One thing the photography business does is force you to stay in touch technology.  Today’s challenge was to replace a 2009 Mac Mini with the 2011 model running the Lion operating system.  This is quite different largely because in Lion they have decided to partition the startup disk into two pieces – One hidden partition for the base operating system – and another partition for all your other stuff (user accounts etc.).

I had the new 2011 Mac Mini sitting in my office for the past month, being too busy to get back to it as I had a few local photo shoots to do in Charleston, Scott Depot and over in Huntington WV.   When I first got it – I ran the Apple Migration Assistant – which imported all the old computer’s accounts, settings and data into the new one.  Problem was, that since then, I kept using the old 2009 Mini – adding more data onto it.  So the new one was no longer a complete copy.  So you guessed it – I had to do it all over again!  But HOW?  Migration Assistant is a one time – one shot deal and you cannot choose individual bits to migrate over – it’s all or nothing!  Plus I could never possibly remember everything I added over the last month anyway – so – I had to reformat the Lion based 2011 Mac Mini and start over from scratch.

Because of the hidden partition containing Lion, this is different than ever before on a Mac.  Seemingly more complex and intimidating, but actually surprisingly simple.

Restart the Mac holding down the R key (Restore)
Choose to restore the Lion OSX only – or in my case…
Go to Utilities/Disk Utility where you can find the two partitions
Erase/Reformat the MAIN partition (not the Lion bit) using Apple HFS Journaled the default)
Exit Disk utility and then proceed with the Lion OSX restore/install
When the computer restarts (or you restart it) after the full install – go under the Apple Menu and check for System Updates.  It will still have some tasks to do, so run it!

A Big Caveat – 2011 Macs come with 3 extra programs installed (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand) – but they are not included in the base system install – so when you reformat your system – you’ve wiped them out!  Apple’s answer to this is a free download and install of the missing programs via the App Store.  If you don’t have an account – sign up – it’s free though may require a credit card verification.

With that out of the way – the fastest way to get the old data from the legacy Mac to the new one is Firewire Target Disk Mode.  (Assuming your Mac would have a firewire port)

Connect the two Macs directly via Firewire 1394A/B  – Firewire 800 is the current port on newer Macs.
Start up the source Mac whilst holding down the “T” key (Target Disk Mode)
It will enter into a mode where you see nothing on the screen but a giant Firewire Icon – you’re ready!
On the NEW Mac – go to Utilities/MigrationAssistant and run it using the TimeMachine/OtherDisk option.

Over Firewire 800, this took 2-3 hours for a nearly full 320GB Mac Mini transfer onto the new one.
Your old user accounts will all come over – so you may need to switch user accounts from the new one you have on the new Mac – to the legacy account by using “switch users” or the Login Menu.

Some things will need updating – possibly updating or entering license numbers/key codes for software – or in some cases if the software license is machine based, you will have to contact the developer to transfer your authorization.

For further info – the Apple Lion Recovery documentation is located HERE


A brand New Carl Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 had just been added to the lineup…
See sample results in Kristin’s Portrait Gallery – (our first shoot with this lens).

Just thrilled and mortified with the expense of such an item is a strange combination – very Yin Yang, but we were looking forward to it nonetheless.  Lens in hand and ready.

Then out of the blue came Kristin!  She came over after briefly participating and bailing out on a big group shoot over at the local Bakersfield park – just 5 minutes away from us.  How perfect!

We exchanged a few calls and accelerated the timing a bit which was fine by me as it was a day of mostly finishing work for me and I needed to take a rest from it regardless.  She arrived with a full bag of model goodies, wardrobe and accessories – COOL, and very pro, plus, a model that had her makeup on and ready to go – perfectly!  (Advice to the modeling interested – hire a makeup artist or learn how to do it for yourself – and makeup for camera is not what you wear to the grocery store!!!)
We got right into it quickly and knocked out some great images in no time flat!  She has an amazing and inspiring back story which I will not go into here, but suffice to say, I was thrilled to do this shoot and create the results for her we did!  Mega Kudos.  A job well done!

Great model – yes I would shoot with her again, no question.