How to Clone iMac drives to transfer to replacement?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by PokerGuy, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. PokerGuy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #1
    My replacement iMac just arrived to replace the first one that had some dead pixels. What is the best way to go about cloning the drives to make it easy to transfer everything, as is?

    I have the 2TB HDD and SSD with all apps and some library etc on the SSD and all data files on the HDD. I did not move the Home folder onto the HDD tho as there seemed to be more pros than cons to leaving it on the SSD.

    I have an external HD with enough space to completely copy both drives. Just dont know how to go about it and have never used Time Machine before, assuming that is the best option.

    Any help much appreciated

    Thanks
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Do you still have both machines? If so, just connect them via FireWire or Ethernet cable and use Migration Assistant
     
  3. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2010
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    London
    #3
    Yes I still have both machines, so that sounds ideal. Should I connect them via Firewire before turning on, and will it lead me through what to do?

    Will it also see what is on what drive and just copy everything exactly?
     
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #4
    After you have started the new machine and run it for a little while to see that it's totally stable simply run Migration Assistant (Applications-Utilities-Migration Assistant OR Command-Spacebar and type Migration Assistant) and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need a FW 800 cable to connect the two machines. It's very simple.

    Roger
     
  5. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Okay this may sound like silly question then, but do I set up a user account during the initial start up of the new machine and do OS update BEFORE doing the migration etc? Won't this be confusing to the migration assistant and end up with 2 users?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    At the end of the first boot, it will ask you if you liked to migrate, click yes and select from another Mac. Then just run it and you should end up with exactly same system
     
  7. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2010
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    London
  8. jmpage2 macrumors 68030

    jmpage2

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #8
    I have definitely had better luck running migration assistant at boot time vs. creating another user account and then importing everything after running the Mac. Mainly to do with account settings, etc, not always being preserved.

    I recently got a new 27" iMac and ran migration assistant from a Time Machine backup when I first booted it and it asked me if I wanted to migrate data.

    After completion it was literally like the machine was 100% identical to the old one other than the change in hardware. None of my apps, passwords, network shares, etc, knew it was running on a new box.

    Also, worth noting, if you will be running MA off of firewire from the old Mac, make sure you exit out of ALL applications first and you might also want to log the user account off prior to letting the data get migrated to the new box.

    Good luck!
     
  9. PokerGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #9
    That's interesting jmpage - It makes sense to me to do it before anything else. I will make a Time Machine back up to an external now and then try that first - I always have the other option too if it doesnt work.

    Question on how this actually works - If connected to the external with the TM back up on it when i boot up for the first time on the new machine, will it ask me if I want to import from there?

    And does Time machine deal okay with the dual drive set up?
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    It asks where you want to migrate the data from. You can select either from another Mac or from a Time Machine backup.

    Should work, just make sure nothing is excluded. You can always use e.g. CCC in case TM doesn't offer what you want
     

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