Migrating User Data to DEP Macs

New Contributor

So, I just got into Jamf recently and am diving headfirst into DEP Macs. [I love it]

One snag that I've hit so far is that whichever account I log into first becomes the MDM account and I cannot delete the account (Or apparently change the account after the fact). I normally use migration assistant to move user data because we are a Design College with most of our end-users [Professors and staff] that have hundreds of gigs of data, anywhere from 300GB - 1.5 TB per machine. I have coworkers across campus that use CODE42 for the back-up/restore of user data, but that's just not a good solution with the amount of data that we're transacting back and forth.

Does anybody have a good workflow to migrate user data to a DEP Mac and preserve the user profile (Settings, Keychain, Applications, Data, etc). I'm trying to automate as much as humanly possible to avoid having to manually copy the data over by hand, but I haven't been able to think of a good solution for this one.



I'll preface this by saying that we are a smaller school, and we have a little special of a circumstance. We are a Google School and tell people to save all of their files using Google File Stream so they can access them from anywhere. When we do transfers, we move users to their new computer, but also rsync their home folder to another SSD. Because their data is on File Stream almost none of it lives on the machine and the rsync just takes a few minutes, and we rsync it back to the users new machine.

Valued Contributor III

We have just built a imaging system based on DEPNotify and that creates the base image for us (using an admin login and installing all base applications as well as naming the unit and binding it). Then we plug in the staff members older computer and drag the staff members home folder to the new DEP enrolled computer. These are Active Directory accounts set to mobile accounts. Once it is copied we run the permissions command on the folder.

sudo chown -R username:"domain users" /Users/username

Then the staff member can log in without many issues. We do have to re activate Microsoft Office by having them log into it again, but otherwise all their passwords and such transfer over. They will have to add printers again though.

Gabe Shackney
Princeton Public Schools

Gabe Shackney
Princeton Public Schools

Contributor III

We do something similar to @gshackney. We either backup data from the old Mac to an external drive then restore it to the new Mac. In the case of extremely large amounts of data we mount the old computer via Target Disk Mode and copy the data over directly to save some time.

One other trick we do so I don't have to worry about training student techs that sometimes aren't as Mac savvy is to do the following:
1. Right-click on the user folder you want to copy over and select copy.
2. Option-Shift-Right-Click at the destination and select Paste Item Exactly from the context menu.

Once the Finder has completed copy it will retain the original owner and permissions instead of inheriting the local admin user you used to do the copy. This is especially useful if you bind your Mac to Active Directory as it will retain the same Generated UID for that user.

New Contributor

Sorry for the slow response. I didn't get the email notifications like I expected I would. I ended up manually moving the data. Not ideal, but I figured that its easier to just Target Disk Mode than use Jamf Policy to push the Apps I support to the Macs instead. Thanks all for the feedback!