iMac or Mac Pro (Mid 2010): How to relocate your operating system and data to another storage device with Snow Leopard's Disk Utility

iMac (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2010) computers can be equipped with more than one storage device, such as an SSD drive and a hard drive. Learn how to migrate to your operating system files, applications, and data from one storage device to the other.

To successfully relocate your operating system, user accounts and data from one storage device to another, meet the following conditions:

  • The destination storage device (SSD drive or hard drive) you are migrating to should be physically located in the same computer.  Moving operating system files from one computer to another computer using software not specifically designed for that computer can cause issues due to software, hardware, and firmware version mismatches.
  • Always back up your storage device with Time Machine or Disk Utility before you start.

Important: Following these steps will completely erase the storage device used as the destination.  Make sure you back up any data on the destination storage device before you start.

First, start up your computer from the Mac OS X Install DVD.

  1. Insert the Mac OS X Install DVD.  After it mounts, choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu.
  2. Choose Startup Disk from the View menu. 
  3. Select the Mac OS X Install DVD as the startup disk and click Restart.

Erase the data on the destination volume and move your operating system files, applications, and data.

  1. Select a language and press the right arrow key. 
  2. If a license agreement appears, click Agree to agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. From the Mac OS X Installer menu, choose Disk Utility.
  4. Select the Restore tab. 
  5. From the window on the left, click Macintosh HD (or the name of the storage device you wish to migrate) and drag it to the source field.
  6. From the window on the left, click on the volume below the storage device you wish to use as a destination and drag it to the destination field.
    Dragging the destination volume to the destination field
  7. Make sure that the Erase destination checkbox is enabled.
  8. A warning message appears, indicating the contents of the destination volume will be erased.  Click Erase.
  9. When the restore is complete, choose Disk Utility in the menu bar, then choose Quit Disk Utility.
  10. From the Mac OS X Installer menu in in the menu bar, choose Quit Mac OS X Installer.
  11. A Quit dialog box appears.  Click Startup Disk.
  12. Select the Mac OS X partition that is on the left. This is the most recently restored partition.  Click Restart.

Make sure that your computer is started up to your newly migrated disk before erasing the old one.  To check your startup volume:

  1. Choose New Finder Window from the File menu in the Finder menu bar.
  2. Select the first entry in the Devices list. This should be the storage device that is currently your startup device.
  3. Choose Get Info from the File menu. Make sure the storage capacity and other information match your intended destination device.

Learn more

Learn more about using the correct system software with your iMac (Mid 2010) computer. 

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