11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2013 9:02 AM by FatMac>MacPro
P.Rex Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

So I'm replacing my aging Mac Pro 1,1 with a 5,1. I'm awaiting delivery, and it should be here shortly, but I wanted to have a clear boot drive migrating procedure planned out ahead of time.

 

Last few times I purchased new Macs, I just booted up the older machines in target disk mode and simply migrated all my old files to the new boot disks, and it's always worked out perfectly. This time, I've got a minor issue where my current boot drive has three times the capacity of the boot drive I'll be getting with the new Mac Pro - three Terabytes of data representing seven years of cobbled-together tools and utilities that I require for my daily workflow.

 

As the two machines are essentially the same, the simplest thing would be to slide my current boot drive into a bay in the new MP and just fire it up, only I haven't got (and can't have) 10.8 installed on my current computer. Not to mention that there will probably be updated software or up-to-date drivers etc on the new boot drive that I'll probably also want to preserve.

 

All in all, I'm not sure of the most practical workaround might be for this. Do I boot up the new computer with my old drive and just updae the OS? Is there a sort of inter-bay target disk mode that will allow me to migrate more recent files and software to the old boot disk, updating the OS and anything else that's relevant? I'm hoping one of the resident experts here with more experience with this sort of thing might chime in and same me a headache and lost time.

 

Thanks for your help!


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • 1. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    The sleds are different length.

     

    I would clone Mountain Lion so you have a copy as delivered. It may not even have 10.8.5 so you want to see if there are updates for it. And see how it runs before you make changes.

     

    In the end I would have:  Lion, Mountain Lion as delivered, modified Mountain Lion w/ your files.

     

    yes any Mac Pro can run Lion (or even Snow Leopard 10.6.8).

     

    Setup Assistant will provide an easy way to bring over your stuff.

     

    And because you are on Lion you already migrated beyond Rosetta.

  • 2. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)

    When The hatter says the sleds are different lengths, this just means that you will have to swap your old drives onto the new sleds --you cannot slide the old sled+drive into the new machine and expect it to work.

     

    Once mounted on the correct sleds, all the old drives should work fine in the new machine.

  • 3. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    P.Rex Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your input. I know you're both among the top gurus on the site, so I suspect I might not have been clear in my original question.

     

    I'm not concerned about the sleds (I would certainly have swapped sleds just by default before moving the drives). I'm also not concerned about the new computer being able to run Lion, or about Rosetta, or wether or not my drives will work in the new machine, or any of that. I'm prefectly clear on all that. My question isn't nearly that basic.

     

    Basically, what I'm looking for is a simple procedure for keeping my current 3TB boot drive from my Mac Pro 1,1 with 10.7.5 installed, and simpy updating it with 10.8.xx and whatever new files/software/drivers might come pre-installed on the 1TB boot drive of the new Mac Pro. I'd like my 3TB boot drive to remain my 3TB boot drive, as there simply isn't enough storage capacity on the new boot drive (with 10.8 installed) for me to migrate all my software to it.

     

    So, I either keep the new drive (1TB) with the latest OS and so on as the boot drive in the new Mac Pro, and copy over anything relevant from the old boot drive, missing out on a whole lot of stuff that, by necessity, probably has to be on the system drive, or else I keep the 3TB system drive I'm using now with my old Mac Pro as the boot drive in the new Mac Pro, and find a way to update the OS to 10.8 once it's installed in the new computer. But then, how can I do that when my only copy of 10.8 and whatever else is actually pre-installed on another boot disk? Am I authorized to update from the app store pending some sort of proof of ownership? Is there a straightforward and reliable procedure in that case?

     

    I suspect that there's a well-known method for doing what I need (like with target disk mode, sort of thing), which is probably even outilned in detail in the default setup procedure, but I'd just like to be sure ASAP. Don't mean to be a pain, but I can't have too much downtime during the migration process, so I'd like to make sure I know how best to tackle this before I start.

  • 4. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    FatMac>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    I think the easiest way to do it is the way I moved from a 1,1 to a 5,1 Mac Pro. First, make backups of both your old and new drives even if you have to buy externals to do it! Then move the drive (but not the sled) from the old Mac to the new Mac. Since the new Mac will likely come with Mountain Lion as The hatter says, boot from the recovery partition and choose to install Mountain Lion onto your 1,1 drive. Once it's done, it will be custom configured for your new Mac Pro but have all the files and software of your old Mac Pro. It also has the best chance of retaining whatever authorizations and registrations your current software has established as well as things like custom network settings which I've found get ignored if you use Setup or Migration Assistant to transfer your files.

  • 5. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    P.Rex Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Brilliant! That's exactly what I was looking for... Well, I could have spared myself the expense of new drives, but fine.

