Migration Assistant question

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Benbikeman, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Benbikeman macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    Background:

    Overnight, something killed my OSX installation (Late-2011 MBP 17 running 10.8.1). The machine had switched itself off and wouldn't restart, even in safe mode. It displayed a horizontal progress bar (like you'd normally see during a restart after an OSX update) but the bar only made it to about 15% before switching off.

    Called AppleCare, we tried a safe boot, a disk utility repair and a couple of other things, but no joy. They eventually concluded some system file had been corrupted and so we did a clean install of OSX.

    Given a suspected corrupted system file, they said it was safest to do a clean install then use Migration Assistant to recover apps & data instead of a full Restore from Time Machine. I'm doing that at the moment.

    Question:

    In Migration Assistant, I ticked everything *except* Settings. What should I expect when the migration is complete? Will all my apps Just Work, or will I have to re-authorise them? Will app settings (as opposed to system settings) be retained? Anything else I'll have to watch for?

    I'm just trying to get a sense of how much work I have ahead of me to get my machine back the way it was once MA finishes.

    Ben
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    All your apps should work like they did with the exception of some apps that are finicky about licensing/registration like MS Office and Adobe apps. You may need to reenter reg. info for those.

    Beyond that the only settings you will need to reenter (since you did not check settings) are those that are systemwide in the main System Preferences panel... things like sleep time and that sort of thing. Just go back through each pref pane and set it how you want.

    Any settings you had for say your personal Mail and that sort of thing will still be there.
     
  3. Benbikeman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    Thanks.

    For some reason, MA didn't restore anything that was on my desktop, so I'm now copying those files & folders manually from the sparesbundle. It also didn't copy my mail accounts (I use Thunderbird rather than Mail) so I'll have to copy that manually too.

    Will let you know how the rest goes, in case the info is of interest to anyone else.
     
  4. Benbikeman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    Update: I would advise anyone to view Migration Assistant as very much a last resort! At least if following Apple's advice not to restore settings ...

    I've previously done a Time Machine restore as a means of switching from one Mac to another, and it was painless (aside from the time taken to copy the files). Migration Assistant in comparison is a nightmare ...

    First, it didn't restore any of the files or folders on my desktop. It didn't restore my iTunes library. All third-party apps have had to be re-authorised (and it thinks the Mac is a different computer, so uses up one of your computer counts for apps limited to a certain number of installs). No mail accounts. I could go on, but I'm too busy sorting out the mess.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Your experience is not in line with what myself and many others have seen. If there were files on your desktop and they were backed up in Time Machine a Migration Assist into a true clean install would restore those files.

    I'm wondering if you really did a clean install? Can you describe how you did the clean install.

    The only issue you mentioned that most people do encounter is having to reregister some apps, particularly MS apps.
     
  6. Benbikeman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Exactly as per AppleCare instructions: CMD-R, into Disk Utility, erase startup disk then select reinstall OSX.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yep... that would be a clean install. No idea where you got sideways, but many of us to do this all the time successfully.

    Did you start the Migration Assistant right at the end of the install process? Some have made the mistake of creating a user account then trying to use Migration Assist from there and it causes issues restoring to the same account.

    From what you have said, I'm not quite sure what went wrong. :confused:
     
  8. Benbikeman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #8
    I suspect the issue is that much more is handled by the Settings item than the AppleCare guy suggested. It may well have been painless with Settings checked, but the concern was that that would do exactly the same as a Restore and put back the corrupted files.

    Again, followed AppleCare's instructions which were to create a new account with a different username to avoid that issue.

    Anyway, on the plus side I will now find out the answer to the eternal upgrade vs clean install question. :)
     
  9. Benbikeman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Benbikeman

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Anyway, on the plus side I will now find out the answer to the eternal upgrade vs clean install question. :)

    Which I can answer already: the Safari crashes continue under the clean install.
     

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