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Making a Bootable MacOS clone is essentially dead with Big Sur?

By mujebusapnarastana ·
I’ve always used SuperDuper to backup my boot volume as a bootable clone drive. It broke under Big Sur. We’ve now been sitting since May with a SuperDuper beta that claim s to be able to do this but there are still some issues. I’m not one to run a beta of anything especially something as important as cloning your boot volume.

What have you folks been hearing about this? Right now in addition to Time Machine I’m copying off my high-level folders, Pictures, Documents, etc. but being able to boot from a clone has been very useful to me over the years. I hate to see that go.
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Time to find a SuperDuper forum?

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Making a Bootable MacOS c ... CLAIMS the following at the top of the page:

"Big Sur Infomation

SuperDuper! v3.5, which is Big Sur compatible and produces bootable Intel and M1 backups, is now in Beta: see the Shirt Pocket blog for information."

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Or change to Carbon Copy Cloner

by mrmacfixit Moderator In reply to Time to find a SuperDuper ...

current version handles Big Sure

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by utestoleg In reply to Making a Bootable MacOS c ...
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Big Sur Bootable Clone for Intel

by monkeynut1 In reply to Making a Bootable MacOS c ...

Unless I have missed something it appears that a bootable USB clone of Big Sur is not possible although some claim that this can be done with thunderbolt 3 connected devices.

This statement from Mr Bombich was like waving a red flag at a bull "nobody can make a proper copy of the System volume right now" . Oh yes I can!

I have on my desk an SSD connected over USB from which I can reliably boot a macOS 11 clone. I have even upgraded it from 11.1 to 11.6 booting via a USB port.

Although I have several Macs I only have one suitable to try this - a 2014 Macbook Air that I've upgraded to 1TB as the others I have are too old to support this O/S. I can't therefore put hand on heart and say that this will work for newer machines But I don't see why not.

I believe that any Mac that can run a macOS previous to Big Sur may be used to clone this O/S but without other Mac hardware I can't actually test this. One caveat its a techy solution that has to be performed via a terminal session after the machine with Big Sur installed has been booted into recovery mode. Anyone who is unfamiliar with things such as diskutil etc must take great care not to destroy their internal storage. So for now I'm not going to post the steps to clone your internal disk until I'm actually asked to do so. as I don't want to be blamed for any accidental wiping of someones Mac!

Good fun,


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Thanks for this.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Big Sur Bootable Clone fo ...

While Peter and I do seem to find ways to make the bootable clone, we also tend to defer to Carbon Copy Cloner and such because the method I did trip over was far too tedious and error prone for everyday users.

As to accidental wiping of someone's Mac I have to ask the following: Doesn't everyone have backups of what they can't lose?

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