Setting up new MBA - Data transfer from external hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Mrs HBF, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Mrs HBF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #1
    So I am setting up my new MBA now. I have an external hard drive plugged in to the new MBA. It has been updating for over an hour now. I am on the "Select the information to transfer" page. Below the list of 5 files is the word "calculating". To the right of file names like Applications, Computer and Network settings, a file with my husbands name (he has a separate user account on my old MBP), and Other Files and Folders are small spinning wheels while the file with my name on it seems to be transferring data as the number of GBs keeps increasing with time. There is no little spinning wheel to the right side of my name which is the 5th file. On the very bottom of the screen is a "Continue" button and a "Back" button.

    1. Should I not hit "continue" until the "calculating" is completed?

    2. Must I stay here and wait here for hours or can I leave my home while the files are still migrating and finish up tonight?

    3. Can I hit "continue" even while things are still calculating with the assumption that all 5 files will be migrated into my new MacBook air?

    I am at a loss here. What do I do? Thank you.
     
  2. Wackery macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    #2
    can you take a screenshot? i think it's ok to just hit continue.

    are you just transferring files, or is this a migration assistant thing?
     
  3. Mrs HBF thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #3
    I think both. I am following the instructions when I turned on the MBA for the first time about 90 minutes ago. It is the migration assistant and I'm transferring my files from my external drive to the new MBA.

    I am wondering if I can leave for a few hours to do errands.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    You should wait until the calculating part is done. It needs to finish that so it knows how much will be moved over compared to how much free space you have. Once that is done and you have begun the actual migration, you hit the road for your errands. :)
     
  5. Mrs HBF thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2010
    #5
    Thanks. It has been calculating for almost 2 hours. Is this normal? Will the actual migration take just as much time?
     
  6. Wackery macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    #6
    if it's usb 2.0 and the hard drive is a spinning one (it would make noise) then yes it will probably take a long, long time
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
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    #7
    That does sound really slow to me. Migrations I have done that calculate part was done in less then ten minutes or so. As long as it looks like it is making progress, just let it keep going though.

    How long the transfer takes will depend on how much data you have, so I can't really say. I have seen people with a lot of data where it takes a few hours to move everything over.
     
  8. Mrs HBF thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #8
    OK, here's where my ignorance is really showing. I know the MBA has two USB 3 ports. The cord of my external hard drive is being plugged into one of those 2 ports. Is the cord from the external drive the reason why it is slow? It is not a new cord. So the cord is USB2?
     
  9. Wackery macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 1, 2015
    #9
    without knowing the brand of the cord or the drive i think we can assume it's usb 2, which is slow
     
  10. Mrs HBF thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #10
    Yes it is USB 2. Ok, the calculating just finished. Now it is transferring at speeds that are slowing down. It was 22mb/sec and it's slowing down to 18mb/sec. That is just in the last 4 minutes.

    Now it says 15 mb/sec. I wonder how slow this will go. It better not stop.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    Sounds like what i'd expect from a USB 2.0 drive using Migration Assistant. All my old USB 2.0 drives maxxed out at 30 to 35 MB/sec. My bus powered little USB 3.0 drives are around 100 MB/sec, but full size drives are around 180 MB/sec. Just got a Samsung external SSD and it hits about 400 MB/sec :)

    Anyway, the Migration proces takes awhile even if you have a fast disk. I always just go out and do something else for awhile, so I really don't know exactly how long it takes.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Oh good... things are moving along. Yeah that speed sounds about right for USB2 and that would also explain the long "calculating" time.

    You can expect that transfer speed to move up and down depending on what is being transferred at the moment. For example, one large file will move over faster than a ton of small files.

    Just let it keep running. I find it helps to have a glass of wine while this is going on.
     
  13. Mrs HBF thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #13
    It is now down to 4MB/sec. Makes me wonder if it will go to zero and just stop.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 3, 2016 ---
    A glass of wine! A good idea.
     

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