Various software changes with print drivers have caused me major headaches, to the point that I can’t print at all. In working on fixing these issues, I have lost all of my print dialogue presets . To prevent these problem, I need to be able test software changes before applying them to my production machine. I also don’t want to duplicate my current hardware environment or make the job too labour intensive.
I could just clone all my software to another disk and reboot. But to move back a forth between the clone and my production environment was a process I found too tedious – requiring a reboot each time I needed to check things. Using two machines is minimally effective, since I can’t afford two Mac Pros.
I have decided to use CCClone to clone my software environment and VM Fusion to simulate my hardware – running this cloned environment as a Virtual Machine on the same hardware as my production environment. I basically see a copy of my machine as a window on my production hardware.
When changes are verified on the clone, I apply those changes again to my production machine.
One Time Setup
- Create a Virtual Machine (VM) to receive a copy of the host machine.
- Created a new OS X VM from scratch called “Middle Man”. “Middle Man” is a vanilla machine which contains two bootable hard disks. One is the Middle Man Boot Disk. The other second drive is the “Clone of Host”.
- At this point you would think you could boot from Middle Man on the Host, but it has the same uuid and mac address as your Host. When I attempted to boot Middle Man on the Host, I just got a grey screen at boot time. To get around this problem (and as as a one time activity) I had to copy the .vmwarevm file to another machine running Fusion where I was prompted for “did you move or copy the VM”. Reply “copy” and Fusion will change the uuid and mac address within the VM (and what ever else is required to run it). Then copy the .vmwarevm file back to the Host where it will now be bootable from now on.
- Use CC Cloner to transfer a cloned image of the Host Boot Disk to the “Clone of Host Hard Disk”.
- This will require authenticating from the CC Cloner Application on the Host to “Middle Man” VM across the network.
- Using the Settings icon in Fusion (the wrench), click the “Startup Disk” icon and change “Clone of Host” to the “startup disk” – typically Fusion refers to this drive as “Hard Disk 2”.Re-boot the VM by hitting the Restart button.
- A clone of your host configuration will now come up as a VM running on the Host.
- Perform any changes/testing within the “Clone of Host”. When ready, re-apply the same changes to the Host.
Creating / Refreshing the “Clone of Host”
- When in CCClone select Destination > Remote Macintosh …
- Ensure that the VM can connect to the Internet. In my case my MacPro has two Ethernet ports.
- Follow the excellent CCC Help instructions to remotely send the clone of your Host directly to disk drive “Clone of Host”.