Carbon Copy Cloner 5.1.12

Originally published at:

Brings full support for making bootable backups of macOS 10.15 Catalina’s new read-only System volume. ($39.99 new, free update, 15.9 MB)

Does this now mean we can select an external drive as the startup volume? I have not yet upgraded to Catalina for a variety of reasons. I will do the CCC update today.

Theoretically yes, but it’s possible some things need to be true of the external drive, and for that I’d recommend double-checking with Bombich tech support.

Today I updated Carbon Copy Cloner, ran a backup to an external drive and I still get the message from Bombich that I can’t set an external drive as startup. Of course I haven’t yet updated to Catalina which I gather is where the announced change would occur. This might be the first in long time I haven’t done updates as soon as they’re released.

Have you created bootable backups on this external drive before? If not, there may be a problem with the drive enclosure. A good starting point for checking out how CCC determines bootability is this:

My current MacBook Air was purchased in late 2018. At the time I decided that I want to clone the setup from my previous 11” MacBook Air. I tried to set the startup to the external hard drive that held my CCC backups and that was not allowed. Somehow though while I was fiddling around the new Mac selected a backup from another hard drive attached to my AirPort Extreme as a Time Machine backup. That worked although the transfer took several hours. The final result was good. I know there are other options using Startup Manager. I’m just wishing the process was simpler as it used to be. I’m proceeding cautiously this time.