Migrating data from 3 computers down to 1 MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ymerej1881, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. ymerej1881 macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I could really use some advice on this one...I'm fairly computer savvy, but still consider myself a mac newbie.

    Currently I wear a few different hats, and have a computer for each one. I've used a sony notebook for years, and that got me through college and I continue to use it as I work on my Master's degree (frequent portability is huge here). I also use that to do some remote shooting with my Canon SLR in my home studio, and do photo editing (photoshop 7) on it for an online company run by a good friend.

    When I go into work, I often migrate raw files over to a Mac Pro that has CS3 and do my editing from there, but I'm only in the office 1 day a week.

    I'm also a youth pastor. When I'm working at church I use an 08 imac for video editing, iweb design (if you can call it design...seeing as they do all the work for you!) and I run ProPresenter all the time.

    I'm planning on combining everything I do down to one macbook pro to preserve some of my sanity as soon as I have the budget money put aside for it (probably in the next 2-3 months).

    My question is, how do I best combine all of the data that I have spread all over the place?

    My company owns the CS3 license for the tower I run off of, but it would take some digging to find that...can I just migrate it over?

    Is there a specific order I should do things in (mac pro first, then pc, then imac?)

  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Nope, best you can do is contact Adobe for the info.

    Just approach it one aspect at a time. First your emails and then your data. I dobn't know how extensive your inbox is, but tossing old emails is good for the soul. I don't know how you would migrate several separate accounts over to just one. Worst case just forward the important ones to your new computer.

    Apple stores offer a service where they help you migrate old data over. talk to them about it.

    I head up a Triumph motorcycle club and to keep those contacts/email separate from my personal accounts I created a user account specifically for that. I use fast user switching to easily move between them. That might be a way to keep your pastoral (sic) duties separate from everything else.
  3. ymerej1881 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I currently just use Gmail and run different email aliases and have a few different inboxes set up to manage this (since I never know which computer I'll be checking my mail on).

    So will I need to drag all three of my computers into an apple store for them to help? I know there is a migration tool built into the new mac and that will bring my old files over, but both of my Mac's will still be in use after I get my notebook, just not by me all the time. Will they retain all of the information even after the migration, or will the utility wipe the old computer as it moves things over?

    Is there a good migration tool for pc-mac?
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    i'd recommend using target disk mode. What you need is a firewire cable. You plug the firewire cable between the two computers and reboot the computer you have the files you want while holding "T". This will make the computer mount as a harddrive on your macbook pro. There, you can download any file on its harddrive.

    If it's an old school macbook pro then you need a 400-400 firewire cable
    if it's one of the new unibody macbook pros, then you need a 800-400 firewire cable b\c the imac doesn't have firewire 800 i believe
  5. ymerej1881 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    This works with my pc too? I was under the impression that it only worked mac-mac.
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    What I would do and have done in this situation is...well..it gets a little complicated because

    A) You don't have the machine, and
    B) You aren't going to put the others out of commission.

    But what I would do in a similar situation could be to possibly virtualize your sony laptop (fusion, parallels) and use that on the go. As long as you aren't doing anything extremely intense (graphics wise etc) a virtualized OS has the capacity to feel native, given enough ram and a fast disk, especially so since the newer intel processors allow virtualized applications to interface directly with the host.
    Then use migration assistant on the two mac machines (make sure they have different user names) and never look back.

    The Adobe license allows you to install and activate one copy on a desktop and one on a laptop (technically you can do any combination of this but the two install limit is what it was meant for). Adobe won't help you get the serial number if you don't have the original receipt, but if you can get ahold of it they should be able to help you out.

    Alternatively you can just purchase a large mobile hard disk. For this type of application I would spring for quickest 2.5" drive you can find. Quad interface (eSATA, FW400, FW800, USB) will offer you enough versatility to take your files from your mac machines and use them on the go.
  7. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    for PCs, just buy a cheap flash drive and transfer files that way
  8. Mcmac17 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Thanks for that it's very useful. I was going to transfer 180gb from mbp to replacement mbp via an external hard drive but I've got it to work via firewire using this technique - it seems much, much faster.
    Cheers :)

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