Mac OS forum

Question

Migration Assistant Hangs

by cali30 / November 20, 2011 1:36 AM PST

Hi, I'd like to migrate my apps to my new computer.
I created a clone of my old hard disk on an external USB disk.
I can boot the OS from this external disk without any problems.
When I run Migration Assistant, it hangs at the Calculating stage, and seems to stop accessing the external drive. It has size values for Users and Settings, but not for Applications and Other Files.
I tried connecting my old and new Macs directly with a network cable, but Migration Assistant on the old Mac gets to the Connecting Computers screen, and they never seem to find each other. (I run MA on the new Mac, get to the point where it presents the code and prompts me to start MA on the old Mac, then do as instructed.)
I tried connecting both Macs to a router with network cables, set up file sharing, and verified that both Macs can see each other in Finder and manually transfer files. But I still get the same behavior as above, where the Macs can't seem to find each other in Migration Assistant.
Frustrated. These methods should work.
Older Intel Mac Mini running latest Leopard.
Newer Intel Mac Mini running latest Snow Leopard.
Anyone know what causes this behavior?

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All Answers

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Answer
Are you sure it's hanging
by Jimmy Greystone / November 20, 2011 2:22 AM PST

Are you sure it's hanging, and just not taking its sweet time to complete? How long do you wait before you decide it's no longer responding? It might take the better part of an hour, maybe more, if you have a drive with a lot of stuff on it.

And for MA over a network, I'm not positive on this so someone may correct me, but I think the old computer has to be put into target disk mode for that to work. Then I'm not sure whether or not it will work over an ethernet connection or not. I'll defer to someone who is more up on the software end of things than me. I'm just reasonably sure it's not something you can do via a simple file share.

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no HD activity
by cali30 / November 20, 2011 6:34 AM PST

Thanks very much for your reply.
I waited about 45 minutes, but the key is that there is no activity on my external hard disk, except for about the first 5 seconds or so (that's how it successfully calculates the size of my Users and Settings). Then, the activity on the external hard disk just stops.
This is the same external hard disk that I can boot the OS from and use normally. I ran a disk verify with Disk Utility, and it came up with no errors. I created the clone with Carbon Copy Cloner.
I don't have a lot of stuff on this drive, just a few apps I'd like to migrate to my new Mac.

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Just as a test
by Jimmy Greystone / November 20, 2011 7:55 AM PST
In reply to: no HD activity

Just as a test, start the process pretty much last thing before going to bed for the night. Let it run all night, and if it's still not done by morning, then we can definitely all agree something is wrong.

You can also probably get a pretty cheap firewire cable off of Monoprice if you're in the US. Always good to have a FW800 cable around when dealing with Macs.

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MA still hangs
by cali30 / November 25, 2011 4:34 PM PST
In reply to: Just as a test

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> Let it run for 4 hours. No go. I spent the time & money on a Firewire cable, put the old Mac in Target mode, and MA still hangs at the Calculating stage, just like with the external USB drive. Frustrated.

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Answer
Two ways to connect each machine
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 20, 2011 3:21 AM PST

by Firewire (preferred) or by ethernet cable.

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Target mode for Firewire connection
by cali30 / November 20, 2011 6:27 AM PST

Thanks for the reply. Target mode is used for a Firewire connection, which I am not doing (don't have a Firewire cable).
When performing migration with ethernet or wireless, you start MA on the target Mac, you tell it you are connecting from another Mac via ethernet, it provides a code and tells you to start MA on the source, then type in the provided code on the source once the two connect to each other. In my case, the two don't see each other (at least in MA).
More info on MA use at this link from the Apple site.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4413

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Useful information, thanks,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 20, 2011 10:51 PM PST

I would suggest a Firewire cable is in order here, they are reasonably cheap.

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MA still hangs
by cali30 / November 25, 2011 4:29 PM PST

Spent the time and money to get a Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 cable. Migration Assistant hangs at the Calculating stage, just like above with the External USB drive.

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Answer
Hard disk spin down
by dwstillie / November 29, 2011 11:30 PM PST

Have you adjusted the Energy Saver settings on BOTH computers?
System Preferences > Energy Saver
Put the system to sleep... "Never"
(Check box underneath) Put hard disk to sleep when possible: Uncheck box
Could be the reason

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systems not going to sleep
by cali30 / November 30, 2011 11:54 AM PST
In reply to: Hard disk spin down

Thanks for the reply. The systems are both set not to go to sleep.
The problem occurs long before the systems get close to sleepy time. It calculates the space for Users and Settings, but not Apps and Other. Just stops reading hard disk, whether it's external USB clone or Firewire connected computer. I'm just going to do a manual migration as best as I can.

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Just did a migration from a Lion to Lion
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 30, 2011 9:06 PM PST

and was disappointed to find that Firewire is no longer an option. (disregard my earlier advice!)

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