How can I completely copy my Mac's HD to another Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Garrod, May 20, 2009.

  1. Garrod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm getting a new iMac! Hurrah!

    Anyway, before the celebrations begin I want to know how I can completely copy my current Mac's hard disk to an external hard disk so that I can then copy this all onto my new Mac. Forget networking old and new Macs, that's out of the question for reasons too complicated to go into here.

    Ideally I'd like to have my new Mac with all of the apps and documents and what have you that I've got on my current Mac.

    Can I achieve this all with Time Machine ie. can another Mac read the backed-up data from another Mac?

    Any help appreciated!
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    You can use Target Disk Mode and CarbonCopyCloner to clone your drive, which will maybe result into missing driver problems, if you're talking about the drive with the OS installed.
    You've got an older Mac, and the newer Mac will need newer drivers.

    You can also use Target Disk Mode and the Migration Assistant during Setup to copy your User to the new Mac, with all the settings and documents, and even the Applications.
     
  3. jMc macrumors 6502

    jMc

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Location:
    London N8, Late-16th Century
    #3
    If you've got your old Mac at the same time as getting your new Mac, I see no reason not to use the built in Migration Assistant, either over Firewire or over Ethernet (just make sure you have the cables!). I've used it many times without a hiccup - even when moving from PowerPC to Intel (which Apple itself doesn't recommend!).

    Migration Assistant will automatically launch during set-up of your new machine and give you easy instructions as to how to connect the Macs and options as to what to copy before it starts doing it's job. Depending on the amount of data on your old Mac this could take up to about 2 hours (and maybe longer if using Ethernet), so be prepared for a wait before you can play with your new toy!

    jx
     
  4. Garrod thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    As I said in my original post, direct old Mac to new Mac connection is not an option; I'm having to sell my old Mac to give me just enough money to buy the new one - the buyer of the old Mac lives a good 300 miles away and I don't really fancy getting any sort of cable that long! ;)

    However, could I use CarbonCopyCloner, make an exact clone of my Mac's HD to an external HD then copy this onto my new Mac, re-install OS X from the DVD provided with the new Mac, thus having everything the same as before but with a stable and fully working OS?
     
  5. jMc macrumors 6502

    jMc

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2001
    Location:
    London N8, Late-16th Century
    #5
    Apologies for not fully reading your first post!
     
  6. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #6
    You can use Time Machine yes. Or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!

    For any of the above, perform your backup-clone (though I'd feel I got a complete backup with CCC or SuperDuper) to the external drive.

    Get the new Mac.

    Either during first startup, or post initial startup use Migration Assistant with the external cloned drive hooked up.

    Select the options you want, including create the user account, and away you go.
     
  7. Garrod thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Thanks for all your advice. Now I've just got to wait two weeks for my sister to come up here and give me the money! If anyone here is interested I'll bump this thread when it's done to let you know of my success (hopefully!).
     

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