BETTER

So, here’s what I did to clone my Boot Camp partition to a new drive, partition, whatever.

  1. Create a new partition on my new drive (I used Boot Camp Assistant)
  2. Open Disk Utility and get the Disk Identifier for my old Boot Camp partition and my new one
  3. Use Disk Utility to Unmount both the old Boot Camp partition and the new one
  4. Open Terminal and get ready for some UNIX fanciness
  5. Use “dd” to clone my old Boot Camp partition to my new one with the following command

    sudo dd if=/dev/disk1s3 of=/dev/disk0s3 bs=1mwhere

    disk1s3 = the Disk Identifier for my old drive
    disk0s3 = the Disk Identifier for my new drive
    bs=1m = tells dd to use bigger chunks so it clones faster

Common errors
“dd: /dev/disk1s3: Resource busy” – you didn’t Unmount that partition properly
“dd: /dev/disk0s3: Permission denied” – you’re not using sudo and don’t have permissions to write the new partition
“dd: bs: illegal numeric value” – you may have typed “bs=1M” when you meant “bs=1m”; just doublecheck it

dd used 12-14% of my CPU while it was working, so I barely noticed.

UPDATE: You may find that using these instructions gets all your data moved but that your partition still isn’t bootable. I’m working on a fix and will post when I have it. Use this method instead


6 Comments

So, what do you think ?

You must be logged in to post a comment.