Hard drive transfers help (please and thank you!)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TheBigL, May 11, 2013.

  1. TheBigL macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I havent done much HDD transferring in my days so I'm looking for a little assistance for when I get my new system.

    I'm getting a stock Mac Mini (2.6GHz upgrade) with all other internals at stock and upgrading the RAM and HDD to a SDD myself.

    I'm currently on a 2007 Macbook running 10.7.5 and using a 128GB SSD.

    Is the best way to go about this to: buy the stock mac mini and a separate SSD, then clone the stock HDD with the OS onto the SSD and install into the Mac Mini, then copy over any files and info from my Macbook's SSD?

    Or is there an easier way? I've heard of people simply using the SSD as an external boot drive / main drive and keeping the stock drive in the mac mini as a back up drive.

    I just want to eliminate as many steps as possible. I wish I could just pop my SSD from my Macbook into the new Mac Mini, but I wouldnt get the benefit of the new OS that comes on my new Mac mini.

    Any help or advice is much appreciated! Like I said, I'm fairly new to the whole data migration on Macs, especially since I'm going from an old OS to a newer one.

    Thanks again!

    -Terry
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    That is what I would do and requires the fewest steps. Just use the free trial version of Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the HDD to the new SSD. Then start up from the now installed SSD and run Migration Assistant on the Mini to import your account and data from the Macbook.

    You can just connect an ethernet cable directly between the Mini and the Macbook to do this.

    Don't make your account on the SSD before you do this or you will end up with duplicate user folders and a big mess.

    If you want to make a test account on the Mini before you do the SSD swap just to make sure everything is okay, make sure you name it something different (like "test") than you real account on the Macbook.
     
  3. TheBigL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    #3
    So the first time I start up my mac mini with the stock HDD, make a "test" (being sure not to import my main account) account to make sure all is working well and then download CCC and clone to the new SSD?

    Then go through the new SSD install into the mac mini and after that use migration assistant to transfer my account from my Macbook's SSD? This will avoid duplicates and what not?

    Thanks for the tips, just want to clarify some things!
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    California
    #4
    Yes... exactly. You are right on target. :)
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    "Or is there an easier way? I've heard of people simply using the SSD as an external boot drive / main drive and keeping the stock drive in the mac mini as a back up drive.
    I just want to eliminate as many steps as possible."

    This is the EASIEST way and will eliminate "as many steps as possible":

    - Get yourself either an external enclosure or a USB3/SATA "docking station"
    - Put the SSD into it, connect it to the Mac
    - Initialize it using Disk Utility (booted from the internal HDD). You will now have an "empty drive", mounted on the desktop
    - Use either CarbonCopyCloner (free usage for 30 days) or SuperDuper to "clone" the contents of the internal HDD to the SDD
    - Go to "Startup Disk" in system prefs and designate your external SDD to be your boot drive
    - Reboot. You now have a copy of "what was" on your internal HDD, on the SSD.
    - You can now deal with transferring your old data. Many folks use Migration Assistant. Some migrate their data "manually". Either way will work.

    If you get the CORRECT enclosure or docking station (and I can't overemphasize the importance of this), you will have a reliable "external booter" that runs as nearly as fast and as "solid" as any internal SSD. About the only difference you'll notice is that the boot time is a few seconds (and ONLY the matter of a very few) longer than it might be if the drive was mounted internally.

    But it WILL save you a LOT of "steps" insofar as getting everything up and running is concerned.
    AND -- be aware that there seem to have been numerous posts here on MR from folks who "thought they could do the job" insofar as installing a drive into the Mini was concerned, and…. ended up breaking something.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    The odds are that a 2012 Mac mini won't run 10.7.5.

    The easiest way to get your apps and data over is when you first boot the new system and it gets to migration assistant, use that to either copy from a Time Machine backup or copy directly from your old Mac.

    And yes cloning the original system disk in the Mini to the SSD is probably the easiest way to get the OS onto the SSD.

    Remember if you're installing your own hardware into the Mac mini you want to make sure it works first before you modify it.
     
  7. TheBigL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    #7
    Any suggestions on a good, reliable and fast external enclosure?
    There are a lot to choose from and some are a lot more expensive than others for seemingly comparable specs / features.

    Thanks for the comment!
     
  8. Zemzil macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    Geneva, Swiss
    #8
    You can use the target mode between your two macs with a Firewire (or Thunderbolt) cable.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1661

    Mountain Lion can retrieve Time Machine backup or simple user data from an OS X installation over it.

    Recovery USB tool exist from Apple :

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433

    But it required internet download of all the install file.

    You can make a external bootable install drive with an ML purchased on the AppStore, but I have no idea if it's possible with a stock-installation from Apple, or if buying a new Mac will give this download option on the AppStore.
     
  9. blanka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #9
    CCC and SuperDuper are fairly useless in the trial state. They are just as functional as DiskUtility that comes with your system is. Just use that to clone a complete drive.
     
  10. Weaselboy, May 13, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    The CCC 30 day trial is fully functional and will work for what the OP is doing. Not sure what you mean by "fairly useless."
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    "CCC and SuperDuper are fairly useless in the trial state. They are just as functional as DiskUtility that comes with your system is. Just use that to clone a complete drive."

    Simply nonsense.

    CCC version 3.4.7 will work with 10.8 and earlier versions of the Mac OS and is fully functional.

    CCC version 3.5.2 will function for 30 days from the time of download. After that, you can either pay to register it, or, figure out how to coax 30 _more_ days out of it … ;)

    SuperDuper (if it still works the way it used to) will do a complete clone for free without paying the registration. It _does_ limit one to a "full clone" -- not an incremental backup.
     
  12. TheBigL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    #12
    Conclusion

    While I appreciate everyones concern and input, after some number crunching based on prices of peripherals I would want (SSD @ $170USD, USB 3.0 Enclosure @ $80USD.. and not the cheapest stuff on the market) I've come to realize that for a mere $50 more I can get an internal SSD from Apple in the system.

    This would save me a lot of hassle as all I would have to do is use Migration Assistant from my Macbook to my Mini and voila.. all done. Also, this way, if down the road I find little use for my Macbook (serving desktop purposes at the moment anyways) I can pull and wipe the SSD I have in there and then get myself an external enclosure to use for additional storage.

    I appreciate all the input, but for $50 more and the option of not having an obsolete SSD laying around, I might as well just get the internal SSD from Apple.

    Thanks again!
     
  13. Zemzil macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Location:
    Geneva, Swiss
    #13
    I just answer to myself : to keep a fresh installation of the MountainLion delivered with your mini, juste use a simple USB key, recovery partition, then cloning the hard drive on it.
     

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