Downgrading my Mac, can I save data?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by loztheguru, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. loztheguru macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #1
    As per title, im downgrading my mac due to a temporary lack of funds. I'm moving from a 2011 iMac to a 2007 Mac Mini. I intend to purchase a new mac at some point in the future, and have a time machine backup ready for when this happens, but in the mean time is there any way of saving data?

    In particular i'd like to keep key apps, and transfer them to the mini. It will probably end up running Snow Leopard - thoughts from anyone? The HDD in the mini is significantly smaller (a 120gb SSD, compared to my current 1TB in the iMac)
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I don't recommend going back an OS or more. This will probably prevent you from taking much with you. For instance, if you have bought stuff in the app store, you will no longer have it in Snow Leopard. If you have newer preferences for things like iCloud and Photostream, those are gone as well. Lastly if you have pictures in an iPhoto Library, it won't allow you to open it in an older version of iPhoto that would run on SL.

    I would think you could "cheat" and get Mavericks on a 2007 mini even if it runs miserably slow. This involves a fair amount of work but I believe there are threads on this topic here at MR. This would at least allow you to keep all your apps and preferences by using Migration Assistant to go from your iMac to your mini.

    I strongly recommend a different or additional backup besides Time Machine. It would be a shame to sell your iMac, use your Mac mini for a few months, buy a newer Mac and THEN discover that the TM backup you thought you had is unreadable and you can't migrate from it.

    How much space is free on your 1TB drive? How much of that stuff are you willing to jettison in order to downsize? What version of OSX are you running? If it's Mavericks, your options are limited when it comes to downsizing as recent OSX updates won't run on very old Intel Mac hardware (without doing a fair amount of work).
     
  3. loztheguru thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #3
    Alas I am currently running mavericks :(. I've seen a few of the intel macs running it too, but the whole reason I didn't want to run Lion was because I assumed it'd be pretty slow. I could probably cope without quite a few things, but I just dont want to go to the hassle of having to re-install everything if it's possible to avoid it.

    RE a second backup solution, what would you recommend? Another external HDD and another time machine backup?

    Is it possible to access individual files from within a time machine backup, via windows explorer or finder?
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    Carbon Copy Cloner (shareware), the free version of Crashplan, or simply copying and pasting files to an external drive are all preferable to relying purely on Time Machine. I prefer to keep all my external drives formatted HFS+ which means I never intend to access them on Windows. If you seriously want to access stuff from Windows, you are faced with using Fat32 for your external drive. If you want to open TM files in Finder, you will find a file called xxxxMac.sparsebundle. You will need to "show contents" on that file and you can navigate around inside to find your files.

    Since you are going back a version of OS, I suggest you copy files you care about and paste them to an external drive. Are you really sure you need to access files in Windows? I'd rather stick with HFS+ than Fat which is not a journaling file system. Also I don't recommend NTFS because there are limitations writing to NTFS from OSX.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    [[ RE a second backup solution, what would you recommend? Another external HDD and another time machine backup? ]]

    I'll make a suggestion.

    Get an external drive (at least 1tb in size).

    Use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the contents of your iMac to the external.

    You should now be able to connect the external to the Mini (or any other "earlier" Mac you buy) and boot and run from the external, with "everything there".

    You can "selectively migrate" stuff from the cloned external to the new Mac's drive.

    But you'll STILL be able to boot and run from the cloned external, if you wish.
     

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