Migrating from 2015 to 19

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Vonjover, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Vonjover macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2015
    Hi Everyone,

    I need some advice on migrating between an old 2015 to a new 2019.

    I tried using an anker usb c to usb a wire for migration assistant in TDM but they computers dont detect each other. The 19 imac gave a brief error saying the usb c wire is drawing too much power. But thats it.

    I tried migrating using ethernet but speeds are painfully slow, 39Mbps tops.

    I’m thinking of resorting to buying an external hdd for time machine back up and restoration, but id like to know first if there’s anything i can do with the usb c to usb-a wire. Is the wire incompatible for migration assistant? Because its listed as usable on apple’s help site. :/

    Ps. Migration over ethernet copied files but gave an error saying it was not successful at copying everything because of an error, so i had to restart migration on that one and it quotes 7 hours to finish.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Fishrrman's "you can do it!" routine for migrating to a new Mac:

    If you follow my instructions below, I guarantee a success rate of 98%:
    PRINT OUT these instructions and check them off as you go along.

    1. BEFORE you do anything else, run a "final" backup on your old Mac. Use an external drive for this. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I prefer CCC.
    2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the external drive
    3. Take the new Mac out of the box and set it up on the table. DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until step 8 (read on). You don't want to begin setup until "the right moment".
    4. If you're using an external display, connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
    5. Connect the keyboard and mouse if you use them. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mac.
    6. If you use a hub, leave it DISCONNECTED for now
    7. Connect your backup drive -- use a usb-c adapter if needed.

    OK, we're ready-to-go, so let's get goin':
    8. Press the power on button for the first time.
    9. The new Mac may ask for help "finding" the keyboard, just follow instructions.
    10. Begin setup. At the appropriate moment, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive. YES, you want to do this.
    11. "Aim" setup assistant at the external backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all". BE PATIENT and give setup assistant the time it needs.
    12. You will now see a list of things that can be migrated, such as applications, accounts, settings and data.
    13. I suggest that you select ALL of them.
    14. Let setup assistant "do its thing". It's going to TAKE A WHILE to move things over. Again, be patient. If you have a lot "of stuff", it will take a lot of time!
    15. When done, you should see the login screen. Go ahead and login.
    16. Once logged in, things should look pretty much as they looked on your old Mac.
    17. You should check all your apps. Some may not run, and may require upgrading.
    18. You can set aside the old backup, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mac. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
  3. Vonjover thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2015
    THANK YOU! You Sir have saved my butt from 2 days worth of headaches. I'd send over a bottle of beer as thanks if i could! :D
  4. UncleSalty macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2011
    I Just asked this same question recently. I bought a new 19 mac from a guy who waited 17 days to return it. Its a base 27 model w/256ssd and 32 gigs ram. (apple ram !). I migrated over just the essentials and when I was done Ive got 6 gigs free on 256.
    I found that plex and steam index files took 76 gigs of space! I attached a 1tb samsung ssd for data and moved both index files over. I was able to move most of my apps over to the external. I tunes and pics I moved to then as drive. Life is good everything is working great.
    Thanks for this post
  5. milleron macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm curious why you suggested using a cloned drive instead of TM. I'm going to do the same sort of migration in the next few months, so I'd appreciate knowing why you highly recommend the cloned-drive. I've done two Mac migrations from Time Machine in the past; both of them went smoothly and perfectly, and they didn't seem to take as much time as you describe with the cloned drive. HOWEVER, if you have had bad experiences with the Time Machine method, it would be just as easy for me to do it your way -- just want to know why.
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    That's not right. You have a faulty Ethernet cable or one not up to spec. Gigabit Ethernet requires a Cat 5e cable or higher for proper noise cancellation. 6/6e/7 etc. work but will not make the process faster. A lesser cable can slow data transfer to a crawl. Ethernet is the fastest and easiest way to do this.

    The cloneware fanboys always do. It's unnecessary and, as you might guess, takes longer than any other way.

    For some reason, they just can't believe that Migration Assistant is the easiest way to do this.

    If from Time Machine, point to the restore volume and let the Mac do the work. Not as fast as Mac to Mac, however.

