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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > A little help, please...

A little help, please...
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Thorzdad
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Oct 30, 2022, 12:34 AM
 
It’s been awhile since I had to do anything like this, and I could use a bit of help.
Here’s the setup...

I have two old iMacs of the same model (late 2009) I have a full, bootable backup of iMac-A on an external drive. I need to migrate that full backup onto iMac-B (i.e. overwrite the current drive) I am very rusty at this, and am unsure as to how best/most easily to do this. Obviously, I will be connecting the external drive to iMac-B. After that, though, I’m kind of unclear what comes next.

Both iMacs have relatively old OS’s on them. IMac-A (and, thus, the bootable backup) is the older OS, and that is what I will be moving onto iMac-B.

Thanks.
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2022, 01:26 AM
 
Is there a reason you want to use the backup and not Migration Assistant? What OS versions are we talking?
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2022, 02:00 AM
 
You can clone with SuperDuper!, preferably while booted from a 3rd drive or partition. One not being copied from or to. SuperDuper! will clone everything across.

Disk Utility (using the Restore tab) can do the same, but gives much less control. And if something goes wrong, DU gives only short error messages. Note: you can boot into Recovery, then use Disk Utility from there, restoring the external to the internal.

I assume you're preserving a work environment? Moving it to a slightly newer machine, but keeping compatible OS and app versions?
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2022, 02:20 AM
 
I’ll only add that Carbon Copy Cloner is another cloning program option.

I can also confirm the biggest snag is you can’t clone the drive you’re currently booted on.
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2022, 03:02 AM
 
Side note, the most recent version of SuperDuper! can clone from the boot drive. Obviously not to the boot drive.

While booted from Mojave (apfs), I used SD to clone the booted drive to a laptop. I'd expected an imperfect copy, which I'd redo while booted from another partition. ie - get most of the stuff across, while still using my main partition. Then do a quicker cleanup pass from a backup partition.

But to my surprise, the cloning went without issue, and the laptop copy was complete. Booted without issue. No idea if this will work with HFS drives - it said something about a drive snapshot at the beginning, which I think is an APFS feature.
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2022, 03:25 AM
 
Oh, that’s nifty!

The only question then is if the OS on the iMac backup drive is recent enough.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 30, 2022, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I assume you're preserving a work environment? Moving it to a slightly newer machine, but keeping compatible OS and app versions?
Yes.

I went away for several days and, violating my own rules, I powered-off my work iMac. When I got back home and went to use the iMac, it wouldn’t power-up. It seemed dead. Somehow, it finally powered-on, but the fans started running full-blast. It was running and acting normally, except for the fans racing.

I quickly did a fresh backup to the external drive (using SuperDuper). Then, I put the iMac to sleep (which made the fans stop. The fans start racing again when it wakes from sleep.)

I had an identical iMac (21” late 2009) in storage. It was my wife’s old work desktop, so it still has whatever stuff she had on it. My iMac is running 10.9.5. Let’s assume my wife’s is running at least 10.10 or 10.11.

I can boot my wife’s iMac using the external SuperDuper backup.

My copy of SuperDuper is v3.1 (v102). I’m not seeing anything in the controls that specifically say “clone”. I can copy my backup to my wife’s iMac. I don’t know if that overwrites the target drive or simply tries to add the backup volume to it.

Maybe I could use Disc Utility and just wipe the drive, then copy the backup to my wife’s iMac? That should work, right?

As for why I want to stick with an older OS, Blame Adobe. I’m stuck on CS5, because I refuse to pay Adobe a monthly tithe. From what I have read here and there, CS5 apps like Illustrator start acting a bit wonky above 10.9.
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2022, 12:53 PM
 
I'm on SuperDuper 3.2.4

With SD, "copy" = clone. If you bought your copy, you'll have Smart Update available, which only copies the differences across (faster, and can resume). If you didn't buy it, you can only do a full clone from 0% to 100%.

If you like your old iMac, you might try a sensor monitoring app after the cloning. If say, your HD sensor had come loose, that would cause the rapid fans. Same if the fans and heatsinks just need cleaning, after so many running hours. You could also try an OS reinstall, in case it's software damage. I have seen a reinstall cure some weird issues.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 30, 2022, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
you can boot into Recovery, then use Disk Utility from there, restoring the external to the internal.
This is the first thing I'd try.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 30, 2022, 01:59 PM
 
Yep, it's a purchased copy of SD.
I went the "erase the drive, then copy over the backup from SD" route. It took awhile, but it seems to have worked beautifully. I even gained a few gigs of disc space (versus what the system was telling me I had on the old iMac) Man, what a fright, though.

I like my old iMac, and I suspect the innards need a thorough dusting-out. I think, if I did anything with it, I might try cleaning it out and then installing an SSD, and see how that goes. The new iMac had been sitting in its box in a closet for ages until today. It was my wife's computer at her old job. The owner let everyone take their computers home when they upgraded the office to newer iMacs. It definitely has far, far fewer miles on it than my old iMac.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 30, 2022, 04:05 PM
 
I enjoyed a somewhat bittersweet discovery when I rebooted my wife’s old iMac and noted that it had more RAM installed than the one I had been soldiering-along with for the past umpteen years.
     
reader50
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Oct 30, 2022, 05:25 PM
 
If you want to max out RAM, prices are finally dropping. On SSDs too. Those new factories they started building during COVID are coming online now, just as consumer electronics spending falls off. Most people already upgraded their home offices.

So with supply going up and demand falling, we're finally seeing the price drops we've been missing for ages. Black Friday should be good.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 30, 2022, 07:21 PM
 
I always use Migration Assistant for this sort of thing. It rarely fails me.
I always assume its a slightly cleaner method because you get a spotless OS and the only issues you should take over from the old Mac are going to be in the user folder.
A disk clone will take any foibles or ancient remnants of old drivers or software in the OS over with it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Oct 30, 2022, 08:59 PM
 
I don’t believe Migration Assistant would have moved the older OS over the newer OS on the iMac, though, which is one thing I definitely needed to do.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 31, 2022, 06:28 AM
 
Oh you wanted to downgrade your OS? Then you're correct. It happily imports from older OS to newer, but you'll end up on the newer one. It'll straight refuse the other way around.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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