Help, backup/clone/restore to new Macbook Question

mrname2016

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2016
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UPDATE 4/29/16: SEE MY LATEST POST BELOW

Hello, I have a 2015 MacBook 12" running OS 10.11.4 with ~500GB of data on it.

I'm buying a new 2016 MacBook 12, running, I assume OS 10.11.4, when it shows up.

I have a clone of my 2015 MacBook drive via carbon copy cloner (CCC) on an external 1TB drive which someone setup for me a year ago, and I keep it updated every week or so.

Here's the question:

When I get the new 2016 MacBook, is it as simple as plugging the 1TB drive in to the new 2016 MacBook, (which i just cloned from the 2015 MacBook 10 minutes before to make it current) and restoring the data to the new 2016 MacBook? Will the new computer just work flawlessly, or will the backup be expecting the system/hardware it was running on the current computer?

I always wondered this question if someone went from a 5 year old MacPro to a newer MacBook? Would it just work? Does the hardware or OS version matter? Mine is only one year difference and the same machine and OS, MacBook 12 10.11.4.

Please excuse my ignorance if this is a simple question. Thank you for your help.
 
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\-V-/

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As long as that backup is a bootable backup, all you need to do is boot into your 1 TB external drive from your new MacBook ... run Carbon Copy Cloner and simply clone the external to your internal drive. You can even restore the recovery partition as well with CCC if that was part of your backup.
 

jamietshaw

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2009
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To put your mind at rest: If you boot from your external drive, as \-V-/ advises, you’ll know at this point that your new computer works with the backup. If for some reason your new Mac couldn’t boot from the external drive (unlikely), at least you’ll know before you start any sort of clone. In other words, you can’t mess anything up by trying it.

By the way, you might alternatively decide not to clone but just to copy your documents etc. over to the new computer and then reinstall software. Downsides are that it’s much more time consuming and there’s always a chance you forget to copy something over before you’ve reused that external hard drive for something else… advantages are that you only install what you really need on the new computer, rather than bringing over lots of rubbish that had accumulated on your old computer.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2015
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No matter what, make a new clone. and MA will "see" the old system and offer to import user profile no matter what.
 

kiwipeso1

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I have always found that it's best to just copy over documents, and load programs from app store, not the entire cloned system.
Mainly as there is no need for the entire machine to be transferred in order for your new machine to work exactly as the old one did.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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I would do this:

1. After you unpack the NEW MacBook, run a fresh backup using CCC on the OLD MacBook. Have the CCC cloned backup close by and ready-to-use.

2. Boot the NEW MacBook for the first time. Go through the initial setup procedure, and at the appropriate moment the Setup Assistant will ask if you wish to bring over apps, accounts and data from an older Mac.

3. Connect the cloned backup. Now let Setup Assistant do its thing and bring everything over.

4. This should take less time than a "complete clone". When done, you will have the brand-spanking-new OS -and- all your apps, accounts, data and settings as they should be.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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I always wondered this question if someone went from a 5 year old MacPro to a newer MacBook? Would it just work? Does the hardware or OS version matter? Mine is only one year difference and the same machine and OS, MacBook 12 10.11.4.
The short answer to your first question is yes it will work and you can just clone the old drive to the new machine with no issues.

But on your second issue I have quoted here, it depends. If the five year old Mac and the new mac are both on the same build version of 10.11.4, then you would have no problem. But sometimes what happens when a new Mac is released there will be a special build version of that OS X version unique to that machine with drivers it needs. So you might have a general release version of 10.11.4 build A1 that everybody has. Then the newly released Mac might have 10.11.4 build B2 with drivers that new Mac needs. In this case you could not clone the old Mac to this new one because the general release build number of 10.11.4 on the old Mac would not have those drivers.

This is normally only an issue for a small window in time. As soon as say 10.11.5 is released all the build numbers would line up again and it would not be a problem.

