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PhilipTobias
12-21-2005, 04:18 PM
What's the best strategy for cloning my old PowerBook to a new Mac Mini?

My PowerBook G4 is my daily workhorse, with all my files and applications. It has recently been upgraded to Tiger. I regularly use SuperDuper! v2.0.1 to do smart updates to various partitions on an external FireWire drive.

A few days ago I bought a new Mac Mini with Tiger, primarily for emergency use if the PowerBook dies or becomes temporarily unavailable, such as during repairs.

I now want to clone my PowerBook to the Mini, so I have all my files and applications available there, and can smart update them there from time to time.

What's the best way to initially do this, so I don't have problems with files, preferences, permissions, and all the rest?

Thanks in advance. ...pt

dnanian
12-21-2005, 04:20 PM
I'd suggest that you simply use the Migration Assistant that appears when you first boot the mini. Should work great.

PhilipTobias
12-22-2005, 10:44 AM
I'd suggest that you simply use the Migration Assistant that appears when you first boot the mini. Should work great.


Yes, that might be a good, easy way to copy things over. But will that also accomplish my goal of having a backup computer that can easily be *maintained* as a clone?

For example, using the Migration Assistant would seem to create a slightly-different initial data set. In that case, I probably couldn't use SuperDuper smart updates to maintain the match between my old PowerBook and the new Mac Mini.

If so, would SuperDuper's copy newer, or copy different, options let me simply accomplish my goal?

Thanks again for the prompt response. ...pt

dnanian
12-22-2005, 10:47 AM
Not really, no. What you're going to want to do is ensure both computers have the exact same version of the OS, and make sure that version is at least as late as the one that shipped with the computer.

Once that's done, you can do a "direct copy", should you want.

But it seems to me that you'd be better off copying to an external drive that you could *boot* the computer from, rather than going directly to the destination drive of the computer itself. Up to you, of course!

PhilipTobias
12-22-2005, 12:50 PM
Not really, no. What you're going to want to do is ensure both computers have the exact same version of the OS, and make sure that version is at least as late as the one that shipped with the computer.

Once that's done, you can do a "direct copy", should you want.

But it seems to me that you'd be better off copying to an external drive that you could *boot* the computer from, rather than going directly to the destination drive of the computer itself. Up to you, of course!


I have a Tiger license for both computers and want both to be at 10.4.3 today.

So my strategy question remains. For the easiest, safest way to maintain both computers as clones of one another, should I:
- Use Migration Assistant for the initial file copies? Then how best to later keep both in synch?
- Use SuperDuper! to make another clone of my PowerBook to my external FireWire drive, then clone the FireWire drive to the Mac mini? Then continue smart updates from time to time?

Sorry to be a pest. But as I want to use SuperDuper! to maintain this setup, I figured I'd consult the experts before starting. Thanks. ...pt

dnanian
12-22-2005, 01:10 PM
If you want both to be at 10.4.3, just use SD. But what I'd do is simply keep the external up to date, and then update the mini from time to time, or just boot the mini from the external.

arnaud
02-04-2006, 12:57 PM
Hello Dave, hello everyone.

First of all Dave, thank you for your work and for all the help you give !

I am replying to this thread because I am considering buying a new (even though second-hand) powerbook on which to clone my current 12".
I am more and more relying on my 12", both for work and for leisure, and even if cloning on external drives is essential, it's of no use if your computer gets stuck too long on repair.
So, I'm thinking of buying a new computer.
The new macbook pro is a great one, but obviously I don't think you could clone a macbook on a powerbook (or vice-versa).
I am therefore considering an "old" 15"powerbook.

1 First I thought I would clone one on the other : Target Mode and SuperDuper.
But you are right : it's better if the two computers are installed separately, and each have their own special version of the OS.

2 What's the use anyway of a "complete" clone : all the important stuff we need to back-up/clone/smart update, is on 2 folders : the User/Home folder, and the Applications folder.
Absolutely everything we need is there, am I wrong ?

So we only need to copy these two on the "back-up powerbook"

3 I imagine we could do it with SD, but you suggest Migration Assistant.
Indeed it works : I used it for importing from my previous computer.

It works fine ... the first time, because I'm guessing (I've never tried) that it doesn't smart-update the second time, and that it would copy everything all over again.
Am I right ?

4 So, if I wrap-up the strategy you are proposing :
first time Migration Assistant
next times SuperDuper, via Target Mode and Smart Update only of the needed folders (Apps and Home folders)


Did I understand you right ?


5 Final question : I guess that, with that way of doing, the two computers don't have much importance : it can be a powerbook to a mini, a powerbook to a iBook etc...
A "real clone" would have necessitate two "compatible"computer (12"on 12", ibook on ibook, etc....) but not here.
Am I right ?

Thanks for your always "lighting" answer :)

dnanian
02-04-2006, 03:16 PM
Hi, Arnaud.

Your assumptions aren't really correct. While your User files are mostly in /Users, Applications have bits and pieces all over the system, in /Applications, /Library and -- sometimes, in /System, too.

If this is an old 15", and you're running Tiger's latest release on the 12", you can indeed copy with SuperDuper!, and update with Smart Update, at least if what you're trying to do is make sure the 15" acts as an exact clone "just in case".

Basically, if you're "moving" to a new computer, I suggest using Migration Assistant. If you're trying to keep a 2nd computer as a copy of the 1st, as long as you have the most recent OS, I suggest using FireWire Target Disk Mode and Smart Update...

arnaud
02-05-2006, 07:05 AM
Hello David.
You added confusion to my already puzzled brain ;-)

Let me clear-up things here :
- first of all, the computer I would buy wouldn't, in any case, be my main computer. It would be my "clone", my "rescue" computer, my second computer.
- so your advice is to run the latest OS on the main computer, mount the second one via Target Mode, and run Smart Update.
And that's it. No other step needed.
(Am I reading you correctly ?)

- but, that's what confusing me, why not run Migration Assistant first anyway ?
As if it was the new computer (and as you advised for the mac mini sooner on the thread).
So as to import all files first, then all the next times, only use Smart Update.

If I read you correctly, there's no need to run Migration Assistant if the computer is a clone, but you recommend running it if it becomes the new main computer.
I don't understand why the two different logics here.
:)

Thanks again.

dnanian
02-05-2006, 09:07 AM
That's right, Arnaud. Since you're going to constantly "re-sync" the backup computer, there's no reason to "clean things up" with Migration Assistant, since you'll be "messing them up again" on the next sync.

arnaud
02-05-2006, 10:05 AM
Ok !
That's the logical step you were making and that was in your mind, but that wasn't in mine (and maybe not in other readers' either) :
- Migration Assistant "cleans up" things, since it's only copying the needed stuff
So it's recommended to use it for a new main computer.
- SuperDuper will copy every bit of information so there's no need to clean first.

That's perfectly logical.

Thanks for clearing up my mind too :)

dnanian
02-05-2006, 10:36 AM
That's exactly right. Happy to help, Arnaud.