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I have 500gb of files that I want to copy to a temporary drive and then back.

I would like to be able to do this as fast as possible.

I checked out doing a block level clone, which is nice and fast (a lot of my files are very small so using rsync takes ages), however I can't copy between two different partition types (with CloneZilla anyway) which I need to be able to do.

So how can I copy a bunch of data fast? I'd be happy to purchase a clonezilla alternative if it can copy between different partition types.

Running Mint and Snow Leopard.

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Is this an external or internal HDD? If it's an external HDD, a) can it be installed interenally, and b) does it have eSATA? – boehj Apr 30 '11 at 10:20

Have you considered tar of all things? Sounds silly, I know. Try this:

$ cd /path/to/my/source/files
$ tar -cf - . | tar -xvf - -C /path/to/my/destination/files

It should perform surprisingly well with lots of small files - better than rsync certainly.

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Thanks for that :) I left it for 8 hours and sadly it still hadn't finished though, and I could've run CloneZilla twice in that time. Are there any cloning programs which support going from NTFS->HFS? – tobeannounced May 1 '11 at 0:08
THat long could imply you have a broken filesystem. Consider running Disk Uility. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 2 '12 at 20:13

With current tools like Partclone and Partimage, both used by CloneZilla, it isn't possible to copy between two different file system formats on a block level.

Instead you could try the ditto command in Leopard:

$ ditto source destination

But your milage may vary as basic commands like copying files are usually faster on Linux.

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