Dealing with OS/apps drive and home directory

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tjmckay4, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Tjmckay4 macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2014
    Perth, West Aus
    Soon I'm going to upgrade to the new 27" iMac - either the mid - 256gb SSD, mid - 512gb SSD or top - 512gb SSD.

    Currently I have a 2011 27 iMac with the OS and apps on an external SSD and my home directory on the internal 3tb hard drive.

    How would I go about merging that setup? ie. OS, apps and home directory on the internal 256/512gb SSD.

    As I've got pretty much all of the current home directory synced with Dropbox (~700gb), I would need to do a selective sync and start moving some data over to an external drive.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Here's what I'd suggest.
    This post will be a little long.

    You're going to need at least one more external drive.

    I'm going to assume that you'd like to "migrate" your current home directory "right over" to the new one, correct?

    I would try a "finder copy" of the home directory to the spare hard drive.
    Note: I would actually copy the entire "Users" folder over, because I think that's the folder SA will "look for" trying to locate your home folder.

    When the new iMac comes, do this:

    Before you even turn it on, connect the home directory copy drive.

    Boot the new iMac for the first time, go through the initial setup procedures.

    When the setup assistant asks if you want to migrate stuff from another Mac or drive, choose to do this and "aim" SA at the connected drive.

    You will need to check/uncheck the options in Setup Assistant so that it migrates ONLY your account(s) and settings.
    You DO NOT want it to copy applications.

    Now, let SA do its thing.

    When done, you should have the home folder (your account) migrated, and your settings as well.

    I suggest you log into the migrated account and "check around", to see if things (so far) look as you want them to. Of course, your apps won't "be there" yet.

    NOW it's time to disconnect the first external drive, and connect the external SSD.

    This next step could be important:
    a. Once the SSD mounts (icon only), click ONE time on it to select it.
    b. Type command-i (eye) to bring up the get info box
    c. At the bottom of the box is "sharing and permissions"
    d. Click the lock icon and enter your password
    e. Put a check in "ignore ownership on this volume" and close the get info box.
    This will avoid any permissions issues.

    Once that's mounted on the desktop, launch Migration Assistant.

    Again, you will have to check/uncheck through the options MA offers you.
    This time, set it up to copy only Applications and data (if there's any data to be copied).

    Once MA is set up, once more let it do its thing.

    When done, all the relevant applications and data should now be in the NEW iMac's applications folder.

    Take a good look around.
    Try out each of your migrated apps.
    Are you "where you want to be" ??
  3. Tjmckay4 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2014
    Perth, West Aus
    WOW! Thanks Fishrrman for spending the time writing that up for me.

    There is another method I've thought of. What about getting a 2tb external Hard drive (got one already) and do the following:
    1. Clone a bootable copy of the external SSD, using carbon copy cloner, onto the 2tb ex HDD
    2. Boot off the 2tb ex HDD and it should read the home directory stored in the 3tb internal drive
    3. Selective sync in dropbox so that it deletes content off the 3tb internal to try and go under 500gb
    4. Go into the system pref > users > ctrl click on my user > advanced settings and move the home directory to the 2tb ex HDD
    5. Now I should then have the OS, apps, home directory together on the 2tb ex HDD
    6. Clone the 2tb HDD (that's under 500gb in content) onto the 512gb SSD internal on the new iMac
    Would that work?

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