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Thread: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

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    Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Hi there
    My MBP 17" went in for a new main board, and is due back tomorrow.

    In the meantime I bought myself a nice little 13"MBP, which I have installed from scratch (including finding all licenses, copying over mail blah blah)

    I haven't done this for a couple of years, and it was obviously a good excercise as the 13" is running faster than the 17" was.

    Now to the question.
    My 17" also needs a new hard drive, which I've bought (500Gb 7200). The obvious thing to do is to use CarbonCopyCloner to clone the newly setup 13" hard drive onto the new 500Gb and pop it into the 17".

    I'm pretty sure that'll work okay, but will it cause problems with the different graphics/sound cards

    It'll save me a couple of days work to do it this way.

    Incidentally, both are unibody machines.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Jono,

    I assume that the transfer utility will update all information and transfer programs quickly...then put 13 in target mode and transfer your files to the 17 HD.

    Bob

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    I would install OS X on the 17 with the new drive, and then use migration assistant from the 13" drive (or firewire 800 target mode direct connect to the 13" macbook)

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    I agree with the above two suggestions. Start with a squeaky clean install of the OS and then use Migration Assistant (plus Target mode if required).

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Migration assistant will be the cleanest approach...it works amazingly well especially in your situation with a fairly new clean install on the 13...

    Anything it does not pick up will be best moved via target mode.

    You cannot clone the 13 as there are drivers you will miss for the 17 so Monza is correct ... migration assistant is a step in loading the OS, can be done after but in your situation no need to wait.

    Bob

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    +3 on the migration approach. The CCC clone is easier, and will actually work, but it can cause random conflicts due to hardware differences.
    Jack
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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Yup I would migrate from the 17
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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Sorry, but I have to differ with others in this thread. I do computer system consulting as part of my service offerings and specialize in Mac OS X systems only. I also have an untold eon of in-depth time in my career history birthing Mac OS X from my 13 years at Apple.

    I have not had the greatest experiences using the Migration Assistant. It is not designed to handle migration of various System related things, like display and paper profiles, kexts, etc. It is designed to move USER files and self-contained Applications, and leaves a lot of stuff undone if you're trying to build a system.

    There is no problem building a system for one machine using a different machine as the build site, as long as they live on the same family of processors (PowerPC or Intel). All the drivers relevant for all of Apple's hardware are present in the finished installation.

    For example, I decided to completely reconfigure my PowerMac G5 recently as I'm preparing to switch to new hardware shortly, and the configuration I'm moving to will be radically different from how I had the G5 set up. I couldn't afford to shut down my work for a week, so I built the whole system using a FireWire 800 drive enclosure with my target startup drive in it using the PowerBook G4. Every single detail of my working environment was installed and tested thoroughly on that system and the data drive was populated and finished on that system too (in another FW800 drive enclosure). When it came time to do the switch, I pulled the two drives out of the G5, installed the new drives, and started it up ... working perfectly from word one.

    I've done this for numerous clients over the past six years. It is without a doubt the most efficient way to do the job and not cause a ton of downtime.

    When I need to clone a good working system, I use SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket Software. It does a much better job than Carbon Copy Cloner, in my experience. I maintain a complete clone of my working startup drive at all times in an external drive enclosure. If either/both drives in my G5 unit dropped dead for any reason, I would be up and running in less than five minutes by swapping the clone in and connecting to the data drive's backup sitting on my desktop. Time Machine would allow me to restore anything to my account that had changed within the resolution of about an hour.

    So ... Jono:

    If you have a good setup now on your 13" and want to replicate it onto the 17" with a new drive, fit the new drive and start the 17" machine in Target mode. Connect it to the 13" and format it with Disk Utility. Then use SuperDuper! to clone your 13" drive directly and completely onto the 17" system. Once it's completed, power off, disconnect, and boot up your 17" system.

    That's exactly how I would do it. It's fast, efficient, and very reliable.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    I have to agree, I have 3-5 different macs around and you can really get into trouble that way. You don't want to clone the OS from one system to another since they have different processors, video cards etc. Do a clean install of the OS and then migrate your user account.
    michael

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    As a Mac hardware & software developer for the majority of my career I can't count how many systems I've set up. Sure wish it was as easy as copying a 400k System Folder (and blessing it!) back in the old OS 9 days.

    In any event, I agree with Godfrey regarding SuperDuper over CCC; it's better.

