MacInTouch Amazon link...
Channels
Apple, Troubleshooting, Questions
In the past I've restored hard drives by (SuperDuper!) cloning, but for setting up new machines I've always set them up from scratch and then copied data over. This is a lot of work.

I have a 2013 iMac with macOS Sierra, and will soon receive a new iMac. I'm thinking of cloning the 2013 iMac to the new computer.

Tentatively I was thinking of connecting to the new Mac's Fusion drive via Thunderbolt Target Disk mode, and then using SuperDuper to clone from the current Mac to the new Mac, rather than doing a multi-clone process with an external drive.

Is there some reason why this is doomed to failure?

I know that a concern would be if the new Mac required a newer build of macOS. But the "new" iMac came out in 2017.

I was planning to upgrade the current Mac to High Sierra first, before cloning. But now I'm not even sure I should do that. The 2017 iMac originally came with mac OS 10.12.4 Sierra, which is older than current Sierra. So I'd think that simply cloning Sierra would work.

If the new Mac comes with High Sierra, and I decide to clone from Sierra, should I erase the target drive first?

(Note: If you're wondering why I don't use Migration Assistant, it is because I don't trust it to copy everything.)
 


Is there some reason why this is doomed to failure?
So long as the cloned system software is compatible with the new hardware, there's no reason why it shouldn't work.

Some people may blanch at this, but my current System has been in use since October 21, 2004 (according to the folder creation date). It started life as Mac OS X 10.3.5 in a Power Mac G5. It got upgraded to Leopard, which was a Universal Binary system, and made a successful transition to a Mac Pro (Early 2008) by simply moving the hard drive over. The hard drive was then cloned to a dual hard disk drive Apple software RAID using Carbon Copy Cloner. Then, the RAID array made another successful machine transition to a Mac Pro (Early 2009) (a warranty replacement for the 2008). From there, the OS was upgraded to Mountain Lion, at which point the system was cloned again to a DIY Fusion Drive. And later upgraded to its current Yosemite state. I'll probably upgrade at some point to High Sierra or Mojave, but I'm not sure yet which or when.
 


... (Note: If you're wondering why I don't use Migration Assistant, it is because I don't trust it to copy everything.)
Michael, trust Migration Assistant. It only skips items installed in the top-level Library folder from third-party vendors, like the newer SoftRAID kernel extension. I am not sure whether Migration Assistant also skips third-party items installed into invisible folders such as /bin, /sbin or /usr, but you should be able to quite easily reinstall the relatively few items it does skip. HUGE time-saver when using Migration Assistant -- but my advice is to only use it from a fresh, never-booted "factory-state" OS, which allows for the same exact User ID to be created.
 


Michael, trust Migration Assistant. It only skips items installed in the top-level Library folder from third-party vendors, like the newer SoftRAID kernel extension.
What version of macOS do new Macs come with? Is it always the same version that they were introduced with, or is it the latest point release? Rumor is you can't use Migration (or Setup) Assistant to migrate from a newer version to an older version, such as from Sierra 10.12.6 to 10.12.4.

I'm also nervous about it skipping items in the Library folder. I see a large number of third-party files in /Library/Application Support, for example, so if it skips them, I'm back to having to reinstall all of those applications.

Note: Mr. "SuperDuper" says Setup Assistant during first boot is the way to go.
 


What version of macOS do new Macs come with?...
New Macs usually are supplied with the "dot zero" release of the current OS. But if you choose to perform a storage boot drive erase and then a network OS reinstallation, I believe you get the current "dot" release of the OS you choose to install. Refer to this Tech Note for the correct keys to hold at boot:

How to reinstall macOS

I do not have any experience in attempting a migration from newer to older -- I would suspect you might get a warning that it is not allowed or supported.

Migration / Setup Assistant will not skip 3rd-party items in /Library/Application Support. And I agree with Mr. SuperDuper.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
New Macs usually are supplied with the "dot zero" release of the current OS.
That's not actually the case, as shown, for example, in EveryMac.com listings of the original OS versions for various Macs:

13-Inch (Touch Bar): Sierra (10.12.1)
15-Inch (Touch Bar): Sierra (10.12.1)
iMac Core i5: Sierra 10.12.4
2013 Mac Pro: OS X 10.9.1
 


Some people may blanch at this, but my current System has been in use since October 21, 2004 (according to the folder creation date). It started life as Mac OS X 10.3.5 in a Power Mac G5.
Interesting - my user folder shows a creation date of Aug 4, 2004, when I migrated to a then-new Power Mac G5. But the system creation date is July 8, 2016, which probably is the date I set up the external hard drive that I now boot from.

How do you manage the cruft that tends to accumulate over the years?
 


I want to create a partitioned dual-boot SSD - Sierra and High Sierra. However, Disk Utility in High Sierra only shows APFS, so I cannot create a bootable Sierra volume. Any suggestions?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I want to create a partitioned dual-boot SSD - Sierra and High Sierra. However, Disk Utility in High Sierra only shows APFS, so I cannot create a bootable Sierra volume. Any suggestions?
I'm not running High Sierra to try this, but can you add a partition ("+" button, then Apply the change), and then go back and Erase that partition into HFS+ format?
 


I'm not running High Sierra to try this, but can you add a partition ("+" button, then Apply the change), and then go back and Erase that partition into HFS+ format?
No. There is no option for anything except APFS (journaled, encrypted, case sensitive).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
There is no option for anything except APFS (journaled, encrypted, case sensitive).
Well, presumably you could format a partition in HFS+ by using an older Disk Utility (e.g. in macOS Sierra), but, lacking that option, perhaps the Terminal command line (e.g. diskutil) would let you do it - maybe worth a look. I wonder also if booting in Recovery mode would give you any additional options, though I'm guessing it won't.
 


I want to create a partitioned dual-boot SSD - Sierra and High Sierra. However, Disk Utility in High Sierra only shows APFS, so I cannot create a bootable Sierra volume. Any suggestions?
Based on this discussion, it sounds like you have to have High Sierra installed on the SSD you want to partition, and boot from that same SSD also. Then, within Disk Utility, you will have the option to partition it and format that partition as HFS+ (last 2 pictures in the thread).

It apparently does not work if you boot from a different device and try to partition the not-booted-from SSD (all the stuff he talks about for the first 80% of the discussion in that thread).
 


I want to create a partitioned dual-boot SSD - Sierra and High Sierra. However, Disk Utility in High Sierra only shows APFS, so I cannot create a bootable Sierra volume. Any suggestions?
Well, clearly it can be done, since I've got one. However, I started by booting in Sierra, so maybe that's the issue.
 


I have avoided upgrading my own laptop, as well as computers owned by clients, to High Sierra -- El Capitan is perfectly fine for now. But I had two recent disconcerting experiences with High Sierra -- one on a brand-new MacBook Pro, and another MacBook Pro which was erased and freshly-set up with High Sierra.

In both situations, Safari refused to allow me to change the home page to any other URL than what was pre-programmed in (Apple's home page.) I tried both manually entering the desired URL in Safari's Preferences as well as surfing to that particular web site (Google) and then instructing Safari to use that current web page as the home page. Complete Fail.

Anyone have the identical experience? Any known workarounds?
 


... Safari refused to allow me to change the home page to any other URL than what was pre-programmed in (Apple's home page.) I tried both manually entering the desired URL in Safari's Preferences as well as surfing to that particular web site (Google) and then instructing Safari to use that current web page as the home page. Complete Fail.
Anyone have the identical experience? Any known workarounds?
I ran into that last Halloween, here's my post:
On several Macs running El Capitan when I tried to change Safari's homepage to DuckDuckGo it was overwritten by Apple's preset homepage. If I go to DuckDuckGo, open Safari's Preferences, and click "Set to Current Page" nothing happens. I was tabbing out of the field to make it set, a GUI SOP for decades. That doesn't work, it resets the field to the original contents. I found the trick today. After typing in the new home page I clicked on another of the icons at the top of the Preferences window, then the change stuck. Once again, we have to memorize how to work around a dysfunctional common UI element that "just worked" for decades.
 



What version of macOS do new Macs come with?...
An update: The new (2017) iMac came with High Sierra 10.13.4, which is one behind the current macOS release.

And I'll never know how effective it would have been to use the first-boot Setup Assistant to migrate from the old iMac.

I set up the new iMac in place of the old, started up the old iMac in Target Disk Mode, connected by Thunderbolt: old iMac (with Thunderbolt 1) -> Thunderbolt cable -> Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt 3 adapter -> new iMac with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C). And then started the new iMac.

But the new iMac didn't see any drives on the old iMac. So, on to plan B: connect by gigabit Ethernet. Rebooted the old iMac.

Imagine my shock when the old iMac started up with a prohibitory symbol! The Fusion drive is toast! Not even DiskWarrior can revive it.

And despite all my careful planning, I had neglected to bring the SuperDuper clone up to date first (it was last cloned two weeks ago). I didn't even make sure Time Machine had run before shutting down the old iMac. I wasn't thinking that the old iMac had any hard drive problems, just the display.

I don't have any idea why the Fusion drive got corrupted. I have rebooted the iMac many times since it first started exhibiting display problems. My leading theory is that Target Disk Mode had something to do with it. Or it was only working before because of all the other USB-3 devices plugged into it.

I ended up doing the first-boot migration from Time Machine (even though I don't trust it, because I know that Sierra has trouble accurately updating it), and then copying the excluded files from the SuperDuper clone.

So let this be an object lesson: update your clone before migrating to a new computer!
 


I have avoided upgrading my own laptop, as well as computers owned by clients, to High Sierra -- El Capitan is perfectly fine for now. But I had two recent disconcerting experiences with High Sierra -- one on a brand-new MacBook Pro, and another MacBook Pro which was erased and freshly-set up with High Sierra. In both situations, Safari refused to allow me to change the home page to any other URL than what was pre-programmed in (Apple's home page.) I tried both manually entering the desired URL in Safari's Preferences as well as surfing to that particular web site (Google) and then instructing Safari to use that current web page as the home page. Complete Fail. Anyone have the identical experience? Any known workarounds?
A good reason to use a different browser as your default (I favor Firefox). I still use Safari (as well as Chrome and Opera) for the occasional site that doesn't play well with Firefox.
 


I usually use the Migration Assistant every time I get a new machine. It has never let me down or resulted in flakey behavior. If I was interested in completely reinstalling the OS, apps, etc. every time, I could just run Windows...

My experience with Mac OS X:

My first Mac OS X machine was a Titanium PoweBook G4 DVI, which came with Mac OS X 10.1.

Updated in place 10.1 -> 10.2 -> 10.3 -> 10.4 (skipped 10.5)

Bought the last aluminum PowerBook G4 (with Mac OS X 10.4), put the Titanium in Target Disk Mode, used Migration Assistant to copy everything from the Titanium G4. Never updated it past 10.4.

Bought an Early 2011 17" MacBook Pro, with Mac OS X 10.6.8. Put the aluminum PowerBook G4 in Target Disk Mode, used Migration Assistant to copy everything over. Worked flawlessly, even though it was going from PowerPC -> Intel and skipping an OS generation (10.4 -> 10.6).

Upgraded in place from 10.6 -> 10.8 (skipped 10.7).

GPU died, so I bought a replacement Late 2011 17" MacBook Pro (call it MacBook Pro #2), transplanted the SSD from the dead one. This became my primary work machine.

Found someplace to repair the original 17" MacBook Pro, bought a new SSD for it, used Target Disk Mode and Carbon Copy Cloner to clone #2 back to it.

