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Original poster
Dec 3, 2003
I'm thinking of making a move to my first Apple notebook with one of the new Macbook Pros from my six-year old iMac.

The iMac which I bought in 2010 shipped with a 1TB hard drive.

A new Macbook Pro I purchase today only ships with a 256GB hard drive.

For the first time in my 15 years of Apple ownership my new computer is going to ship with a smaller hard drive than my previous one, meaning that my usual system transfer process will be the first where I can't tell it to just pull in everything from my old computer as is.

I've got a iTunes and iPhoto libraries that are over a decade old, and I'd hate to have to sit down and try to decide what I want to dump and what I want to keep, so that's out. I guess I should load up something like Disk Inventory X and see what the big offenders are in regards to what's using up storage on my iMac before I make the move?


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
"How do I transfer from a higher capacity Mac to a lower capacity one?"

By being selective.

That's not intended to be glib.
You have to pick and choose that which you wish to keep around, and that which will get relegated to an external drive.

I suggest the freeware app called "DiskWave" to examine your existing drive and see what's using up the most space. Just download it and open it. You'll see what to do next.

The iTunes and iPhoto libraries can be located on an external drive and "referenced" by iTunes and iPhoto (be aware that a new MacBook will come with Photos, but if you can get ahold of iPhoto 9.6.1, the last version, you can use it instead of Photos if you wish).

Bear in mind that after you move some stuff to an external drive, you'll also need to BACK UP that drive as well as the internal one.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper) for cloning one drive to another.

DON'T be intimidated by the thought of managing two or more volumes at once, each one for certain things. There's not much to it, and you'll soon know "where you need to look" to find things...
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