Best Way to Move from old iMac to New?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bunger, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2007
    My super sweet new 27" iMac is due to arrive next Thursday and will be replacing my mid-2007 iMac. Each OS release has been installed on the 2007 iMac as an upgrade and hasn't been cleanly installed since it was new.

    Though I use TimeMachine, I was under the impression that using TM as the migration tool would bring along all of the system files and I wanted to start as clean as possible. So, I had originally set my mind to using the Migration Assistant when the new iMac arrives, which would allow me to have a "clean" system along with all of my apps/files/etc.

    BUT... today I was setting up a new iMac for someone, migrating from another iMac that was about 1 year old. Because it had never been upgraded, I decided to the TimeMachine drive. So when initially setting up the iMac, I was prompted for the migration options: from another computer, from another disk, etc. I chose "from another disk," which then presented me with the options expected through migration assistant ( applications, users, etc ). After continuing, I am confident that none of the system files came over from the TM backup.

    So... I am not thinking that using my TM backup and the "migrate from another disk" option may be the fastest migration method and still preserve the clean integrity of the new system.

    Does anyone know for sure?

  2. macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2011

    From my understanding the Time Machine backs up the relevant user information. I don't think it does an exact clone of the hard drive like Carbon Copy Clone does. I know you can set Time Machine to back up certain folders and set different schedules but again I don't think it clones the hard drive (system settings, etc).

    If you use Carbon Copy Clone, you'll be able to move the system files over and have pretty much an identical on your new machine as it was on the old machine.

    Since I don't use Time Machine and have only tinkered with it in the past, I could be wrong and I hope someone else chimes in to agree or disagree with me. :D

  3. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Carbon Copy would be a no go in users new Imac wouldn't support his older osx version.
  4. macrumors 68030

    Jul 13, 2008
    "[C]lean integrity of the new system"??

    Not sure what you're worried about.

    Use Migration Assistant from a disk or TM backup that you are sure is good. And do it during the setup process. It'll bring over everything you need. Inevitably you will have to enter some new info, upgrade some stuff, etc, but it's the quickest and most foolproof way to do it.

    And yes, many of the system files will NOT come over. Those files are for an older machine. You're getting a new machine with a system already installed on it, fresh from Apple.
  5. AppleFan360, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2008
    Correct. The Time Machine backup only brings over your data, settings and apps. Your system will still have a clean install of the OS. No worries.
  6. macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    my experience with TM is that is does backup all the files system passwords et all

    the reason I can is that if you select restore from time machine it does just that the system will be just as you left it evan on to a new HDD/SSD

    but as you say that is not the same as using migration assistance

    I have done the tm restore many times due to apples beta software
    and before you ask yes I am a Dev
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2007
    Thanks for all of the replies and here is what I have determined:

    TM does a full system backup and if a recovery is initiated from the beginning stages of an OS install, it will put the ENTIRE system back in place ( OS, files, etc ).

    However, if the OS is already installed but not fully setup, you are prompted with the Setup Assistant, which is just like the Migration Assistant. The Setup Assistant will allow the "migration" of applications, settings, and user files without bringing over OS-level files. This is the option that I want and will work for me.

    Thanks for all of the help!

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