Firewire/Thunderbolt Cable Work For Migration?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RickRack, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. RickRack macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2013
    I have upgraded my early 2009 core 2 duo imac to the new one. I getting an i7 with the 780 4mb card and 1TB flash drive with 16mb of memory. (Supposed to get it Thursday. Jan. 2) When I transfer my files, could I use my Firewire/Thunderbolt adapter cable to transfer my files directly from the old computer to the new one? I have about 400gb to transfer.

    Also, would a direct transfer be better/faster than if I transferred the files from a Time Machine backup? The backup is on a Firewire 800 drive.

    This is my first post to Mac Rumors. I am glad to be here. From reading a few threads it seems like this is a lively place that I am really going to like.

  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I suspect transferring from the TM drive might be slightly faster. But that's only a guess on my part.
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I found using TB to be significantly faster than Time Machine to transfer my 2011 iMac to my 2013 iMac.
  4. quagmire, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

    quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    The TM drive or computer to computer is a FW so he will be limited to FW800 speeds. The Adapter is just so he could plug in a FW drive into the TB port.

    I am debating this myself since I have a 27" iMac on order right now. My Early 2008 MBP only has FW800 and my TM HD is FW800 or USB 2.0. If I want to use FW800 either for TM or Migration Assistant, I will need to get the adapter. I still have the USB 2.0 cable for the external HD.

    I have heard reports saying the adapter causes a slow speed. And I will order a new TM HD that uses TB next week so if I buy the adapter, it will be a one and done deal since my only FW800 accessory is the external HD. Why spend $29 on an accessory I will only use once and that causes a slow speed so I don't even get the FW800 speeds( though I don't know if the adapter causes speed to drop below USB 2.0 speeds).
  5. RickRack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2013
    I was a little groggy when I posted my question around 1am... I have to use the firewire/thunderbolt cable with TM or directly. If the cable limits speed then there would be no difference. I just thought that my internal 640mb drive in my old mac might be faster than my firewire 800 drive. Or possibly using a TM backup would be slower than a direct transfer somehow.

    I also thought of another question... has anyone lost iTunes playlists or play count or equalizer settings doing the transfer? I really really REALLY want to keep all those settings intact.

    Thanks for the replies. :)
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    They will remain intact.
  7. Ecoh macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2009
    I set up my new iMac with a Time Machine backup from my 2009 iMac. I did it using a USB cable. The backup was close to 1TB. It took about 3 hours total from un-boxing to up and running on my desk. I don't remember the exact time to load the backup, but it seemed to go very fast.

    My 1TB Aperture Library was not part of the Time Machine backup so I transferred it by cable. Transferring to the new iMac by firewire and the fw/Thunderbolt adapter cable took about 5 hours.

    All the settings were preserved, the new iMac was identical to old one except the new one has Mavericks.
  8. RickRack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2013

    I just spent 20 minutes detailing the results and this BB program logged me out and I lost the post. I hate hate hate this forum program. I used it for many years on another board and it did the same darn thing.

    Anyway, I have to go to bed. I will give you the results of my Thunderbolt Firewire transfer tomorrow.
  9. wazgilbert macrumors regular


    Jan 15, 2007
    UK South
    out of interest - I am planning to do the same thing, except my TM disk is a FW800/eSata affair - would it be faster by FW/Tbolt adapter, or by eSata/Tbolt adapter - like the Lacie hub that Apple store sells?
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 601


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    When I recently migrated my Late-2009 iMac to my new one I connected the machines by ethernet cable and used the Migration Assistant. You don't need a hub, switch or router, just an ethernet cable. I have about 500GB and it took about 2 hours tops.
  11. RickRack, Jan 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014

    RickRack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2013
    I connected my 2009 iMac to my new iMac via Thunderbolt/Firewire Adapter Cable and it took 3.5 hours to transfer 450GB. I had thousands of small music files though.


    As stated above I put my 2009 iMac Core 2 Duo in target mode and used a Thunderbolt/Firewire Adaptor cable to do the migration. Both Macs were using Mavericks.

    I was thrilled with the results. iTunes files came through perfectly and I had some problem files... they came through with the same problems which I have fixed.

    I did have a few things to do. I had to fix a broken alias link... fortunately I only had one. I had to manually tell Time Machine where my backup files were, but it then connected without a problem. I have a Menu Item Program which did not load. I haven't looked for it because I have a program that does the same thing better anyway.

    I want to give you my impressions of the late 2013 iMac.

    It is really fast. I have the 1TB SSD Pcie and the 780 with 4mb. The Blackmagic Speed test gives read and write speeds over 700. Programs load instantaneously or almost so. I use my Firewire drives and even though the faster Thunderbolt connection does not make them faster, the fact that they are reading from my SSD makes them very fast. I do a manual incremental backup of my huge iTunes folder which used to take 120+ seconds and now usually takes about 15-30 seconds. Perhaps there was something wrong with the connection to my old Mac which made it slower than it should have been. But in any case the speedup is delightful.

    The sound card has been greatly improved over the 2009 sound card. Music is clearer and it is much easier to tell the difference between lossless and lossy files.

    The video is amazing. I don't use the iTunes visualizer hardly at all but I had to check it out with the new video card as a test. Wow. No stutters quick transitions even when the screen is in full screen and the visualizer is filling the screen with many different colors. Amazing. My internet pages load much quicker with the new graphics card. It is like going to a faster internet connection.

    I am very pleased with this computer.

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