Best Practice for Going From Old iMac to New

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GovtLawyer, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #1
    I am about to purchase a new iMac. My old one is a late 2008. I have Back-ups on Time Machine covering all that time.

    My Mac is full of unwanted and unneeded crap. I probably have hundreds of cookies I do not need - as well as a dozen or more I need and like. I am sure I have quite a few duplicated files. I am sure I have hundreds of photos I no longer need or want.

    I am sure there is probably other stuff I could do without as well.

    I do not wish to make a clone of my current system to the new one. I'd like the new computer to start off in a relatively sleek/clean state.

    What is the best way to clean-up my current Mac so that the new one starts off fresh? I intend to keep all of the old Back-ups, on a HD, separate from my new Time Machine backups - I want to start backing up the computer from day 1 and only go to the old backups in case I remember something from a while back which I need to retrieve.

    So, I guess I have two tasks. The first would be to clean my current Mac and then back-up the current one in a streamlined state. However, when I copy it to the new Mac I do not want all of the old backups on the computer unless I need a specific item.

    I hope I have been clear about this. I imagine the process will be simpler than I thought - which is why I am asking the forum members.

    Steven
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    It is not quite as simple as you might think. You need to decide exactly what data you want to move to the new machine, then move that data from the folder in the old machine to the same folder on the new machine. The tricky part is in knowing what folders everything resides.

    If you have a default setup, your documents would be in the user ~/Documents folder, photos (iPhoto library) in ~/Pictures, and music (iTunes library) in ~/Music.

    You probably also want to export your address book, calendar, and bookmarks for import to the new machine also.

    If your old machine is running fine now, you might be better off just cleaning up/deleting old junk you don't want any longer, then using Migration Assistant to move everything to the new machine.
     
  3. GovtLawyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    #3
    A Bit Confused, Here

    I am not quite sure what you meant by the folders. If I delete 100 photos, residing in 5 sub-folders, isn't it safe to use a new Time Machine Backup, which now has the photos I want to keep, over to the new machine. Perhaps I am not clear as to the difference between TM and Migration Assistant.

    As far as the contacts and address book stuff, once I set up the new computer, wouldn't the new iCloud syncing of that stuff take them from my iPad and/or iPhone and copy to the new computer after I set it up in iTunes? Or, wouldn't using TM simply bring those files, wherever they reside on my computer, over to the new one?
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    I am assuming here you have all your photos in iPhoto? If you do, you don't want to be deleting any photos in Folders from the Finder.... you want to do it all in iPhoto. The photos from iPhoto are stored in the iPhoto library in your personal ~/Pictures folder. So if you want to start "fresh" on a new machine and not migrate over any junk, you would in this example want to copy over the contents of the ~/Pictures folder to get the iPhoto library. Yes, you can copy that over manually by pulling it from a Time Machine backup to the new machine.

    My caution is related to needing to know where and how to do this manually for each type of data, ie. music, photos, documents etc.

    You can do this two different ways. You can setup the new machine then manually copy each folder you need (like ~/Pictures) from the TM backup to the new machine. Or, you can have Migration Assistant do it for you. Either way will bring in the ~/Pictures folder with your iPhoto library, but Migration Assistant will also bring over hundreds of files from your user ~/Library folder, so now you no longer have a "fresh" or "clean install" you see referred to on the forums. For example, the cookies you said you did not want to bring over will get brought over with Migration Assistant.


    Yes, if you have contacts and calendar in iCloud, that would all get pulled in when you activate iCloud on the new machine.
     

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