How do I backup an iBook?

by Volker Weber

I think I am losing the harddisk in my iBook. The system is very unresponsive, the disk is operating all the time and when I tilt the iBook it emits very loud and nasty sounds. I first thought that this was a fan, but it turns out that it develops quite some gyro forces when making those noises.

I will turn the machine in Monday. Before I do that I would like to backup as much of the disk as possible. What is the best software to do that? It should not stop copying when it hits a sector/file it cannot read.

Update: This is going much better than expected. Carbon Copy Cloner at work:



Carbon Copy Cloner sichert das ganze System. Wie die Software mit defekten Sektoren umgeht weiss ich leider nicht.

Thomas Nowak, 2005-09-03

Silver Keeper from LaCie is supposed to be good, and the price is certainly right. Also, don’t forget to back up your Tiger settings!

Ben Poole, 2005-09-03

Déjà Vu (ist Bestandteil der CD- und DVD-Brennsoftware Toast Titanium)

kleiner zusätzlicher Tipp:

Michael Seidlitz, 2005-09-03

As you may well know, there is a number of software options you have here.

A few years ago I would have used Retrospect which, IMHO, is the most complete solution for an Apple machine.
With the advent of OSX, Disk could be a simple alternative but, I must admit, I never made a full disk backup.
I think it should work just fine with a simple drag & drop.

My favourite option however, would be directly from shell using OSX built-in Unix capabilities.
With Tiger you can use the "copy extend" -E option with rsync which would preserve also your resource forks and can be used over a network.

Should be also the fastest way to backup however, I am not sure if that would stop or not on errors...

As usual, "the sky is the limit"..

Good luck!

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2005-09-03

Vielleicht kann dd_rescue helfen.

Stefan Funke, 2005-09-03

Other things that come to mind:

- use FireWire target mode to connect the iBook to another Mac. Copy to the other Mac.

- maybe "sudo tar cvfz --ignore-failed-read ...." does the trick. The man page does not really tell what the "--ignore-failed-read" option does.

Ole Saalmann, 2005-09-03

rsync will probably do the trick:

Step 1: Boot off the Install DVD/CD with an external hard disk attached and drop into the Terminal
Step 2: Unmount the internal harddisk if it auto-mounted (umount /Volumes/HARDDISKNAME)
Step 3: Mount the internal harddisk read-only (mount -r -t hfs /dev/disk0sN -- where N is your HFS partition, probably 3)
Step 4: rsync -av --ignore-errors /Volumes/INTERNAL /Volumes/EXTERNAL

That should duplicate the internal harddisk to the external one. This is all from memory, but it's basically the method I use for weekly backups with the addition of mounting internal drive read-only.

scott lewis, 2005-09-03


Your first method will no longer work if you're using 10.4 - at least that's what I was told by an Apple tech last week. Apparantly a good 10.000 hidden files are not copied across to the other Mac. In 10.3 it should still work.

Jef Reynders, 2005-09-05

Update: Snoopy is now at Graphia. A replacement HD is ordered and will be swapped in tomorrow. Then they will move all data from the broken disk to the new one. Should be ready by tomorrow afternoon.

It feels good to have a second backup. :-)

Volker Weber, 2005-09-05

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe