26 June, 2007

Data migration on a small, but big, scale.


We had kept most of our iTunes data on a 250GB LaCie disk that I've been worrying about. We had no backup for it, but what do you do with 200gb of data? This isn't some enterprise migration (which I've done a bunch of), it's moving 250GB to a new disk (640GB).

So, I got a little wacky. I told disk copy to make a 400GB "empty" image. I then proceeded to copy all my data over to it. The finder, as per usual, barfed on the operation. Ditto(1) to the rescue.

Now, this is adding a level of abstraction, which is almost never a good thing (as both Sergei and Doug would tell me). My justification is thus:

  • I'm not going to be surprised when I hit that 400GB mark, and with the 640GB drive, it means that there's 240GB for "the rest of the stuff."
  • When I move it again, all I have to do is move one file. I'll probably use cp instead of the Finder to move it.
  • It's easily mountable and unmountable. With disks, this can be a pain. Sometimes they unmount and won't come back.
  • Apple's disk images have internal checksumming so I can ask the disk to "verify" or "repair" it.

So, this is real wacky. Totally against what I've been taught as a programmer, sysadmin, etc. But, this is a Mac. and Mac's Not Unix so ymmv.

By the way, if you have anything bigger than a gig, use ditto. You see that output up there? I can grep through it for errors. Try doing that in Finder. Here, I'll help. Finder, cmd-u, t. That's all there is to it

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