How to migrate your data from your original drive to a new one?

comics addict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 16, 2013
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I am soon scheduled to receive through the mail a SSD and was wondering how can I migrate all my apps, files, preferences from my internal stock hard drive? Of the top of my head I can think of 3 options: cloning using Disk Utility, restoring from my Time Machine backups or doing a clean install and use migration assistant. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the matter.
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
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A clone (Restore) using Disk Utility should work fine. I've done many drive swaps (and bootable image backups) using Disk Utility Restore, including SSD.
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
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Yes. Disk Utility will create a Recovery Partition whenever there is a Lion or later OS on the disk.

You can verify this (without actually trying to boot to it) by using the following Terminal command:

Code:
diskutil list
It'll respond with something like this (for an external, it would show /dev/disk1):
Code:
/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *751.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            750.4 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
 
Last edited:

comics addict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 16, 2013
596
38
Yes. Disk Utility will create a Recovery Partition whenever there is a Lion or later OS on the disk.

You can verify this (without actually trying to boot to it) by using the following Terminal command:

Code:
diskutil list
It'll respond with something like this (for an external, it would show /dev/disk1):
Code:
/dev/disk0
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *751.3 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            750.4 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
I see. Thank you a lot.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,460
9,098
California
I am soon scheduled to receive through the mail a SSD and was wondering how can I migrate all my apps, files, preferences from my internal stock hard drive? Of the top of my head I can think of 3 options: cloning using Disk Utility, restoring from my Time Machine backups or doing a clean install and use migration assistant. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the matter.
You can move everything over using Disk Util as gr8tfly mentioned, or you can use the free trial version of Carbon Copy Cloner to move everything over. Or, you can option key boot to your external Time Machine drive and restore to the new SSD.

All will have the exact same end result. My personal pref. is the CCC method as it is a bit more straightforward and faster.
 

comics addict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 16, 2013
596
38
You can move everything over using Disk Util as gr8tfly mentioned, or you can use the free trial version of Carbon Copy Cloner to move everything over. Or, you can option key boot to your external Time Machine drive and restore to the new SSD.

All will have the exact same end result. My personal pref. is the CCC method as it is a bit more straightforward and faster.
Could you elaborate a bit more on how it is more straightforward for cloning my current drive ?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,460
9,098
California
Could you elaborate a bit more on how it is more straightforward for cloning my current drive ?
By straightforward, I mean it is very easy to use. Even with no instruction, it is apparent when you start CCC how to use it.

Here is the main screen. You pick source and destination then click clone. Done.

 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
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Or, open DiskUtility, click Restore, then set the source and destination. ;)

(Obviously, I'm a fan of using DiskUtility (which, in the case of Restore, is a GUI front-end for Apple's ASR (Apple Software Restore)).
 

comics addict

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 16, 2013
596
38
Thanks for your input guys. I should be receiving my SSD tomorrow so I'll post here if I encounter any unforeseen issues with the migration of files.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,155
1,200
NYC
Don't clone to an SSD. It will sometimes cause an alignment issue and decrease the performance, not to mention the lifespan, of your SSD.

Use Carbon Copy Cloner (which actually copies files instead of cloning block-by-block) or restore from a Time Machine backup.
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,298
48
~119W 34N
Don't clone to an SSD. It will sometimes cause an alignment issue and decrease the performance, not to mention the lifespan, of your SSD.

Use Carbon Copy Cloner (which actually copies files instead of cloning block-by-block) or restore from a Time Machine backup.
Should not make any difference. I don't know of any way a block copy during Restore could affect performance. Disk Utility Restore is done on a partition level, not a complete device. Doing a DU Restore will put the volume exactly on the block it would have been if the OS had been installed on a freshly partitioned disk. (The gpt tool can show where every partition is. DU is just the GUI front end for asr. Read the man file for more details on what it does and is capable of - which is much more than DU can access.)

The only thing that's going to happen over time is ending up with partially filled blocks, and that's where the SSD controller's built-in wear-leveling, garbage collection, and OS X TRIM come into play.

It's only one test sample, but DU Restore is the method I used when installing a 512 GB Crucial M4 in my 17" MBP and never had an issue. I currently have an rMBP with a 768 GB SSD, though I haven't had to do a Restore back to it yet.

Apple removed the file copy option for Restore in recent versions of Disk Utility (I think it went away starting with Lion).

It's probably out of scope for this thread, but if you can, please point me to a resource that explains how an alignment problem can arise, and how the block copy can affect performance and life expectancy. I'm always willing to learn. :)

The only thing I can think of that could affect life expectancy is doing defragmentation on a partition. It has no noticeable affect on performance, and causes unnecessary erase/write cycles. That said, if it isn't done often, its affect on life probably wouldn't be noticed - but again, it's just not necessary or desirable to do to an SSD.