Improving Our Image

The key to a quick Macintosh image restore is Apple Software Restore (ASR) technology. Carbon Copy Cloner is a widely used, free (for education) application that can automatically create an ASR disk image from a hard drive. It takes a while to scan a 6GB disk image for ASR, but the technology enables block-level restore, which speeds up the restore process tenfold. Our disk image has grown over the years, but our 6GB image still takes only about 15 minutes to restore and verify. One final note: you need to boot off another volume in order to clone or restore a disk. I have found portable FireWire drives to be the easiest and fastest external boot devices for our Macs. Bootable CDs and DVDs are no longer practical. OSX no longer comfortably fits on one CD, and it is not a simple task to create a bootable DVD. NetBoot is popular option if you already have a Mac server on your network. Otherwise, the costs of installing a NetBoot server outweigh the benefits for such a small Macintosh installation as ours.

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