Moving from oMP to nMP without losing anything

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ampakine, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. ampakine macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    I would appreciate any input on an issue that's causing me some concern about the move to my (soon to arrive) new Mac Pro 2013.

    In my past OS upgrades I always installed on top of my existing OS to avoid losing years worth of various and sundry updates, addition and modifications to my existing apps.

    What I hoped to do now was to upgrade to Mavericks on my current Mac (1,1),
    then clone to system and "restore" it to the nMP. This unfortunately cannot be done (Mavericks will not install on my oMP).

    So, what to do:

    1. Just use the standard Setup/Migrate tools to import my stuff to the nMP.

    My concern is that I WILL lose important things. I have never been able to find documentation on what these Apple supplied tools actually do in terms of transferring files that may not be in their canonical locations.

    2. Is there any way to upgrade my current system with Mavericks?

    I've seen the following (posted by sand84, etc.)

    a. Make a bootable clone of the current system
    b. Boot to the recovery system on the new MP
    c. "reinstall" OS X to the external, bootable clone, made in step a.
    d. "restore" updated clone to the new MP.

    Here's what I don't understand. Wouldn't the reinstall step wipe out the clone?

    Any information or alternative suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    Installing or reinstalling an OS never wipes out a disk, unless YOU wipe the disk first (using Disk Utility, for instance).

    But I am not sure if the process you mentioned can work : using the Recovery partition of the NEW MP will want to install the Mavericks that came with the nMP, and I believe that it won't let you install that build of Mavericks onto your clone, as an upgrade.
  3. ampakine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Bruno, thanks for the quick response! Your first statement is reassuring. Unfortunately, you're probably right that I won't be able to install Mavericks on top of the clone (I'll try, unless I find a better way in the meanwhile).

    At this point I'm trying to gather as much info as I can, so that when the happy day arrives (i.e. the nMP), I'll be as ready as I can be.

    I'm surprised that there isn't more of a discussion of this issue, now that many folks will be moving to the new Mac Pro. Maybe the Migrate tools work just fine, though I'm skeptical.
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Even if you can install Mavericks on your oMP, you won't want to use a clone of that to restore to your new one. That would only work if the hardware was the same on both systems which is clearly not the case here. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the nMP comes with a special fork of 10.9.1 for the new hardware.

    Regardless, the migration assistant is designed specifically to migrate your personal files to a new computer. I've used it a few times in the past and it works like a charm. But I don't what you mean by "files that may not be in their canonical locations". Regardless, if the migration assistant doesn't move something for you, just manually copy it afterwards... You're not going to lose anything. It's not like your oMP self-destructs after the migration! :D
  5. ronhiner macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Great question/thread! I was wondering the same thing.

    could you create a time machine backup of your old machine, then restore it on to your new machine on top of Mavericks?
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    That's one of the ways of doing a migration. You can also use a direct connection to the old machine via Ethernet or Wifi...
  7. ampakine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Regardless, the migration assistant is designed specifically to migrate your personal files to a new computer. I've used it a few times in the past and it works like a charm. But I don't what you mean by "files that may not be in their canonical locations".

    To elaborate on my concern: Over the years I've had many occasions where I had to add libraries, plugins, and other stuff to make some app work properly (note, I do software development, so I have more junk installed than regular end users who use apps in a more or less standard way).

    You're quite right that the old machine will have everything, and that eventually I'll get back to where I was before, it's just that I'm tying to minimize the pain.

    It's really unfortunate that Apple is not a bit more forthcoming about what the Migration Assistant actually does, and what decisions it makes.

    Anyway, thanks for your input.
  8. funwithdesign macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2011
    If this is the case, I would avoid trying to replicate your old machine on the nMP like the plague. Seeing as your old machine didn't have anything close to Mavericks i'd be trying out all your software one by one to see if you had to use the same tricks as before.

    I certainly wouldn't assume you'd need to add the same libraries, plugins etc on the new OS. That just sounds like a recipe for tears.
  9. Anim macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2011
    Macclesfield, UK
    Can you incorporate your old mac into your new mac and access it using VMWare somehow. e.g. put your 1,1 boot drives into an enclosure and let Fusion/Parallels boot your old OS when the need arises?
  10. evilpaddy macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    ^ very good suggestion.

    This is what a lot of developers and indeed tech maintenance guys do with legacy hardware. Simply clone the old and failing unit and run it in a virtual machine.

    Not the answer that you're looking for but a perfectly viable one to ensure no downtime during the migration.
  11. OldCodger73 macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2013
    Seattle area
    I've had pretty much the same question as I have a nMP "available to ship in February". My plan is to clone my MP1.1 to an external drive and use the external drive with setup assistant when the nMP arrives. I'm assuming this will work based on the link upthread.