Upgraded #2 in place from 10.8 -> 10.11 (skipped .9, .10) -> 10.12

I wanted to keep the original at 10.8, but needed 10.12 on it. Used Target Disk Mode and Carbon Copy Cloner to clone #2 back to it.

Bought a refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro. Used Target Disk Mode and Carbon Copy Cloner to clone #2 to it.

I now use ChronoSync to keep the three synchronized; the replacement 17" MacBook Pro is still my primary machine.

I have never had any weird stability issues, even though there are remnants from my old Titanium PowerBook G4 on it. Mail, iTunes, iPhoto/Photo databases survived every update. I could probably save a little space if I wanted to wade through and delete old stuff, but I don't.

The only problem I had was trying to update from OS X 10.8 -> 10.9. The Apple Mail update was broken and corrupted my mail database, so I abandoned it and went back to 10.8.
 


For what it's worth...

My first Mac system was in 1987 (yes, I came to the platform late). I used a floppy copied from someone else as my personal boot drive around the university, so I could rely on having the same fonts and control panels (using Font/DA Mover). My first Mac purchase was an external hard drive (I believe 40 megabytes at $400 or some such), which I connected to the Mac Plus computers; I got a Mac months afterwards. I drag-copied the system from the floppy to the hard drive.

Long story short, I've never had to start over again. That system kept getting upgraded until I was at Mac OS 9. I joined Mac OS X with Tiger (10.4), which many saw as the first usable version. I'm now on macOS 10.13 and have never done a clean install.

I will admit that now and then I've cleaned out the system files, and there's no doubt I have a lot of junk, but thanks partly to app uninstallers, I've managed to have a clean, crash-free system; indeed, since 10.13, I don't think I've had a single freeze or crash.

The only exception is when I do an upgrade; around half the time, the system shows two dialogue boxes, and I can't reach either one, so I reboot and all is normal. That's due to some utility or another, and between Little Snitch, Default Folder, BlockBlock, etc., there's a lot to remember. Perhaps if Apple didn't insist on layering their warnings and dialogue boxes over each other on an otherwise blank screen... or putting us through those same “setting up your Mac” boxes every time we do a minor update?
 


Migrating Zombies to Your New Mac?

In 2005 I bought a G4 Mac Mini at CompUSA, and the resident Apple employee suggested I add the Intego Security Suite. I bought it and later added a multi-year, multi-user license. At the second renewal, Intego substantially raised prices. I didn't renew and un-installed Intego from all Macs.

Three or four new Macs later, I noticed issues with slow processing and "Internet throughput." Cause: zombie pieces of the Intego Suite that had persisted through an unbroken chain of "Migration Assistant" setups. The zombies were trying to phone home. Maybe even were phoning home? Found and squashed them. Perhaps they were hibernating for years? No idea what changed that caused them to draw my attention.

It is possible that AppDelete, with its "find orphans" feature, would do the job on zombie application stubs. Definitely worth a try before "migrating" and possibly after.

Due to my experience with the Intego zombie, I stopped using Migration Assistant, preferring a clean setup, even though it takes more time to recreate my preferred setup.

On a sad note, AppDelete developer Reggie Ashworth died in 2017. Thankfully, AppDelete lives on. There's just enough difference between the full and "lite" App Store versions to choose the full one, and to send a bit more money to Reggie's heirs.http://www.reggieashworth.com/about
 


Now and then I do go through extensions and startup things with software like LaunchControl (which I highly recommend to anyone). Among other things, it helps when you install and de-install software, or you can shut off various “phone home” functions (e.g. for daily updates on software that you use maybe once a year).

AppDelete might do that and it might not. I don't think any uninstaller is perfect. It takes five to ten minutes to go through LaunchControl's list of startup programs, libraries, and such and remove or deactivate anything that doesn't look right.

The problem with starting fresh each time is if you have a lot of software, some of which you don't use often, you may find it's impossible to re-license it. Some companies (Adobe!) put you through a lot of work before they'll re-issue, if they do at all.
 


