iMac to rMBP Migration Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by erickj, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. erickj macrumors regular

    May 9, 2008
    I'm needing more physical free space on my desk, so I'm letting my 2009 21" 1 terabyte iMac go and have bought a 13" 256 gig rMBP (refurbished).

    I'm looking for migration advice and how best to solve the problem of having a quarter of the hard drive I have now.

    I have previously used time machine to back-up the iMac (however that back-up drive conked out a month ago). Files wise, I've got about 600 gigs total with iTunes taking up the largest chunk at probably close to 300 gigs. iPhoto, mail, photos, documents, etc. are the rest of the bulk.

    Basically, what I feel like I should have is a drive that I 'run' all the large chunks off of (i.e. iTunes, iPhoto, mail-?, all the folders of documents and other stuff, etc.) and then I'll keep only primary and necessary files/documents on my physical computer, the rMBP, that I'd need access to while on the go. And then I'd like a new drive that is the 'back-up' time machine drive as well incase the drive I'm running things off of crashes. I'm wondering how exactly to go about this without losing all my preferences, playlists, mail, etc. I can't seem to find info on how to do this specifically.

    Suggestions? Thoughts? I'm not a super tech type of person. Time machine back-ups are easy enough, but this is a whole other ballgame for me.
  2. erickj thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2008
    Thank you for the reply, I do know about these tools. However they don't solve the problem of wanting to run basically all my info off of an external drive. I'm wondering more how to set up my system so that all my stored info is not in the physical computer, but on a separate drive able to run through the computer.
  3. slayerizer, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014

    slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    Sorry I read the post too fast! :)

    You have two choices..

    1) you either move your complete user profile to the external drive.
    2) you relocate specific application's data

    solution #1
    • you create to create an admin account on your mac
    • you log in with that account
    • you open the Settings, user preferences
    • in the advance setting for the user you can relocate the profile directory, so you choose the external drive
    • after that, you log with your normal user account

    solution #2
    - you can move your iTunes library to the external drive

    solution #1 will relocate everything but if you have issue with drive, you won't get your profile back
  4. RedRallyeZ macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2010
    I've been in a similar spot before with iTunes being the biggest culprit for me as well. I moved my iTunes folder to an external, and redirected the folder through "iTunes/preferences/advanced" then located the new home so iTunes could still manage it.

    I've since purchased a new Mac mini that can house all my stuff so my library now lives there, but I am an iTunes Match subscriber so I can still get my music on my laptop without taking up storage space
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Just did this. The best thing to do is to create a Time Machine Backup of your entire drive. When you start the new computer, you can migrate your data over and it will be very quick over USB3. However, you can select exactly what to bring over. You'll just bring over your programs and settings. This will create a working computer nearly identical to the one you've left behind -- but without any documents.

    However managing your data is a different beast. You can choose to exclude directories (like iPhoto, iTunes, Movies, or documents) from the backup in the first place and transfer them manually to an external drive where you can use them. Or you can include them in the backup. But if they are in a backup, they need to be copied from the backup drive to another drive (external or internal SSD) for use.

Share This Page