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Thread: Using the Migration Assistant

  1. #1
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    Question Using the Migration Assistant

    Can I pull data on a FW drive. I assumed so but the way things are worded it wants a computer.

    I copied the /users and various data files via dragging from an iMac's failing hard drive to a FW drive.

    I have a fresh install on a new drive. - currently in my IcyDock.

    I should be able to slap the new fresh install into the iMac and via FW pull the /uses over right?

    Or put the dead/dyeing drive in a FW Case after pulled and pull it from there?

    The drive seems to function mechanically okay but DU has a big red "this drive is failing..... backup and replace" message.

  2. #2
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    yes.

    the easy answer
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    LOL, I figured. One or both methods should work.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up Sweet

    I ended up putting the old Hard Drive into my IcyDock FW Case. The data/users/settings then came over great with the Migration Assistant. Without a system Migration Assistant would not pull info over and I did not want to drag n drop. I did grab or drag it originally to move/save data.

    My iMac computers DU finds nothing wrong with the suspected bad drive. I might try DW just out of curiosity. As said before is seems mechanically okay... friends DU said the drive was failing.

    Also, when old drive was in use it would crash reboot and start to flash the desktop. - This was described to me I never witnessed it.

    So is it dead.

  5. #5
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    Best way to find out if a drive is going south is zero it out. Once the data is copied off it, write zeroes and see if it craps out.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Good thought. I'll do that first.

  7. #7
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    Talking

    Regarding ricks suggestion of zeroing out the drive.

    I have been doing it for years with every new HD I bought, using Drive Genius with 3 passes. Just start, and go shopping or something; then have supper with wine; then check if it's finished. Yes rick, I did it also with hard drives I bought from you (all passed!).

    This way I discovered that an el cheapo and a repaired one from manufacturer were defective: the 3 pass zeroing process was really good stress test. Prevented a lot of agony by this approach.

  8. #8
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    Lol, if I did that with every drive I bought I'd never have a functioning Mac!
    Good advice though if you're going to be hammering drives for a couple of years, otherwise, keep on top of the maintenance with regular backups and you're ready for the day when the inevitable happens.
    BTW... anyone else agree with me that Time Machine is the worst possible solution for backing up?

  9. #9
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    BTW... anyone else agree with me that Time Machine is the worst possible solution for backing up?
    Yep, I think we all see some "small uses" but it's not a backup.

  10. #10
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    Good. I never could see the point of backing up the last piece of corrupted junk that appeared in the system or user library.
    Personally, I maintain an 'install backup' with all apps etc on it and keep the user data separate, that way I've always got a pristine system ready to fly. CCC being my preferred tool for the purpose.

    One final question: given that Disk Utility is only any good for repairing permissions... is there any real validity in the so-called recovery partition created with a Lion install? Much easier to keep a fully loaded diagnostic drive giving access to ALL the proper tools. I'd like to get my mitts on some of the stuff Apple uses though.

  11. #11
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    Time Machine: Guaranteed to be corrupted after enough data changes are stored. Probably a great tool for a home user who just does email and a few chores on their computer. Even then they should erase it a couple times a year and start over to keep it from getting corrupted.

    Disk Repair Utilities. Been years since I had to use any on my own drives. I keep everything on a backup, and if I get an OS update issue I have a backup to go backwards. On my own machine I break things a lot so I run a daily OS drive backup and a weekly. Usually I find problems before the weekly happens.

    AHT - never use it.

    From what I have seen of service manuals, Apple mainly trains its techs to generically look up a problem just to find the order of suspect components, and then swap in parts until it is resolved. The manuals reflect that. Customer reports on taking their computers in for warranty repair reflect that as well. People always report and assume they had a bad motherboard, since Apple replaces them so much. I would bet more often just a corrupted PROM somewhere. AHT won't tell you about what or why a little corruption is stopping boot.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  12. #12
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    Ah, but what you and I do is not what Joe Public generally does! I suppose you have identified one area in which Time Machine can be useful... stepping back to a previous version of an OS update.
    I remember a few years ago I managed to download and install one, I think it was 10.3.4, within 45 mins of Apple posting it. Half an hour later they pulled it because it was crashing everything that touched it. TM would certainly have been handy that day!

  13. #13
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    I would never do a major update without an OS backup. I save the old version for as long as I can.

