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Looking for advice on transferring data to new hard drive


I have the tools and parts on order.

I am replacing the annoyingly loud CPU fan, and, in hopes of improving performance, a new hard drive.

I have found very helpful information on the mechanicals of the project. Now I am looking for some advice on the best way to transfer the HD data to the new HD.

I use Time Machine.

I could list out what I was thinking doing but, I thought it would be easier for some helpful folks to throw some information at me and see if it sticks.

Since this is "asking for advice", I'm not looking for any guarantees.


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Dan -

This makes sense.

I ordered a Universal Drive adapter today.

This will make things SO much easier.

Your advice about a fresh Time Machine backup also makes a lot of sense.

I have a spare external USB hard drive where I can create a fresh Time Machine backup on it.

I also have a log and cache cleaner but I don't use it much.

Regarding a fresh OS install onto the new disk.

I've only upgraded on the same HD so this is new.

When I download and launch the Yosemite installer, it's going to ask me which HD I want to install it on, correct?

Any recommendations on a cloning app?

Thank you!!


You don't need to clone things if you use the fresh TimeMachine backup to restore the drive (new HD). You do want to boot up under an external drive to run Disk Utility to clean the permissions up before you do the TM backup (old HD).


What I've done is setup a bootable USB thumb drive using Snow Leopard (and I have a Mountain Lion configured the same way as well). Then I boot up under it to clean the drive up I'm working on and I have the OS installer on it when I'm upgrading or prepping a new drive. It makes things much easier. The only bugaboo here is the speed on the older systems USB ports (Slowwww). Most of the systems I setup now have the faster USB ports so it's not as bad.


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you could use target disk mode to migrate the files you want from 1 mac to the another. -- Move your data to a new Mac

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First you'll need to prep the HD before you put it in. Using an external FireWire case to hold the drive would be best (USB is just so slow). In any case use the Disk Utility if you have something older than Mountain Lion if you have something newer use the OS installer to prep the drive as it will create the recovery partition.

Once the drive is prepped and has the OS on it use the Option key during the restart to select it to see if it starts up. If it does using the new drive externally you know the drive is ready.

OK, now the question on copying over your stuff. Using a clone application you can copy over your stuff. If you have a second Mac you can use Apples Migration Assistant. These will both image the drive with everything you have over. The risk here it will also carry over of the hidden junk.

A TimeMachine backup is typically journaled, which basically means it is a stepped backup so you have not only the core backup you also have all the old stuff as well. I wouldn't recommend using your current backup. Instead I would create a fresh one using a different HD so it is a snapshot of what you have now without the weight of all of the changes.

I do recommend you first do a good housecleaning getting rid of the stuff that is not needed. In addition you should think about getting a log and cache cleaner app to flush them out as well. Then I would repair the your current drive repairing the permissions and the drive structure so the clone or backup will be cleaner.

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Bob will be eternally grateful.
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