The problem with starting fresh each time is if you have a lot of software, some of which you don't use often, you may find it's impossible to re-license it. Some companies (Adobe!) put you through a lot of work before they'll re-issue, if they do at all.
It has been a good while since I used Migration Assistant, so is my memory correct that Adobe/Microsoft programs with "keys" require key re-entry, anyway? The Adobe recommended approach seems to be to deactivate Adobe programs on the "old" Mac then do a "clean install" on the new one.

Here's a summary from a Carbon Copy Cloner FAQ that mirrors my recollection from migrating and cloning:
Bombich Software said:
Some applications won't work when transferred to a new disk or when run on a different Mac. This has nothing to do with whether or how CCC backs up your data, it comes down to the serialization requirements imposed by the software vendor (i.e. their anti-piracy strategy). Some applications will work just fine, some will simply require that you re-enter your serial number (Microsoft Office and Adobe apps frequently fall in this category), while other applications will require a reinstallation from the original install media or online reactivation via the vendor's website.
 


It has been a good while since I used Migration Assistant, so is my memory correct that Adobe/Microsoft programs with "keys" require key re-entry, anyway?
Yes, you have to deactivate and reactivate when changing machines, but only for a few programs (Adobe and Microsoft, in my case; the others are fine). Most stuff just carries through. Still, if you've done customizations, and Adobe used to encourage that with Dreamweaver and Photoshop, deactivate/reactivate is a lot nicer than reinstall/activate. Most software in my experience just works.

The same goes if you have custom Word dictionaries and style sheets, though Microsoft has been discouraging that by abandoning them when you go up a version.
 


(Addendum...)

I posted because I wanted to add a different perspective. I’m not saying my way is right for everyone, because it isn’t. However, I tend to personalize and get things “just right for me,” and I’m sure I’m not alone. Though I don’t change computers often, (I’m now eight years on the Mac Pro 5,1 though I go through laptops a bit more often), it's nice to use Migration Assistant and find everything still running fine.

In the past, Migration Assistant has been good at moving the really dead stuff out — though it keeps the preferences, which do clutter up the place. I tried utilities to remove those, but they don’t work all that well. (They get rid of active stuff as well, probably because i set up “noatime” long ago. I should really remove that.)

I know one can do it manually by selectively moving in preferences and such. That's always an option. But so far I haven't had any issues with Migration Assistant and such, and I suspect that's true of many people out there.

As a side note, I recently moved my virtual machine from Windows 10 32-bit to 64-bit. It's a free upgrade, and dramatically increased speed for whatever reason, but... you really do have to start from scratch there! So far, Apple has not, in my experience, ever done a mandatory “nuclear option.”
 


I think Migration Assistant has improved much. However, it lacks granular selection. I wish Apple would allow "advanced" settings to uncheck apps, prefs, folders, etc, that would not be necessary or might be conflicting. One thing for Apple: at least we have the ability to migrate from a 10.9 to 10.13 macOS. On the Windows side, you have to buy tool like PC LapLink's PCMover if you need to move Win 7 users to Win 10. (I see what you did there Microsoft!)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I think Migration Assistant has improved much. However, it lacks granular selection. I wish Apple would allow "advanced" settings to uncheck apps, prefs, folders, etc, that would not be necessary or might be conflicting.
I agree completely - it's frustrating to have so little control over what gets migrated. Here's Apple's support document:
Apple said:
How to move your content to a new Mac
Use Migration Assistant to copy all of your documents, apps, user accounts, and settings to a new Mac from another computer.
 


It has been a good while since I used Migration Assistant, so is my memory correct that Adobe/Microsoft programs with "keys" require key re-entry, anyway? The Adobe recommended approach seems to be to deactivate Adobe programs on the "old" Mac then do a "clean install" on the new one.
Microsoft Office 2011/2016 Perpetual Licence requires reactivation/serial number if the CPU changes. It's usually okay with a hard drive/storage change/upgrade or a Time Machine recovery on the same computer. This can be a problem though as you are only allowed to use the serial number several times (rumours/experience put it at 3 times - then you're SOL if you can't get Microsoft to give you a new serial number key - successes and horror stories doing this are documented previously on MacInTouch).