    We did a test of Time Machine on every computer here and failed all of them within 10 months. I don't use TM any longer. Just make sure of my backups

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  14. #14
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    I like some things about TM, but it has enough limitations that I don't rely on it alone. I have not seen the corruption issues that Rick has. It has gotten better with each OS too. Not more features, just less issues.

    I run it to a NAS for the ability to do regular, wireless, don't think about backups.

    Biggest gripes:

    - Great that it grooms out old data automatically. But without a preference to let the user set limits......how much history do you have? Impossible to tell without checking. And the bigger the data sets get, the more history that gets groomed out. I have seen folks assume they have lots of history, only to find out (the hard way) that they only have one or two recent copies, not the 3 month old version they need.

    - Not enough feed back, especially when there is a problem, and not enough control to schedule backups.

    I still ALWAYS clone an OS before updates, and occasionally in between.

    My favorite backup tool these days, for incrementals for data (not bootable) that is everything that TM is not, is: CrashPlan. Yes, it is a cloud solution, but the free version will back up to virtually anything else for free.
    Last edited by unclemac; 02-03-2012 at 10:56 PM.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  15. #15
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    ......This has got me thinking about personal backup more. I help so many others with it, some times I neglect my own. The cobbler's children have no shoes.....or something like that.

    Anyway, it occurred to me that CrashPlan may run to a mounted share. I bring this up because I see many folks trying to install CP on various NAS boxes, but it seems to be a bunch of CLI work, and vary by the OS and hardware of the NAS.....and break with NAS OS updates, and so on.

    So, though the performance may suffer a bit, I am going with the simple rout: run CP on the Mac, backup to mounted NAS share.

    Started and is running nicely, currently at about 35-40Mbps. Not bad! Simple and faster than TM over wireless, just to need to test it for a few days and do some restores.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  16. #16
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    As I recall, some time ago back ups and Time Machine were discussed here.
    Also, as I recall, ricks and I found the Time Machine useless.
    I have never even tried it.
    I guess I am very rough with my hard drives: my MacPro with three internal drives is booted/shut down at least twice every day; never leave on for long time without use. Yes, yes, the experts told me that is bad for them, but once they met the initial stress test, none have failed yet.......something like over five years.

  17. #17
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    Time Machine is not good for a user who has LOTS of data moving all the time. TM eats space and gets too big too fast.

    Time Machine is great for 50% of the users out there who don't really do a lot of real work with their computer - emails, browsing, facebook, probably all perfect reasons to use TM.

    Time Machine is great for the pro who knows to aim it only at stuff like the OS drive and email and keep his database off it - and has a second real backup system.

    Time Machine is great for those who wouldn't have a backup if it weren't for Time Machine.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________________


    A week doesn't go by that I don't get a photographer who calls with a Time Machine drive that cannot be recovered from. I just got to the point I consider it foolish to use for anyone who has the time to set up a better system. It has been 4 or 5 years that these calls keep coming, I don't see it ending either. Not enough control, and surely not enough tools to get anything out of the database should you have a problem.

    Not Enough Tools = NONE.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  18. #18
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    Exclamation

    looks like you have a handle on it...
    I back-up the back-ups.
    The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

  19. #19
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    Oh well, seems like we're all in agreement on TM then! It's just a flavour of junk for any serious user.
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my backups, selecting the important stuff - my novels, emails and photos - to be collected every day. My novels, including all the research, are also backed up to Dropbox twice a day for offsite backup. As I said earlier, I keep a pristine OS updated with my core applications on it, not necessarily all the stuff that I add in on a regular basis to trial and then never use. That way I can restore or migrate to any mac in a matter of an hour or so. My MBP is my main Mac: 1TB drive in it that is 75% occupied and that's backed up in its entirety onto my G5 tower once a month. Any more frequently than that would be wasting time and electricity.

    All good stuff to hear what other people do. Never heard of Crashplan, so I'll have a look at that shortly.

  20. #20
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    Not quite all in agreement. I have never had a problem with Time Machine.

    Migration assistant on the other hand, has never worked for me. It will NEVER see a firewire drive... ever. It sees networked macs and drives and then tells me it will take 80.. 90... 100+ hours to complete!?! Yeah right. My stuff is under 400 gigs and could be copied a dozen times or more in that time.I give up and just pull the stuff from my TM backup
    Damien,

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