Be Careful Moving Your Data During The Holidays!

Apple's Time Machine is your BEST first line of defense against data loss!

It already happened this year! Someone just contacted us with the following email: “For Christmas, I was given the new MacBook Pro, and in the midst of trying to transfer files from my old Mac, I accidentally erased my hard drive. It won’t even boot up anymore. I was wondering how to go about fixing this. If I need to bring it into your store, how much will it cost to fix, how long, etc.”

Two things to remember:

1. Never delete data that has not been certified in its new location or on a new computer.

2. Never use a computer to process and generate mission-critical data without a backup.

Always keep your data in two places at once while moving over to a new computer! When folks buy a new computer (or get one as a gift during the holidays) and then transfer the data to the new Mac, they are often anxious to re-purpose, re-gift, or re-sell the old Macintosh. So much so that once they see the new unit is up and running, they will ERASE the old unit and put a fresh OS on it in preparation for its new life. In many cases, they have already made a deal to sell their old Mac (or give it away to a family member), and the sale is “pending” on them getting the new Mac up and running. So, there’s often some pressure to complete the job quickly and complete the transaction.

NEVER EVER transfer or migrate your current data over to a new Mac (then delete your old data or sell an old computer) and assume that you’re safer than you were with the old hard drive. Your Data SHOULD always be in two places at once! If you need to erase an old computer and you’ve just transferred ALL of your data to a new shiny computer, don’t let that “new computer” feeling of safety (because it’s new, I’m at LESS risk!) distract you!

In fact, one very safe way to back up and then test your data is to make a bootable clone of your data (you can do this with Carbon Copy Cloner and modify your Mac’s security settings to allow it to boot of an external hard drive); you can then “boot” off this clone and test to ensure your data is all there. This way, if something gets fouled up in the migration or transfer, you can at least have a bootable copy of your data and use that to work off of until you can sort things out.

You ALWAYS need to have your data in two places at once WHILE you are moving over to a new Macintosh laptop or desktop. Very often, we see clients suffer data loss during this time of transfer. In many cases, the client’s first scan of the data is positive, and everything looks fine. Then they erase their old computer, only to learn that their e-mail or Photos database is corrupted, and they’ve lost some or all of their data during transfer.

Don’t forget to ensure that your new backup is also working correctly. Your old Time Machine backup will need to be “adopted” by your new Mac.

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