A painless G5 migration

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, October 20. 2006 in Junk Drawer

As noted earlier, I received my new Quad G5 just a handful of days ago, in fact much earlier than I expected. I fired it up and let it run for about 8 hours as a quick burn in test. I then later on rec'd the additional RAM I had ordered, so I shut it down, installed the 2 chips, and then started it back up again. I again let it run for several hours, just in case. No problems at all. So yesterday I set aside a few hours to actually migrate over to it. I restarted the G5 in Target mode and then attached it to the firewire chain on my G4. The 2 serial-ata drives popped up on the desktop just fine. My plan was to copy over all the files on my "file storage" disk to one of the G5 drives and then the full OS X disk to the other G5 drive last. Using the super cool SuperDuper! application, I cloned both G4 disks to the G5, renamed them and then shut down both systems. It was then time to switch out the actual hardware. I had to do some rearranging of my firewire chain since the G5 only has 1 400Mbps firewire port on the back, and the G4 had 2. Luckily, I had a firewire hub around the office, so I used that to make the number of cable changes minimal. After maybe 10-15 minutes, I was ready, and powered up the G5. And it booted up perfectly, and after a minute or so, my desktop appeared exactly as it had been. I then spent some time firing up apps, checking programs, etc ensuring that all was well. Yep, not a hitch at all. This was one reason why I decided to go with the G5 rather than a newer Intel Mac: I knew that the migration would be easier. Plus, I still use Photoshop quite a bit, and needed the extra speed (Photoshop isn't Intel native yet). First impressions are pretty good. First of all, it's *quiet*. Much quieter than my old G4. And it's fast, as one would expect from going from a Dual 1.33 machine to a Quad 2.5 one. For normal operations, the increase really isn't all that impressive, but for the things that I needed the extra speed for (compilations, digital encoding, etc...) the new machine cooks. One con is that it doesn't have a built-in modem, and I did occasionally use my system for sending out faxes directly. What I may do it use the old G4 as a fax server and get rid of the HP AllInOne unit I'm using now. Should save a bunch on paper and ink. Oh yeah, in the process of cloning the drives, I lost the Spotlight indexing for both disks (as expected) so the system has been spending quite a bit of time re-indexing my system. But the machine is fast enough I don't even notice it. Nice!

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