    If from another Mac over Ethernet, you will have to go through a verification process on both machines that can take 15 seconds or so.
  7. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    I love that it's 98% guaranteed!
  8. milleron macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
    Are we talking about connecting two iMacs directly with a crossover cable, or can it be done just as well with two iMacs connected over a LAN? Or do modern Macs autodetect whether an Ethernet is standard or crossover, making it possible to use any old Cat5e+ cable?
  9. Fishrrman, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    milleron asks:
    "HOWEVER, if you have had bad experiences with the Time Machine method, it would be just as easy for me to do it your way -- just want to know why."

    I have never had a "time machine failure" because ... I've never used TM, not once, and NEVER will.

    I've just read post after post after post after post after post after post (had enough yet?) from -others- who relied on TM and -- in "a moment of extreme need" -- had it fail on them. They couldn't access their backups !!

    With a bootable cloned backup (created with either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper), the backup mounts on your desktop -- same as ANY OTHER DRIVE you could connect. You can copy one file, a bunch of files, or the entire drive BACK TO your Mac if something goes wrong.

    And... you now have A SECOND BOOT DRIVE from which to boot the Mac.
    Are you so confident that you will never have an "I can't boot!" moment?

    With TM, you can boot the computer, but ONLY to the Apple "utilities" (same as booting from the recovery partition).
    This SEVERELY LIMITS what you can do next.

    With a bootable cloned backup, you can just
    a. connect the backup
    b. press the power on button and hold the option key to invoke the startup manager
    c. select the cloned backup and boot from it.

    The Mac will now boot up and the cloned backup will look and behave EXACTLY as your internal drive did (at the moment you last backed up).

    There's no way to really explain how much better this is -- you have to try it yourself.
    Both CCC and SD are FREE to download and use for 30 days.

    You can take a spare drive and create your own cloned backup.
    Try this, then come back here with your impressions...

    Mr. Halloran and I will disagree about how to back up.
    But I'm sure we'd disagree about long-necked banjos, as well !
  10. milleron macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm a redundant backup enthusiast. In fact, I always have three external drives cloned by CCC as well as TM. One of the cloned drives is on NAS, one on a USB-connected drive that I rotate with an identical one kept in a fireproof box within a fireproof safe. For speed, I guess I'll continue migrating with TM, but in case of problems with TM, I'll always have an alternative to fall back on.
    Thanks for the explanation; I've been blissfully unaware of how common TM failures are.

    BTW, surely no one could disagree on long-necked banjos, could they?
  11. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    All Macs autodetect. No special crossover cables are required.
  12. wardie macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2008
    Likewise I always maintain both a TM backup and a CCC clone backup in parallel for my macs.

    Having needed to use them in the past, I’ve found the TM backups more useful for cases of needing to recover old versions of specific files (e.g. because I’d edited them or they’d got corrupt).

    However whenever I’ve had whole disk failures and need to do a replacement, using a cloned bootable drive is quick and easy solution to both keep you running and use it as a source to recreate a replacement main drive. Both for boot drives and ‘data’ drives.

    I too have had a few instances of TM backups get corrupted - not sure why but it is quite a complex file structure of incremental backups and I guess if any get messed up (e.g. hard reboot in middle of creating increment) sometimes you only find out when you try and use it... So I occasionally wipe them and recreate.
  13. Steve Jobs. macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2010
    How are you finding your move from a 2015 to a 2019? I have a 2015 myself and am thinking about getting a 2019 (in part because I want to VESA mount the iMac and you have to order a special version that comes with it).
  14. Vonjover thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2015
    I ended up cloning my whole hdd from the old imac to the new imac via external hard drive.
    Migration assistant via ethernet failed to copy everything for me on 3 tries.

    I think the reason my ethernet migration was slow was more on the hard drives than the wires. but the ethernet cable was 2 dollars at the hardware store, so it obviously wasnt up to spec anyways. hahaha.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 23, 2019 ---
    I'm a photographer so i use this mostly for photo editing and graphic design. I haven't really felt a significant increase in performance. Editing in Lightroom is a lot smoother and games i play (Heroes of the Storm) have better quality and faster fps, but that's about it. I do believe exporting Lightroom raws to jpeg is faster but i don't know by how much faster the 6core i have is, over the quad-core 2015 model. Either way it was time for me to upgrade my iMac anyways.
  15. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Sorry for that experience....I've never had an issue with migration assistant. I was going to suggest doing over TB 2 if you have a TB 3 cable and an adapter.

