Migrating from older iMac to new one: CCC, or TM?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AlaskaMoose, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. AlaskaMoose, Apr 14, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    This subject has probably been beaten to death in older threads, so my intention is to ask for any new advice you may have relating to which one of these two apps, "Carbon Copy Cloner", versus "TimeMachine."

    I won't do a clean install this time since I only use my 2011 iMac for photo editing, keep it updated, and it runs flawlessly. I keep two different sets of backups on an external Seagate 4TB USB-3 hard drive, one using CCC and the other TM. I plan to migrate all the apps and files on the 1TB internal SSD in the old iMac to the new iMac. Cloning the internal SSD using CCC takes about 4 hours.

    I have successfully used CCC to clone a couple of Macs I have during the removal and replacement of the internal hard drives, but have no experience with TimeMachine. I would sincerely appreciate any advice you may have. The 2011 iMac is running under Mac OS High Sierra.

    Something else I forgot to ask: Would creating a new admin name and password on the new iMac, interfere with the admin's name and password on the older iMac?
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You can use Time Machine to migrate everything from the 1TB internal SSD to your new iMac. However, before doing the migration it's important not to create an account on the new iMac. The process is easy and works flawlessly if done correctly. The first time you turn on your new iMac it will ask if you wish to migrate from another Mac. Just attach the Time Machine backup drive to the new iMac and allow the migration to process. Everything will be migrated except system files. I've done this numerous times whenever moving from an older Mac to a newer one and have never run into a problem. Just be sure not to create an account on the new Mac or you'll wind up with two accounts and lots of confusion.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    My recommendation (of course) is either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
    Far better than TM, and the migration will go faster.

    You already know the value of CCC, as you have used it before.
    What does this tell you?

    You also wrote:
    "Would creating a new admin name and password on the new iMac, interfere with the admin's name and password on the older iMac?"

    If you're setting up a BRAND-NEW Mac, you SHOULD NOT do this first.
    In other words, DO NOT PRESS THE POWER ON BUTTON until you have your backup "in-place, and ready to go".

    You DO NOT want to have "a pre-existing account" on the Mac when you run setup assistant -- this is a recipe for permissions problems and other troubles.
    (there are workarounds to this, but one has to be willing to use them).

    Here's my "guide" to migrating to a new Mac (a pre-written piece):
    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.
  4. AlaskaMoose thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    Thank you for the heads up about creating a new account. I will make suer not to do that. Instead, I will follow Fishrrman advise to the letter.

    Thanks again
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2019 ---

    Thank you for the detailed instructions on migrating all my files and apps from an older to a new iMac. I will print and save the instructions. It's a good thing that you and chscag painted out to not create a new account. I could have screwed things up :)

    I have never migrated files and apps to a new computer. What I have done is to replace 2 hard drives with two new SSDs. But what I did first was to clone the internal drives to the external SSD's, then to remove the hard drives and replace them with the new clones (SSDs). Everything worked perfectly using CCC.
  5. Mike Richardson macrumors member

    Mike Richardson

    Apr 23, 2010
    The circle effect on my avatar is non-consensual
    I sold my MacBook Air 2011 to a friend last week (it was quite an upgrade for him, he was still using a black MacBook from 2006!)

    I wiped the MBA and installed High Sierra (again, quite an upgrade, as he had Snow Leopard, he had to use a version of Firefox ESR that pretended to be newer just to log into his bank...)

    I made a user account so I could download the OS updates and stuff before I took it over to his house.

    I used Migration Assistant to transfer the data - FireWire 400 to 800 cable, and Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter on the Air, with the old MacBook booted into Target Disk Mode.

    After his data was migrated, I deleted the user account that I made before.

    There were basically no problems with this. Am I missing something here?

    Granted, CCC or Time Machine were not involved here, but involving either of those just seems to make things more complicated than they have to be. As long as your old Mac's drive is working fine, just migrate directly from that old Mac to the new one, using Target Disk Mode, and either a Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cable (fastest), FireWire 800 to 800 & Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter (still fast), or FireWire 400 to 800 & Adapter (slower). (They only sold adapters with an 800 port if I recall).
  6. AlaskaMoose thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I don't have a Firewire crossover cable at the moment nor Thunderbolt adapters and everything is setup for the use of CCC or TimeMachine. Since the 1TB SSD in the older iMac is about half-full (maybe less than that), it does not really take a very long time to migrate all the files and apps to the new iMac.

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