Utility to copy data from a dead/old system`??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ottomanndk, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Ottomanndk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #1
    Greetings all

    What is the best way to copy data out form a dead system, and port them over to a new Mac?
    It could also be the case where i have to reinstall a Mac with the users old data.

    I'm talking about how to handle data, not how to e.g. connect an drive via USB/SATA

    So how do you clever Guys normally go about it.

    Thanks OM.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    The old dead Mac -- are you able to remove the drive from it?
    Is that part of the problem solved?

    If so, the first thing you might try is to put the drive from the old Mac into a USB3/SATA docking station, and connect it to the NEW Mac.

    If the drive will mount on the desktop of the new Mac, use Migration Assistant to import the accounts and user data over to the new Mac.

    It is also possible to "manually migrate" data that would normally go into a user's "home" folder. By this, I'm speaking of pictures, movies, music, etc.

    Be aware that you CANNOT go into the old home folder, and select the sub-folder called (for example) "Pictures", and copy that folder to the new home folder. This has to do with the fact that the main sub-folders are (I believe) symbolic links and cannot "copy over".

    HOWEVER
    If you OPEN the old "Pictures" folder, then select everything INSIDE it, you can now copy the contents into the existing Pictures folder in the home folder on the new drive.
    Got that?

    By repeating this procedure for the other folders such as "Movies" and "Music" you can manually migrate the user data from one drive to the other.
     
  3. Ottomanndk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #3
    Hi Fishrrman

    Yes typical i would connect it via USB/SATA, that's not the problem. Nor is the condition of the drive.
    Is there any disadvantages of using the migration Assistant vs. the manually migrate and vise versa?

    And what if you need to reinstall the OS so you need the take out the data temporary.
    You save the date, reinstall the OS, and restore the data
    what's the suggested approach for that?

    In the windows environment there is this wonderfull tool: http://www.fpnet.fr/
    I'm wondering if there is a similar tool in the mac world. A good thing about using a tool is you always get your work done the same way.

    Thanks OB
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "Is there any disadvantages of using the migration Assistant vs. the manually migrate and vise versa?"

    I'd try Migration Assistant first to see if it could do the job.
    If MA has problems, then I'd try to "do things manually".

    If you want to reinstall the OS onto the problem drive, might be worth it to re-initialize first, then run Disk Utility's "repair drive" function on it several times in succession.
    If you get a "good report" with each test, then I'd try a clean copy of the OS on it.
    Then restore user data...
     
  5. Ottomanndk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2015
    #5
    Here is a strange one: I have ran the M.A with the original drive attached via a an USB/SATA converter (disk upgrade), and the M.A kind of stuck like its waiting for the drive.
    But i can access the drive without a problem, i can even boot on it.
    Any suggestions ?
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    I had a similar experience when trying to migrate data from my old PPC Powerbook running OS 10.4 to a new 2011 MBP running OS 10.7. It hung up also, even though an Apple support page (early 2012) instruction said this would work via Target Disk Mode. Since it was a new computer I contacted Apple Support via telephone. The Tech said the instructions were wrong and the older OS on the disk would cause the Migration Assistant to fail. They said my only option was to migrate manually.

    My suggestion is to migrate manually.
     
  7. ocabj macrumors 6502a

    ocabj

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    #7
    Open Terminal. sudo cp -p -R <source> <target>

    e.g. sudo cp -p -R /Volumes/old_disk /Volumes/new_disk

    If you're just restoring user data to a new computer, that's easy. Create the user on that new mac. Copy /Users/<homedir> from the old Mac HD to the user's home dir on the new Mac HD.

    On my Mac Mini and my old 13" MBP that I gave to my mom are two internal drives, one SSD for OS and one SATA platter drive for data. I keep my homedir on the SATA platter drive and modify my user entry to point to the homedir on the platter drive. Then I can nuke my SSD whenever I need to do a complete clean OS install without affecting my data.
     
  8. Fishrrman, Aug 14, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015

    Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    OP wrote above:
    "Here is a strange one: I have ran the M.A with the original drive attached via a an USB/SATA converter (disk upgrade), and the M.A kind of stuck like its waiting for the drive.
    But i can access the drive without a problem, i can even boot on it."


    An IMPORTANT QUESTION:
    What version of the OS is on the old drive?

    If it is 10.4 (or older), Migration Assistant to a new OS won't work. I had this same problem when I tried to migrate from 10.4 to 10.8 -- simply wouldn't work.

    In my case, I was able to upgrade the old OS from 10.4 to 10.5, and then it worked.

    However, if your old Mac is dead, you may not be able to to that route.

    In that case, if it's acceptable to you, I would recommend a "manual migration" of your data, and a "fresh re-installation" of your apps.

    I would recommend that you create a NEW account for yourself (and anyone else who might be using the new Mac). You'll have to manually move items into it.

    There are some special considerations when trying to "manually migrate" from an "older" home folder into a "new one".

    Be aware that you CANNOT simply "copy" the main sub-folders from the old home folder into the new one.
    By "main sub-folders" I mean the ones named Documents, Downloads, Mail, Movies, Music, Pictures, etc.

    What you need to do is this:
    For this example, I will use the "Pictures" folder
    Have your NEW Pictures folder visible (the target).
    Open your OLD Pictures folder (the source).
    Either select individually those items you wish to move, or you might try "command-A" to select all the items in the folder.
    Now, "drag n drop" the selected items into the NEW Pictures folder.

    Check to see if this has worked.
    You may need to re-direct the iPhoto or Photos (or Aperture, etc.) app to the new home folder.

    If this works for you, repeat with Music, Movies, Documents, etc.

    If you try this, please followup here to let us know if it worked.
     

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