Fastest way to transfer my data?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Melodeath, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #1
    I would like to transfer at least 300GB of data from my Macbook Pro to my new iMac, if not all of my 700GB. The Macbook Pro is old and only USB 2.0, so it's slow to manually transfer everything. Transferring through wifi is also very slow. I have the space available on my new computer, I'm just not sure of the fastest way to do it.

    I do have a Time Machine backup of the Macbook Pro. Is that the fastest way to transfer my data to the new computer? If so, how do I do it? I've never had to use Time Machine to restore anything (luckily), so I'm not familiar with how to use it for bringing files over.

    Please note: I do not wish to "start fresh." I already have files on the new computer that I want to keep. I would just like convenient access to my old files form my new computer. Is there an even better option I'm not thinking of?

    Many thanks
     
  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    You should have used Migration assistant to import the Time Machine backup data at initial setup...

    You can still do it now, but you'll end up with a second user account.
     
  3. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #3
    Can I just manually copy the files from the TM backup to my internal drive?
     
  4. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
  5. BLUEDOG314 macrumors member

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #5
    Why wouldn't he? If the TM backup has everything and you know where everything is or its all in a few folders thats the fastest way, especially if the backup drive is USB3. The only other suggestion I would have is get a cheap SATA to USB3 adapter and pull the hard drive from the MBP for a bit.
     
  6. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #6
    Exactly. My Time Machine drive is USB 3.0 and already has all the files I want on it. I mostly just want to copy my Downloads and Documents folders. I don't need to copy Applications or system settings or anything.

    So I CAN manually copy from Time Machine to any location I want?
     
  7. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #7
    Just use migration assistant to copy everything back from the Time Machine backup. When you first start the new Mac, it will ask you if you have old data you want to transfer. Just point it to the Time Machine backup.
     
  8. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 9, 2009
    #8
    From what I understand, this will create a new user account. Is that wrong? I'd just like to copy my Downloads and Documents files to the internal drive under a new folder called "Old Data" for example.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Do not use Migration Assistant now as it will make a mess.

    You can easily do what you want. Attach the TM disk then hold the option key and click the TM icon in the menu bar and select browse other backup disks and select the disk.

    Now navigate to the Documents folder you want to restore and right click. Then select restore "Documents" to... and pick the new folder you want to restore the documents folder to. That will restore the documents folder to whatever new folder you have selected. If you want, you can just restore it to the desktop and make a folder to move it to later. Then do the same thing with the downloads folder.
     
  10. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #10
    I concur with Weaselboy's suggestion that you copy the Documents directory to your desktop on the new computer, then move files from there to the new Documents directory. Otherwise you risk having nested Documents folders. Same goes for Downloads.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    OP wrote above:
    "Please note: I do not wish to "start fresh." I already have files on the new computer that I want to keep. I would just like convenient access to my old files form my new computer. Is there an even better option I'm not thinking of?"

    Important question:
    When finished, do you want BOTH the files on the new computer, and files from the old computer to be in the SAME ACCOUNT?

    If so, here's how I'd recommend doing it:
    1. You will need an external drive -- the Time Machine backup won't do.
    2. You'll need either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (either one can be downloaded free and used for this job, free for the time being)
    Reason: you want a drive that can be mounted in the finder, browsed through manually, allowing you to "pick and choose" ANYTHING as you would normally do "in the finder".

    Next:
    a. Create a CLONED BACKUP of your OLD drive using either CCC or SD. Yes, this will take some time.
    b. Take the cloned backup to the new Mac, mount the drive icon on the desktop.
    c. Click ONE TIME on the drive icon to select it.
    d. Type "command-i" (eye) to summon up the "get info" box
    e. At the bottom of the get info box there's an area for "sharing and permissions". If it isn't showing click the "disclosure arrow" to reveal it.
    f. Click the lock icon in the lower-right-hand corner
    g. Enter your administrative password (for the NEW Mac)
    h. Put a checkmark in the box, "ignore ownership on this volume"
    i. Close the get info box.

    Now, you can manually copy items from the backup drive (i.e., from your OLD account), and they should "assume the permissions" of your NEW account on the NEW computer.

    Now it's time to get out pencil and paper.
    You'll need to keep some notes of what's been transferred, so you don't end up going around in circles.

    VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE:
    When you move items from your old home folders to your new ones, be aware that you CANNOT copy the folders themselves, but that you CAN copy items that were "within" those folders.

    Example:
    For the folders "documents", "pictures", "movies", "music", you can't copy these folders, but you CAN open them, and then select items inside, and copy them to the respective folders on the new Mac.
    Since you're doing this manually, it will take some experimentation to find what "goes" and perhaps a few things that may not.

    Data-containing folders that were OUTSIDE OF the home folder on your old Mac, that you created, should be "copy-able" without problems. Again, step-by-step is the way to go.

    If you try the above advice, please get back and let us know how it went...
     
  12. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
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    #12
    This is so good I'm copying it and saving where I can find it when the day I need it inevitably comes. Thanks.
     
  13. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #13
    Thanks so much for the detailed reply. As for your opening question, perhaps I do no fully understand how user accounts work in OS X. I am the only user of this computer, and my old computer. I just thought it would be nice to have access to my old data on this new computer. There is only one user account, so it should all be under that account, but I alreeady have new data I've created with the new computer. I honestly don't really mind if I just had the old data on an external instead of transferring it all to the internal, but I do have the necessary space on the internal HD, and I thought since all the data is already on my Time Machine drive, it would be most convenient to copy it from there. I don't mind at all what the folders are CALLED. I just know most of my data on my old computer happened to be stored in the Downloads and Documents folders.

    Rather than buying a new external drive for this task (for the cloning), is it possible to just connect my computers with ethernet, for example, and drag and drop the files I want? I don't mind manually dragging the contents of Documents (as opposed to just dragging the entire Documents folder itself)
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    OP:

    The reason I provided the procedure above in reply #11 is that it provides an easy way to circumvent "permissions problems" when merging data from "an old account" (which has its own set of permissions), into a NEW account (which has a different set of permissions).

    It's possible to bypass permissions issues, but I don't know how to do it other than with the trick I posted above.
    This SHOULD work with a "finder copy" of the files involved.

    I have never once used Time Machine to back up my computers, ever, so I have no idea as to whether it could work with a Time Machine backup.
    Hence, I provided "a pathway" which I knew would work.
    I'm going to -guess- that this won't work with TM.

    There may be other ways to do it, but others will have to step in and give you the answer.
     
  15. Melodeath thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    #15
    Makes sense. Thank you!
     

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