Clean instal vs Migration assistant

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by StewartUK, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. StewartUK macrumors newbie


    Dec 16, 2015
    Just got a new iMac 5k

    I want to copy over some of my data from my old Mac but not everything, as it stuffed full of crap.

    I dont need any apps or setting, all i need is:


    What the best way to data transfer?
  2. Fishrrman, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You can do a "manual migration", but you have to be careful about it.

    One area of concern could be permissions and "file ownership" between the "old" account and the new one. You may "still be you", but the Mac might not understand that!

    I'll offer some suggestions.

    You'll need an external hard drive, or a high-capacity USB flash drive.
    This will serve as an "intermediary" between Macs, and you can easily over-ride the permissions issue by using it (see notes at end of this post).

    Let's discuss things item-by-item.
    Important: you may want to have pen and paper and keep HANDWRITTEN NOTES as you go along, so that you don't go in circles.

    (first, an important rule to go by)
    You CAN'T simply copy the folder named "Documents" from one account to another, BUT...
    You CAN copy almost everything INSIDE the folder.
    a. On your intermediary (drive), create a new folder (any name you wish, "Temp Docs" might be a good-enough name).
    b. Open the OLD "Documents" folder in the finder, then select the items you wish to transfer. You may have to be selective between those document files that YOU have created, and those files/folders that have been placed there by apps you have run. Remember that you can use "command-click" to select non-contiguous items.
    c. Copy the selected items into the "Temp Docs" folder.

    Same caution applies here.
    Again, you can't copy the "Photos" folder, but nearly everything inside should transfer without problems.
    a. On the intermediary, create a new empty folder (how does "Temp Pictures" sound?)
    b. Open the Pictures folder in your home folder on the old drive
    c. I'd just try "Select All" here.
    d. Copy the lot of them into the Temp Pictures folder.

    Same as with Pictures. Just create a "Temp Music" folder, open the old Music folder, select all (or what you need), and copy into the new folder.

    This could be more problematic.
    You probably don't want to copy fonts that appear in the font library on both Macs.
    I would (for now) leave the old Mac "up and runnable" until you work out the other transfers above, then come back for fonts afterwards.
    I'd make careful note of the OLD fonts that were not on the new Mac.
    Then I'd open Font Book, and use the "Export" command to create "portable" font files that I could take to the new Mac and install.
    I wouldn't try to install too many at once, more like a few at a time, check to be sure things are ok, etc.

    Once you have the intermediary "ready", connect it to the new Mac, and a very important step next:
    1. Let the icon for the intermediary be mounted on the desktop
    2. Click on the icon ONE TIME to select it.
    3. Type "command-i" to bring up the "get info" box
    4. Towards the bottom of the box, there is an area for "Sharing & Permissions". If the details aren't revealed, click the disclosure arrow to reveal them.
    5. In the lower right hand corner of the box, there is a lock icon. Click it.
    6. Enter your administrative password. The lock should "UNlock"
    7. Put a check into the box "Ignore ownership on this volume"
    8. Close the get info box.
    What this does is OVER-RIDE all file permissions.
    I believe that when you copy items from the intermediary drive, those files will now acquire the "ownership" of your NEW account. I could be wrong on this, if so, will others please jump in and correct me.

    Next what you need to do is to open the "documents", "pictures", and "music" folders on the new Mac, and respectively copy the contents of the "temp..." folders over.
    DO NOT COPY the folder, again, open the folder and then "copy the contents".

    I'd do one folder at a time, then reboot, then test, etc.

    If there's already "iPhoto" or "Photos" folders on the NEW Mac, you might delete those before you do any copying.
    Same for the iTunes folder.

    There could be other issues here, but best to try and "correct in progress".
    That's another reason why you don't want to try it all at once.

    .... and you thought this was going to be easy, eh?
  3. StewartUK thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 16, 2015
    Thank you so much for this, i'm dedicated a full day tomorrow and will go through this point by point.

    Thanks. Is this the easiest way? Does iphoto and music not have an export button?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't know of any useful "export" command that would work with either music or pictures.

    It's pretty much a matter of just copying the relevant files.

    Please note I slightly revised my original post above.
    I changed from "photos" folder to "pictures" folder, because that's the actual name you will see as you look into your home folder.
  5. StewartUK thread starter macrumors newbie


    Dec 16, 2015
    I've exported all the fonts into a folder and will only important them when needed.

    Thanks, all worked a treat.

    Much appreciated!

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