Thursday, June 16, 2011

Backing up my Hackintosh

I am moving soon and every time I have to physically transport a desktop computer I worry the jolting will mess up a hard drive. Because this Hackintosh took me the better part of a day to set up, I decided it would be wise to make a bootable clone of my OSX partition. I didn't want to just back up my files, but instead want a copy of the operating system so if my current boot drive dies, I am back up and running in at most a few minutes. Backing up files is easy, and to do that, just use Mozy, Carbonite or Crash Plan (I use Crash Plan and absolutely love it).

I looked at some forums that pointed me in the right direction for a solution to creating this bootable clone, but didn't find detailed instructions for the best way to do this. Thus, I'm going to write down the whole process I used here. It was surprisingly easy and free!  

  • Add a new hard drive to your machine or create a paritition where the backup will sit. It must be equal to or larger than the size of your OSX boot partition.
  • Format this new partition using Mac OS Extended (Journaled). You can use the OSX Disk Utility for this.
  • Download Carbon Copy Cloner. It's totally free and is amazing.
  • Open the Carbon Copy Cloner .dmg and follow the easy instructions to make a clone of your current boot partition to your new backup partition.
  • Download iBoot and burn this to a CD. You probably already have a copy from your original Hackintosh install.
  • Turn off your computer, unplug the cable to the original boot drive.
  • Boot your computer and open up the bios to allow you to boot from the iBoot CD you created. It will show you your new cloned partition, and you can select it and boot from it! 
  • You still need to install a boot loader if you don't want to always have to boot from a CD. Thus, download Multibeast and run it. Select only the option to install the Chameleon Boot loader. All the rest of the options are already installed on your clone. 
  • Eject your iBoot drive and restart your computer. It should boot up!
  • You probably want to switch back to your original OSX partition for booting up, so just plug it back in, go into the bios to ensure it is higher on the HDD boot priority, and then restart your computer.
I'm really happy about how easy this was to do, and now I have the peace of mind of knowing I won't have to go through the process of setting up a Hackintosh again if my current drive fails.