Microsoft Office 365 requires reactivation pretty much if anything changes including the user account even on the same computer - this is because the licence is per user, per computer. You can control the activations/users/licenses via your Office 365 account online including removing them - see Deactivate an Office 365 install

Adobe Creative Suite CS6 requires reactivation pretty much if anything changes with the hardware but the licence is per computer so can be used across multiple users on the same computer. The standard CS6 licence actually allows two installs for the same user - this is to allow for installation on one desktop computer and one laptop computer, but must be the same user plus the licence states concurrent use is not allowed. On an attempted third activation the activation will fail. As there is no way to control your activations online you are highly recommended to "de-activate" on one computer and then reactivate on the new computer - see Activate and deactivate Adobe products

Adobe Creative Cloud requires reactivation pretty much if anything changes with the hardware but the licence is per computer so can be used across multiple users on the same computer. The standard CC licence actually allows two installs for the same user - this is to allow for installation on one desktop computer and one laptop computer, but must be the same user plus the licence states concurrent use is not allowed. On an attempted third activation it is different to CS6 - CC asks you if you want to deactivate all previous installations and activate on the third installation. This is useful if you forget to deactivate (or cannot due to hardware failure) an original install.

So if you are upgrading/migrating to a new Mac here's the summary:
  • Microsoft Office 2011/2016 Perpetual Licence = good luck if you're used the serial number more than 3 times
  • Microsoft Office 365 = go online to your account and remove the old activation, activate on the new computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite CS6 = you must de-activate before you upgrade/migrate
  • Adobe Creative Cloud = de-activate the original install before you upgrade/migrate but don't worry if you forget/can't, the third activation will allow you to deactivate the first two
 


... On the Windows side, you have to buy tool like PC LapLink's PCMover if you need to move Win 7 users to Win 10. (I see what you did there Microsoft!)
Ed,

When you use a tool like PCMover on Windows, the end result is far from perfect. Every time I have to do a Windows migration, I pray for something like Migration Assistant on Windows.

While, yes, I’d like a little more granularity, I can use Migration Assistant, and the new system just works. No questions about if a required piece didn’t get transferred, or if it was, did it overwrite a newer version required for another application.

Sometimes simple is the best UX.

Cheers,
Jon
 


Migration Assistant was wretched when I set up my 2018 iMac Pro this January. I had previously had good experiences with using it to transition to new computers over many years. This time, however, Migration Assistant stopped in the middle of writing my files to the new iMac Pro, necessitating two restarts. Even then, most of my documents were not transferred, nor were many of my preferences for applications. I had to do all of that manually.

I attributed some of my problems with Migration Assistant to the fact that I was moving information from a Sierra machine to High Sierra on the iMac Pro. Who knows if that was really the case.
 


I've run into the "Great Wall of Microsoft" twice, once re-installing Office 2011, another time installing Win 7 to VMWare Fusion. It was my memory that the Office 2011 license allowed it to be installed as many times as needed, but not on multiple computers. We had purchased several 1-license, 2-computer packages - which may be why the re-install tripped Microsoft's block.

When I finally reached Microsoft licensing police, I believe in India, and I'm pretty sure with a number provided in a MacInTouch post, my helpmate in Bangalore (?) tried to persuade me to allow him to log into our Mac remotely because resetting Office was so complicated.

In one way, he was correct. I couldn't simply get the existing install to work with the license key, even though it was reset on on Microsoft's authentication server - that likely because of files hiding in Mac libraries my friend overseas could have cleaned out with, uh, administrator access, you betcha'. I wiped the Office 2011 install, most likely using my fave, AppDelete, then re-installed from the optical disc. That worked.

