Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac System
I just got a new Dual 1.25, and wanted to use the boot hard drive from my oldG4 400. After putting the drive in the new computer, it showed up and I could pick it as a boot drive in System Preferences, but it wouldn't boot from that drive, nor would it show up if I started with Option key pressed. I wanted the old drive so that all the boookmarks, passwords, hosting my domain, etc, would work easily on the new machine. I ran Disk Repair and Repair Permissions to no avail.

Then I ran the Software Install and Restore disc included with the new computer, selecting the option to keep network settings. From the limited description in the manual and/or help, this seemed like the way to go and it worked. This got me to 10.2.3 (when 10.2.5 was current), but Software Update more or less took care of that from there.

I had to turn Sharing back on, reinstall the Developer CD, and reinstall the Microsoft Intellimouse drivers. But domain hosting worked, Mail works, Safari bookmarks are preserved, Safari password, DragThing, etc. I think this saved about two days.

[robg adds: I'm not 100% positive I would recommend this practice, as there's now an old drive in a brand new machine. Something like Carbon Copy Cloner would probably accomplish the same result, but let you use the new drive in the new machine - I'm not sure, though, not having tested it in such a manner.]
  • Currently 2.20 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (5 votes cast)

Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac | 5 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac
Authored by: syko on May 05, '03 02:09:10PM

An old drive in a new machine isn't going to hurt anything--

I did a similar thing the other day.. i moved my two drives from a dual 533 into a dual gig and it booted up instantly off of my dual 533 boot drive..

I guess there's just something a little different about the new G4s versus the previous lineup

[ Reply to This | # ]
re: Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac
Authored by: mustang_dvs on May 05, '03 02:17:38PM

The reason that the drive wouldn't boot has more to do with the ATA buses in the MDD PowerMacs. Depending on the system, your G4/400 either had an ATA-33 or ATA-66 bus. According to Apple, neither an ATA-66 or -33 drive is supported as a boot volume by the internal IDE chains (ATA-100 and -66) of the MDD drives and booting from the ATA-66 bus in the front bay of the G4 is an unsupported configuration that will likely cause major problems (take my word for it).

In the future, just connect the macs via Firewire, boot the new machine in target mode by holding down the "T" key at startup and then use the free Carbon Copy Cloner to duplicate your volumes to the new machine. It's much easier, faster and significantly less risky than hard drive surgery.

[ Reply to This | # ]
it worked for me
Authored by: JazzDude on May 05, '03 02:37:49PM

I just gave a new 40GB drive to my brother for his G4 466. He is not much of a Mac expert, so I spared him the process of installing 10.2, then upgrading to 10.2.5 (he uses a modem) and installing all of his needed apps. I popped the drive in an IceCube FW enclosure, connected that to my GHz iMac and installed 10.2.5 from the iMac's install DVD plus a few apps for him. Then I just put that drive into his G4, held down Option during startup, selected the new drive and all worked well. Very easy.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Keys to the issue at hand
Authored by: mustang_dvs on May 05, '03 03:36:51PM
  • MDD Macs have one ATA-100 bus (rear) and two ATA-66 buses (media drives and front HD bay),
  • Sawtooth (AGP), Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio and Quicksilver macs have two ATA-66 chains,
  • G4 Yikes (PCI) and G3 Yosemite (B&W) macs have two ATA-33 buses.

    Keeping that in mind:

    • IDE drives can use ATA buses slower than that which they are rated for very easily.
    • ATA buses do not like IDE drives which are slower than the bus rating, as it makes the controller work harder.
    • Booting from the ATA-66 chain or an ATA-66/33 drive on the -100 speed bus is not recommended and not officially supported by Apple in the MDD macs.

    Generally speaking, it is always better to clone an existing volume to a new drive than to simply keep moving an older drive from one machine to the next. By cloning, you get the opportunity to change your partition scheme, increase overall storage availability on the boot drive and get the added benefit of switching to a low-hour drive.

    I used to drag old hard drives to new machines, until it royally screwed up my MDD dual 867. Since then, using firewire target mode and a cloner has made life much much easier and simplified my partition scheme without the need to restore from a backup.

    [ Reply to This | # ]
  • Move the boot drive from an old Mac to a new Mac
    Authored by: MtnBiker on May 05, '03 07:14:22PM
    I appreciate all the comments.

    For the record it was a G4 400 AGP and I put the drive in the front bay. So it went from ATA-66 to ATA-66 (dumb luck).

    I was afraid that CCC would cause me problems which is why I used Software Restore. The risk was losing what I had on the old drive, but at least I had the new drive where I could start over. The problem for me is that I only do this every three or four years, so it's hard to be very experienced and I couldn't find anything on the web and I did post in a place or two (not admittedly in this forum group). I'll save the comments posted here for the future.

    For the reason mustang dvs states, I will move the system to the new drive. I'll look at CCC for moving my system to the new drive. From what I read here, I should be booted from the old drive. When I use CCC am I writing over the system stuff on the new drive?

    The following instruction in CCC confuses me:
    Delete directories before overwriting Before copying a directory from the source to the target, remove that item, if it exists, from the target. This provides a clean copy of the item on the target. Items at the root level of the target that are not at the root level of the source will not be deleted. If this option is not selected, the contents of the target directory (again, if it exists) will be merged with those of the source directory. However, items from the source will overwrite items with the same name and path on the target.

    I'm afraid I don't see the difference in using the option or not, except that one is certain that if the file exists on both it is erased on the target drive. it says the files will be merged though, does that mean if I don't select the option new things in a file will be merged into the file from the source? This could get messy if something is commented out on the source, it might appear uncommented in the merged file.

    Thanks again for all the comments.

    Hermosa Beach, CA USA

    [ Reply to This | # ]