This is not an issue with you new MacBook because it is using the same 10.11.4 build number as the earlier general release version.
 

kiwipeso1

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I would do this:

1. After you unpack the NEW MacBook, run a fresh backup using CCC on the OLD MacBook. Have the CCC cloned backup close by and ready-to-use.

2. Boot the NEW MacBook for the first time. Go through the initial setup procedure, and at the appropriate moment the Setup Assistant will ask if you wish to bring over apps, accounts and data from an older Mac.

3. Connect the cloned backup. Now let Setup Assistant do its thing and bring everything over.

4. This should take less time than a "complete clone". When done, you will have the brand-spanking-new OS -and- all your apps, accounts, data and settings as they should be.
In theory, you'd be right in assuming that Setup Assistant does it's job well. In practice, it doesn't.
[doublepost=1461601233][/doublepost]
The short answer to your first question is yes it will work and you can just clone the old drive to the new machine with no issues.

But on your second issue I have quoted here, it depends. If the five year old Mac and the new mac are both on the same build version of 10.11.4, then you would have no problem. But sometimes what happens when a new Mac is released there will be a special build version of that OS X version unique to that machine with drivers it needs. So you might have a general release version of 10.11.4 build A1 that everybody has. Then the newly released Mac might have 10.11.4 build B2 with drivers that new Mac needs. In this case you could not clone the old Mac to this new one because the general release build number of 10.11.4 on the old Mac would not have those drivers.

This is normally only an issue for a small window in time. As soon as say 10.11.5 is released all the build numbers would line up again and it would not be a problem.

This is not an issue with you new MacBook because it is using the same 10.11.4 build number as the earlier general release version.
New macs always have special builds of that system specific to that machine alone, and that is why Setup Assistant almost always fails to work properly.
In practice, if you can wait until both Macs are running the next month's 10.11.5 , then you will be fine.
In reality, you probably don't want to wait for days on end just to transfer over your documents and redownload your apps, then take a few minutes restoring your system preferences.
 

Weaselboy

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New macs always have special builds of that system specific to that machine alone, and that is why Setup Assistant almost always fails to work properly.
You are mistaken. They sometimes do, but not always. In the OP's case here the 2016 MacBook has the same build number as the general release version of 10.11.4.

Even if there is a special build number, the setup assistant can work just fine. It is designed to import from an older to a newer OS version.
 
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kiwipeso1

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You are mistaken. They sometimes do, but not always. In the OP's case here the 2016 MacBook has the same build number as the general release version of 10.11.4.

Even if there is a special build number, the setup assistant can work just fine. It is designed to import from an older to a newer OS version.
And you are highly foolish if you think that Setup Assistant does a better job than simply doing it yourself right first time.
None of the times I've ever had to use Setup Assistant have ever gotten the job done perfectly, and the only times I've used it was when my former employer was in the third party Apple retailer shop.
It is more a case of faulty design than substantial program, as I have never found it working as required, and neither have any of the other retail staff I know locally and overseas, including a senior Apple sales manager responsible for Apple Stores across Australia.
 

Weaselboy

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And you are highly foolish if you think that Setup Assistant does a better job than simply doing it yourself right first time.
Not sure why you feel the need for childish insults, but if that makes you feel better I guess.

None of the times I've ever had to use Setup Assistant have ever gotten the job done perfectly, and the only times I've used it was when my former employer was in the third party Apple retailer shop.

It is more a case of faulty design than substantial program, as I have never found it working as required, and neither have any of the other retail staff I know locally and overseas, including a senior Apple sales manager responsible for Apple Stores across Australia.
I have used setup assistant many many times over the years on personal and friends and relatives Macs and never once had a problem. I have read some people have trouble with it, but based on my personal experience and most of the reports I read on forums, it seems to work well most of the time.
 
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kiwipeso1

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Not sure why you feel the need for childish insults, but if that makes you feel better I guess.



I have used setup assistant many many times over the years on personal and friends and relatives Macs and never once had a problem. I have read some people have trouble with it, but based on my personal experience and most of the reports I read on forums, it seems to work well most of the time.