We had purchased several "full" Windows 7 licenses, the kind that, unlike cheaper OEM licenses restricted to one computer forever, allow the license to be used on a new / different machine, though only one license active at a time. It activated with no problem the first time installed in VMWare. Then VMWare updated, which the Microsoft automated license cops apparently considered a "second install." My recollection is that I was able to get that fixed through the Microsoft 800 "license" number telephone tree.

Subsequently, I used every option I could find to keep VMWare, and the Windows 7 install within, from any connection to the Internet. The purpose of the install was to run Corel Draw and export graphics files to Mac Illustrator, and I really didn't want to deal with Windows updates, VMWare updates, Corel updates.

Static worked, and the VMWare / Win 7/ Corel "machine" is lurking quietly inside the Mac, and has been for five years without needing any attention or upgrades.

As I type, I'm wondering if the same approach would allow Windows 10 to be run and block its so-persistent telemetry?
 


... When you use a tool like PCMover on Windows, the end result is far from perfect. ...
I used PCMover on three Windows 7 to 10 migrations, and it worked perfectly. Perhaps I had no complications because the users had relatively simple data (Outlook, web browsing, and PDF and Excel documents).
 


Microsoft Office 2011/2016 Perpetual Licence requires reactivation/serial number if the CPU changes. It's usually okay with a hard drive/storage change/upgrade or a Time Machine recovery on the same computer.
My experience with Microsoft Office 2011 is that after upgrading from a spinning drive to SSD the license would no longer work. Different drive, same computer. I discussed this back in article #21298.

This was supposed to be a 3-license pack. The first license quit working after a week -- no idea why. The second worked for a few years until the drive change. The third never worked. Eventually Microsoft support gave me another license. It's still working...
 



I find it interesting that I've had no problems with Office 2011 after doing hard drive replacements (two of them, spinny to SSD, then spinny to new SSD on PCIe card to achieve 6Gbps SATA in my cheesegrater). It's always just accepted that it was where it was supposed to be. Luck?

When I last moved laptops, from a 2011 to a 2015 (purchased this year), I lost Adobe CS software, because I forgot to deactivate, and Adobe said I'd used both my licenses and to p*ss off, since I'm not paying monthly fees. Fortunately, there are many workarounds for this. Microsoft, after a _l_o_n_g_ time, kindly provided me with a new absurdly long serial number to enter, which worked (well, the first one didn't, though I entered it correctly, and the rep got me a new one).

I found it sad that Microsoft was responsive and friendly, and Adobe was downright arrogant, even at the support rep level. Again, nothing else went wrong. I had to re-enter a couple of serial numbers, but that was the extent of it — no need to call or write to support centers.

The Office 365 activation center is what every activation center should be, in terms of the interface and ease of deactivating and reactivating. I did that when I updated from Win10 32-bit to 64-bit, and it was a matter of moments. However... with Office 365, I had to approve via LittleSnitch something like ten different Microsoft domains. They apparently can't decide whether to use microsoft.com, live.com, or any of eight other domains. It’s absurd... like banks that pretend to be highly secure, and then send you emails saying “click here” which lead you to generically named sites with domain-level certificates...

My goodwill towards Microsoft kind of ends there, because (a) every new version wipes out all my old preferences, and (b) every new version is worse than the one just before it. Slower, clunkier, and with more controls hidden. The Mac version of Word 365 isn't so bad, because the old menus are there, but I suspect those will disappear. In the Windows version, it's a hunting game to find things, because the overall menus are gone and you just have the contextual gadget panes (or pains).
 


Yesterday I installed a SanDisk 480GB SSD I got during Amazon Prime Day into a 2011 Mac Mini to replace an OWC 120GB SSD. I just needed more space.

I first connected the SanDisk SSD via USB and installed a fresh version of High Sierra. I tried to use Migration Assistant, but I never could get it to offer either the OWC or an external Time Machine disk as a source (waited about 10 minutes). Strangely enough, it immediately offered my iMac and the iMac's Time Machine drive over WiFi. I ended up creating a test user ,thinking I could use Migration Assistant later.

