Best way to migrate from MBP to iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ozix, May 11, 2011.

  1. Ozix macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Location:
    Hawaii / Deployed to Afghanistan
    #1
    Hey all,

    Got a question, I bought my first Mac in March, the thunderbolt MBP. I plan on selling it to a buddy of mine (when we get back to the States from Afghanistan). I'm selling it b/c I think an iMac and the next-gen MBA will work better for me than the MBP I have. What's thr best and easiest way to get the iMac set up while transfering all my programs, data, preferences etc.?

    1) Do a Time Machine restore from the MBP to the iMac? I'm thinking crossing the MBP with the iMac might cause issues. In my MBP I have an OptiBay, so I know I can atleast do this for my data drive (iTunes media, Aperture Master Referenced Files, Parallels File (Migration of my old Windows laptop). When I upgraded to an SSD in my MBP I did this method, but I still had things I had to re-do (system updates, reactivating Office, re-authorizing iTunes)

    2) Use the Migration Assistant when turning on the iMac for the first time?

    3) Keep my mentality given to me from being a Windows user (for far too long, MS DOS 5.0) and start fresh, transfer the files I wanna keep myself, reinstall everyhing manually, etc.

    What I'm most worried about is my Aperture library (granted I'll have to relink the Referenced Files, but as long as I don't have to rebuild the whole library. That and iTunes, I don't wanna lose my ratings, playlists, playcounts, etc.

    I apologize if this has been discussed before. Thanks in advance for your time.

    Aaron
    552nd Military Police Company
    Kandahar, Afghanistan - OEF '10-'11
     
  2. discounteggroll macrumors 6502

    discounteggroll

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Greenwich, CT
    #2
    it's been discussed, but isn't too burdensome to type again.

    1. Run TM one last time on your macbook.
    2. turn on new iMac and connect the TM hard drive
    3. During new computer setup, choose "restore from backup"
    4. Select your time machine backup and continue
    5. No step 5. Once finished your new iMac will look exactly like your macbook. Give your buddy the disks that came with your computer so he can reinstall the OS, or just have him create a new user account on the macbook, login to it and delete your account (once the migration is known to be successful).
     
  3. brentg33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #3
    i too am going from a MBP to an imac. Thanks for the response, just one extra question. my imac will have a ssd and HD. if i use the time machine back up how should i move the itunes, iphoto, etc data to the HD not the ssd?

    thanks
     
  4. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #4
    That's way too many steps

    Step 1
    Hook up FireWire/thunderbolt cable to iMac and MacBook pro

    Step 2
    Boot mbp in target mode

    Step 3 run migration assistant on iMac

    You'll need to authorize iTunes and of course, the microsoft programs will give you the usual activating headaches. But otherwise you will have a perfect clone.
     
  5. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    #5
    I thought I needed an Ethernet crossover cable, but Apple says a regular Ethernet cable works for computers with auto-MDIX:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2274
     
  6. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #6
    No you need a FireWire 800 cable

    Or a thunderbolt cable (if anyone's figured what those are yet...)
     
  7. Dresevski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Minnesnowda
    #7
    Earlier today I moved all of the music from my MBP to my iMac via a gigabit ethernet cord. Took 20 minutes or something for 35GB...worked just like copying over some 1080p movies via USB 2.0!

    Not sure if you can "migrate" like with the other connections but it works for moving all of your files
     
  8. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #8
    I never thought of ethernet gigabit as a reliable/fast way to transfer data...until I read your post.

    I always assumed firewire800 was about as fast as you get on a mac, so I did some testing tonight between gigabit and fw800.

    wired ethernet that is connected at a gigabit transfers about 10-15% faster then fw800. I feel like a dope for using fw800 for so long for my machine-machine transfers.
     
  9. discounteggroll macrumors 6502

    discounteggroll

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Greenwich, CT
    #9
    there's no such thing as a "gigabit ethernet cable". There's CAT5e and CAT6 which are rated at gigabit speed. A simple patch cable is all you need. I am a bold believer in FW800 but will comfortably fall back on an ethernet transfer if it's more convenient
     
  10. farmermac macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    #10
    Where did you get that "gigabit Ethernet cable" out my post?
     
