View Full Version : Copy hard drive to PC and back again?

03-01-2006, 01:34 PM
We currently have a Mac Mini. We were waiting to see if the new Intel Minis would come with Front Row. Now that we know that the new minis will come with this feature we'd like to buy one. Here's our question; before we sell our old mini we obviously want to format the old hard drive. Before we do that we need to make a mirror image of our hard drive (15 GB) and copy it over to the new mini hard drive. Unfortunately we won't be able to buy the new mini before we sell the old one, so we need to store everything on the old minis hard drive someplace. Our only option at this time is on our PC. Could we use Super Duper to make a copy of the entire old mini's hard drive, use use firewire or a network connection to store the image on our PC, and then once we get the new mini copy everything back from the PC to the new mini? :confused:

03-01-2006, 01:40 PM
Oops...forgot to mention, and I'm sure it's important, the PC is running Windows XP Pro ;)

Both PC and Mac have Firewire and ethernet connections.

03-01-2006, 01:44 PM
Well, it's not the best way to go, but if your PC is formatted as NTFS, you can back up over the network to a sparse image. The challenge, though, will be restoring that image from an SMB volume... I don't think you're going to be able to do it easily if you can't boot from a "real" OSX box (as opposed to just an install disk).

You don't have an external drive you could use?

03-01-2006, 02:11 PM
You don't have an external drive you could use?
We've been looking for one for the last three months, but nobody makes one for our hard drives :( We use SATA hard drives and it needs a Firewire (Oxford 911 chip) output. I'm not sure why but nobody makes one like that.

Regarding your first question, the new mini will have iLife 06. The old one has iLife 05. Is there anyway to back up everything BUT OSX and iLife? Then we would be able to install OSX on the new mini, and use it to grab the image of all the other old mini files on the PC right? :confused:

03-01-2006, 02:26 PM
Oh, sure they do! WiebeTech has a number of SATA -> FireWire bridges, using the Oxford chipset. Take a look at http://www.wiebetech.com, and you'll find something to your liking.

Once you've made the backup to that drive, what you'll do is boot the new Mac mini and use its built-in Migration Assistant (which appears during the first boot) to migrate your files from the backup to the new mini. That'll retain the new iLife and bring in your other 3rd party apps, files, etc. It'll work great.

Hope that helps.

03-01-2006, 03:28 PM
OK thank you for the link :) I went there and didn't see anything, but I'll call them and ask them more about it.

what you'll do is boot the new Mac mini and use its built-in Migration Assistant to migrate your files from the backup to the new mini.
The Migration Assistant can read Super Duper images? :confused: Wouldn't we need to first install Super Duper and then use it to copy everything over?

03-01-2006, 03:36 PM
You wouldn't need to use an image if you got a drive. Rather, you'd just point the Migration Assistant to the backup, which would work fine.

Our "images" are just Apple disk image files, in their native format. I don't think the Migration Assistant gives you the opportunity to mount the image, though, so you'd have to run it after completing the full setup -- not necessarily how you'd want to do it.

In general, considering what you're trying to do, I think you should get an external drive. You'll be much happier that way...

03-01-2006, 03:49 PM
OK we'll focus on getting an external drive, and thank you for the quick replies :)

03-01-2006, 03:55 PM
You bet, MMM -- let me know what you select, and how it works out. Enjoy the new mini!