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Posted on February 2nd, 2016

GTM – Creating a System Image for a Mac Running Windows

If you are a regular reader of our newsletter and specifically this series, then in the April 2015 edition of the Geospatial Tip of the Month (GTM) you might remember my discussion of the new MacBook Pro we purchased as my work laptop. And further, you might also recall that I planned on running Windows 7 on that machine by setting up Boot Camp. Either way, this article extends the discussion started in April with a focus on recovering your hard drive of folders, files and programs if something goes wrong on your MacBook, ugh…

Let me start this piece with a little history on my laptop since I last discussed it in April. First, I have to say that the MacBook is as awesome and fast as the day I purchased it. In fact, it runs Windows 7 with an Experience Index of 6.7 out of 7.9. For several years now, I have been quite disciplined to create a system image of my Windows hard drive just in case something were to go wrong. I did this once a month using the system backup utilities offered with Windows product. A system image is crucial as if your computer ever crashes or key files are lost, you have a way to restore your entire system and/or these lost files.

Now that you have a bit of background on this topic, let’s jump into the discussion. Over Labor Day holiday this year, I plugged in a very old iPhone to my MacBook, and much to my dismay, it somehow deleted about 95% of my programs and system drivers when iTunes opened and tried to sync. The point of this article is not to figure out why this occurred, rather it is to teach our readers a lesson about backing up your MackBook running Windows properly as apparently I had not been doing so…NO!

Here was the basic issue, no matter how hard I tried, I could not force Windows to boot in system restore mode and then read in the Windows system image I had created just days before. It was a HUGE crisis at the time as you might imagine. I even called a few computer consultants to help restore my lost files and programs. In the end, I was forced to reinstall Windows 7 and all of my programs. Thankfully, as I am a user of Dropbox, I did not lose any key files.

Be Sure to Use Winclone!

What I did learn from one of the consultants who helped me out during this crisis was how to properly create a system image for a MacBook. It is a simple process that is done using this low-cost software called Winclone. Winclone is installed and run from your OS X instance so you will need to reboot in OS X each time you want to create a backup. But seriously, the 30 seconds this takes is SOOOOO worth the hours of pain you might face if you have to reinstall your Windows operating system on a MacBook. In the short video that accompanies this GTM, I will show you the steps you need to take to get Winclone going. In the meantime, go out and get yourself a copy of Winclone if you are running Windows on your MacBook!

A less-than 2 minute YouTube video showing you the required steps to back up your Windows Bootcamp partition with Winclone.

A Quick Shout Out

Before we close out this edition of the GTM, I have to give a quick shout out to the software consultant, Kirk Slowe, aka The MacSavage, who took pity on me and came over to help on this holiday weekend. If you live or work in the Boulder, Colorado area, Kirk is the man you need to chat with if you have Mac related issues! Thanks so much Kirk – you rock!

Do you have an idea for a future GTM? If so, let me know by email at

Brock Adam McCarty
Map Wizard
(720) 470-7988

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