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macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 16, 2009
Can't wait 'til my new Mini arrives on Tuesday (sorry late '07 Macbook)--and have been feverishly reading all of the how-to's on starting anew with transferring files, etc. from an older Mac.

After adding RAM and an SSD, I plan on performing a clean install but am curious, how's everyone else been going about it?

Migration assistant, manual transfer, a hybrid?


macrumors 6502a
Oct 22, 2007
Indy, IN
I always just back up the files I want to keep on an external drive. Then after a clean install I just manually transfer the files I want on the new Mac.


macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2010
Albuquerque, NM
When I got my laptop a few years ago, I did a complete manual transfer of everything: personal files, bookmarks, contacts, calendars, applications, the whole shibang (I didn't mention system settings because, well... that's five minutes at most in the system preferences pane). With the exception of applications, everything was just a drag and drop. Because I save the installer files/.dmg and create digital copies of the installer DVDs I own, installing the files all over again wasn't difficult. The biggest hurdle I faced involved transferring templates for iWork from the last to the new system.

I tried migration assistant, but using my method, I shaved about an hour off the time MA would've taken, even when using an ethernet connection... that might just be me, though. If you don't happen to still have the installer files for your applications or didn't buy them through the mac app store (which saves some headaches for reinstalling applications), then you could use MA to transfer just the applications and their libraries onto the new machine and do everything else manually.

Also, because transferring templates required easy access to the Library folder, something that's not easy to get to on Lion I hear, you might have to find another way to do that.


macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
paradise beach FL
I'm doing this too. I have everything on a firewire 800 x hdd.. will just pull files onto Lion. I kept a lot of installer dmg's as well. Just making sure that anything Rosetta gets scratched off the list.:)
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