Migrating files from old system to new


macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 27, 2007
Hi. I'm a bit stuck. My wife uses a white iMac 2.16Ghz running SL 10.6.8 and has been backing up her files and documents including photographs which are most valuable to her using Time Machine. She is going to try and install Mavericks on this machine but if it doesn't work out too well she has the chance of buying a used MacBook Pro running Mavericks which will become her main computer.

My question is whether all the Time Machine backups she has on the external HDD using 10.6.8 will be available for her to move to the new computer using Mavericks.

I had heard she could use Migration assistant to retrieve the old files and move them onto the new Mavericks computer. Is this right or not? Is there a better way of doing things?

Thanks for your help


PS meant also to ask if the Mavericks install goes well and she stays with the iMac will the TM backups she already has made still be available to her. IIRC I had an issue with my TM backups after upgrading my mac to mavericks which meant I had to delete the TM backups and start again.


macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
You didn't say which iMac with 2.16 GHz you have, but none with that processor can be upgraded higher than 10.7.5 (Lion)
Your wife will not be able to upgrade to Mavericks, at least on that older iMac.


macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Yep none of the White iMacs will run Mavericks - only the Mid-2007 & later (which are all Aluminum, not white)


A 2.16GHz is probably a Late 2006, which will run Lion - you can verify by seeing if it's a Core 2 Duo (not a Core Duo) in  menu > About This Mac.

I would not suggest Lion either, unless you have 4GB RAM (and ideally upgrade to SSD). It's a lot slower than Snow Leopard on that hardware.