Welcome to the first edition of Twocanews, our way of periodically sharing what we’ve been doing at Twocanoes headquarters. We want to hear from you, too, so please drop us a line at

Boot Runner

Recently we released Boot Runner, a new app that greatly expands the startup options for multi-boot Macs with a unique boot selector screen and Finder Menu Bar item. More information can be found on the Boot Runner page, so check it out and give the demo a spin to see Boot Runner in action.

Winclone and Windows 8

Last week we released Winclone 3.5 in preparation for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system plus a few minor bug fixes. You can update to WInclone 3.5 by selecting “Check for updates” inside Winclone.

Q & A with Timothy Perfitt

In response to some questions about using Winclone to migrate a Boot Camp partition between Mac hardware, we created a help tutorial on using Sysprep. Founder Timothy Perfitt talks a bit about how that came about.

Timothy: It started a while ago when we first developed Winclone. We found that when people wanted to move Boot Camp between different processor families, it was a problem. Someone would clone a disk and restore it on a different Mac and it would refuse to boot because of driver issues. They would get the blue screen of death. So we looked at ways to avoid that and it really seemed to be a difficult problem to solve. There were some solutions with Microsoft tools like Sysprep, which I had some familiarity with, but it was a complicated process to prepare and wasn’t always foolproof.

With some feedback from the forums and reports of problems migrating between architectures, we decided to revisit that issue and take another look at Sysprep. I looked at the Windows 7 version of Sysyprep and found that Microsoft had simplified the interface and kept the complexity to the command line. So we decided to document the process of using Sysprep and make it as easy as possible for people to move their Boot Camp partition from one Mac and processor family to another.

TN: A Boot Camp partition can be moved from an older Intel Mac to a new MacBook Pro or Air with Sysprep? That seems like a wide range of hardware?

Timothy: Well, we’ve had some good success with Sysprep on Windows 7, generalizing the OS and moving it, whether it’s a Core 2 Duo to an i5 or i7. Sysprep seems to do the job pretty well. It’s not completely flawless but does work a lot better than not using it at all, especially if you are making these large jumps between processor families.

TN: So it shouldn’t matter what hardware your moving from, since Sysprep will generalize it enough to where you could migrate to any Intel hardware?

Timothy: Yes, that’s the idea. Sysprep resets all the device drivers back to default “discovery” mode and that causes Windows to kick off a rediscovery of all the hardware when it first boots on the new Mac. So as long as the default drivers are generic enough so it will boot, it can discover the hardware and then you’re fine. Usually the biggest issue is having to reinstall all the Boot Camp drivers from Apple because those are hardware-dependent as well. But drivers don’t get installed until after the discovery process anyway, so these can be downloaded from Apple and installed after the OS boots on the new hardware.

See the full tutorial on using Sysprep with Winclone.

“Talking story” on the origin of Twocanoes

TN: How did the name Twocanoes come about? Did it start many moons ago?

Timothy: Yes, the Twocanoes name came from many moons ago when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South Pacific. I had a roommate who was from the island of Rennell in the Solomon Islands, which is one of the few Polynesian islands in the Solomon Islands chain. The Solomons are part of the Melanesian region of the Pacific, but some islands were Polynesian. I took a couple of trips to my roommate’s home island of Rennell as well as the neighboring island of Bellona. The two islands are known locally as the “two canoes” because of the history of how those islands were settled as well as the topographical features. On the map, they do look like one larger and one smaller canoe. So the name Twocanoes came about in reference to the two islands. Several books out of the University of Hawaii Press have been written about the legends and stories from there, like “Stories from the Two Canoes” or “Legends of the Two Canoes”. There is a story behind how those two islands were settled too, but that will have to wait for another time.

After returning to the U.S. I needed to come up with an email address and wanted something more general than my own name. I found that the domain was available. So after several years, that name seemed to stick and sort of became my “branding”. When we started Twocanoes Software, I considered a bunch of different names, but since people were already familiar with it as the maker of Winclone and other projects that I did, I decided to keep the name. And since it didn’t involve my name and did have kind of a reputation online as having some software that had been out there for a while, it seemed like a natural fit to keep it moving forward. So the name Twocanoes actually doesn’t have anything to do with software but it is attached to Mac software that’s been around for a while. The domain has been around I think since 1999 or 2000.

Webinars: Using Winclone and Using Boot Runner

Beginning in October, Twocanoes will host webinars on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Join us as we examine the capabilities of Winclone and Boot Runner and answer questions. Participation is free so please join us! Find the schedule and register for webinars on the Twocanoes Events page.


Russell Scheil

Twocanoes Software, Inc.