    I just migrated by brother-in-law's 2018 Air from a 2015 13 inch Pro. TB 3 to TB 2 with an adapter. It was relatively fast.
  16. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Yes to all of the above. I don't know when Macs became able to autodetect but it was a long time ago.

    I still have an orange Cat 5e crossover cable. I tried it when I transferred my 2010 to my iMP a few months ago to see if it made any difference. None, of course.

    I was recently buying sone Cat 6 cables for one of my clients and saw that you can now buy anything in orange. Huh? It used to be that orange was only used for crossover.
    As opposed to a phone call to Apple if you have problems. Try that with cloneware.
    Interesting. Everything I have been doing lately is from non-TB Macs getting ready for the school year so I've been using ethernet or network installs depending on the school.
    Just to be clear, I haven't been reading about it. I have done this well over a thousand times over the last few years.
    I used to clone but stopped because it's too damned slow when you want to, say, do a classroom of iMacs in one day.
    There's nothing wrong with giving the cloneware guys the money if you want some of the features.

    Clonware is an API for functionality already contained in Disk Utility. You also fail to mention that it copies—it cannot actually clone.

    My disagreement is your constant insistence that it is somehow better. It's not. Or faster—it never is. The Apple tools are faster and more convenient. I still have an active license to a very good cloning app. I test it now and then. Time=$ and it it ever saved me any, I would use it. But it doesn't.
    Yes, 100% absolutely. No exceptions. With APFS, if something gets totally screwed up, I can do a complete restore on the boot drive to any Time Machine backup run the last 24 hours. On my 2010 iMac, takes about 3 minutes; my 2017 does it in a minute. And this is after I have completely hosed my machine to the point where it won't boot. I do service calls to my clients — ok, rarely because things work so well. All the old Macs I service had their HDDs and batteries replaced years ago and students don't have Admin privileges.

    I do a lot of beta testing and this does happen to me. Many times, the only recourse is to restore to a previous state. With TM or a clone, this would take many hours. I do keep a network of TM backups but haven't had to restore my own machines that way in years. TM is set and forget.
    I wouldn't brag about not understanding the Apple tools. It's why I can do things cloneware can't.
    I use my real name. Not knowing who you are, why would your opinion on that matter to me?

    Know anyone who wants to buy a blonde Vega PS5 like the one Pete Seeger played in the late '60s to the '70s?

    Since I can no longer play, it needs to find a new home.
  17. SaSaSushi macrumors 601


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    There are lot of "I's" in there.

    This is not that advanced of a concept. You can boot directly from a clone. There is no restore necessary. Even it is only 3 minutes, and I'm dubious about that, that's 3 minutes longer to be back up and running.

    I would urge all those who want to know more about cloning and APFS to read Mike Bombich's excellent writeup here.
  18. Steve Jobs. macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2010
    Was it really worth the price to upgrade to a 2019 iMac if the difference isn't that big? Should I just stick with my 2015?
  19. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    A whole lot of debate on this thread about backup strategies. Cloning vs. time machine. The subject of this thread is migration. Either way works if you have both. If you don't have both, use the one you have.
  20. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    You have no idea what you're talking about. I'm talking about a complete restore of the boot drive. 3 minutes or less is my 2010. 1 minute or less is my 2017. The difference is the shutdown and boot time of the two machines.

    1 Hold the power button till the crashed Mac shuts down
    2 Hit the power button, hold the Command r buttons
    3 Select Restore from Time Machine
    4 Select your drive icon
    5 Confirm the Snapshot you wish to restore from (normally one of 24). There are times I don't want the most recent.

    Wait a few seconds. The drive is restored.

    Although it uses Time Machine be enabled, you do not require a TM volume attached to your Mac.
    See, if you knew or had any experience with restoring from APFS Snapshots, you would know how much of this article is wrong (most of it). Likewise, parts of this are wrong. I discovered APFS Snapshots accidentally after a bad OS update — he claims that Snapshots aren't effective. I know they are.
    Many of his other claims apply to Time Machine (free, supported by Apple) so I understand his reluctance to be forthcoming on that.

    He has a product to sell. If people knew how well the Apple tools work, they'd be less inclined to buy it. I've nothing against it. If you want to spend the money, knock yourself out but I find the constant drumbeat of the cloneware fan boys distasteful. You guys insist that it is necessary; I know that it's not.

