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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2010
    iMac11,3 Intel Core i5 2.8GHz 16GB
    Migration Assistant ERROR PROBLEM BUG

    I am trying (failing) to get MigrationAssistant to migrate my files from my old (mac mini) to my new (iMac) OS X machine (both machines are running 10.6.5 having just re-run SoftwareUpdate and rebooting both machines).

    MA application successfully launches, and is able to see the old machine (connected via firewire with the old machine in TargetMode)(the resumé of SelectItemsToMigrate shows disk-usages that correctly correspond to what I saw on the old machine before I booted it in target-mode).
    However, clicking on 'Continue' has no effect (beyond the button going temporarily blue).

    Has anyone had troubles with MigrationAssistant in this way… and solved it?
    Or is MigrationAssistant broken under 10.6.5?

    Best regards,

    p.s. here is some background info:

    1. The Settings choice shows 171KB and the others show calculating.
    2. The 'Remaining space' shows 919.9GB
    3. After about 2minutes, Users shows 48.7GB,.. the others show calculating
    4. After another 2minutes, Other files and Folders shows 14.9GB
    5. After another 2minutes, Applications shows 18.4GB
    6. The button CONTINUE is now black instead of grey (so clickable?)

    When I click on 'CONTINUE' the button temporarily goes blue (as usual) and then back to unpushed mode (but still black.. clickable). Pushing the button AGAIN has the same effect.
    Note that the MA application is not frozen, (attested to by the fact that I can open the little triangles under Users and Settings to reveal more details… and/or click on GoBack ).

    If I go into the terminal and use 'top', I see two tasks related to Migration.
    MigrateTool (using 0%cpu)
    MigrationAssistant (using 0%cpu)

    If use ps -axl, they both show they are sleeping ('S')(less than 20seconds)

    I cannot hear the hard disk of the new machine (a new imac) making noise.
    I cannot hear the hard disk of the old machine (mac mini) making noise.
    Getting INFO on the newmachine disk shows 11,721,187,328 bytes and this number is not changing (even if I close the info window and run it again).
    Running DF in the terminal shows 22380944 blocks used and this this number doesn't change.

    1. Let the machine 'work' for a long time.
    NO JOY. After two days of sitting there, no change.

    2. Use MA across the network.
    NO JOY: The behavior is exactly the same.

    3. Use a TimeMachine backup to install.
    NO JOY: TimeMachine says that unless the backup was made on the iMac (it wasn't… it was made on the MacMini) I shouldn't use it to install on the iMac.

    4. Create an account that has administrator access
    NO JOY: The entire process IS ALREADY using an admin account.

    5. Make the hard-drive on the new machine the same name as the hard-drive on the old-machine.
    NO JOY: The behavior is the same

    6. Run DiskUtility to ensure there are no problems with the disk on the old machine.
    NO JOY: Disk Utility is saying that the old machine's disk is spiffy.

    7. Run DiskUtily to ensure the disk on the new machine is ok.
    NO JOY: DU tells me the disk is fine.

    8. Make sure the size of the old disk is smaller than the size of the new.
    NO JOY: The old disk is 119.69GB and the new disk is 1TB.

    9. Make sure the format of the two disks is the same.
    NO JOY: The old one is Mac OS Extended (Journaled), the new one is also Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    10. Make sure that a past try to get MA to succeed didn't actually work.
    NO JOY. Comparing the contents of the Users/ folder on the old mac shows 10 user folders (including ftp git Shared and a few real users) and on the new mac only 2 users (admin and Shared).

    11. Give up and 'sudo ditto'.
    NO WAY… From the article I read here (Tech Tails #659: eWaste Roundup Recap, When Migration Assistant Fails, ASLServer vs. My Workstation) it seems that this is only an option for copying user folders, and won't get you your applications etc. UGH!

    12. Give up and reinstall everything using installers.
    NO WAY DUDE!… I thought the whole point of MigrationAssistant was to avoid that pain.
    Surely, surely someone has found a solution?!
    I can't believe that a spanking new mac with a virgin OS installation has problems with this.

    13. Reinstall your OS X on the new machine and try again.
    NO JOY: Using the OS X installation DVD I tried this. The newly installed OS X boots just fine… but the MA process fails exactly as before.

    14. Use MigrationAssistant the other direction.
    I just thought of that now.. maybe that will work.

  2. #2

    MacsWork's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 22, 2005
    Closer than you think.
    Performa 6116 2GBSCSI 8MB OS 7.5.3
    Are you logged into the account that you are trying to migrate to?

    You can't do that.

    Create a temp admin account, delete the account created with setup assistant, reboot, rerun MA.