Yes, and if I wanted to go the slow and shoddy way to do things, I'd use windows instead.
Which is the general consensus from myself, my former workmates and many others who have decades of experience with computers.
 

Mr_Brightside_@

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Yes, and if I wanted to go the slow and shoddy way to do things, I'd use windows instead.
Which is the general consensus from myself, my former workmates and many others who have decades of experience with computers.
I've used Setup Assistant dozens of times on many different systems, and it's never caused any of the issues you're describing. Every time I've been forced to do a 'manual' migration, it's been slow, tedious, and prone to forgetting files. I suppose YMMV.
 
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IowaLynn

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Feb 22, 2015
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Look up MacInTouch reader feedback on Migration Assistant for issues and troubleshooting. It has improved. TimeMachine which is what many use instead of a CCC clone or system drive you would think something that came out and in terrible shape in late 2007 would be polished in 8+ years.

Sees that upgrade over old OS and with obsolete apps (PowerPC Rosetta too) will be more likely to run into trouble along the way when moving beyond 10.7.5.

Too much to ask Apple to have its own upgrade check like EtreCheck?
 

mrname2016

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2016
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UPDATE: Thanks to all that have replied.

I got the new 2016 MacBook. I cloned the drive from the old MacBook and then booted the new MacBook using the clone. Copied everything over and the new MacBook works great. I got a Sandisk Ultra II 960GB flash drive for $230 at BestBuy. It took 2 hrs 9 mins to clone 420GB from the old MacBook. It took 1 hr 28 mins to clone the same 420GB back to the new MacBook.

There were some strange things that didn't copy or work right, but so far all have been easily fixable.

For example, I had to turn on FileVault on the new machine.

The spotlight search didn't know to ignore my Mail folder when searching for documents.

My iMessages didn't immediately show up, but did later.

My Safari Extensions did not copy over, and now I cant find ClickToFlash anymore.

A software license or two didn't hold up so I had to re-enter and remove them from the old machine.

It was still easier and faster than manually copying things over, which I've done with the last 10 macs I've owned.

Also, better than Migration Assistant, which I think is for basic users. And it never worked that great for me so I gave up trying it years ago.

I'm still running the new machine through its paces and I'm sure I'll find a few more things that need updated, but I bet I've saved 10 hours over last year copying files manually and setting up all the preferences from my 2012 MBAir13 to the 2015 MacBook.
 

satcomer

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Feb 19, 2008
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UPDATE: Thanks to all that have replied.

I got the new 2016 MacBook. I cloned the drive from the old MacBook and then booted the new MacBook using the clone. Copied everything over and the new MacBook works great. I got a Sandisk Ultra II 960GB flash drive for $230 at BestBuy. It took 2 hrs 9 mins to clone 420GB from the old MacBook. It took 1 hr 28 mins to clone the same 420GB back to the new MacBook.

There were some strange things that didn't copy or work right, but so far all have been easily fixable.

For example, I had to turn on FileVault on the new machine.

The spotlight search didn't know to ignore my Mail folder when searching for documents.

My iMessages didn't immediately show up, but did later.

My Safari Extensions did not copy over, and now I cant find ClickToFlash anymore.

A software license or two didn't hold up so I had to re-enter and remove them from the old machine.

It was still easier and faster than manually copying things over, which I've done with the last 10 macs I've owned.

Also, better than Migration Assistant, which I think is for basic users. And it never worked that great for me so I gave up trying it years ago.

I'm still running the new machine through its paces and I'm sure I'll find a few more things that need updated, but I bet I've saved 10 hours over last year copying files manually and setting up all the preferences from my 2012 MBAir13 to the 2015 MacBook.
That's great but you might have installed programs that haven't been "upgraded" for the new Mac OS X! So use the free program EtreCheck. Run it as it will print out a .txt file of every system, plugin a no application version. Then you can update things, plugins, etc that need them or just delete old incompatible files.