Can Aperture be migrated or reinstalled a new MacBook Pro which has no DVD drive? Would target disk mode work to simply copy the file? I think Aperture usually runs an "installation" rather than just drag onto the Applications folder. But I can't remember since it has been years since I installed it on my iMac.


Two options:

Option 1) Share the DVD drive from your iMac to your MacBook Pro.

Go to the "Sharing" panel in System Preferences on your iMac.

You can then install the software over your LAN connection.

However, this doesn't always work, and it's very slow.

Option 2) Make an ISO of your installation CD/DVD.

This requires using the Terminal.app, but it's fairly painless.

  • Insert the disk in the iMac
  • Go to Terminal.app and type mount and press return, and you will see something like this:

    /dev/disk1 on / (hfs, local, journaled)
    devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
    map -hosts on /net (autofs, nosuid, automounted, nobrowse)
    map auto_home on /home (autofs, automounted, nobrowse)

except that you will also see a "/dev/disk" entry for your DVD drive. I'll use "/dev/disk2" as an example but yours will (probably) be different.

Then you want to enter this in Terminal:

/bin/dd if="/dev/disk2" of="$HOME/Desktop/Aperture.iso" bs=2048

once you press enter you will hear the DVD drive spin up, but Terminal won't say anything.

Note: if you get a message about the device being "busy" launch DiskUtility.app and "unmount" the DVD (but do NOT eject it).

Terminal will just work quietly for awhile and then after 10-20 minutes (or more or less, it depends) it will say something like "18397+0 records in" and "18397+0 records out" (note: I just made up '18397' as an example, the point is that the records "in" and "out" should be the same.)

This will leave you with a file called "Aperture.iso" on your Desktop.

  • Eject your Aperture DVD/CD now (if you used DiskUtility to unmount it, use DiskUtility to eject it now)

  • Once the DVD is ejected, double click on the Aperture.iso file, and it should "mount" just as if you had inserted the DVD again.

If it did not work, you probably had the /dev/disk wrong or there was an error reading the disk.

If it mounts as expected, simply copy the ISO file to your MacBook Pro and use it as the installer.

I have been doing this with all my DVD installers since I bought my MacBook Air a few years ago. It's a nice backup and installation from an ISO is a lot faster than from an actual DVD too.

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  • I've not had slowness using Remote Disc unless the sending machine is very busy - but the rest of this looks to be very similar to what I've seen work in practice. – bmike Nov 1 '12 at 20:59
  • It probably has a lot to do with whatever is being sent across the network too, and if you're on Wi-Fi… lots of variables. In all fairness, once I figured out how to make a disk image of my DVDs I never tried it again, and it may have gotten better since then too. – TJ Luoma Nov 2 '12 at 0:55
  • WiFi is clearly sub-optimal if you can wire an Ethernet or FireWire connection directly for a fast network connection. – bmike Nov 2 '12 at 1:25

There is a great detailed answer covering two of these options, but here are your possible options:

  1. Get/borrow the MacBook Air SuperDrive and use it to re-install from the CD.
  2. Use the iMac to share the drive (remote disc style) over the network
  3. Use the iMac to duplicate the disc to a disk image that can be mounted
  4. Use Migration Assistant to move the Application itself over
  5. Figure out which folders in /Library and elsewhere need to be copied in addition to /Applications/Aperture.app
  6. Buy the latest version of Aperture from the App Store and skip the time needed to do the above

Without knowing exactly which version of Aperture you have, the simple finder copy of the Application might work and my memory is that it will prompt you to insert the DVD if it detects missing support files, but works fairly well as not much is actually stored in /Library for Aperture.

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I have had no trouble just copying the Aperture.app folder from one mac's Applications folder to another.

On the source mac, share the applications folder. On the destination mac, connect to the shared folder.
If you do this over wifi, it won't be quick. We have a wired network in our house, and it took about 5 mintues to copy the nearly gigabyte folder over.

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