How to migrate files to new iMac most efficiently

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mackingtosh, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. mackingtosh macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2010
    Hey all-

    I'll be getting my new 27" iMac around the 21st. So far I have been manually going through my photo, music, video, and assorted file folders, cleaning and dumping old stuff I don't need.

    I want to get my remaining files onto my new iMac, but nothing else.

    Can you recommend tips/apps/processes to most efficiently upgrade without tons of legacy crap coming over onto my pretty new hotness?
  2. Sue De Nimes macrumors 6502a

    Sue De Nimes

    Apr 10, 2012
    I will be doing the same thing - how easy will it be to migrate a bootcamp partition over?
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Not easy, as there is no way in Migration or Setup Assistant.
    You could take a look at WinClone.
  4. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Migration Assistant, which appears when you first boot your new iMac is flawless and highly effective.

    The only problem is, it migrates over EVERYTHING instead particulars you just want.

    Unfortunately, I am in the same boat as you. I don't want all the leftover crud being imported to a new machine, but I don't think there is anything out there that will let you be selective about what comes over.

    I don't fully understand the cloning programs, but it seems to me that while they may enable one to copy over select programs, it may not copy over other system files (such as preferences, settings or data) related to that program that are located elsewhere.
  5. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2006
    I'm considering dumping a bunch of old stuff from my MacBook first. I have several programs that I had limited activation keys (from free giveaways) that I need to migrate or they will default back to demo mode. I want to save them, but not move a bunch of junk... Probably time to clean house!
  6. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    This question steers a bit off-topic, but is very related for those of us planning to use Migration Assistant.

    Is there a piece of software that effectively searches for junk files related to programs that have been deleted?

    Something that will clean the system up, so essentially, you have less worries about migrating everything over to a new computer?
  7. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2006
    I think MacCleaner might, but I've never paid for the full version and the demo always seemed to be just advertising to get you to pay up. I prefer demos that give you some limited usability.
  8. MetzoPaino macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2012
    So there is no way to say "I want these applications to be brought over and nothing else".

    I don't want 4 years of badly managed folders and weird plists all over my new computer, but I have some applications with annoying authentication rules. Would have been nice to have them be brought over and nothing else rather than needing to deregister devices, use an external optical drive etc.
  9. theanimala macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2007
    I was in the exact same boat as you are last week, upgrading from my late 07 iMac to my new Mac Mini. I manually installed an SSD (not in fusion mode for my own reasons) and I wanted to make sure my music and photo files were only on the 1TB HD and program files on the SSD. Not only that but I had alot of crap I did not want to transfer over.

    Migration assist was perfect for me to transfer over the settings of my wife and kids users accounts as they have little more than bookmarks and email. I tried to transfer over my iTunes data which is around 100GB to NAS and it kept failing halfway through saying some file or another was open. I would reboot, make sure I opened nothing, and tried it again to a local USB attached HD and same thing.

    I finally downloaded Carbon Copy Cloner (free 2 week trial) and had it export out the files I wanted to the USB attached hard drive. Had it wipe anything else on the external drive as well to play it safe. I then copied that into my new mini's itunes music folder and restarted iTunes pointing to that library. Worked perfectly. Everything else was as simple as just copying to the USB HD and then back to the new machine. I did redownload / reinstall and applications as I wanted clean installs and make sure they were on the SSD. Everything is running super smooth now, but I am keeping the old iMac in an untouched state for a few weeks in case I missed anything.
  10. Colombianito macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2012
    I just moved between a Macbook Pro to a Macbook Pro with Retina. At first I used Migration Assistant with a Time Machine backup. After a few days I decided to just copy my pictures/documents and music and reinstalled fresh. That way I assured myself no extra crap I have downloaded over the years would be in the new computer.
  11. TrboMac macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2012
    I have an external HD and just drag and drop as needed.
  12. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    I have been debating this myself. I think I will be moving things manually. Once it is all moved, the old iMac is going to my wife's office to be her computer there. I also just discovered that iMac is covered by the Seagate hard drive replacement program. So I'm debating doing that to be safe while I'm in the process of moving things around. I'm very anxious to get this new machine and get things all put back together. I'm hoping mine ships early so I can work on it over the holidays. My estimated delivery is Jan 2-8. :(
  13. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Good method, but bad because it does not preserve settings, data, preferences that are located elsewhere on the Mac.

    I am considering running CleanMyMac, but before I do that, I am going to try ONYX (which is free) to clean out all my junk files.
  14. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    CleanMyMac is not needed, it can even **** up your system.
    PS: Five Mac maintenance myths
  15. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Okay, you talked me out of CleanMyMac.

    Is there anything that I should be doing to clean the unneeded junk out of my system since I will be using Migration Assistant?
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of finding and removing files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this and this. If you just want to delete the app, drag the .app file to the trash. No other software needed. If you want to completely remove all associated files/folders, no removal apps will do the job.

    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion, which can be used even after you've already deleted apps, as long as you remember the names of the apps you deleted:

    I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's a recent example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

  17. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007

    Thank you for taking the time to post the above.

    Saved me from doing some foolish things.
  18. Beardy macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2012
    I want to set up my new iMac so that my music, photo's and video are stored on an external HD but everything else is on the HD (in my case a fusion drive). Is that easy to do ?
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, it's easy. Just move whatever data you want to the external drive. In apps like iTunes, go to Preferences > Advanced and point your iTunes Media folder to whatever location you want.
  20. WrrN macrumors regular


    Oct 11, 2012
    So, I've never used Migration Assistant before and will be installing all my software anew.

    Will MA handle copying over all those specialized settings files like Photoshop custom actions, color pallets, brushes, etc?
    And, if I allow MA to do this, does it mean I have to allow it to copy everything else over too?

    I have a ****load of settings for Creative Suite, Wacom, FontExplorer and numerous other 3rd party apps that help me manage my workflow.
    Any hints, suggestions?
  21. Bill P. macrumors regular

    Bill P.

    Sep 24, 2007
    Thanks for this guidance. I note in reviewing the info that there may be a problem if you try transferring from one user account (old iMac running SL) to the same user account name (new out of box '12 iMac). Will this be an issue when requesting Migration Assistant after starting up the new iMac for the first time?



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