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Here's the situation:

My macbook pro gave me the question mark+file folder icon on boot.
I remove the hard drive and connect it to my windows pc using a sata to USB adaopter. There's a bunch of partitions on the disk. (Whoops, boot camp x2, VMs from multiple applications, etc.) I can sort out the mess later but for now I just want to make a copy of the entire disk.
I know that with this model there is a common issue with the connector between logic board and hard drive, but I want to make a copy of the disk ASAP just in case. So, what I need (or think I need) is windows based software can I use to clone the entire drive, including all partitions and whatever boot records I'll need to just theoretically plug the new drive (and maybe a new sata-logic board connector) in to the macbook and have things fire right back up.

Possibly important details: HD from a late 2012 i5 macbook pro a1278 the hard drive is 750GB my windows machine runs win 10 pro 64 bit, 32GB RAM, i7 k model I have several different possible destination drives for the image, maybe a 1TB drive for storage until pay day comes and I can order a 750GB+ SSD to go back in the macbook.

Suggestions for software? Preferably something free/affordable, and open source is always ideal too.

I'm also open to alternative methods of achieving the same ends.

And thanks in advance!

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I'd suggest FTK Imager Lite. It's a free tool (but unfortunately not open source) and it's widely used in the computer forensic community for disk imaging. It doesn't require installation.

FTK should be able to make a bit-level copy of the physical disk or specific partitions with no problems. There's a raw (DD) option, but if you use one of the other available (such as E01) you also have compression options, which might save you space on your destination disk (unless your source disk is filled with high entropy content).

There's also FTK Imager, which requires installation but has similar imaging capabilities to the portable version described above. [There's also a command line version, but I think you'd find the GUI easier if you're not familiar with the process.]

Good luck!

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  • I'm sorry it took me so long to accept this answer. I didn't get a chance to restore the backup and complete what I needed to do until a few days ago. Thanks for the tip. :) – TheSpenny Nov 8 '15 at 23:53

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