I spoke with a customer regarding a common issue that I get a lot of support calls on.  This gentleman had a MacBookPro, that he was looking to create a bootable clone for safe keeping in case something were to happen to his main boot drive.  Cloning a Mac and having it bootable would allow him to “restore” and be up and running quickly and efficiently if something were to happen to his main drive.

Cloning a Larger Hard Drive to a Smaller Hard Drive

His main boot drive was 750GB, but only about 80gb was actually being used.  His external hard drive he was looking to clone to was only 120GB.  He had used other cloning software in the past, but the other software had always required the destination hard drive to be bigger than the source.  That would mean he would have to have a 750GB hard drive or larger for it to copy only 80GB worth of data.

 Repartition with Drive Genius 3

My recommendation for him was to startup his Mac with a secondary startup disk.  I recommended that he use our disk utility, Drive Genius 3.  He could use the DVD in order to clone the internal drive. I worked with him to startup his Mac from the Drive Genius 3 DVD and then go to the Duplicate tool.  Drive Genius 3 was not allowing him to clone since it was a smaller drive. I suggested him to make the source volume smaller using the Repartition feature in Drive Genius 3 and then using the smaller volume to clone to a same size drive then. He proceeded to do just that. After the clone finished he was able to verify the clone was bootable by going to startup disk in system preferences.

 Detailed Steps on How to Clone a Larger Mac Drive to a Smaller Mac Drive

Here is a detailed overview on how to duplicate a Larger Volume to a Smaller Volume on a Mac using Drive Genius 3.    

Step 1:  Launch Drive Genius 3 and go to the Duplicate feature.  Then select the volume that you want to clone.

Step 2:  Now go to the Repartition feature. In repartition choose the drive first and then the volume you want to clone. Now hit resize, move the slider all the way to the left to shrink the volume and select resize. Drive Genius 3 gives you warning that this operation could cause data loss—so make sure you have a recent backup. After you have read the warning hit defrag. This will move the data to the smallest possible volume.

Step 3:  Once this process finishes then you will have a volume that can be cloned to our target volume. Drive Genius 3 is a hard drive utility so please be sure to backup your data before you get started.

Ready to Duplicate

Now you can see you will have a partition small enough that you can clone to the larger partition. Next go to Duplicate, choose the source volume and then on the right choose the destination volume.  After selecting start, Drive Genius 3 gives you the data loss warning and the duplicate is started. If this was a bootable partition that you cloned then the destination is going to be bootable too. You can check the volume is bootable by going to startup disk in system preferences.

Check out our website for more info and to learn about Drive Genius 3 Special Offers.