Transferring data to new system: what's the best way for my situation? Thank you!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by juststranded, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. juststranded macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2006
    Ok, so here's my situation:

    I have a 2.33Ghz 15" MBP (November 2006) that conked out on me. Apple is agreeing to replace the machine with a brand new MacBook Pro (late 2008). I don't have my files backed up (Time Machine never worked), but the hard drive is accessible via Target Disk Mode and seems to work fine with no data loss. I just ordered a 750GB LaCie D2 Quadra and plan to back-up my computer with it.

    Here's the dilemma:

    I think they want me to send my current (busted) MBP BEFORE they send the new one. I'm trying to see what would be the best way to go about transferring my data from the old machine, to the external drive, to the new machine.

    Here's what I can think of (but don't know what would be best):

    1) Borrow a friend's 10.5 machine and daisy-chain the old MBP and external drive to it, then use Time Machine to back everything up (and comment out the exclusions), then when I get the new MBP, boot from the install disk, and "restore" the system from Time Machine (without erasing the drive of the new machine, which would make it additive and therefore non-detrimental, right? Anyone?)

    2) Clone the old MBP to the external drive either with Carbon Copy Cloner or a Disk Utility "restore", then use Migration Assistant on the new MBP to transfer everything from the external drive.

    They both seem like they should work the same, and just fine, but I just don't feel sure that there isn't a flaw in doing this. Commenting out the exclusions from Time Machine would be a big help as I use apache and some of that other stuff.

    Can anyone think of anything that would be wrong with either of those, or a better way to do it?

    Thanks so much for all your help in advance!
  2. Tastannin macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2003
    Sorry to hear about your troubles, at least you're getting a new one!

    I'd do the clone method - sounds like what you've outlined for that scenario will work well. try to use FW800 if possible to save time.

    Good luck!
  3. juststranded thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2006
    The clone method sounds safer to me, but the only thing I'm afraid of is how well migration assistant moves everything. Is there anything it excludes from migrating over? That's why I like the other idea, because I can tell Time Machine to copy EVERYTHING by commenting out the exclusions file, and I know a disk utility "restore" would restore EVERYTHING. But what I'm afraid of with that is that it will screw up current files on the new MBP (even though I'd be sure not to check the "erase destination drive" box).

    FW800 is one of the main reasons I picked the LaCie D2 Quadra. Especially because the new MBP won't even have FW400. I wish it another FireWire port, though. 400 or 800.

    Thanks again for your input.
  4. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    Migration Assistant will move your Apps, Documents, etc. In my experience, several of my programs settings were not migrated and had to be manually reset, as well as my finder prefs. The TM backup will make your other machine an EXACT copy of the previous. I actually backed up my MBP and transferred to a Powerbook when the MBP went out for repair. It copied everything and the PB had all my programs & correct settings just the way I left them.

    Using FW800, loading the receiving machine should take 45min or less.
  5. juststranded thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2006
    Thanks. I think I'll try the Time Machine method, as it seems like Apple really trusts it, considering they put a "Restore From Time Machine" button in the Leopard Install Disk menus. But just in case, I'll clone the hard drive as well.

    I should be fine. Thanks again.

    P.S. The hard drive on old MBP is 120GB with about 108 used. Does 45 minutes sound right?
  6. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    It really is a great method. It's all I actually use TM for lol

    Transfer time will depend on the amount of data you have. I normally remove any movies, music, or other "space hog files" I have backed up elsewhere before initiating a backup, just to save time and space on my HD.

    My last time doing this, it completed a transfer of 68.7gb in just under 1hr using USB 2.0 (480mb/s) and a 7.2k rpm external HD (this also affects transfer speed).

    Good luck :)

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