Transferring Windows 7 data to Mac 10.10

Hi, I'm not sure if I used the best approach but I have a windows 7 corporate computer with a 100 gig in Docs and 10 more on the Desktop.  I used 7 zip to avoid any copy hicups to an external hard drive.  The transfer to the external HD was over 4 hours.  I threw on Office 2011 on the Mac as he wants to part ways from the windows OS and use Apple full time.  He recently upgraded to Yosemite and you can tell.  It runs pretty sluggish and I used Onyx to clear some space and optimize the machine.  The Mac only has about a 100 gig free.  I used a disk analyzer to see that his photo albums are consuming a 100 gigs worth of space.

So far I offered him a couple of options.

1) NAS if he simply wants to archive this data
2) Replace the hard drive with a bigger one
3) New Mac

Time Machine says last backup "none".   Does Time Machine not do cloud backup?  What do you for backing up all his Mac data?  Synology locally and then backup the Synology to the cloud?

Also, I guess I could expand the 7zip file.  When I'm the Mac though, the external hard drive says it has a very limited data free.  I'm not sure if its reading the file system differently than windows.  I thought for sure that there was way more space on the external HD but I digress.  THoughts?
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Time machine will backup only to an external drive connected by USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt, not to network drives (although there are workarounds). It will also back up wirelessly to an Apple TimeCapsule (

You didn't say whether the Mac was a desktop or a laptop, exactly which model, how old, how big a hard drive it already has and whether or not the internal drive is an SSD. All that will factor into the decision as to whether to upgrade or replace.

Macs tend to slow down if there is not enough free space on the hard drive. They will also slow down if there is disk directory corruption which can be checked by using Verify Disk from Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities).

Another matter to factor into the equation is how happy you want to make the user. If he is your boss and you want to make him happy as a clam for years to come, get him a new MacBook Pro with all the RAM it can take and a one-terabyte SSD drive. 13" or 15" (the trade off is screen size against weight).

If you do go that route, I would recommend you get the three-year AppleCare warranty. I normally don't believe in warranties, but even Consumers Reports agrees that this is a good deal. You could get a TimeCapsule for wireless backup and if you but it at the same time, the AppleCare will extend to the TimeCapsule at no extra cost.

The new MacBook Pros do not have an ethernet port, so you will want a $29 Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Likewise you might want an external DVD reader/writer ( ).

If you do get a new Mac, you should know that Macs do a very good job of transferring data, settings and apps from an old Mac to a new one using Migration Assistant. When you first start the new Mac, it will ask you if you want to transfer anything from an old Mac. Connect the two Macs using a USB cable and follow the instructions. Everything will transfer automatically and on reboot your user will find that his new computer has exactly the same appearance as his old one, the same wallpaper, screensaver, apps, documents and settings. Even all his old bookmarks, passwords and wifi settings.

It is important to do that right at the outset. Do not skip this step. It is much easier to do it at the outset than later.

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If you decide to replace the hard drive instead, you have a couple of options. The easiest is to buy Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper, put the new drive into a USB case, then clone the existing internal drive to the new drive. Both will clone a running drive while you are booted from it. Once you are done, just swap the drives.

In either case, before cloning the old drive, you will have to format the new drive as a Mac drive (since by default most drives you buy are formatted in a PC format like FAT32 or NTFS. Open Disk Utility and Choose Erase disk and reformat the new disk as "Apple Extended Format (Journalled)" before cloning.

Alternatively, if you don't want purchase unnecessary third party software, you can use the Mac's built-in Disk Utility to clone the drive. It won't clone the volume you are booted from, but there is an easy workaround. All Macs running software from OS 10.7 on have a small invisible "recovery partition" on the hard drive. You can boot from the recovery partition by booting while holding down Command-R.

Once in the recovery partition pull down the Utilities Menu to Disk Utility and format the new drive as above. Then click on the restore tab and "restore" the old drive to the new.

Once this is done, just swap the two drives.

There is, however, one more small step, which needs to be done regardless of which method you use to clone the drive.

The cloning process will have cloned only the main partition and not the restore partition, so this will leave you with a drive with no restore partition. The easiest way to remedy this is to pull down the Apple Menu to the App Store and re-downloand and install a fresh copy of Yosemite. During the installation process, the installer will automatically create a restore partition. This will not change any of your users settings or erase any data.
If you mean that there is only a 100 GB available on a 128 GB built in SSD to store 100 GB of data, then you should get one of the Transend SD card to expand the 128 GB built in drives with 64 GB, 128, GB or even 256 GB.

4 hours is a long time to copy 100 GB.  Does the old Windows laptop have a much older and slower spinning disk?

Rather than using 7zip, I would have done a robocopy of those files to the external disk and do an rsync to copy them to the Mac.

You could also share the Mac drive to Windows system and robocopy from the Windows side.  Both robocopy and rsync copies changes, so you could always interrupt the process and start it again, and they will only copy the files that haven't yet been copied correctly.  You could have done it while the user was still using the system during the day and do a final quick rsync or robocopy when it's time to swap systems.  I usually do that remotely from a script to reduce the user's downtime, once they hand me their system.

