A SuperDuper Workaround for Big Sur and M1 Macs

Dave Nanian, at Shirt Pocket:

It seems clear that the future of bootable backups is unclear.

M1 Macs can’t be copied in a way that makes them bootable. Bare metal recovery on an M1 Mac isn’t possible, since they depend on the contents of their internal drive even when booting externally. And the tools required to make bootable copies of Intel Macs are limited, often fail, and produce inscrutable and undocumented diagnostics when they do.

Everything’s a tradeoff, and with the M1 Macs, Apple has given us an amazing new platform, while taking away some of the things that made macOS such a joy to work with. And one of those things is bootable backups.

The workaround is pretty clever. Use an older version of SuperDuper that will copy just the Data partition of your M1 Mac’s boot volume — that’s everything you really need to be backed up. Then if you want to restore, do a fresh OS install on the internal boot drive and restore your data from the external drive where you cloned your Data partition.

SuperDuper is one of my all-time favorite and most-trusted Mac utilities. Big Sur is a big transition for a disk cloning utility; M1 Macs are an even bigger one. They’ll get it.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021