Hard Drive to SSD Cloning: Disk Utility or Clone Software

Clone the hard disk drive in your Apple Mac to a new SSD for extra performance | rawinfopages.com

Douglas Gordon highlights the methods to clone Mac hard drive to SSD -  Disk Utility and third-party Drive Clone software. He also provides an opinion in which disk cloning strategy is better of the two.

If you are using a Mac, you should know that it is a good practice to keep 15% of the total hard drive space free. This is done to keep the performance of your Mac optimized. As for example, if you are using a 256GB hard drive, you can use about 217GB drive space, therefore, keeping the rest empty. 

If the total utilized drive space exceeds this limit (217GB), your system may then show symptoms such as slow performance. In that case, you will have to take a quick action to prevent any negative consequences. There are other reasons that lead to a slow reaction of your Mac hard drive. 

Sometimes, after cleaning quite a larhge volume of space from your hard drive and installing a clean operating system to the SSD, it may seem that the system would perform well in the long run. Initially, after migrating the entire data from the hard drive to SSD with the help of migration assistant, everything seems to work as it should

A few months later, you may observe a slight slowdown in the performance of the computer. Again, when a fresh OS is installed on your Mac, the performance is improved, but the apps are still running comparatively slower. The programs are working at a slow pace, and all this involves loss of time.

What could be the cause?

Improper migration might be responsible for the cause. If any inconsistencies exist, you might not feel any difference initially, but sooner or later, you will notice a slight slowdown in the performance of your Mac. Using Migration Assistant, you can migrate data using either of the three migration techniques - Wireless, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet Direct. 

Of the three, Thunderbolt is the fastest, though it is quite expensive as well.

Are there any other alternatives to migration?

The internal components of a mechanical disk driveUsing Mac drive cloning is another method to replicate your hard drive. You can either do it with the help of the built-in Disk Utility or third-party Clone software. Though, both the approaches have their benefits, the choice solely depends on one’s preference and overall requirements.  

Migration will copy data to another drive while Cloning makes an exact copy of the drive including operating system, default programs, third-party programs and overall files and documents on another drive.

We’ll discuss both the Mac migration strategies in detail in the upcoming sections. 

How disk cloning works

Cloning the hard drive makes an exact copy of the disk that incorporates the operating system, applications and of course system files and user files. Cloning does not only imply replicate everything existing on the hard drive, but it also assists in settling everything on the new hard disk without reinstalling the OS. 

Cloning can be done using Mac’s native Disk Utility. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Attach the drive to the Mac machine.
  2. Open Disk Utility following the given path: Users, Applications, Utilities, Disk Utility.app
  3. Alternatively, press Command+Space to launch Spotlight and search for Disk Utility and then hit Enter. 
  4. In the window that appears, select the drive that you need to copy from the right pane. Next, click on the Restore tab from the options that appear. 
  5. You can view the drive you need to clone as Source field in the current window. Locate the drive where you need to clone data and drag it into the Destination field
  6. Click on the Restore button to start and complete the cloning procedure

Note: If anything exists on the destination drive, it will automatically remove once the cloning process is initiated. It is recommended to backup any important data and clean hard drive to successfully perform the Mac drive clone.

In a few minutes, you will have a clone drive ready! 

Which is better - Disk Utility or clone software?

Disk Utility offers quite a straightforward way to clone your hard drive, but when it comes to accessing extensive cloning features, it can only be acquired using a third-party drive clone application. 

Cloning software not only clones the hard drive, but also offers some additional modules and capabilities as well. If cloning is achieved through a professional software, you get the following features:

  • Cloning Module: Creates exact copy of the hard drive and the existing logical volumes
  • Disk Imaging Module: Creates image of the volume as well as entire hard drive
  • Mac Backup: Allows backup existing files and folders on the hard drive
  • Restore: Allows restore data from particular folder from image file and particular folder
  • Allows Cloning encrypted hard drives and volumes 
  • It is compatible with all versions of Mac Operating System

What makes Mac Drive Clone worth using? 

You can clone a Mac hard drive to SSD and can clone an SSD to a hard drive with Stellar Drive Clone. The third-party application provides the facility to create a bootable DMG that helps start the Mac system in case of hardware failure or software crash. 

You can even create a Mac minimal system incorporating all essential system files. This works as a real system but runs only necessary features and incorporates empty user folder with default preferences. 

The final word

It is quite hard to conclude whether cloning the Mac's hard drive to SSD is better accomplished by using Disk Utility or employing a third-party software. But, it can be calculated that professional apps like Stellar Mac Drive Clone possess the capability to do the task more efficiently. The advantage is that it offers flawless performance and users can customize the drive clone task as per their preferences and requirements.

Author: Douglas Gordon





Hi, Good article, also for professional creating disk image, diskutility can be scripted and work for you whether to deploy image or create them saving lots of time. For the speed getting down, cleaning up the system is always good sometime such as: Cleaning caches (system and profile) Cleaning logs Run commands like: periodic daily weekly monthly And other ones which cleans and maintain all in order. Doing this remotely to my employees I reduced the support by 60% !

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