Migrating from one mac to another

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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I've been an Apple and MacRumours user for so long, and yet here I am asking a n00b question. :p

Here's the deal, folks. I'm selling my 2 years + 8 months old 12" 1Ghz PowerBook (and it seems to be fetching way more money than it should, honestly :confused: ), and I'm going to get a new MacBook. YIPPEE!!

I know I'm going to sell my PB before I get a new MB, since I only have 5 days remaining on my eBay sale. Normally, it would be easy for me to move all my preferences and such to the new Mac, since Apple includes a little program to help you move your stuff from one Mac to another.

However, how am I supposed to do that when my new MB hasn't been ordered yet? I have a backup harddrive, so I've been moving my music and documents over to my external HD so that I can move it straight back over to my new MB. However, would it be possible to "compress" my entire HD and just keep a copy on my backup HD? I believe we call it making an "image" of the harddrive.

Do you think I should just start afresh and install all my programs and settings again? That would take ages. I have 3 years of my life on this baby. :eek:

What else should I back up? So far:

-Documents
-Music
-Photos
-iCal database
-Address Book
-Mozilla Bookmarks
-Camino Bookmarks

Anything else?

I want to backup my Mail.app, all accounts, preferences, etc. Do I just go to HOME>LIBRARY>MAIL and HOME>LIBRARY>MAIL DOWNLOADS??
 

Josias

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2006
1,908
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It doesn't take ages to install everything. OSX, your programs and all software updates will be done in few hours, and then it's just all your music, pics, movies, docs (stuff) to move from the external HDD (I feel smart being able to help a guy with 5000 posts more than me:D ...)
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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If it's a firewire HD, you can then use your new Mac's migration assistant to pull over all the appropriate settings and apps ;)
This is what I was confused about. Do I need to get the new MB first before I use this program, or can I just migrate everything over to my external HD, because if I can, I can't figure out how. Does it move all my apps and settings as well, or am I better off starting over again?

I don't see why I couldn't just migrate everything over, or even clone my current HD, but some people insist on starting fresh when they get a new machine, or reformat their HD (usually Windows users ;) ).

Oh, and Carbon Copy Cloner is telling me that it couldn't find any local disks mounted on my system besides my startup disk, and that I can't use CCC without one. However, I have my external drive mounted, and yet I'm having a problem. :confused:
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Migration Assistant will garb relevant data from a different system to use in the system from which it is run, however it's not a backup tool. It won't migrate data to a specified location. Did that make sense? :eek:

As for Carbon Copy Cloner, are you running it from an admin account? Can you transfer files to the external from Finder? :)

When I migrate data, I make a copy of my Home folder and then reinstall all my apps manually, but that's just me.
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Abstract said:
This is what I was confused about. Do I need to get the new MB first before I use this program, or can I just migrate everything over to my external HD, because if I can, I can't figure out how. Does it move all my apps and settings as well, or am I better off starting over again?
Nope... I've got a bootable clone on my external HD (made in Superduper). I can take that to someone else's Mac and set it as my start-up disk and run from it if I choose to.
You do that before you ship your old Mac.

When you get your new Mac, at the point that you fire up Migration Assistant, you plug in your external drive and basically tell the assistant that your hard drive clone is an old Mac (it's like FW target mode) and it will suck the relevant stuff over.

My only concern with doing this to a new Macbook would be how it would deal with PPC apps/settings.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
From what I've seen, Migration Assistant is the way to go. Whatever you do, don't drag-copy applications, iPhoto libraries, etc. This can make a serious mess.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
mad jew said:
When I migrate data, I make a copy of my Home folder and then reinstall all my apps manually, but that's just me.
I do the same thing, just to eliminate any issues with old or bad preferences, etc. It just seems "cleaner" to me than moving all the stuff off of my old device onto the new one. Otherwise, it's like buying a new car, then throwing all the old fast-food bags into the back seat.

Of course, my experience in this realm is a little limited. I've had one new PB and one new iMac in the past 4 years. But this is timely, since I should have my new MBP in about a week.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Dec 27, 2002
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You say you do the same thing as MJ, but doesn't making a copy of the home folder mean you're carrying some of your old preferences over to your new system?

mad jew said:
As for Carbon Copy Cloner, are you running it from an admin account? Can you transfer files to the external from Finder? :)
Yes I can. That's why I don't understand why Carbon Copy Cloner isn't working for me.

When I migrate data, I make a copy of my Home folder and then reinstall all my apps manually, but that's just me.
So you reinstall your apps manually, but you're carrying over all your settings for those programs when you do this, right?
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,199
6
Adelaide, Australia
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I make a copy of my Home folder but only to scavenge documents, music, photos, mail and the like. I don't transfer my settings/preferences. :)

I don't use Carbon Copy Cloner so I don't know many troubleshooting techniques however if it's not working, maybe just try SuperDuper, as Applespider recommended. :)