Best method to migrate old Mac to New Intel Mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by snagitseven, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. snagitseven macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    I could use some advice with an old Mac to New Intel Mac Pro with Leopard.

    Old Mac: G4 running 10.4.8; (SCSI drives); external Firewire drive
    Significant Apps: Mail, Address book, iCal, iTunes, MS Office 2004, CS2 (Illustrator, Acrobat 7), CS3 Photoshop, Firefox 2, Quicken 2007, Filemaker Pro 8.5v2

    New Mac: Mac Pro w/10.5 (SATA drives)

    I've been searching everywhere and am still not sure the best way to "migrate" my user data and apps to the new MP without bringing over old junk I don't want or need or that could mess up the new Mac.

    I called Apple and they recommend that I create new account(s) on new Mac first without using Migration Assistant then use it after the fact to migrate in Target Disk Mode.
    However, I've since learned I can't use Target Disk Mode w/SCSI drives on the old Mac.

    Will the External FW drive work w/Migration Assistant after I clone the startup drive w/Superduper first from the old Mac?

    Should I forgo Migration Assistant altogether and transfer user data manually? (I found a site that explains which mail, address book, etc folders to move).

    My understanding is I can't selectively Migrate certain apps, only All apps, correct? If so, I can reinstall the apps but can I manually copy the pref files or do I have to reconfigure all my prefs from scratch? I would also have to re-download all kinds of updates already applied on old Mac.

    Any advice as to the best approach would be appreciated.
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
  3. elmo151 Guest

    Jul 3, 2007

    that's how i did it. went from an external bootable drive(thanks to superduper) via target disk mode
  4. snagitseven thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Thanks for the replies on the ability to use the FW External.
    Can you give me any advice on the other questions, i.e. using Migration Assistant or going manuallly?
  5. relbbircs macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    Interesting question -- I hadn't even thought of the potential problems but just used migration assistant last week, moving from a G5 to a new Mac Pro. Everything worked fine except for a couple sound setting. Soundflower, for example, didn't transfer and I had to reinstall it. And I had to reset preferences for screensaver and energy saver. Other than those I haven't noticed anything else yet (knock on wood).
  6. snagitseven thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Did you migrate from 10.4.x or Leopard from your G5?
  7. relbbircs macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    From Leopard.

  8. snagitseven thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Ah. I'm going from 10.4.8 non-intel to 10.5 intel. Might be a different kettle of fish in my case.

    Again, I'm wondering if I should use Migration Assistant or start completely clean installing and setting up apps with all the work that entails with a 10.4 old mac to 10.5 new intel-based Mac.
  9. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Nov 29, 2006
    Perpetual Bondage
    I just did a clean install of Leopard on the new machine after first attempting to use migration assistant during the initial startup. MA worked fine but things were pretty unstable. More important that the instability however was my perception that anything, anytime that went wrong now or in the future would stress me out about whether I should have started clean. I don't want to be fighting with QT a year from now and wishing I'd have just done it right in the first place. So I just keep both machines on the same LAN and move stuff over as I find it missing. I also reran the installers for everything, FCS, CS3, etc. It was a pain in the butt but worth my piece of mind. Mail import from the old machine worked well. That's the route I took. Automated migration from Tiger to Leopard and from PPC to Intel just didn't jive in my mind.. too many possibilities for issues.
  10. snagitseven thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree; I'm nervouse about relying on all the old stuff finding it's way to my new MP and then trying to delete vs. install what's really wanted from the get go.

    Did you use the Leopard mail app to bring over your mail or did you just grab your mail folder and drag it over the new one. How about Address book, iCal and iTunes (assuming you use these) - is there a way to move the user data over within each program? or again, drag data folders over to the new Mac.
  11. choreo macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2008
    Midland, TX
    I used Migration assistant and the only real problem I have experienced is that it changed my primary Account from 501 to 502 and as a result I am getting a lot of "Unknown" Users permissions in the Get Info windows that cannot be changed (it crashes the Finder if you try). This Unknown User issue is a known result of using Migration assistant in Leopard and Apple needs to issue a fix!
  12. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA

    I'm sort of having the same issues - but from a Macbook to a Macbook Pro. I used the migrate assistant during the clean install of Leopard on the MBP, and to be honest, the new machine has all the same problems ( very unstable and slow Safari, often quite slow ) that the old Macbook did. A brand new clean install of Leopard on the Macbook with a new, empty, fresh user account - and to be honest, it's faster than the MBP is.

    I don't mind re-installing apps etc - but I don't know how to move just my 'stuff' over, avoiding, hopefully, whatever it is at a system level that causes trouble. Is it possible to start with a new User account on an install and migrate stuff INTO it? Where was that site about pulling over mail etc?

  13. snagitseven thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2008
    Here's the link I found. Haven't got my MP yet so untried:
  14. MacGirl1985 macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2007
    Roswell, GA
    Thanks for the helpful link

    I have found using the Migration Assistant duplicates me as as user, and brings over old stuff i've collected over the years. I had a PowerBook g4 that I bought in 2003, upgraded as the new OS versions came out. Last year, I bought a MacBook Pro, and had the Apple Store migrate the data. I don't pay as much attention to what should and should not be in the apps and library directories, as my graphics library has grown so much over the years. I was worried about nuking something important.

    Anyway, thanks for the link. It was quite helpful.

Share This Page