MacOS X: Backup and Restore Entire Volume via MacOS 9

This explains somewhat obsolete method to backup and restore entire volume via MacOS 9.



I make no guarantee on whatsoever I mentioned in this document. Use this tip at your own risk

Also note we make an assumption here that both source and destination volulmes are in HFS+ format.

Backup the Volume

To backup the volume it is deceptively easy.

  1. Boot your mac with MacOS 9.x
  2. From the MacOS 9.x Finder ("Classic Finder" as follows), Drag the boot VOLUME icon to the destination VOLUME. The destination volume can be another partition of the same hard drive, external hard drive or anything. But it must be a local hard drive, not Apple Share server volume.

Note: the most important part is to drag volume icon, not folder icons inside the volume. The latter method works on MacOS 9.x but not MacOS X where critical folders are hidden. By dragging entire volume icon, those hidden folders are also copied.

Be patient when you copy. Remember that MacOS X consists of humongous number of files (35,000 or more on normal instration, nearly 100,000 with developer tools installed) so the copy takes fairly long time. FYI it took about 20 minutes to copy freshly installed MacOS X (without developer tools) from PowerBook G3 (Firewire -- aka pismo) to Firewire external HDD.

Restore the volume

Now here comes the non-trivial part. In the following, we assume the name of the source volume is from_volume and the destination volume is to_volume.

  1. Boot MacOS X from from_volume
  2. Open terminal application
  3. chdir to the destination volume. Here is the specific command.
    cd /Volumes/to_volume
  4. Examine the contents with "ls" command. You will find such invisble files as 'Desktop DB', 'Desktop DF', '.Trashes' and such.
    % ls -lo
    total 385
      0 d-wx-wx-wx   3 root      unknown  -    264 Jun 17 18:39 .Trashes/
    257 -rwxrwxrwx   1 dankogai  unknown  - 131584 Jun 17 18:38 Desktop DB*
    128 -rwxrwxrwx   1 dankogai  unknown  -      6 Jun 17 18:32 Desktop DF*
      0 drwxrwxrwx   2 dankogai  unknown  -    264 Jun 17 18:28 Desktop Folder/
      0 drwxrwxr-t  27 root      admin    -    874 Jun 13 00:00 from_volume/
      0 drwxrwxrwx   3 dankogai  unknown  -    264 Jun 17 18:28 TheVolumeSettingsFolder/
      0 drwxrwxrwx   2 dankogai  unknown  -    264 Jun 17 18:28 Trash/
    Delete all of them EXCEPT "from_volume" folder where the contents of the backup resides.
    sudo rm -rf .Trashes Desktop* TheVolumeSettingsFolder Trash
    When sudo asks you for the password, just type in your password.
    Power User Tips: you can of course "su" a priori and omit su. To find how to enable su, see the link below
  5. Now the moment of truth. Issue the commands below;
    cd from_volume
    sudo mv .*[a-z] * ..
    mv command may complain that some of files could not be moved.
    override ---------  root/wheel for ../HFS+ Private Data? n
    Don't worry. These files are unneeded that can be deleted later via Classic Finder (Neither Aqua Finder nor shell allow you to do this).
  6. Now select the to_volume in "Startup Disk" of "System Preferences" and restart. You should be all set.