I recently upgraded my Mac. I’d hoped to take advantage of Apple’s Setup Assistant, which allows you to transfer data from one Mac to another via FireWire. Alas, Setup Assistant failed to recognize the hard drives attached to my old Mac’s PCI host adapter card. What to do? I found the following tools helpful.
> Mike Bombich’s Carbon Copy Cloner (donations accepted) clones one bootable volume to another. Shut down the new Mac and string a FireWire cable between the two machines. Then start up the new Mac with the T key held down; it’ll boot into FireWire Target Disk Mode. Launch Carbon Copy Cloner on the old Mac and choose the volume you want to clone. Select a volume on the new Mac as a destination. (Cloning a large volume can take several hours.)
> Shirt Pocket’s SuperDuper ($20) is a handy (and fast) tool for making a straight bootable clone of a drive. It can also back up your user files and create something called a Safety Clone. Through symbolic links and aliases, this bootable clone of a volume shares your personal documents and data with the original volume. Should you install something on the Safety Clone that makes your Mac go blooey, it’s a simple matter to boot from the original system.
> ProSoft Engineering’s Drive Genius ($99) can create an exact duplicate of a hard drive—right down to partitioning the target drive so the resulting cloned volume is exactly the same size as the original. Unlike Carbon Copy Cloner, Drive Genius doesn’t allow you to clone the active startup drive to another volume—you must boot either from another volume or from the Drive Genius CD.