    I'm planning to clone to two different external drives, one USB3, the other FW800. I'll use the USB3 drive as it should be faster and have the FW drive as a fall back option. Can anyone see a problem with this approach?
  12. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    I'm in exactly the same position you are. I have a Mac 1,1 with lots of software including two virtual windows environments that run under VMware. My old machine has four internal hard drives. In preparation for my new MP, which is supposed to arrive today, I bought a Drobo 5D about 8 weeks ago and migrated everything from my old MP except the boot drive to the Drobo via a USB link. I've been working from the Drobo for the past 4 weeks. USB is a bit slow, but I can live with it until I connect to the new MP with thunderbolt.

    My plan today is to use the Apple migration assistant to move the contents of my boot drive to the nMP via ethernet. I've never used ethernet for this purpose before. My big concern is to preserve all my mail accounts and multiple user accounts and copy them to the nMP. If I have to reinstall some software, I'll do it. If the utility migrates some unnecessary or unusable software, I'll resolve those issues as I encounter them. I plan to keep my old MP for at least a couple of months in case I have a problem along these lines.

    One special concern I have is that I need to use Safari 5.0.5 to access certain web sites. I'm not sure if that will work on the new machine. If it doesn't work, I can use the old MP or my laptop.

    I'll post my results and lessons learned here. Probably sometime tomorrow.
  13. ampakine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Sound to me that somehow faking out the system so that I could update my current OS (as usual, new OS on top of old) cannot be done. So, … I'll just have to hope that the migration assistant will do a good job.

    BTW, you can boot the oMP in target mode (either with firewire or ethernet connected directly) then let the Migr.Assistant do it's job (at least in theory, I've never had to try this in the past).

    I'll be very interested in any experiences you guys have (in particular Rich.Cohen).

    Thanks for all the replies.
  14. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    My nMP arrived about 6 hours ago. I was in a meeting. 2 hours later I finally turned it on. I connected it to my 10 MBS ethernet and enabled migration assistant on the old Mac Pro 1,1. Something went wrong the first time and the new mac dialog seemed to restart, but from there on everything went smoothly. Migration assistant predicted 48 minutes, but it actually took 65 to move about 250 MB from one Mac to the other via ethernet. Nothing seems to be missing. All three user accounts are present with what appear to be the correct settings. All my email is present. I'm writing this on the nMP.

    Good new: VMware and Windows 7 are a whole lot faster now. (Remember I'm coming from a Mac 1,1.)

    Some other things seem to be faster, but I haven't done any real testing.

    Bad news: Safari 5.0.5 won't work. I also have a problem with Safari 7.0.1. I have three user accounts for three different purposes on this Mac and I had different bookmarks and different items on the Favorites bar for Safari on each account. The bookmarks and favorites bar for two accounts seem to have been merged. I just tried correcting the problem, but Safari seems to be synchronizing bookmark across these two accounts. However, other preferences are correctly set and different on each account. I plan to call Apple Care on this tomorrow.

    I hope this helps. Migrating was mostly a matter of following the instructions and being patient.
  15. ampakine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Thanks for the update! Very reassuring.

    Just wondering about the ethernet connection. Did you just put the new Mac Pro on your local network (and made its boot drive visible to your new Mac)


    did you connect the old machine directly (ethernet cable from oMP to nMP) and
    the boot the old machine in the Target Mode, bypassing your LAN altogether?

    Off topic for this thread:
    I'm hoping that I'll be able to use the old machine as an external enclosure (four bays, each can hold a 4T disk and it's free). I assume it's a much more disk friendly environment than your average after market enclosure, with a high quality power supply and nice cool environment. Anyway, this is another thread, but an interesting question for those of us migrating from an older Mac Pro.
  16. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    I simply put the nMP on my network. The oMP was already on the network. I did nothing else. I didn't set any special sharing permissions. I suspect that migration assistant knows what to do.
  17. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    I do three migrations every dot update (on top of deliberate clean installs). The thing to keep in mind is that they needn't be commitments. The only thing locking you into the new installation is if it hooks up to some server and makes the old install outdated.

    1) Cut both macs off from the outside word (no networking), 2) do your migration, 3) test the new box. If you don't like it or something blows up, wipe out the new drive and start again. Only when you're happy with the result, 4) turn on networking and move forward.

    5) keep the old box in stasis for a few weeks just in case.
  18. Rich.Cohen macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Washington DC
    I just found the source of this problem or rather a very helpful guy at Apple did. Apple gave me a free iCloud membership and set up Safari on both user accounts to synchronize with it. iCloud merges both account's bookmarks into a single very large list. I turned off iCloud on my second account and all is fine now.

    Oh, one other thing. I had to reinstall Microsoft Office. It was quick, but I had to put the install disk in my old MP and then copy it to the desktop of the nMP before I could run it.

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