Cloning Mac HDD via Firewire?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by macstatic, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #1
    We'd like to clone the Mac hard drive from one Mac (2008 iMac) over to another Mac (2012 Mac mini), and Firewire 800 is the common fastest interface, so I'm wondering if there's a way to clone the drive directly (instead of first cloning the iMac over to an external harddrive, then attaching that hard drive to the Mac mini in order to create a clone of that drive)?

    The iMac is running OSX 10.9.5. and as I already have a Chronosync license I'm aiming to use it to clone (as far as I know the commonly used clone apps (Super Duper and Carbon cloner) are no longer free).
     
  2. biker4mac macrumors member

    biker4mac

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South Central Pennsylvania
    #2
  3. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #3
    Thanks. I read the link, but am a little confused....
    So in my case (I want to erase everything on the Mac mini (this will be my wife's new computer) and have the contents from the iMac (this is her existing Mac, about to be retired) transferred), I should (after connecting a Firewire cable between the two) power up the Mac mini and immediately press (and hold) the "T" key, then after a while the Mac mini pops up on the iMac desktop as a hard drive icon which I can copy to?

    Another thing, regarding what to clone and how:
    The iMac has a single 500GB hard drive, which of course contains everything (OSX, apps, files).

    The Mac mini has also got a 500GB hard drive, but in addition I will soon be inserting an additional drive (a 250GB SSD) for apps and OSX.
    So... I suppose a clean install of OSX 10.9.5 (I see no good reason to upgrade) from a USB memory stick with the installation file on the SSD is in order, but for the Mac mini hard drive (this is where I want the users' home directories to be): should I simply clone the entire iMac drive over to this drive (making it bootable in the process), then link the users' home directories over to the hard drive afterwards, and finally deleting OSX, or just do a normal copy of all home directories (i.e. the Finder's drag & drop type copy), or would there still be invisible and special files involved which do indeed demand a clone operation?

    A lengthy explanation, but in short: I want to install OSX from scratch on the SSD and copy the user home directories over to the hard drive and finally link them in OSX over to that drive using the "User & groups" System preference's "Advanced options".
     
  4. biker4mac macrumors member

    biker4mac

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    South Central Pennsylvania
    #4
    The iMac should be on with the cable connected and then boot the Mini and press and hold the "T" key, and the connection will be made.

    For what you're describing, I'd be more inclined to do the clean install of the OS and then use the migrate function to move everything else from the iMac to the Mini as you desire. Trying to clone and relink things is likely to cause more issues than you need.
     
  5. macstatic, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018

    macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    #5
    That sounds like a good idea.
    I've never used the migration assistant before, but I assume it looks for a home folder with the same username as before and then copies all the personal files and setup files used for the various apps (or perhaps just the bulk of all files in that home folder).

    So I should probably do a clean install of OSX and all apps on to the SSD.
    Then create all the users (with the same usernames as before), and copy (not move) their home folders over to the (newly initialized and completely blank) hard drive, choose the new paths of each home folder (as I described earlier and explained in more detail here), and reboot (so that OSX will use those new home folders on the hard drive instead of the SSD).
    At that stage I suppose I can use the migration assistant to copy everything over from the old iMac.

    You mention cloning/linking as a possible source of issues later on. Are you opposed to separating OSX from the home folders? Ideally a single and large SSD would be preferrably, but due to high costs that isn't an option so I find this method more beneficial. It's described many places online, and given that Apple has made an option for choosing a new path to the home folder(s) I would think Apple has thought this over and found it to work.
     
  6. biker4mac macrumors member

    biker4mac

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2001
    Location:
    South Central Pennsylvania
    #6
    The migration assistant will populate a fresh install of the OS with all your users and applications and such.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204350
     

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