View Full Version : Dropbox, Migration Assistant, Symbolic Links and SuperDuper

03-16-2011, 06:32 PM
The SuperDuper bit and question:

How does SuperDuper handle symlinks? If I have a symlink on a drive called ST256 that points to somewhere else on ST256 and that gets cloned to clone_ST256 does the symlink point to clone_ST256 or does it still point back to the original drive, ST256? I looked on the SuperDuper clone and where the symlinks are they appear to point back to the original drive rather than having been re-pointed to something relative. Is this normal?

OK, I know... what the heck was I thinking?

So I have a shiny new i7 MacBook Pro and I thought I would set it up using a firewire superduper clone of my present MacBook Pro and migration assistant. I opened the machine and used MA right from the Welcome screen.

Now on my present machine I have Dropbox and in my dropbox I have a number of symbolic links to other folders in my documents folder and one or two to ~/Library/Application Support/...

After I booted up the new machine as soon as I hooked it to the internet dropbox started deleting files. 3000 files down I finally unhooked it from the internet and closed my other machine which had already deleted a whole bunch of files.

Fortunately everything was on any one of a number of backups but now I'm exploring what happened.

Of course it is possible that migration assistant doesn't recreate symlinks properly (when I look on the new MacBook the symlinks are all broken but I honestly don't know if that broke going from the firewire to the new Mac or from the old Mac to the firewire.

If any of that makes sense, well done! Tomorrow I may try again but this time without using the superduper step and just hook the two MacBooks together and go out for a long walk.

Oh, and I'll turn off Dropbox till I figure out everything has copied properly!

03-16-2011, 06:38 PM
We copy symlinks by copying the symlink. It's copied EXACTLY as-is, otherwise it couldn't be properly restored by anything (including Disk Utility). No aspect of the symlink is changed...

03-16-2011, 06:42 PM
Thank you Dave....

So I can confirm, using a superduper clone instead of the real machine when using migration assistant is probably not the smartest thing to do if there are symbolic links involved and the name of the disks change.

No harm done.

03-16-2011, 06:55 PM
No, I've migrated from a SuperDuper! copy, which is effectively identical to the original drive, many, many times.

03-16-2011, 07:07 PM
Should I make the names of the drives on the two machines identical?

I also noticed that my user folder switched from

myname To myname1

Is that significant?

03-16-2011, 07:14 PM
Yes, you should. But if that happened, it's because you migrated after starting up the Mac for the first time, rather than doing it at first boot. See the FAQ about exactly this issue...

03-17-2011, 01:43 AM
Actually it was first boot, but I partitioned the hard drive before first use.

It has a 750gb and I will soon remove the DVD and put a 256ssd in as boot drive. Then the copy on the spinning will be my inboard nightly backup disk with 500gb for data.

I'll try again today, wipe the system and name the drive the same as the original drive in my other Mac before migrating.

03-17-2011, 09:01 AM
I don't know why it'd rename your Home folder unless there was already a user there with the same name - you have to do this when prompted to 'copy from another Mac': don't run the Migration Assistant by hand.