    However I disagree that installing the OS clean on the 17 and using MA will cause problems. A direct clean install will provide all the system related items (profiles, kexts) etc that it needs, then MA can do the rest with the user files, apps, etc. A full install will not leave anything undone.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    When I need to clone a good working system, I use SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket Software. It does a much better job than Carbon Copy Cloner, in my experience.
    In what way would you say SuperDuper! does a better job?

    I've been using CCC and havn't had any issues. If I want a true clone I use the block-level copy feature even though that requires booting from a different drive than the one I'm cloning.

    Just curious what makes SuperDuper! better in your opinion.

    -Thomas

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    As a Mac hardware & software developer for the majority of my career I can't count how many systems I've set up. Sure wish it was as easy as copying a 400k System Folder (and blessing it!) back in the old OS 9 days.
    Simple days those were!

    I was the last Macintosh Developer to be certified and included in the program by Apple prior to the official announcement of Macintosh in 1984. At one point in 1985, I acquired a 512K Mac with a 10Megabyte HyperDrive in it ... which had enough space to contain every single application, programming tool, etc available with more than 5M of free disk space available. I was writing code with TMLPascal and FORTRAN on the Mac, analyzing our imaging radar data and generating reports for my department at the Jet Propulsion Lab ... ;-)

    However I disagree that installing the OS clean on the 17 and using MA will cause problems. A direct clean install will provide all the system related items (profiles, kexts) etc that it needs, then MA can do the rest with the user files, apps, etc. A full install will not leave anything undone.
    This is incorrect. A simple test will prove it:

    - Build a system with a full installation of Photoshop on it. Add all the custom paper profiles you need to use.

    - Now build another system from scratch and use the Migration Assistant to pull over applications and user files.

    You'll find the end product is that NONE of the paper profiles or links that Photoshop's installation installed, or that you placed there subsequently, are there. Other bits installed by applications into required system locations (Palm OS desktop software, synchronizing bits from ChronoSync, EXIFTool, etc etc) will not be there either.

    I've had to fix numerous clients' systems when they did exactly this and no longer had access to their paper profiles, when Photoshop no longer worked predictably, etc.

    The reason for this issue is that the Migration Assistant considers /Library, /System and other system-installed subdirectories to be the province of the operating system only and does not analyze and coalesce their contents from source to destination systems, regardless that they may contain components installed by the more complex application packages. I've had many a discussion with my buddies inside Apple Release Engineering (the people who created Migration Assistant... several of whom were my colleagues in another day) about these issues, but doing this level of coalescence is what they are specifically instructed NOT to do.

    They see what these directories contain as the specific province of the OS install and consider that applications installing components there are only the sorts of applications that experienced users 'who understand better' use. I disagree with their perspective, but that is how it is.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by trisberg View Post
    In what way would you say SuperDuper! does a better job?

    I've been using CCC and havn't had any issues. If I want a true clone I use the block-level copy feature even though that requires booting from a different drive than the one I'm cloning.

    Just curious what makes SuperDuper! better in your opinion.
    - Better support number one. It's a commercial product with a support team behind it, not a "donationware" product. Mike Bombich is a good guy, and has written a good tool, but CCC is a personal project which he offers to the world, he wrote it originally because he needed a tool to do something for his job.

    - I have had many small issues crop up with CCC cloned systems ... permissions not set correctly, certain files not copied, etc. The 10.3 to 10.4 changeover was particularly bad. I've never had any issues at all with SuperDuper! and they've handled all the system upgrades very quickly and efficiently.

    Both applications today are pretty darn good, but I trust SuperDuper! 100% where I cannot say the same about CCC. I trust SuperDuper! enough that I use it for my clients, who pay me for my services. I never do that with anything I'm not entirely certain of.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    I have used SuperDuper to clone a drive from a 13 to a 17 with no problems, but I wouldn't recommend it. The drive I am currently working on has been in a 13 and 15 with no problems in either. I planned reformat it with a clean install on the 15 when I get around to it, but more likely will just get a higher capacity drive and turn this one into an external.

    I personally am not a fan of migration assistant. Honestly, I think the best way is to do a clean install to a zeroed out drive. It is time consuming and a pain, but IME the drive just runs faster with fewer glitches.

    As far as the differences between CCC and SuperDuper, they look the same on paper, but SuperDuper is far more polished and just seems to work better.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Just bought SuperDuper! ... have used CCC for years. Thanks for the information.

    Bob

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Thank you everybody - It's interesting to see so many conflicting opinions . . . . all of which I could subscribe to (which is, of course, why I asked the question).

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    So ... Jono:

    If you have a good setup now on your 13" and want to replicate it onto the 17" with a new drive, fit the new drive and start the 17" machine in Target mode. Connect it to the 13" and format it with Disk Utility. Then use SuperDuper! to clone your 13" drive directly and completely onto the 17" system. Once it's completed, power off, disconnect, and boot up your 17" system.

