Can I do a complete transfer from older 15" MBP to new 15"/17" MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NJRonbo, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    I have a Macbook Pro that is at least two generations old (2.5 years).

    I have all my programs backed up on an external drive via SuperDuper

    Now, when I get my new 15" or 17" MBP can I simply restore
    everything that was on the old MBP to the new MBP?

    On the surface, the idea sounds logical.

    However, something tells me there are key hidden files that have
    to do with the particular system itself that I may be overwriting.

    Can someone confirm what I can do here?

  2. petrucci666 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I believe they can do that for you in the Apple Store, if they can transfer all your data from a PC to a Mac, I would imagine they can do the same from a Mac to a Mac
  3. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Hey Petrucci,

    Hell yeah, the guys at Apple Store will do that for you (I talked
    to them this morning) for a fee of $99.

    I am trying to save $99 and hope that I can simply move the
    files as explained in my original post.

    However, as I stated, with the overwriting of system files that is
    being accomplished, I am afraid that this may not work.
  4. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    Can't you use Migration assistant to do this?
  5. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007

    Perhaps. I never used it. Don't know how it works.

    I just know SuperDuper allows you to just overwrite whatever is
    on the laptop with whatever you previously backed up. Fairly quick
    and easy.

    If someone wishes to take the time to explain Migration Assistant
    and thinks it is a better option, I would certainly consider it.

    Thanks for the responses.
  6. Colonel Abitbol macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    If you backed up your applications folder, all your documents and the whole Library directory in your user directory, I'm pretty sure 90% of what runs on your actual macbook will run on the new one.

    However if you've installed a lot of apps that use the Apple Installer (pkg) you may have to reinstall them because they sometimes copy files in the /System or /Library directory.
  7. petrucci666 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I didn't know that they charge you for that, sorry!

    I'm sure there are plenty of programs out there that can transfer you stuff from computer to computer
  8. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Just got this reply from the author of SUPERDUPER (which I
    highly recommend)...

  9. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Just to give all of you an update.

    Just bought my 17" MBP.

    Nervously, I used Migration Assistant. Hooked older computer
    to the new one using firewire. It's easily explained and executed
    the minute you turn on your new MBP.

    Took about 40 minutes to import over about 300GB of data.

    When the 17" MBP booted up it looked EXACTLY the same as the old.

    Dozens of programs that I had on the old dock were now in the new.
    Same wallpaper. Everything exact. 100%.

    All the programs working perfectly. Some asked for registration
    numbers but that was easily rectified.

    Just wanted to let all of you know that Migration Assistant worked
    flawlessly and saved me hours of having to reinstall everything on
    my new MBP.
  10. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    ^^^^ Yepp! That's how I do all my Macs but it's a bit trickier with an Air. The Migration Asst. really is amazing. All users, apps., email, docs, passwords - everything looks exactly the same. Firewire is our friend. Just make sure the donor is off or at least turn Airport off if using the recipient in the same vicinity.

    Glad it worked and good luck with your new toy!!
  11. womble2k2 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    Migration Assistant definitely works well for this, just make sure that you also transfer the libraries, which is on the 2nd screen of options.

    One thing to note, is that you don't get a choice of which apps, so it is everything in the apps folder or none.

    I recently transferred from a iBook G4 running Panther to a MBP running Leopard. I didn't want to transfer all of my PPC apps, so moved then to another folder on the G4 prior to the transfer.

    Also, I thought it would be intelligent enough to realise I have newer versions of iLife, but copied my older iLife apps on top of the new!! I then just re-installed the new from the disk.

    Alternatively, you can connect both machines together (either via Firewire, wireless or ethernet) and enable sharing. You can then copy the applications and associated libraries across.

  12. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007

    Does the Migration Assistant automatically transfer LIBRARIES?

    If it does not, which one do I need? The standard folder or the
    one under my username files.
  13. Bazzy macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009
    Hi All,

    Great Post! I will very soon be in the same situation - I have an older 2.2 MBP running on Tiger 10.4.11 and will soon have the new 2.8 17" MBP with Leopard already installed.

    Can I also, just connect the two laptops up and use migration assistant? Can I use a USB cable instead of a Firewire one? Will I have problems seeing as all my stuff is on Tiger and the new machine is on Leopard? I also have my stuff backed up on an external WD Passport HD (USB) by Super-Duper.

    The 17" MBP comes with a 500GB hard drive. Should I partition it for Fusions/Parallels/Bootcamp so if & when I get Windows stuff, My mac side of things will be safe?

    Many Thanks,

  14. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007

    I can answer part of your question.

    You need a firewire connection between both laptops to do
    the transfer. Both go into a special mode and all of it is dependent
    on a firewire connection.
  15. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    You don't have to use firewire for the Migration Assistant. If both Macs are on the same local network that will work as well. However, USB won't work.
  16. womble2k2 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    Different apps work differently, but most apps have general libraries (ones that would be used by all users) in the root directory library, whilst personal preferences, add-ons (for example, Firefox extensions), are in the user libraries.

    There is no harm in transfering the minimum, running the applications and seeing if they work. Some will re-build their libraries, whilst others will run but without any of the add-ons, which you could always add again.

  17. Bazzy macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2009

    Thank you! Looks like I need a Firewire cable then! I think my Old 2.2 MBP has both Firewire 400 & 800 connections and the new one only an 800 connection - I take it then I need to get a Firewire 800 cable but what sort of Pin connections must it have?

    Also, (sorry to be a noob!), as I have all my stuff backed on to the external WD Passport USB drive, can I not just connect that up to my new 17" MBP can do a transfer? I thought that was the point of Super-Duper - it makes an exact clone of ones existing hard drive and settings so they can simply be transferred over to a new computer or am I missing too many brain cells?! Will this not work seeing as I am currently on Tiger 10.4.11 and the new MBP is on Leopard?

  18. eeriephenomenon macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Miami, Fl
    correct me if im wrong but cant you also take care of this situation with Time Machine? Thats one one of the guys at apple care told me. Basically restore the new laptop with a backup from time machine. In theory it makes sense to me and im asking because im planning on doing this with my 13 MBP and if it doesnt work im SOL... :eek:

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