     

    I should have it in a little over a week, so I'll try this procedure and, if it works as I suspect it should, I'll return and update "this helped me" to "this solved my question".

     

    Thanks for your help!

  • 6. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)

    Your query forks into two complex questions.

     

    Software that "Ships in the box" with a new Mac contains drivers for that model Mac only. This is a primitive form of copy protection -- you cannot take that DVD (now download) to a different model Mac and expect it to work.

     

    Software that you purchase (either on a DVD or by downlaod) has drivers for every approipriate model Mac, and can be installed and re-installed on other Macs that you control with the same Apple_ID.

     

    In your case, since both old and new are Mac Pro models that you control, this will not restrict you. Once you enter your Apple_ID during initialization, the Mac App store will be happy to re-download that same software for that same Apple_ID, but will not supply drivers for a Mac Mini or a MacBook Pro. When you re-download, you can install on a different drive, and if you interrup the process after the download and before the Install, you can capture a copy on DVD or 8GB blank Flash Drive.

     

    EDIT: While I was expounding on the philosophy, I see FatMac\> MacPro has you covered with the exact procedure you need.

  • 7. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    FatMac>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    P.Rex wrote:

     

    Brilliant! That's exactly what I was looking for... Well, I could have spared myself the expense of new drives, but fine.

     

    I should have it in a little over a week, so I'll try this procedure and, if it works as I suspect it should, I'll return and update "this helped me" to "this solved my question".

     

    Thanks for your help!

    Glad that helped. FWIW, that method is remarkably flexible. I cloned the 5,1 boot drive to a USB 3.0 external and then pruned the contents so it would fit on a smaller boot drive. Then I connected it to a 2013 rMBP and used that method to reinstall the OS on the external, with the OS being customized for the rMBP rather than the Mac Pro. Finally, cloning that to the internal resulted in a miniature version of the Mac Pro with a gorgeous screen and a fast SSD.

  • 8. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)

    The second question is whether this is the best drive organization in the long run.

     

    Many Users have complained about slow Mac Pros, and this can be caused by too much contention for the "main" or only Hard drive. The best speedup you can give a Mac Pro is to isolate System and Users data, establishing a Boot  drive that contains only System, Library, Applications, and the hidden unix files including Paging/Swap. User files are moved off to a large Data drive or drives.

     

    If the Boot Drive is a 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor or a low-latency SSD, there is an even more pronounced speedup.

     

    There are a few recipes available that do not require Terminal.

  • 9. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    P.Rex Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is all really interesting, and I'll have a lot of stuff to juggle once I get the new MP in place to ensure I'm doing it right... Thanks to everyone for all the info.

     

    I'm using such a large capacity boot drive (which I know isn't ideal) because I've installed a number of things (such as large sound libraries) to the system disk, which really shouldn't be there. However, I did this for the very simple reason that the installers always defaulted to the boot drive and wouldn't allow me to change install locations. I'm now sort of stuck with this ridiculous situation wherein my boot disk has well over 1.5TB of extraneous data that would be best installed on a storage drive, but I don't suspect I can move any of it now.

     

    If I opted for the 5,1 rather than the next gen model, it's partly because I suspect that I can largely make up for the performance gap by updating relevant components in the 5,1 - namely the system drive. I will eventually be switching over to a PCI-E SSD, once that becomes affordable, so even the setup that I've detailed here is just temporary.

     

    Still, I've got a lot of stuff that I can't afford to lose, and I'm not sure I have the option to move any of it, so I'm a little trapped. For the time being.

     

    I'll return with an update once I've completed the migration procedure, if anybody's interested?

     

    Thanks again for all your help!

  • 10. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Samsung will have better and faster PCIe for retail upgrades in 2014, though can never assume Mac support. And their prices on SSDs are excellent and capacity is there too. Not sure what price you think it would be but Sonnet Tempo Pro SSD cards are already good choice esp for 2009 and later.

  • 11. Re: Advice about boot disk migrating?
    FatMac>MacPro Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    P.Rex wrote:

     

    ...I should have it in a little over a week, so I'll try this procedure...

    Another thing to consider is that while your Mac Pro should last pretty much forever, if it breaks and you have to haul it into the Apple Store for a checkout, you'd probably not want to leave your HD with all your personal stuff with it. If you boot into Recovery the very first time you start the new Mac Pro, install the OS on your transferred old Mac Pro HD and then reboot directly to it rather than restarting with the new Mac Pro's stock HD, you'll have a pristine Apple HD which you can put aside for the rare eventuality of issues requiring an Expert to fix (assuming, of course, the issue isn't HD or software based, but with three more bays begging to be filled, I expect you'll have plenty of additional boot partitions to work from ). And in the very rare instance that you might decide you want a refund within 14 days while waiting for the new Mac Pro, putting the stock HD back leaves the Mac Pro essentially untouched.