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Texas, where else?
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    4 years and I didn't know that. Of course, I haven't had to replace my first Mac yet either...
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2010
    iMac11,3 Intel Core i5 2.8GHz 16GB
    @Macswork probably hit the right answer...

    I have since made some progress! Yes yes yes....

    15. Don't use the same accountname as on old mac.
    On the new mac, work from an account with a different name than any account on the old mac.
    NO JOY: I created a new user called admin2 (which doesn't exist on the old mac). I logged out, logged in under admin2 and deleted the admin1 acccount.
    Migration Assistant still doesn't behave any differently.

    16. Don't copy the user folders
    In the choice of what to migrate, REMOVE users and 'other files' from the list.

    Hitting 'continue' brought me to a screen telling me the Applications folder is being transferred (est.38 minutes).

    I'll let this go to its conclusion and then try migrating the users and/or otherfiles independently. And failing that, use the 'sudo ditto' approach.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2010
    iMac11,3 Intel Core i5 2.8GHz 16GB
    SUCCESS Migration Assistant problem
    ok... After having successfully the Applications and Settings and OtherFilesAndFolders I ran Migration Assistant only on the Users folder (the whole folder)...

    NO JOY... MA obstinately refuses to accept my clicking on the CONTINUE button.


    If I open the little triangle, on Users, and remove the not-really-users accounts... then EVERYTHING BEHAVES and Migration Assistant seems to work. :-) The not-really-users accounts that I removed are: ftp git privoxy squid temp and friends.

    The migration of the other 5 really-truly-are user accounts is moving right along (2hours31 more minutes to go)... and then I'll know whether this really worked or not.

    Best regards,

  6. #6
    Thanks very much for your thorough reporting and investigation into the problem. It's too bad you didn't discover the triangle earlier, I could have told you instantly what the problem was.

    I suppose it qualifies as a bug, but OS X's migration assistant only recognizes certain classes of user IDs. The ones you mention as not-really-users were all created by third-party applications and aren't therefore "kosher" Mac OS X accounts (because most apps should not be creating fake users!). What *should* happen is that MA should just ignore them and carry on, but instead it assumes corruption.

    You should send a report to Apple on this.

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2010
    iMac11,3 Intel Core i5 2.8GHz 16GB
    Ok... bad news first.... but the story has a HAPPY ENDING...

    After the migation completed, I rebooted and was welcomed with a grey screen and ugly message saying the OS was unusable and to please reinstall from the DVD (sorry... I didn't retain the exact message).

    So tried a different approach using CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) from the MacMini (mounting the new iMac in target mode onto the macMini) - I first used DiskUtility to reformat the iMac drive... and then just cloned directly onto it. It took about 5 hours for CCC to finish. On reboot, SAME ERROR MESSAGE (arghhh).

    I reinstalled from the DVD (reformatting the disk as well). As part of the reinstallation process, migrating from a firewire-connected computer is offered (seemingly identical process to Migration Assistant). Several hours later, this completed and I was able to reboot with success... BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY: the login process crashed at one point as the startup items started appearing. Subsequent rebooting failed (this time failing long before any login windows appeared).

    Solution: Reboot in safe-mode (while rebooting wait for the chime sound and then hold down the shift key). Investigating /var/log/system.log shows many problems such as:

    dyld_shared_cache_x86_64") => -1 (errno: 2)
    mDNS_SetSecretForDomain: ERROR: Could not convert shared secret from base64: domain . key shawn.
    AppleUSBCDC.kext is not valid; omitting from mkext.
    PACESupportFamily.kext is not valid; omitting from mkext.
    Can't load AppleSMBusPCI.kext - validation problems.

    So I removed everything from /Library/StartupItems (DynDNSUpdate Privoxy, PACESupport, VirtualBox ParallelsDesktopTransporter tun tap CoreDuoTemp BRESINKx86Monitoring Wireshark PureFTPD) and rebooted. SUCCESS! IT WORKED!

    Everything SEEMS to be fine now... except for a persevering message from mysqldabout mysqld_safe not being present, LittleSnitch rules being missing, and OSXvnc-server failing.
    So next step will be to reinstall the pieces that I've removed and keep my fingers crossed that the machine continues to successfully boot.


  8. #8

    Member Since
    Dec 05, 2010
    set up a new account? do you use a term like what, not guest right? And do the operating systems have to be the same? Will this solve my acrobat professional problem and migrate it over? I dunno, but any help would help me. So, this would be a new account, as in login to osx and not osx server login at the turn on of the computer?

    I'm losing myself, trying to stay afloat in this!!!

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