im trying to replace my macbook pro hard drive and want to migrate the lion and windows 7 partitions to the new drive without having to reinstall anything

my question is.. What's the difference between using Disk Utility to save disk images of each partition on say an external drive versus using some 3rd party software like Carbon Copy Cloner? can i migrate to my new hard drive using the disk images saved via Disk Utility?

  • When you create the image, is it as a DMG? If so, you'd have to mount it, but once you've done that, OS X will recognise it and allow you to migrate from it. I use Carbon Copy Cloner personally.
    – user3463
    May 28, 2012 at 23:02
  • have you considered using apple.stackexchange.com?
    – Andrew
    May 29, 2012 at 7:03
  • @AndrewBacker Questions about OS X and Macs are on topic for Super User and should stay on Super User. See: Is it okay to inform users to stop promoting Apple.SE when a question is fine to stay here?
    – slhck
    May 29, 2012 at 7:09
  • I know they are ok. I would generally post here as well for os-x questions: a larger audience. But, seeing as he has 101 reputation, there is a good chance he didn't know that 'apple.' existed. Doh, should have checked his profile, he does know its there. Thanks.
    – Andrew
    May 29, 2012 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


Well, it's MUCH easier to clone the drive, if thats your purpose

  • Put the new drive in the external enclosure
  • Clone the system drive (and partitions) to the external drive
  • Swap the two drives
  • Turn the mac back on, and the system is fully functional with the new drive
  • The old mac drive goes in the enclosure (if you want it), wiped, and free for use

Saving a DMG using DU is like making an ISO file from a CD. That is great if you want to save them for long term archival, but it's not a disk-duplicator.

If you want to duplicate your system as a full backup (and hotswap in case of failure), clone it using CC. You don't want to be stuck with a dead main disk, and your system DMG's are on a full external. Then you would need to get a second computer and a new drive to burn the DMG's to that drive (and make sure it was all bootable).

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