Free Shipping on most orders over $100!*
Your Shopping CartYour Shopping Cart: 0 Items Your Shopping CartYour Shopping Cart: 0 Items

Your cart is empty.

Call the Mac experts! (888) 769-7629
Sign up for our Max Mail Newsletter!
Meet Max the Sasquatch
Apple Authorized Reseller

Ask Max: How can I clone data from one Mac to others?

Asked on 12/30/2008:

Over the past three years, I have assembled a "fleet" of eleven pre-owned CRT iMacs ranging from 400-700 Mhz. My objective is two-fold. First, I want to give some of these to people who would benefit greatly by being connected to the world via a Mac, e.g., my 80-year old homebound mother. Second, I myself am wheel chair bound living in a two-story house (about the only thing in the housing stock in New England unless one can afford new construction, something my disability income does not allow). I want to set up workstations in different locations-at least one upstairs and two downstairs. Each station needs two iMacs to facilitate my genealogy work. One machine would bring up data from the Internet, while the other machine would be used for direct data entry into my database program. For the past ten years, I have been transcribing data manually onto legal pads, then entering the data from the legal pads into the database. Time to come up with something better...

Thus far, I have maxed out the RAM on each machine to 1 Gb. (The team that came up with the idea of allowing RAM installation through a door in the back should get a Nobel prize! Talk about a practical stroke of pure genius.........) The hard drives have been wiped clean and partitioned, as I want to run OS 9.2.2 and OS 10.2.8 in dual bootable mode. At this point, I have one machine ("Big Red") perfectly configured and running like a top. Is there a quick and dirty way of transferring the contents of "Big Red" onto the rest of the machines? One day I stumbled onto an article on Target Disk Mode cables and how to use them. They seemed like the perfect method to transform my collection into "Big Red" clones. So I purchased three sets of 1EEE-1394 Firewire cables, 6 pin male to 6 pin male, rated to carry up to 400 Mb per second. But as I ran over the instructions again today, I began to have some doubts as to whether TDM cables are appropriate for this task. I do have a LaCie external CD-RW/DVD drive that could be used to make CDs or DVDs of the hard drive contents.


Target Disk Mode should work for this process and you only need one 6 Pin FireWire cable. From "Big Red" you will want to download Carbon Copy Cloner 2.3 and install it.

Then boot up one of the other iMacs in Target Disk Mode by holding down the [T] key during startup. Let go of the key after you see a FireWire symbol on the screen and connect the TDM computer to "Big Red" via the FireWire cable. The hard drive of the TDM iMac will appear on Big Red's Desktop. Format the drive as you want it to look with Disk Utility. Then use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy both the OS X and OS 9 volumes from Big Red to the other iMacs partitions.

When done, eject the TDM iMac's drives and restart it. It should boot up exactly as Big Red would and if it does, repeat the process on all the other iMacs you want to look like Big Red.

Check Out with PayPal