Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Migrating the Parents Over to the Mac

As I posted last week, my parents' PC died last week.  Gondor was a PIII/733 which I built when that chip was right at the sweet spot for price vs. performance.

The day after I used the System Rescue CD to pull their data off the box a coworker informed me that he'd snapped a couple 120 GB WD 2.5" SATA notebook drives at Best Buy for $25 each, and asked me if I wanted one.  Since my folks' MacBook came with an 80 GB disk I took him up on the offer.

I had my father pick up a USB external enclosure at Microcenter for the original disk in the MB, to be used for Time Machine backups.  (I prefer FireWire for external disks since it seems to handle sustained transfers of many small files better than USB 2.0, even though the latter has a higher peak throughput.  But the USB enclosure will suit my parents' needs and was only about $15.)

On Saturday I went over and swapped out the drives, installed Leopard on the new disk, and used the OS 10.5 installer to import all their old data and settings off the original disk.  Once I'd confirmed that the machine was up and running with the new drive, I reformatted the original disk and configured Time Machine to back up to it.  All told, it took me about three hours.

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