  11. islandman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    #11
    I think it's probably best to move these manually after the migration is done, assuming your SSD is large enough to hold it. If not, you can move the data before the migration to a temporary location, then do the migration to SSD, and then move the itunes/iphoto data to the HDD.
     
  12. makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #12
    Does this work for Pro Apps like Logic?
     
  13. makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #13
    Migration Assistant

    I know this has been tossed around but I have never used Migration Assistant when I've bought a new computer. Reinstalled everything software title by software title. Hoping to pick-up the new iMac later today and need to migrate from my late 2009 iMac to the new system. Firewire or install? I suspect the later will take me at least a week while firewire should happen over the weekend? Any advice for someone "afraid" to use Migration Assistant.
     
  14. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #14
    I would recommend the Time Machine backup/restore method. It works fine and is very easy.

    Re-installing all the apps manually is a waste of time because the Time Machine backup essentially does the same thing while leaving the OS intact.
     
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #15
    Firewire or ethernet.

    MA should take just a couple hours, not days, depending on how much data you have.

    Since you are coming from a nearly brand new iMac the transition will be painless. MA brings over everything perfectly.

    On that same note, I cant figure out why it would take an entire week to install everything from scratch? Maybe an afternoon at most.
     
  16. makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #16
    Just did it 6 months ago on a MBP and by the time I found the software, installed, and tested, it took forever!
     
  17. makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #17
    You are suggesting TM instead of firewire. What is the difference between the two methods?
     
  18. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #18
    You would use your TM drive if you didnt have a previous computer to pull from.
     
  19. makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #19
    Sorry, I just want to do this right and save time. It is perfectly fine to Firewire from my current iMac to my new iMac and Migrate everything. I will unauthorize iTunes, InDesign, Photoshop, Finale and some other products before I do the migration. Yes?
     
  20. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #20
    I just went thru this process earlier this week: 2007 MBP --> 2011 27" iMac.

    I used Migration Assistant and FW800 for the transfer instead of my Time Machine drive. It took about 2.5 hours for 200GB+.
    To my surprise, every application I had including Office 2011 and CS5 worked on the iMac without re-licensing, etc. and every setting from desktop wallpaper to browser history was preserved. However, it did kind of take the fun away from setting up a new computer.
    One thing I forgot to do was de-authorize my MBP from iTunes, but still haven't maxed out yet and it's easy to fix that later.
    Here's the one issue that was a problem due to Migration Assistant that I was thankfully able to resolve:
    I noticed that Aperture was just as slow on the new iMac as the old MBP. After searching I found this tutorial on clearing out caches and preferences. Afterword, it was like night and day. I suspect this improved the performance of a lot of my apps.
     
  21. makingmusic, May 13, 2011
    Last edited: May 13, 2011

    makingmusic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #21
    Wow! You make this sound painless! I know what you mean about the fun of setting up a new machine but I also am thinking of fun vs. time! How is the performance of the new machine compared to your "old" computer? Also, did you migrate immediately or start up and test first?
     
  22. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #22
    Because it is. Really.
     
  23. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #23
    In spite of missing out on the fun, I would do it the same way again. I know I would have gotten tired of setting up all of my apps, settings, etc. all over again.
    Aside from it being noticeably snappier in opening up apps and even loading up heavy web sites faster (internet connection hasn't changed), the big differences I've noticed so far are with Aperture and Handbrake.
    Aperture was as slow as on the MBP until to did the Cache fix. Now it's blazing fast compared to the MBP (from waiting several seconds for small adjustments to it now being almost instant).
    I ripped my first DVD with Handbrake the other night and instead of 2.5-3 hrs, it took about 30 minutes.

    I just remembered there is one app I've come across that need to be re-licensed: Little Snitch. Not a big deal.
     
  24. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #24
    Either work fine, I was just suggesting the Time Machine method because it might be easier depending on your situation. For me it was just a matter of swapping out my iMacs and running the restore. I didn't need to bother digging up a firewire cable and hooking the two machines together.
     
  25. wacomme macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    #25
    Is there any disadvantage to using Migration Assistant or Time Machine? I have an old G5 PowerPC. Wanting to purge unneeded files, programs, etc. I thought it would be best to do a clean install of all the programs/files I need instead of using either of these two apps. Thoughts?
     

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