What’s the procedure for transferring data to a new MacBook Pro?

Joseph Monticciolo February 16, 2012
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My friend will be purchasing a MacBook Pro this week.

Since I’m a PC Guy I was wondering as compared to a new purchase of a PC whereby one has to create their own “Restore Discs” does one have to do the same for a MacBook Pro that comes pre-installed with Mac OS X Lion. If yes, does someone know of a website that gives a tutorial for said. In closing is there any other free software that you suggest that I install on a Mac, eg.: I will be installing CCleaner.

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  1. Mike
    February 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    You don't necessarily have to create a restore media nor do you need a recovery partition or USB stick.

    All new Macs shipping with Lion have the restore function built into their firmware. That means even if you exchange the entire hard disk you can just turn on the Mac on and it will be able to download the Lion installer from Apple and perform a fresh installation.

    However, with the Lion installer being roughly 3,8GB you should considering making some "offline" restore media. This can either be done by creating a clone of the fresh installation or obtaining an Installation media e.g. via the Mac App Store and burning it to a DVD or USB drive.

    As for transferring files Mac OS X from or to another system Mac OS X comes with the Migration Assistant. It allows you to transfer/obtain files via network, Target Disk Modus, files on an external drive or a Time Machine backup.
    It is also available for Windows and allows you to transfer files from Windows to the Mac.

    • Mulder
      February 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      "All new Macs shipping with Lion have the restore function built into
      their firmware. That means even if you exchange the entire hard disk you
      can just turn on the Mac on and it will be able to download the Lion
      installer from Apple and perform a fresh installation."

      Wrong. Lion Recovery is not firmware; it's software. Therefore, swapping out a hard drive for a new one will not let you download or install a new copy. Likewise, as I clearly stated, the Lion Recovery partition is useless if your hard drive fails, which is exactly why you need a bootable backup.

  2. FIDELIS
    February 16, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Hello, you also have the option of creating a Mac OSX lion recovery drive.  You will need a flash drive for this purpose only:

    http://gigaom.com/apple/how-to-create-a-mac-os-x-lion-recovery-drive/

    Here is the link for crapcleaner for Mac:
    http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5238-cleaner-crap-cleaner-for-mac.html

    Download for Mac:
    http://www.apple.com/downloads/

    Open source Mac:
    http://opensourcemac.org/

    Free Mac Software:
    http://www.applemacfreeware.com/

  3. Mulder
    February 16, 2012 at 5:28 am

    You will need to create your own Restore disc for Mac installed with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), since it's only a download. There is a recovery partition on your hard drive, but if your hard drive fails, that won't do you any good. So, regardless of anything else, you should always create and maintain a current bootable clone of your hard drive on an external drive.

    That said, you can create your own bootable recovery disk (a misnomer, since it's not really a DVD you're creating) that will allow you to reinstall Lion if you need. Apple even provides you with a tool to accomplish this:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433

    It's very simple to do, just follow the directions. If you want a more comprehensive tutorial, try this link: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/08/09/mac-101-creating-a-recovery-disk-using-recovery-disk-assistant/

    Keep in mind it will not restore any of your third-party applications, which is why you need an external, bootable clone of your hard drive.

    There may also be a way for you to create a physical DVD installer for Lion, but I have no way to test this, so your mileage may vary.

    In the Recovery partition of your Mac, you should be able to locate the OS X installation file. If so, right
    click (or Control-click) on it, and select “Show Package Contents.”

    Within the contents of the package, you should find a “SharedSupport”
    folder; open it. Inside that folder, you will find an image file
    called “InstallESD.dmg”. Copy that file to your Desktop –
    this is the actual working image file that you can burn to a DVD.

    Launch Disk Utility (located in the ~/Applications/Utilities folder). To burn to a DVD, click Burn from the menu on the Disk Utility window, navigate to and select the .dmg file on your Desktop and click the Burn button on that window. The Mac will prompt you to insert a blank disc; do that and click Burn and wait for the process to finish.

    Now you have a physical DVD to boot from if you ever need it.

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