Macs tend to slow down if there is not enough free space on the hard drive. They will also slow down if there is disk directory corruption which can be checked by using Verify Disk from Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities).
RAM and Swap disk would affect speed, but free disk space should have nothing to do with speed.  Something else must be slowing down the computer.  

I've been running my computer with only 1 GB to 4 GB free until very recently and it's not running any slower than when I have 38 GB free or 100 GB free.  **Never, ever run out of disk space on any Unix (including OS X) system, or you will most assuredly lose data. I've always monitored the system very closely and moved files to external storage when I ran down to 1 GB of disk space.  Unix systems will overwrite files with 0 bytes as you run out of disk.  Windows just won't let you write when you're down to 0 bytes of free space.
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snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
I'm considering this network backup option for the Time Machine using Synology.   I can't justify TIme Capsule when it's the same price but a lot more limited in flexibility unless you can convince me otherwise
I would guess it's a 4 year old Mac.  No SSD.  I will have a more specific answer Monday.
I will try the Disk Utility.  He's a high profile executive with very little time to do something like an external drive backup using Time Machine.   He replied today saying he doesn't need all that data migrated to his Mac
It's a 100 gig free on his internal SATA hard drive.  How long has that expansion SD drive been around?
Can I get some Rsysnc and Robocopy command that apply to this situation.  I run into this a lot and that would be very helpful
Duly noted on the speed

Anyway, I like to present a game plan.  Perhaps, Time Capsule/Synology as primary goal #1 or Maybe replacing the Mac and choosing some flexible and reasonably priced cloud backup software.  Then throwing all the data on the Mac.  Thanks for all your help BTW>
If it is a 4 year old Mac, replacing it probably makes the most sense. Use migration assistant to copy everything over from the old Mac, then the user can delete whatever he doesn't want.

You can do the migration using USB, but it will go a lot faster if you buy a thunderbolt cable. You can then start the old Mac in Target Disk mode by booting holding down Command T. This will in effect turn the old Mac into an external hard drive which the new Mac can read over Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt connection is faster than USB3. (The old Mac would likely only have USB2).

This will also obviate a lot of set up and the user should find the new Mac feels exactly like the old one but much much faster.
Time machine is made for single home user ease of use.  You can do backups with anything else and pay less if you understand basic technology.  Apple designs devices for the consumer that doesn't want to know the details.  They charge more for the ease of use and many people will pay more for that.

If it's a 4 year old mac, you can also just upgrade RAM and disk.  It depends on what your budget limits are.  If you can buy a new Macbook, then great, if not then at least you have a less expensive upgrade path.  I suspect that it's only got 4GB of RAM and it's swapping to disk.  That's the most likely explanation for the slow down.  New Macs, except the low end Macbook, start at 8 GB now to accomodate Yosemite.  Yosemite will run with 4 GB, but you will really only be able to run 2 or 3 apps before it goes to swap.  You'll have to teach him to use Command q to quit apps to free up RAM to avoid going to swap.

It's good to check the Disk with Disk Utility, but I suspect that 4GB of RAM and Swapping to disk may be the culprit.

I'm not sure how long those Transend SD cards have been around, but they're basically SD cards that will fit nearly flush with the Mac, so they can remain attached without breaking of like a normal SD card would if you had to pack the Mac away into a laptop bag or a backpack.  A regular SD card would be cheaper, but you would have to remove it and reinsert it frequently.  It's still a little cheaper than fully replacing your drive with a new SSD.

You can use Windows robocopy.exe or Mac's rsync in almost any copying situation.  You just have to turn on the Share on at least one of the systems.  You can run either of those remotely.  If it's copied correctly, then you should be able to skip that part during the Migration Assistant run.  It should save you a lot of time.  You will still need to prepare the account ahead of time to make it work correctly.  The migration assistant will be much easier to do, but it will take more time if there's a lot of user data to copy.
Interesting article on expansion SD cards like the Transcend:
That article is from February 2008, over 7 years ago, but the basic premise is still the same.  The newer SD cards are much faster now.  They're not as fast the newest SSD speeds, but will certainly perform better than a spinning disk platter and be quite close to the early generation's SSD drives.  They're also cheaper and much easier to replace than SSDs.

Considering the form factor size, it's got a lot more storage packed into the chip than the Apple SSD.  The tradeoff is mainly slower speeds at a lower price.  It's also great for expanding beyond the current 1 TB maximum that Apple offers.

Computer speed depends on what type of programs you run.  If the program is CPU and RAM intensive, it doesn't matter as much which type of disk you use.  If the program needs disk access, then faster SSDs would make much more of a difference.

One trick you can do with the SD card is to mount it as the User folder or link the Users folder to it and you can move the user account from computer to computer easily.  I've done that with a special service account I use on my system.  That way I can prepare my account with all the tools and utilities without interfering with the user's system and plug in my drive when I need to log in to the system.  My SSH keys and keychains remain with me, not on someone elses computer.
snoopaloopAuthor Commented:
ok, last question.  WOuldn't I still have a disaster/recovery issue with Time Capsule as it doesn't backup to the cloud?   What's the recommended cloud backup software for the Mac?
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