Setting up new Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tyler928, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. tyler928 macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2013
    I just bit the bullet and replaced my 2006 iMac with an i7 2.3 Mac Mini, which I will set up tonight.

    What would be the best way to go about everything? The Mac Mini will have ML out of the box, and I will upgrade to Mavericks. I want to transfer everything from my iMac (running 10.6.8). I also have a Time Machine backup, so I could do it that way.

    So, upgrade OS X first and then transfer files/settings? Or transfer files through the setup/migration assistant first, then upgrade OSX? Should I do the migration with an ethernet cable hooked between the two machines or just do it from the Time Machine backup?

    I appreciate the advice.
  2. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    I would definitely do a full Time Machine backup on your old machine, and use it to restore your data to the new Mac. That way, you have a full backup in case something goes wrong.

    A cautious user would probably run ML on the new Mac for several days, just to make sure that the newly migrated user account functions correctly.

    Then I would make another full Time Machine backup, upgrade to Mavericks, then do another snapshot.

    That way, you have three complete backups of your account in three discrete configurations.

    • 10.6.8 on your old Mac
    • 10.8.5 on your new Mac
    • 10.9.0 on your new Mac

    No rush in getting to Mavericks. It'll be here a while.

    The priority is getting one's data to the new machine, making sure everything runs normally. But that's just me...

    Good luck.
  3. marstan macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2013
    I bought a new Mac Mini a few weeks ago and it had Mavericks already installed. You sure yours has ML?
  4. tyler928 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2013
    Thanks for the advice, mpantone. I might give it a few days before installing Mavericks.

    I just assumed it would have ML, because I didn't buy it directly from Apple. I guess I will find out in a few hours!
  5. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    That will be a nice upgrade as the integrated graphics beats the discrete graphics from even the best 2006 era iMac.

    Here's what I'd do; assuming the Mac mini still comes with Mountain Lion (you can tell this right off the bat if you notice the iOS 4-6 style gray felt that is present in Lion and Mountain Lion, but not Mavericks):

    1. Boot up the Mac mini.

    2. Don't run Migration Assistant.

    3. Go to the Mac App Store and register the iLife applications to your AppleID (as this saves you the trouble of trying to do so later).

    4. Download the Mavericks installer from the Mac App Store.

    5. DO NOT RUN IT.

    6. Take an 8GB or larger capacity USB drive (hard/thumb/SSD/whatever), and format it in Disk Utility with a GUID Partition Table (GPT) and make a partition that is formatted as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled).

    7. Use the "createinstallmedia" command line tool as referenced here: to make a bootable Mavericks install drive.

    8. Reboot your computer with said Mavericks install drive attached and hold down the option key. Select the Mavericks install drive.

    9. Run Disk Utility to format your internal hard drive in the same manner as was done to the Mavericks install drive in step 6. Then quit Disk Utility.

    10. Then run the Mavericks installer, pointing it to install on your newly wiped internal drive.

    11. Wait a long while.

    12. When installation finishes, if you'd like, then would be a great time to run the Migration Assistant, which you can do either from your old computer via FireWire or from your Time Machine back-up via whatever interface your drive takes. Then you'll be done and running in a freshly installed Mavericks OS (rather than even getting Mountain Lion or an OS upgrade involved at all).

    This is a bit more involved, but it's ultimately a much cleaner way to do this.

    Of note, this process has a couple extra steps if your Mac mini is coming with a Fusion drive instead of just a hard drive or just an SSD.
  6. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    while doing a clean install of MAV before you even begins migrating would work I tend to agree that having a TM backup of ML can be quite useful as there are still some MAV issues to be worked out especially if you plan on ever running the server app.

    That being said i like MAV much better than ML,, so ultimately your call. ultimately both would be time consuming and as everyone else has suggested do not rush things take your time make sure that all is functioning as you would like it to one step at a time.

    Good luck and congrats on your new toy :D
  7. tyler928 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2013
    If I were to go this route...
    In step number 9, I would format the entire drive, correct? And would I need to make a partition, or just format the entire thing as Mac OS X Extended (Journaled). I imagine I would not need to make separate partitions, but just want to make sure.

  8. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2013
    you don't have to make partitions unless you want to. But you can also leave it as a single partition - that is what i have.
  9. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    I would not create separate partitions unless you *REALLY* know what you're doing, and if you *REALLY* know what you're doing, you wouldn't be asking the question.

    From my experience, when multiple partitions are created, one partition fills up faster than the other(s). Today's disk partitioning tools sometimes allow for dynamic repartitioning, but it's not always guaranteed.

    Keep your disk organization very simple. Complicating your disk partitioning scheme will almost invariably increase your system administration load in the future.

    If you like diddling around with disk partitioning utilities at 2am, by all means go for it. Otherwise, beware and keep things simple. Again, if you need to ask the question...

    Good luck.
  10. Gochugogi, Nov 16, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013

    Gochugogi macrumors regular


    Oct 27, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    I bought a build to order Mini the week of the OS10.9 release and it had 10.83 on it. I'd wait until Apple releases 10.91 before upgrading to Mavericks. There are a few random bugs with external drives and Time Machine they need to work out. I jumped in too soon and now none of my FW drives will sleep/spin-down. I had to switch to USB to keep them from overheating. I heard TB drives also have sleep issues.
  11. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Correct. And you do want to re-partition as this assures that you get rid of the hidden 10.8 recovery partition, which is good as your clean installation of Mavericks will put its own recovery partition in its place.

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