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How to clone external drives with mac in emergency

There are many tools out there that claim to are the best solution for rescuing a dying hard disk drive. They are called Disk Warrior, Data Rescue, PhotoRec and you will find numerous other solutions and apps.

The experiences I made with this kind of tools are very poor and uncomfortable. None of the tools I tested has been able to copy my data or clone the whole disk. None of them. And furthermore, the tools have even not been able to copy all the files that were OK still.

So my next try was to find the best way to copy data from the mac terminal with native mac utilies.

But at first, I will tell you something about my test case:

While testing around with cp and found out that multiple cases caused cp to fail a lot of times and broke my cloning workflow many times completely.

Next, I tried rsync.

The bad thing at first:

But the positive things are cleary overweight:

Here is my rsync command I stick with at the moment:

> rsync -arhvPtE --ignore-existing <source> <destination>

-a = cummulative for:
-h = human readable numbers
-v = verbose output / more informations
-P = cummulative for:
-t = copy timestamp of files
-E = preserve MacOS X file labels/tags
--ignore-existing = ignore existing files

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