"migrating" to Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by wfriedwald, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. wfriedwald macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2017
    the new baby has not yet arrived, but I am preparing for the stork to bring it!

    question: I was planning to migrate my user account (and apps etc) from my current machine (2008 Mac Pro) to the new Mini. The last time I did this I used a Firewire cable - which should give you an idea how long ago this was.

    Obviously I can't do that now. So what port should I use? the Mac Pro does have USB3, because I installed a USB3 (PCIX???) card about five years ago. Would USB3 work to connect the vintage Mac Pro to the new Mac Mini?

    alternatively, and this is a little more involved, I could backup/clone the Mac Pro Startup drive and then connect the clone drive to the Mini externally, and then migrate from the clone drive.

    any thoughts?

  2. leo-tech macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2017
    How to move your content to a new Mac

    Connect the computers to each other
    ■ If both computers are using macOS Sierra or later, just make sure that they're near each other and have Wi-Fi turned on...if either is using OS X El Capitan or earlier, connect them to the same network using Wi-Fi or Ethernet
    ■ Or connect them using target disk mode and the appropriate cable or adapter. Then start up your old computer in target disk mode
    ■ Or connect your new Mac to a Time Machine backup of your old Mac
  3. wfriedwald thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2017
    thank YOU! I should have given you the OS of the 2008 Mac (I hate to refer to it as "the old Mac!")

    the 2008 Mac Pro is running OS 10.11.6 El Capitan
    the new Mac Mini will be running Mojave (of course)

    will target disc mode work using USB3? I guess that was the question I should have asked to begin with.

    thanks again!

  4. leo-tech macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2017
    How to use target disk mode to move files to another computer

    As an alternative to target disk mode, you can use AirDrop to send content between two Mac computers wirelessly.
  5. 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. It can be either TM or a cloned backup using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper. I recommend CCC.
    2. Shut down the old Mac and disconnect the USB drive
    3. Take the new Mini 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. Connect the display using the usb-c/VGA adapter/cable that you have
    5. Connect the keyboard and mouse. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you connect them DIRECTLY to the Mini.
    6. If you use a hub, leave the hub DISCONNECTED for now
    7. Connect your backup drive -- use the 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 Mini 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 TM backup. Setup assistant will need a little time to "digest it all" (be patient)
    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.
    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 could disconnect the old TM backup and set it aside, or ... "repurpose it" to become the backup for the new Mini. I'd keep the old one around for a week or so, at least.
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Might be nice to know how much space you need on the mini. (?)
    Are there multiple hard drives in your old MacPro? How much storage space is used?
    How much is available on the mini?
  7. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I think it should be really simple. Do a full backup of your old computer on an external disk drive. I like Carbon Copy Cloner, but time machine should also be fine. If you don't already have such a backup then you have been living dangerously. ;) Start up your new computer and plug in the backup disk when asked. Now go out and do something for awhile. When you return, the new Mini should be setup exactly like the old Mac.
  8. wfriedwald thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2017
    just catching up with all this! thanks guys. you're all pretty much in agreement. going to make an external clone drive with SUPERDUPER (that's the one I've been using...)

    thanks muchly!

  9. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Carbon Copy Cloner never disappointed me. It always perfectly cloned drives even in hot mode (while I was using the system).
  10. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    For the migration, SuperDuper will work just fine.
    Again, see reply #5 above.

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9 December 8, 2018