Moving to a new Mac, but I won't have it for a while: How to migrate my data?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by smithy16, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. smithy16 macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2007
    OK, so here's my situation: I have a PowerMac G4, which I'm selling tomorrow. (Side note: I'm extremely pleased with the resale value Macs retain after several years.) I have two hard drives, one of them partitioned, and a ton of data that I need to keep. In a week or two, I'm buying a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. Since I won't have both computers at the same time, I can't use Migration Assistant.

    So I bought a Western Digital firewire/USB2 external hard drive and started copying my stuff over. (I have a pretty good idea of where my important files are.)

    Two problems with this approach:

    1. Some folders (like Final Cut Pro Documents) are giving me this message halfway through trying to copy them: "Sorry, the operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred. (Error code -1309)"

    2. It seems generally like an imprecise process -- like I'll miss some files that are important for some application or another.

    I've looked at SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner, but they don't seem to really do what I want. I don't want to make a bootable backup -- I want to start fresh with a new factory install of Tiger, but transfer my important stuff to the new computer.

    So, my questions:

    1. How do I copy stuff when it gives me that error? I tried repairing permissions. Didn't work.

    2. Is it a problem that the external drive is FAT32? The user's manual says that's only a problem if you're using OSX 10.2.8 or below, but the backup programs say I should reformat the drive. (Keep in mind I don't want to boot from this drive, I just want to store files on it. But I'll be using the drive with my new laptop, so if reformatting it for the OSX file system would improve performance, I'm up for it.)

    3. What would be the best way to get my stuff onto my new laptop from the external drive without crudding it up? Is there some software I can use for that?
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Sounds like you're hitting the file size limit on FAT32. I strongly suggest using HFS+ for backup.

    I suggest using iBackup for archiving your files.

    Mine have been sitting on two external drives for almost two months now.
  3. MonksMac macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2005
    1. No Clue.
    2.Sounds like it would be a good idea to reformat your external drive as HFS+.
    3. Just drag it over (unless its an app)
    I know you said you looked at Carbon copy cloner, but it says that you can do plain old backups too.
    from the CarbonCopyCloner Website:
    CCC can also be used to perform regular backups of your data. When you select a source disk in CCC, you are presented with the contents of that disk (hidden items too). Simply uncheck the items that you do not want to backup, and CCC will provide ample indication what will and will not be copied. Select a target disk to which you would like to backup, then press the clone button.
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I'm pretty sure Migration Assistant will work off a bootable backup- I'd use SuperDuper, it seems to do better than CCC for getting everything right.

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