    That's exactly how I would do it. It's fast, efficient, and very reliable.
    Thank you Godfrey, for your excellent explanation. As I have to fit the drive in the 17" myself, it seems easier to do the clone job in a disk caddy (do you feel this is a worse method than putting the 17" in target mode?)

    but having done the first completely clean install on my new 13" in several years, the idea of doing it again 5 days later is tiresome. . . Added to which I really do want to keep the machines synchronised.

    At any rate, I'm off to buy superduper right now, and will certainly do as you suggest.

    Thank you again

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... Thank you Godfrey, for your excellent explanation. As I have to fit the drive in the 17" myself, it seems easier to do the clone job in a disk caddy (do you feel this is a worse method than putting the 17" in target mode?)

    but having done the first completely clean install on my new 13" in several years, the idea of doing it again 5 days later is tiresome. . . Added to which I really do want to keep the machines synchronised.

    At any rate, I'm off to buy superduper right now, and will certainly do as you suggest. ...
    You're welcome, glad to help.

    If you have an enclosure to work with, by all means fit the drive and do the clone there first. I'd set SuperDuper! to restart with it after cloning as the boot drive in order to test it before installation into the 17". You can boot the 17" from it as an external and test first there too. I did that when I re-did my system, just to be sure.

    Setting up a system in all its particulars from scratch is a fairly time consuming and tedious job. If you've just done it and need to build another system, cloning is very sensible ... less chance of making errors in installation, far less time consuming.

    I used to coordinate and host developer workshops when I worked for Apple Developer Relations. I'd often be faced with the notion of having to restore a classroom full of 20-30 systems to an initial state (with pre-release versions of the OS, no less!) for each successive day's classes. The only sensible way to do it was by cloning all the workstations from a networked master simultaneously. It was logistically unfeasible to even consider individual, fresh installs from scratch every day.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    You're welcome, glad to help.

    If you have an enclosure to work with, by all means fit the drive and do the clone there first. I'd set SuperDuper! to restart with it after cloning as the boot drive in order to test it before installation into the 17". You can boot the 17" from it as an external and test first there too. I did that when I re-did my system, just to be sure.
    That was what I was planning to do - I have so many separate drives and caddies as I usually buy base model MBP and then upgrade the drives and memory myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Setting up a system in all its particulars from scratch is a fairly time consuming and tedious job.
    Tell me about it - all the RDP connections to clients - Application installations (finding the serial numbers) - Virtual machines for Windows - passwords for Mobile Me and Google Docs - FTP settings for the website - it went on and on and on. I hadn't done it for too long, and it was clearly a good idea, but to do it again really would be overkill!
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    If you've just done it and need to build another system, cloning is very sensible ... less chance of making errors in installation, far less time consuming.
    and so neat - especially as I want the machines to be the same.

    Basically you've saved my weekend - thank you again!

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    Absolutely agree, Super Duper copy the 13" to the 17" and away you go.

    Another point worth mentioning Jono is to backup your aperture library and referenced images to another disk with super duper, the super duper copied library will generally run faster due to the lack of fragmentation.
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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    keep it simple
    In this case you have a good working machine... which you will stiil have after the transition
    Use migration assistant - it will bring over 99 - 100% of what an average user will need

    run all the things critical to you..launch the apps make sure they work etc

    ignore the scare mongers

    I have used disk utility to make duplicate drives that were used in apple demos with me driving the machines live in front of 500 people... :-)...talk about money where your mouth is !

    K

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    In my experience the migration assistant is OK as far as user data is concerned but I typically have to reinstall apps or plug ins if I use it.

    +1 on Super Duper. Works extremely well and is free. I recommend paying the $28 for a registered copy as the backup scheduling is very useful and it's a good product that deserves support.

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    Re: Advice Please all you Mac Gurus.

    HI Kevin
    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    keep it simple
    In this case you have a good working machine... which you will stiil have after the transition
    Use migration assistant - it will bring over 99 - 100% of what an average user will need

    run all the things critical to you..launch the apps make sure they work etc

    ignore the scare mongers

    I have used disk utility to make duplicate drives that were used in apple demos with me driving the machines live in front of 500 people... :-)...talk about money where your mouth is !

    K
    Surely 'keeping it simple' is using a disk utility to make duplicate drives?

    all the best

    Graham - that's what I'll do.

    Incidentally, the return is delayed as the replacement main board arrived . . . and was also faulty

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