I want to move a volume from a smaller drive to a larger unformatted one. What is the best way to achieve this? Ideally I'd like the new volume to have the same name as the older volume as it contains user accounts, and is a destination of various symlinks that I have on other volumes.

Update: I used Carbon Copy Cloner in the end and it worked perfectly. I was able to simply rename the new volume in Finder to the same name as the old volume and then powered down and removed the old drive on which the volume lived. When I restarted, the new volume seamlessly worked in place of the old volume.

4 Answers 4


Try Carbon Copy Cloner. It does a bit-by-bit copy, which should guarantee that it is an EXACT copy. I hope this helps.

  • FYI CCC as well as SuperDuper! do not do bit-by-bit copies. If they did the two disks would not be usable at the same time on the same system because internally they are identified by an id which is stored inside the partitions. Unix tool dd does a bit-by-bit copy (for free as it's part of the OS) and ... here's what happens if you do that: superuser.com/questions/485105/… Dec 2, 2014 at 23:17

SuperDuper is the best way to clone drives in OS X. You can rename the destination drive in Finder.

  • +1 SuperDuper has helped me out of a tight spot once - it's well worth the money.
    – robsoft
    Aug 10, 2009 at 19:48
  • I used CCC in the end which worked fine so didn't get the chance to try SuperDuper. But thanks for the suggestion.
    – teabot
    Aug 11, 2009 at 10:42

I prefer a cold clone if you can. Boot to the OS X install DVD, launch Disk Utility, click the old volume, then the Restore tab. Drag the old volume into the source field and the new volume into the destination field, then click Restore and Yes to erase destination volume. Double check yourself to make sure you don't get the source and destination swapped. :)

If a cold clone isn't an option, Carbon Copy CLoner is the next best thing.


You can either do the cloning prior to replacement (recommended) or after. Get a USB enclosure for the new disk £10-15 then install the operating system fresh on the new disk. The reason is to make sure you have a RECOVERY PARTITION on the new disk. Then boot the USB disk by pressing option on boot and checking it works. Then boot into the recovery partition pressing R on boot and clone the old Macintosh HD to the new Macintosh HD using Disk Utility or use Carbon Copy Cloner as mentioned above. Only then do the physical replacement.

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