less then a minute remaining

I am in the process of helping a friend migrate the data from his old mac into a new mac. Using Migration Assistant everything went well until the progressbar sad “less then one minute remaining”. It was 1 hour ago. I looked it up on the net and it seems that this has been around since at least 2006. For some people this last minute takes 45 minutes and for some 12 hours and for some it hans there indefinitly. So Apple has never bothered to fix this. Why? My guess is that it is not something sexy to work with. It only involves those stupid customers, and who cares if they wait 12 hours or abort in the middle and have to repeat everything all over again. Apple said THINK DIFFERENTLY in their ads, but this is exactly the same thinking as Misrosoft. This kind of incidents reveal the real thinking in a company and not the imaginary one shown in ads. :imp:

or it could be that the long minute is the result of an un-catchable error. Say something like a software package that doesn’t follow the rules…

Not everything is a result of nefarious business objectives by corporations. Even M$ gets an undeserved bad rep for this kind of thing.

Did I just type that last sentence?!

I do not understand what you mean by software package not following the rules and unchatchable error. Could you explain.


There are “rules” defined about how and where software should be installed. Things like symlinks, what permissions are required, how to define data, etc. Since apple (and windows) assumes that everyone follows the rules they may not be looking for explicit violations that would cause lots of possible errors.

Take this as an example: open terminal and do a mkdir test and then ln -s ~ test/

That will create a link in the test folder back to your home directory. You will go forever and never hit the end of that directory as it will always go back to the beginning (home). How do you account for that kind of “bad thing”? (pretty easily, but this is just an example).

A different problem is a named pipe (common in OSS software for IPC and “cheap” memory sharing). If a named pipe exists, but the process that is behind that pipe is dead, any access to that IO handle will block. Hopefully the process blocking has a timeout on the IO thread.

Those are two very easy example. I have seen some real beauties in my day, but they make my head hurt.

Another try, this time Migration Assistant stopped when there was 16 minutes left, complaning that the two computers stopped communicating. GRRRRR… :smiling_imp: :imp: six hours lost to what ???

I have to admit that I do not understand what you are referring to Jaysen, Migration Assistant, should just copy things from one computer to another, it does not have to analyze everything and make sure that there are no stupid things somewhere. But I have a feeling that I am missing something in my understanding. I am mad at Apple and I am thinking about selling the shares I have invested in that company.

emotional stock decisions are not good. be careful.

Your missing understanding is that “copying” from system to system is not as simple as you think it is. The two examples that I provided you will break almost all copy routines. It is unfortunate that you are having this problem but based on the error my guess is that he source computer has a significant issue. Use disk utility to verify/repair both permissions and the disk itself. If that doesn’t get it you should consider using a less automated method of copy.

If your friend is migrating to a new Mac, then Apple support should help. I’d recommend using a Genius Bar at an Apple store if possible as they can diagnose and troubleshoot much faster than over the phone. But if that is not an option, then Apple telephone support works well - it just takes longer.

Thanks, Jaysen and Nom. It turned out that MIgration Assistant did most of the copying when it stalled. So the last part I could do by hand, and my friend is happy now with his new MacMini. :smiley: I advised him to get a MacMini and iPad for the same price (more or less) as Macbook pro. Now he has better mobility thanks to iPad and a fast computer thanks to MacMini.

I have never found Migration Assistant to be very useful. It suggests that copying files between computers is a snap, but Jaysen is right, it can be error-prone.

He and I had a discussion two years ago about running a clean install between two machines. We had different methods but agreed that the Migration Assistant was not helpful or consistent.


I think the best “migration assistant” for a new mac is actually time machine.

In Time machine set up the system to back up /Applications and /Users on the old machine. On the new machine have TM restore those two directories (and all the contents). You will need to set up some system preferences but…

Anyway just remember that automated does not mean automatic.