I rebooted the Mini from the SanDisk and tried Migration Assistant from the Utilities folder. Still no access to attached drives.

I shut down and booted the Mini into Target Disk mode. I then used the SanDisk to boot my 2013 MacBook Air and connected a FireWire cable from the Mini. Doing this, I immediately saw the OWC SSD and the Time Machine drive from the Mini. I migrated from the OWC without issue.

What's weird is I used this procedure 4 years ago when I added the OWC SSD and migrated from the original hard drive. Not sure why it's different this time.

P.S. I used an old benchmarking test (Xbench) to test the drive speed. The SanDisk is ~40% slower than the OWC at this point, though there are lots of possible variables like Xbench (from 2006) is just not reliable in High Sierra, or Spotlight is taking up processor time. I'll try again later. I don't notice any particular performance issue in terms of launching apps, etc. I ran the OWC in an external box connected to the MacBook Air via USB3, and its Xbench performance was extremely close to what it had been when it was inside the Mini.
 


In 2005 I bought a G4 Mac Mini at CompUSA, and the resident Apple employee suggested I add the Intego Security Suite. I bought it and later added a multi-year, multi-user license. At the second renewal, Intego substantially raised prices. I didn't renew and un-installed Intego from all Macs.

Three or four new Macs later, I noticed issues with slow processing and "Internet throughput." Cause: zombie pieces of the Intego Suite that had persisted through an unbroken chain of "Migration Assistant" setups. The zombies were trying to phone home. Maybe even were phoning home? Found and squashed them. Perhaps they were hibernating for years? No idea what changed that caused them to draw my attention.

It is possible that AppDelete, with its "find orphans" feature, would do the job on zombie application stubs. Definitely worth a try before "migrating" and possibly after....
Funny you should mention CompUSA. I was one of those “resident Apple employees” at a San Diego-based store, 1998-2000, then they (CompUSA) closed the doors. My first and only “sales” endeavor, I was more of the "Mac guy" at CompUSA.

With the Mojave beta, I have done several migrations from a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my files, and it was seamless every time. I have to go through the usual dance with Apple ID, iCloud & CopyLess2; however, it even boots into the last user account I had set up, even though I had set up a generic admin account from the "clean" install. Until recently, I was always inclined to restore from a Carbon Copy Cloner backup.

In short, Migration Assistant performs well in Mojave. I’m pleasantly surprised, with 2+ decades of Macs and having only implemented it a handful of times. We (a Mac consulting firm) tried it with some of the older OS’s, with mixed results, crashes, freezes, corrupt files, so it was Retrospect to the rescue. Now I use Carbon Copy Cloner. I have more confidence in utilizing Migration Assistant than I used to vs. just restoring from a cloned drive. Both methods work extremely well; it’s almost a tossup between the two, at least in my experience.

I do remember AppDelete, it's been my go-to for many years.
 


Subsequently, I used every option I could find to keep VMWare, and the Windows 7 install within, from any connection to the Internet.
If you want to keep a VMware VM from connecting to the Internet, simply go to the VM's Settings -> Network Adapter and uncheck the box for "Connect Network Adapter" (must be done when the VM is powered off). The VM will now have no network connection, and the connectivity cannot be re-enabled from within the VM guest environment itself, so no surprises.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
P.S. I used an old benchmarking test (Xbench) to test the drive speed. The SanDisk is ~40% slower than the OWC at this point, though there are lots of possible variables...
Some OWC drives use a controller that does data compression, and that could grossly distort benchmark results, depending on the particular benchmark. A real-world test, such as converting video or running a compile, could be more meaningful.
 


I bought a new iMac today (using the MacInTouch Amazon link :)
It says High Sierra is the OS, but I assume that it will be an early version. So, any reason not to copy the latest combo update onto a thumb drive and install it on the new machine before I migrate from the old one?
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts