Tuesday, November 3, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.22

Mike Bombich:

CCC 5.1.22 is officially qualified for macOS Big Sur.

[…]

Thanks to these massive system changes and some bugs in the version of Big Sur that Apple intends to ship, nobody can make a proper copy of the System volume right now, not even with Apple’s proprietary utilities.

[…]

The changes in Big Sur definitely present some new logistical challenges, but yes, you can have a bootable backup of macOS Big Sur. Right now you can install Big Sur onto your CCC backup to make it bootable, and in the future we’ll use Apple’s APFS replication utility (ASR) to clone the Big Sur System volume. Apple has assured us that they are working towards fixing the problems in ASR that prevent it from cloning the Big Sur System volume.

[…]

To put it plainly, we spend about a quarter to half of our year just making CCC work with the next year’s OS.

See also: the known issues.

Previously:

11 Comments

Remember when you could make a backup of Mac OS by copying the System folder via drag & drop? :)

Yeah, Bob, many a Mac installation were saved by just copying over the System Folder from the emergency disk, which resulted in a slightly screwed up, but working installation.

Didn't Gruber just complain about his son's Windows PC, pointing out how you had to use a third-party tool to make a bootable external disk drive? I think it's a fair complaint, it's just funny that people tend to forget that today's Mac OS X is even worse than Windows in that regard.

@Plume: That was about *installing* Windows, not *cloning* an existing installation, and he also complained there is no (first-party) Windows migration tool at all.

You can absolutely use the macOS installer to install macOS on an external disk, and then boot from it. Choosing the target disk, from among all connected disks, is step one!

If you want to move your files/apps to a new disk, macOS will offer to copy it over for you. With Windows, you have to buy a $40 third-party tool to copy your apps -- or reinstall each one.

And no, you can't simply drag the Windows folder to a blank disk and expect it to be bootable, either. Like (modern) macOS, you need to either install the OS from scratch, or buy a special third-party tool to do the cloning.

Windows is not better at any aspect of this, except possibly that it changes more slowly so there's more third-party tools and documentation available.

In that, the 10.15.5 update was a prime example: a new bug in part of the APFS file system which supports the creation of bootable copies of the startup Volume Group. This stopped widely used utilities like Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper! from working, although their developers have since found and implemented workarounds. The reason that this bug wasn t detected until the release of 10.15.5 is that the system call which fails has persistently returned the code for success, so deceiving developers into believing that nothing was wrong.

>Windows is not better at any aspect of this

Unlike OS X right now, I can actually create a proper clone of a Windows boot drive, without any magic to make it bootable. So it is very obviously better in at least one aspect.

>With Windows, you have to buy a $40 third-party tool to copy your apps

If Gruber made that claim, then he was wrong about that, too.

@Plume: "If Gruber made that claim, then he was wrong about that, too."

I think his guest did. In any event, it matches my experience. What's incorrect about it?

You obviously can't just drag the icon over, because "an app" on Windows is spread all over the filesystem.

I also can't find any evidence that Microsoft Windows has app transfer functionality. A "Microsoft Agent" answered a question about Windows 10 saying "To transfer your applications, you will need to reinstall it again using the installer" (https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files-winpc/can-i-move-windows-10-apps-to-another-computer/026b032a-8369-4137-b6ca-3d7d7ab8fd30), so even their own support people don't know about it.

If you're simply disputing the price, well, fair enough. I'll grant there may be cheaper software. Even if it's $0, though, it's still more work than on the Mac, where I can just drag the app icon to another disk.

"Unlike OS X right now, I can actually create a proper clone of a Windows boot drive, without any magic to make it bootable."

You are clearly smarter than me. I was never able to figure out how to do this, except by using a third-party tool. I spent a few minutes googling just now, and all I can find are pointers to Windows versions of CCC-like tools.

>>>With Windows, you have to buy a $40 third-party tool to copy your apps
>>If Gruber made that claim, then he was wrong about that, too.
> What's incorrect about it?

When Microsoft removed the Windows Easy Transfer tool, they partnered with Laplink, which makes a similar tool available for free.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-easy-transfer-is-not-available-in-windows-10-ff30fba8-9b3e-58f8-5cf2-dfabae35fa01

>You obviously can't just drag the icon over,

For most apps, you can.

>because "an app" on Windows is spread all over the filesystem.

That's the exact same as on Macs. Some applications install as clean executables, or put everything they need into one folder, others vomit stuff all over your system. As a result, some can be moved easily, and others can't.

> I was never able to figure out how to do this, except by using a third-party tool

That's my point. You can just run a third-party tool to immediately clone a bootable drive on Windows. On OS X, at the moment, you can't.

> on the Mac, where I can just drag the app icon to another disk.

Except for the stuff that's in your Library, Preferences, Application Support, etc folders?

This comparison is 100% false! Windows also has apps that don't put anything significant in your user or system folders, and which you can drag and drop the app folder or .exe file to another PC and everything just works. portableapps.com is one such example but lots of apps are simply a .exe that is directly launchable, no .msi installer required.

There used to be a stark difference, but OS X and Windows both suck to the same degree of magnitude now, just in different ways. The only choice is how you want to be annoyed on a daily basis, not if you want to be annoyed (Windows) or not (Mac). Those days are long gone. I was 30 years on the Mac and now 3 months on Windows. The only major difference is that my PC cost 1/3 the price of an equivalent Mac and I have a lot more flexibility on what I can do with it since literally every app of consequence runs on Windows + now there's WSL + I have the peace of mind that Microsoft won't sabotage Windows on an annual basis like Apple now does with OS X.

Except for the stuff that’s in your Library, Preferences, Application Support, etc folders?

Yes, except for non-essential stuff. Those files should re-generate themselves.

This comparison is 100% false! Windows also has apps that don’t put anything significant in your user or system folders, and which you can drag and drop the app folder or .exe file to another PC and everything just works.

It does, but it isn’t the norm. The very existence of the term “portable apps” in Windows culture still makes me roll my eyes. You know what Mac users call those? Apps.

You can take Xcode on a Mac, drag it somewhere, rename it, have multiple copies (like the current release, and the next pre-release) next to each other. Visual Studio for Windows needs to go through contortions to achieve the same, and isn’t as flexible.

The entire concept of app bundles, or apps with a resource fork in the Mac OS Classic days, is just way user-friendlier. The /Applications folder is inviting; the Windows C:\Program Files folder is discouraging (let’s not even start with how they still haven’t figured out placing multiple architectures in the same file system hierarchy, leading to all kinds of weird hacks like syswow64, sysnative, %ProgramW6432%, system32 actually being 64 sometimes, and so forth).

There are cases where you need an installer on a Mac, but they’re not the norm. There are cases where you don’t need an installer on Windows, but they’re not the norm.

There used to be a stark difference, but OS X and Windows both suck to the same degree of magnitude now, just in different ways.

OK, sure.

But this is one area where Windows hasn’t caught up, and to do so would require so many backwards-incompatible changes (or weird shims) that they probably never will. If anything, the Windows 8 and beyond UWP apps are even more obtuse in how they’re handled in the file system.

>The very existence of the term “portable apps” in Windows
>culture still makes me roll my eyes

You're confused about what the term "portable app" means. It's not an app whose .exe file can be copied and still run, it's an app that runs entirely from external media and stores no data on the computer's local file system.

The purpose is to do things like easily carry your browser alongside its bookmarks with you, so you can run the same browser with the same settings and the same bookmarks on any computer you use.

It shouldn't be surprising that this concept also exists for Macs. The term "portable app" is not Windows-specific, there are Mac repositories of portable apps, as well.

Most Windows apps can just be copied from one disk to another and still run, just like most Mac apps can. Again, that's not what the term "portable app" means. There is no specific term for "an app that can be copied to a different disk and still run" on Windows, just as there isn't one on Macs, because it's not needed, because almost all apps work like that.

I think in general, it's worth approaching these topics with an open mind, instead of automatically assuming that Windows is garbage, Macs are great, and that everything is evidence in support of that. The plain truth is that both operating systems are garbage, but at the moment, Macs on average are more so.

What about on a new machine using with an M1. I assume this will be stuck on Big Sur. Will making a bootable clone be possible?

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