Move your Boot Camp with Winclone

Winclone IconI recently replaced the 250gig HDD that came in my Macbook Pro with a new 500gig drive. I installed a fresh copy of OS X on the drive, and then restored all of my files from my Time Machine backup during the initial setup on the first boot. Everything went much smoother than I was expecting, but the process didn’t help me move my installation of Windows XP on my Boot Camp partition.

I plugged my old 250gig system drive into an external USB enclosure and tried manually copying the Boot Camp installation into a blank Boot Camp partition on my new hard drive. I wasn’t expecting it to work, and it lived up to my expectations when it didn’t. My assumption is that there are issues with things like the Master Book Record that can’t be solved with a simple file copy.

I did a web search and found a (free, donationware) utility called Winclone that was created for backing up Boot Camp partitions into image files, and then deploying those image files onto new machines. The application made an image file out of my original Boot Camp partition with no problem, even though it was living on an external HDD at the time. I then used OS X’s Boot Camp Assistant to make a new partition on my new hard drive a little bit larger than my old BC partition. (I tried making them the same size at first, but the new one always ended up being a little bit smaller and the restore operation would fail.) Once I had the new partition, Winclone restored my image file to it relatively quickly.

When Winclone makes the image file you can compress it so that the image is only as large as the actual used space of the partition. This means if you had a 32gig install of XP on a 60gig partition, your image file backup will only be 32gig instead of 60gig. I think Winclone will be a great tool for doing periodic image backups of my XP install that can then be dumped onto my external archive drive. Before, I didn’t have any backup solution for my XP install beyond Dropbox.

At any rate… if you find yourself needing to migrate a Boot Camp installation from one hard drive to another, or one Mac to another, give Winclone a serious look.

Winclone Homepage

Photorec: Digital Photo Recovery Tool

Back Entrance

Yesterday I was walking around Downtown Austin snapping some photos with my Canon XTi. I haven’t gotten out to take photos in a while, and I just moved to the area, so I was having a lot of fun. I framed a shot and pulled the trigger and nothing happened… I looked down at the screen and saw an error message about my CF card. Crap! I cycled the power, pulled the battery, pulled the card, all to no avail. I swapped CF cards and went on with my day, chalking the early shots up as lost.

When I got home I hit Google, looking for a free tool to recover data from a corrupt storage device. I knew that there were several apps available, but these few random shots weren’t worth the ~$50 price tag of most tools. I was also looking for a tool that I could use in OS X. Booting into Windows for a tool like Recuva was an option, but I was enjoying the challenge of finding something that would work in OS X as well. (Recuva may work great, was recommended to me by Kitch, but I never loaded it up.)

I came across a blog post by Jeffrey Friedl talking about his success with PhotoRec, a cross platform (and I mean, every platform you can think of) tool for recovering files from corrupt file systems, or recovering deleted files from anything. Jeffrey’s post outlined, step by step, how to recover photos from a corrupt memory card in OS X using Photorec.

If you’ve ever had a memory card go corrupt on you, give PhotoRec a try before you give up. I’ll be keeping a copy of this utility on my thumbdrive for all major operating systems from now on.

Jeffrey Friedl’s Blog – Recovering Photos from a Corrupt Memory Card with PhotoRec

PhotoRec Official Website


Leopard Synergy Solution – SynergyKM


I was just talking about how I couldn’t get QuickSynergy to work in Leopard. Thankfully, I did a little digging and quickly found a solution. Using SynergyKM I have Synergy running between Leopard and XP Pro with no problems. SynergyKM looks a lot more mature than QuickSynergy, and is probably the software package I should have been using all along.

At any rate, I’m happy now!


Leopard Casualty – QuickSynergy

R.I.P. QuickSynergy

[Update: My problems have been solved with SynergyKM]

I’ve switched both of my machines (12″ Powerbook and Intel iMac) to Leopard now, and I’ve run into my first major application loss. QuickSynergy no longer works for me.

My workstation setup is a 20″ iMac on the right, with a Windows machine hooked up to a 20″ LCD directly to the left. I use the Windows machine for 3D modeling and rendering. Having both machines on the desk lets me use both systems without having to reboot my iMac or run a virtualization program. I use Synergy to control both computers with one keyboard and mouse. If you haven’t heard of Synergy, and you use more than one computer at a desk, check it out immediately. It’s nearly life changing.

QuickSynergy is a great GUI for using Synergy on the Mac or Linux. Before QuickSynergy came along, everything was command line. Well, QuickSynergy doesn’t seem to play nicely with Leopard. My Windows machine won’t connect to my iMac as a Synergy server, and when I try to quit QuickSynergy I get an error mentioning something about Applescript.

I’m going to try using the command line Synergy setup, but if that doesn’t work it looks like I’ll be rockin’ out old-school with two keyboards and two mouses (mice? mii?) on my desk.

If anyone has run into this and knows a solution, please enlighten us in the comments!

Photoshop CS3

CS3, where have you been all my life? I’ve got the CS3 beta running on both my Intel iMac and my G4 Powerbook. It is snappier than CS2 was on my Powerbook, but it completely screams on my iMac! We have needed this for so long, great to see that it is being delivered.

The speed boost is great, but I’m even more excited about the features being added. Particularly, the greatly improved Bridge application. It also looks like Camera RAW has borrowed a lot of the controls that Rawshooter brought to the table when Adobe bought the technology from Pixmantec. I couldn’t be happier, because I used Rawshooter for a long time when my main photo editing machine was a Windows box. I’m also very excited about applying filters as adjustment layers through the “smart filters” function. That is going to completely change the way we use filters in Photoshop.

I can’t wait for CS3’s full release to come out. Great things are ahead for sure.