Migrating to Smaller Hard Drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dandrewk, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    San Rafael, California
    Question about Migration Assistant:

    I'm considering getting the 768gb SSD drive for my new iMac. Since Apple dropped the price to $900, and with my EPP discount, the difference between the SSD and a 3tb Fusion Drive is less than $400.

    But that leaves the serious need for an external drive. No problem, I will use my current 3tb USB 3.0 and maybe eventually upgrade to a thunderbolt drive.

    Has anyone used Migration Assistant to transfer to another Mac whose main drive is too small? What is the best way to do it?

    Since my current iMac main drive is near it's capacity of 1tb, how does Migration Assistant handle the transfer to a smaller drive? Will it give me some options as to where to store some of my large data files (iTunes, photos etc), or is that something I'll need to do separate from M.A.?
  2. macrumors 603


    I just looked at the Apple stsore, didn't know there was the SSD only option, actually I think this is cheap of Apple and should include the 1 TB drive but they don't.
    I don't like Migration Assistant , it gives me migraines ;) , I prefer doing it manually, you just don't know what it will import, I used it going from 10.5.8 to 10.8.2 on my new Mini and it imported lots of PPC only code, had to clean myself.

    For your question, it will give you a warning, most likely, and gives you the option what to import, I would not use this since you don't know what will be imported and what not.
    An all SSD sounds nice but when you have more stuff than what fits on it it is not a good choice imo, better choose the cheaper Fusion drive option, but, it's your choice.
  3. macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I just migrated from a 2009 2TB iMac to a 2012 iMac with the 768 GB SSD. I did not want to use Migration Assistant, because I wanted to take the opportunity to reinstall only the applications that I really wanted (especially those with servers running in the background)... and have a cleaner setup.

    I decided that I wanted my media files to reside on my external (Promise Pegasus R4 8TB Thunderbolt - configured as 4TB RAID 10). This includes my pictures, videos, and Music. Everything else would be on the SSD.

    I set up the new machine as follows:

    • Turned on File Vault II
    • Manually installed Dropbox & 1Password

    At this point... my SSD is secured, and I have all my passwords, software activation codes, etc on the machine. This makes it easy to install new software.


    • Install each application that I want to keep.
    • Copy home directory... except for Pictures and Videos
    • Launched iTunes, and changed the location of the library to the external, then consolidated the library to the new location... letting iTunes move all the media to the external... then deleted the media on the SSD.
    • Moved pictures and videos to the external
    • Pointed the Aperture library to the external
    • Turned on Time Machine
    • Ordered Crashplan+ seeding service

    At this point... Everything is up and running and it is absolutely unbelievable. All of my media is on the Pegasus Thunderbolt array, which is quite fast. I have enough space on my SSD to keep one of (Pictures, Videos, iTunes). The only one that makes sense is my extensive Aperture library. I want to do some A/B tests comparing the performance of using it on the SSD vs the Pegasus.

    I think you are going to love your new machine!!!

  4. macrumors 603


    Agree it's better to do yourself yet I have one thing to say about the bold, you made that way too hard.

    Move the Music folder to new directory, so from lets say the Old Mac to the external and change iTunes working directory to the external in the Advanced Tab, ,that’s it, no consolidation itunes copying Music over and the like.
  5. macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    You know... I was going to do it the exact way that you described. Instead, I followed the directions from an article on the Apple support site... but I thought that it was unnecessary.

    At least I knew better with Aperture. (from experience) ;)

    Thanks for the info.

  6. macrumors 65816


    Oct 5, 2006
    London, United Kingdom

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