3 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2012 11:16 AM by Keith7WA
Keith7WA Level 1 (0 points)



We recently replaced our aged Xserve G5 with a Mac Mini server running 10.8.2 and have it configured and up and running smoothly for our small workgroup.

Shortly thereafter the new NEW Mac Mini was released which is faster and has higher capacity drives -- so we purchased one.


I need to make the new (late 2012) Mac Mini identical in setup to the slightly older Mac Mini excepting of course for the disc sizes. The new one has two 1TB drives as opposed to two 750GB drives.


My question is this: Cloning the data drive is a no-brainer and that will be complete in about 30 minutes from now. But I'm trying to decide whether to clone the OS drive from the (slightly) older machine to the new one. That would be the easiest path, but I know the new Mini has some slightly different hardware, such as USB 3.0 ports -- so I am concerned the clone may not be perfectly bootable or would somehow not be fully compatable with the new machine. But...maybe it would be fine.


Here's what I've decided to do and I'd love some feedback and advice on the plan from the smart people in this room:

On the NEW machine I will partition its existing 1TB OS drive into 3 partitions.

Partition 1: Will have the original, untouched OS that it came with (ie: this will be the original single partition simply re-sized downward and NOT erased).

Partition 2: Will be amply large enough for me to clone the older machine's OS drive to, and I will use Carbon Copy Cloner to do so.

Partition 3: I will leave blank for future use as a data partition or whatever I'd like.


Seems that this way I can try the cloning approach and if it works, great! If not, then I still have the originally installed OS on the new machine and can pursue using Migration Assistant to see how well that works. It should work fine since I'm going from 10.8.x to 10.8.x -- but I do hear horror stories about trying to use Migration Assistant.


Is the above a sound approach?


Thanks all!

Mac mini, OS X Server
  • Keith7WA Level 1 (0 points)


    Tried the clone approach but the new machine wouldn't boot from the clone. I suspect it's looking for some build-specific drivers that aren't there etc.


    So...I will be trying the migration approach this evening.


    Has anybody done a Mountain Lion Server to Mountain Lion Server migration and have any tips???



  • fkick1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Hi Keith,


    I had a similar issue a few weeks ago going from a tempory iMac mountain lion server to one of the new mac minis....


    YOU CANNOT CLONE TO THE MAC MINI STARTUP DRIVE as the new mac minis use a newer build of 10.8.2 then what can be installed on other macs and the firmware will not allow booting in the older build of the OS (basically this is apple's way of ensuring you don't downgrade a new machine to lion etc).


    You will need to restore the mac mini using the recovery partition on it (holding down alt/opt on startup and selecting recovery), do a full system recovery, and then use the apple migration assistant to do the migration from your old server to the new one. This will copy all users/server settings on the old server to the new one.


    If you accidentally deleted the recovery partition on the new new mac, you'll need to use Apple's internet recovery option to restore the system (simply hold CMD R on restart and make sure you're connected to the web).



  • Keith7WA Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the feedback Fkick. Last night I did successfully do the migration and our woprkgroup is humming smoothly today. I ended up putting the old server into Target Disk Mode and then did the 'import data from a disk' option during setup on the new server.


    Everything went fairly smoothly except the sharepoints didn't come over so I had to rebuild those. All users and groups and services were just fine though.


    Now to wipe clean the old server and do a fresh install of MLS so I can sell it. Looks like some of your tips above will come in handy there too.