4 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2012 3:27 AM by atomicluck1
atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

I might be posting in the wrong location, but hope I can get some solid field back.


I have a MBP that is coming up on it's 4th year and a MBA that will entire it's 3rd year.  Looking at replacing both with a new MBP or MBA.  Hopefully Apple will come out with a MBA Retina in the next few months.


In the mean time I have to deal with 2 MacBooks of differing age.  Both have Mountain Lion and always updated.


Know it is time to especially on my MBA to move things to an external HD because it is getting slow.  Most likely because there is litte free drve space.


Current SSD:

     250.14 GB

     Used:  214.6 GB

     Availiable:  34.54 GB

     Musik:  144.75 GB

     Movies:  10.23 GB


The most space is taken by music on iTunes with films coming up 2nd.  Though films are not in iTunes.


I need to move move the iTunes music to an external to free up the nearly 145 GB of space.  That should make the MBA work better.


The problem is how to move things to and external HD with the knowledge that soon I will have to do the same with the MBP.  Then eventually move it all over to a new MacBook in 2-3 months.  Because files are of differing ages and names I need to be careful not to corrupt them.  Although 99% of the musik is from my own DVD's.  The MBP has more than 400 GB of musik.


I'm open for suggestions as to the best way to do this all.  Or is this so complicated that I need some professional help to get things transferred properly. 


Been a Mac user for 20 years so that I have all types of files from the different OS's through the time.  OS6 > OS7 > OS8 > OS9 > Cheetah > Puma > Jaguar > Panther > Tiger > Leopard > Snow Leopard > Lion > Mountain Lion.  Layer upon layer upon layer.


In the past it was one Mac to another.  However, when I got the MBA I became a 2 Mac operation.  Now as I look to moving to a new Mac I have to take the past on both systems into one.  What's the best way?


Confused?  Believe me you're not the only one.


Any advise if greatly appreciated. 

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 256GB | 4GB RAM | late 2010
  • JasonFear Level 5 (4,935 points)

    You've got 13% free space on your HD, which is more than enough to avoid system sluggishness. The rule of thumb is 10% but I've pushed SSDs on my Macs to as little as 2% before I saw performance issues on both Lion & Mt. Lion. Obviously YMMV but I definitely don't think the lack of free space is the sole cause of sluggishness.


    If you've got files that date back to 1988 and every previous release of OS X I suspect you've got a ton of extraneous plist and application support files. Files, that in a high enough concentrate can create indexing issues and even on a SSD cause some sluggishness issues, especially for the purposes of accessing data through Finder or Spotlight.


    There's several ways to prepare your machine for migration to a new unit. None of them are anymore delicate than another, it's all a matter of how much you want to bring over with you.


    A.) A simple drag & drop from the source HD to the destination HD is easy and straight forward. I'd recommend something like that for media files and/or documents.


    B.) Cloning the drive using an application like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner would also work, they've very easy to setup. Carbon Copy Cloner is no longer free, SuperDuper! is but all of the "good stuff" is locked behind a "pay for" registration.


    C.) Time Machine would also work for the purposes of backing up and then migrating to a new machine. It's not awesome for allowing access to specific content within the backups but it'll work for a full and total system backup then restoration on the destination drive. This option probably wouldn't work out well if you're looking to move from two separate systems into one.


    I personally have three systems at home that I actively maintain: Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and a MacBook Air. It was a total nightmare to keep all three in sync with one another and in unison with software updates and software versions. Probably the best decision I made was to move the Mac Pro to a server (Lion server) and then have the two portables as clients in my home environment. All of my data is stored on a pretty basic NAS setup and everything is identical (all data, all applications and all OS versions). It's definitely more advanced than necessary for a typical personal/consumer user but it's something to consider and can easily be done on a budget with a Mac Mini and something like a Drobo.


    I'm only recommending such a solution because of the volume of data you have, multimedia data. I'm sitting at a hair over 6 TBs of multimedia and 95% of that is content that I'll probably rarely watch, it's more "have it, so I know where it is." For the day-to-day stuff that's stored locally and when I want to sync up the iPad or iPhone with media I can easily call upon the massive media library without having a percentage of that just tying up space on a much smaller SSD or traditional HD.


    At a minimum I'd definitely considering you explore getting your data in one place now versus waiting to do on a migration to a new machine. Because if you can get everything in one cohesive package you can then clone that out to both of your current machines as well as your soon to be new machine.

  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks for the reply.


    One question for you though.  How do I move iTunes or more to the point the iTunes musik over to an external HD.  I use the older MPB as the sync device for my iPhone5 for both all media files so that the musik on the MBA is simply there to listen.  The last thing I want to do is corrupt any future merging of 2 Mac's into one. 


    Or is it just best to remove the musik from the MBA and use the iPhone5 for listening?  One reason so much GB for musik is that I download my CD's at the fullest measure ... it does make a difference in playback especially on classical.  So my musik files tend to rather large. 


    If 13% is more than enough of free space what else would slow up the MBA?  Apple did replace the memory about 2 months ago due to failure. Could that be the issue?



  • JasonFear Level 5 (4,935 points)

    In your music folder (~/Music) you should have your iTunes folder with all of your media that is affiliated with iTunes. That's assuming you kept the default option of keeping your iTunes folders organized and media relocated to that location. If you did not setup iTunes to operate like that then your media maybe scattered all over your HD and you'll need to track it down.


    Assuming everything is in the ~/Music then you can drag & drop the entire folder onto the external HD. It's definitely possible to maintain an identical iTunes library across multiple computers, perhaps on the external HD. That way you can just plug the hard drive into the computer and tell each machine's iTunes to use that library. You'd obviously want another external HD to serve as a backup to that iTunes library.


    It's difficult to identify what exactly is the reason for the sluggishness on your computer. I don't suspect it's a hardware issue but you never know. I find sometimes in troubleshooting, making a new user account can help identify issues a bit further. If the issue persists (sluggishness) in the new user then I move towards backing up all my data, wiping the machine and seeing how that improves performance.

  • atomicluck1 Level 1 (30 points)

    When the RAM had to be replaced in November I did lose everything.  So that everything on the SSD was rebuilt with what I had from the external.  It's only been the last couple of weeks that the MBA has become extremely slow.


    As to the musik.  It's all in one place.  The one thing that does confuse me at times was Apple's renaming of things.  From iTunes to iTunes Media then adding it to folders that are titled Previous iTunes Library.  Why can't they keep names the same?  Ugh