How to migrate old OS X stuff to Mountain Lion?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Europe calling, May 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Europe calling


    My dad has been using a pre-intell iMac model for years now. It now really needs to be replaced because ever more software and plugin's can't be updated anymore because of it's old processor, rendering his Mac useless for his emailing and web surfing (that's what he uses it for mainly)
    We managed to get a second hand newer iMac Model (aluminium 20" early 2008) which is capable of running the latest version of Mountain Lion.

    But now i read that it is not possible to run Migration Assistant to move over his old stuff to the newer iMac because Mountain Lion does not support this when the old OS is pre- 10.4 (
    To figure out which of his files to transfer manually is a no go area for me, since it is not my machine, and my dad is not that computer-savvy (he's 77 ;)) and keeps stuff all over the machine, not only in the designated folders - although he knows to stay away from system folders- phew!

    So i could use advice on the best way to go about this. I figured if it is possible to clone the old machines whole startupdisk with the old OS to the newer iMac, boot that machine and start updating the old system from there (since this one has a processor than can run newer systems)

    Would this be the best way to go? I need some advice on this.
  2. macrumors 6502

    You won't be able to boot an early 2008 iMac from anything lower than 10.5.2. The only option you have is described by Apple:

    "Migrating from OS X Tiger v10.4 to OS X Mountain Lion v10.8 or later is not supported and is not expected to complete via Migration Assistant. For upgrades from OS X Tiger or older to OS X Mountain Lion or later, you can make a standard file sharing connection and manually copy your files. Recommended folders to transfer from your Home folder on the old computer to the new computer are:

    Copy these folders and any others you'd like to transfer to the same locations on the new computer. For more information regarding file sharing in OS X, see Mac Basics - File sharing. Note: Copying any data files from your user Library folder to the new computer could have unexpected results. "

    It's likely that none of the old applications will run either, so he'll have to get modern copies of those as well. I'd use an ethernet cable for the fastest filesharing.
  3. macrumors regular

    Europe calling

    I had read that article already. I just found on MacTracker that the maximum OSX version on his old G5 iMac would be 10.5.8.
    I still have some old disks, so updating his old iMac first to a post 10.5.2 version of OSX would make it suitable for Migration Assistant i suppose?
    Can i use a FireWire cable as well to connect the two or should i use an Ethernet cable?

    Fortunately the only software he uses in the system software. He only uses it for websurfing and emailing...
  4. macrumors 6502

    Yes, Migration Assistant would be the way to go if you can update the old iMac to 10.5.8. You can use a firewire cable, in fact that would probably be the first cable I'd use with Migration Assistant. As long as he has everything in his Home folder it should bring over everything. What version of OS X is the new iMac running now? If it's 10.6 you just need to migrate everything and then buy 10.8 from the App Store.

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