    I have nothing to sell; no product to push. If cloning made anything I do faster, I'd use it. You can take that to the bank.
  21. mikehalloran, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

    mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    There's greater speed (SSD is about 4x faster, CPU is a lot faster but I don't know which 2015 and GPU you have).

    You can quadruple double the speed of the SSD in a late 2015 (or double an early 2015) by installing a fast NVMe blade in the PCIe connector.

    The 2019 supports certain functionality missing from your 2015. I don't know if you'd use it but it's there. If you purchased AppleCare, you'll have 3 more years warranty.

    No one knows EOL for OS support on the 2015 but it's a reasonable guess that it will be before the 2019. Pre 2012 was last year; pre 2009 was 2 years earlier.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 24, 2019 ---
    The complaint was about Mac to Mac transfer migration — something that should have worked right out of the box.

    If the OP wasn't using a fully functioning Cat 5e ethernet cable, those symptoms are to be expected.
  22. Vonjover thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 17, 2015
    yes of course, someone enumerzted a few benefits above. for me it was also rolling the value of the older unit being sold, into the the new one. :) i guess i just havent had enough time to push the machine to its limits yet.

    but one very good reason to ugrade is the thunderbolt 3 connectors. assures you that you can connect to old and new peripherals alike. plus i do want to try to use an egpu somewhere down the road when the need arises.

    in summary, yes its worth it to upgrade. :]
  23. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Anything could fail, but that doesn't make it a good reason to avoid it. Ideally you'd have enough hard drives that you could have Time Machine on one and have enough space on another to clone your drive (which is my own strategy), but if someone could only choose one, I'd recommend Time Machine. It's automatic and occurs every hour, while offering additional benefits beyond total system recovery (versioning being the most notable). Are you updating your cloned image every hour? I admit that I don't automate the process of updating my clone image and only do it before big changes; I'd wager that even the folks doing it regularly with automation aren't doing it more than once per week, while the ultra-dedicated might be doing it once per day. If I have a system failure and rely on my Time Machine drive, I've only lost about an hour's worth of work and changes, at most. If I rely on my cloned images, I've potentially lost quite a bit more than that.

    It's true that you can boot from a cloned image and you can't boot from a Time Machine backup. Whether that matters or not really depends on what you're doing. Restoring from a Time Machine backup doesn't that that much time, although I'll grant that my system's SSD is only 512 GB and it's perhaps 60-70% full. Based on my recollection, the whole process takes 1-2 hours, maybe less. It's also true that there may be some additional things you need to do to get your system fully back to its former operation when restoring from a Time Machine backup, like setting up some programs again. Booting or restoring from a clone won't have those issues... but again, you'll likely be out of date compared with what you were doing before.

    Unless you have limited drive space, it doesn't have to be an either-or type of scenario. They're complimentary technologies.
  24. mac_in_tosh, Aug 29, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019

    mac_in_tosh macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2016
    Can't it also be done by connecting the old and new computer with ethernet? Is the method you outlined preferable to doing that?

    Also, re. steps 4 and 5, if migrating to a laptop wouldn't it be best to keep things simple and just use the laptop's screen and keyboard?
  25. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    That was the OP problem. For some reason, what should have just worked was very slow. Here's the support page.


    We never knew enough to discern the real reason. I still suspect a faulty cable or one that wasn't Cat 5e. He was transferring at 802.11n wireless speed, approximately 1/10th that of Gigabit Ethernet. That's damned slow.

    Last night, I upgraded an old 2012 MacBook Pro and decided to see how fast was fast. The source machine was my 2017 iMac Pro. I transferred about 350GB of System & Account files + Apps.

    I started out wireless. Because the 2012 only supports 802.11n, it was extremely slow as expected. I never saw an estimate as to how long it would take. Yikes!

    After about 5 minutes watching the paint dry, I connected the MacBook to Ethernet. It now cruised at 46–50 MB/s with bursts up to 80 and gave me an ETA of 1hr 51min — respectable.
    I gave it about 10 minutes of Ethernet and then hooked up my TB2 cable with an Apple TB2/3 adapter on my iMac Pro. The average speed jumped to 86 MB/s with spikes at 120. The entire transfer was done in less than an hour.

    If the MBP was newer, it would have supported 802.11ac. In a clear connection, it should have been about 1.3x faster than Gigabyte Ethernet. I regularly get those wireless speeds around here but not with a 2012.

    Also, because of its age, I could not test TB3 or 10G Ethernet. That would have been fun.

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