iMac, must set up before 30 days? And how to semi-migrate?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Schtibbie, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. Schtibbie macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2007
    Two separate questions related to the iMac (21.5", 2.7ghz) I bought from Apple. I bought it for the family on black Friday for xmas. So.. cutting it close to being a month out from when I bought it that I'd first be opening/inspecting/setting up. Any risk, besides the obvious "might have to take it back the next day"? I'd like to leave it in-box and wrap it.

    Second, we currently have *one* computer, and that's a macbook. It has a time machine backup. We'd like to turn the new iMac into the new incarnation of the "family" machine, complete with our iPhoto library, iTunes library, documents, etc.

    But the macbook needs to still exist and have the same software and logins. What's best practice? Restore from backup onto the new iMac and then nuke-bomb the laptop's itunes and iphoto and docs? Would our iPhones then sync to the iMac? Would they get confused if plugged into the macbook (say, for charging)? Would the backup drive (usb) then back up the iMac and I get a new drive for the laptop? How do I not screw this up royally?
  2. antman2x2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    New YAWK
    Do yourself a favor and take the iMac out, inspect it, and at least boot it up, its fairly easy to get back into the box. You don't have to go through with set up if you want your family to never know you opened it, just make sure it turns on and the screen is ok and stuff.

    As for your second incarnation, just use migration assistant or check out this article for multiple ways to do it.

    I would reformat the MacBook after you migrate over to the mac, no point in having duplicate stuff and what not.

    If I were you, id migrate it, put it back in the box and than have the fam turn it on and be like "WHOAH OUR STUFF IS HERE". Therefore you can give it a good testing and also not have to deal with on xmas.
  3. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    Totally agree with antman, buying gifts (and expensive ones especially) should be checked. Taking it out of the box to check it is ok is perfectly fine and I'm sure whoever you are gifting it to won't care (as they just got an iMac ;) and it is pretty understandable) and is much better to do that than to have them wake up on Christmas and have a broken iMac that can no longer be returned due to it being past the 28 days.
  4. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2007
    To answer your last question :

    You could simply plug in your USB Time Machine Backup into your new iMac and from a totally new session/user, open the external drive in Finder, navigate it and download every files you need.

    To do so it is very simple, when you open your Time Machine USB drive in Finder, you should see inside a folder names "Backups.backupdb", open it, inside you should see a folder with the name you gave to your Macbook, open it, and inside you will see a series of dated folders...and at the end one little alias folder named "Latest". Open the folder names "Latest", and from here you will see your file structure as it is right now in the Macbook. Which mean that you can copy any file from the drive in "Latest" and it will be exactly like you had simply copied files from your original computer, no need to worry about specific time of update for files, etc.

    So, I suggest you simply create a new user on your new iMac, and then navigate the Usb drive with time machine backup to manually copy important files. You will find your "home folder" in "users/nameoftheuser", from there you should be able to copy most of what you need, like iTunes folder, iPhoto library (from the images folder), etc.

    Of course, then it's up to you to determine what you need exactly.

    Don't forget the Application folder if you have apps that you could not redownload simply from the net.


    About iTunes, if you simply copy the whole iTunes folder to the new iMac(inside the Music folder) and replace the already there iTunes folder, iTunes should detect it and you should see all your same settings instantly like it was in the MacBook, and iPhone should (if I remember well) sync like it was the MacBook (it may have to confirm the computer on the iPhone once).


    About keeping a backup of Time Machine on a single Usb drive. Well actually if you set up Time Machine from the new iMac on the old MacBook Time Machine drive, it won't erase the old backup, it will simply create a new folder for the new iMac and work with the available space (provided there is enough available space). So you could keep the same drive and from time to time plug it in the MacBook and make Time Machine backup then. It's up to you really.

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