Migration Assistant Failed To Create User (Identical Names)

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by JamesDeRiven, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. JamesDeRiven macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    #1
    Got my brand new iMac yesterday and had a hell of a time getting Migration Assistant to run correctly - it would get down to ten minutes and then hang there forever.

    0) Both the admin accounts of my old computer an the new computer (I set up the new computer before I migrated from the old because I didn't know any better shared the same name, which w will call NAME for simplicity's sake.

    1) The first time I ran it captured the majority of my fils and then got hung-up, so I ended the migration.

    2) I went into Users and removed the 'new' user.

    3) Removing the new user failed to remove the transferred files under Users. Despite Migration Assistant prompting me to give the old account a different name (because it shared one with the new account), the user files were labeled NAME (new account) and NAME 1. I didn't think much of this, and assumed it was because the MA process never finished. I deleted the NAME 1 folder manually.

    4) I tried to do the migration in stages. First stage was Applications. This went fine - they all installed, MA did not create a new user.

    5) Attempted to install just my documents (the second option in the MA list). This attempt failed, with the MA de-syncing so completely it didn't notice when I unplugged the ethernet cord. The MA once again did not create a new user, but it did create a user folder called NAME 1. Once again I deleted it.

    6) I let MA run over night, once again migrating only the second option. Woke up to find it had worked - but still no new account. Once again, under User, there is NAME 1.

    7) I ran the MA on more time, this time final two options (Other Fils and Folders, and things like Printer drivers). Success.

    8) Still no new user.

    HELP) I am unclear how to get access to my transferred files. How do I make NAME 1 an accessible user account?

    Things That Have Not Worked

    1) Restarting My Computer 2) Creating a new user with the old name (I can do NAME1, I can't do NAME 1)
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    Here's what I would do (particularly after struggling with multiple kinds of migrations, and several failures with that):
    Boot to your recovery system (Cmd-r)
    Disk Utility - Erase your drive, then quit Disk Utility
    Reinstall macOS, making sure that your drive is the destination for the install (should be your only choice)
    When that restarts to complete the install and set up a new user, choose to migrate from your backup.

    I would suggest that unless you have a good reason for doing this another way, that you simply let the migration happen, without manually choosing a different scheme for that. You can always delete apps or documents that you realize are not needed, etc.
     
  3. JamesDeRiven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    #3
    Sorry, I don't really follow this. After having such problems with multiple migrations, why would I erase everything and start all over again? Th data is there! It just didn't link it with a user account.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    It just makes sense (OK, makes sense to me! :D ), if you are wanting to find the quick way to a setup that used to work for you, but not quite there yet on your new Mac. You have found multiple methods that don't work - now you can start over, and do it properly the first time. You will not only fix your issues (assuming that the backup came from a setup that was working with all your apps, and documents, etc), but likely save a bunch of time that you would waste trying to discover how to get accounts all working, because you made new accounts with slightly different names (when you really would not need to do that if you did a proper migration in the first place :cool: )

    Unless you really enjoy making what sounds like a mess of your system.
     
  5. neliason macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #5
    I second this. Not long ago I spent at least eight hours migrating a Mac that had very little data or apps on it. The migrate from Time Machine kept failing. I wasted time looking into why. Erasing and reinstalling macOS then migrating was what eventually worked and got the new iMac working properly.

    Incidentally Time Machine backups never worked to migrate. I had to migrate from the other iMac which thankfully was fully functioning.
     
  6. JamesDeRiven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    #6
    I want to thank you for your advice but the advice angers me so much I'm sitting here livid. I am so glad I spent $3000 on a machine that's starting off so well. Fantastic.

    Sigh. I've already started to use this machine, which means on top of everything else making a copy of existing data. And then waiting, oh, eight or nine hours to transfer 400GB. Great.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    That's a bit slow for only 400GB, over -- Wifi?
    Ethernet would make a large difference.

    Sometimes it is a Good Thing™ when you discover that maybe you have been over-thinking how you use your Mac.
     
  8. JamesDeRiven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    #8
    Over Ethernet. It says it'll take 2 hours, then it reaches around 10 mins to 2 mins and hangs there for another five or six hours.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    That is where you went wrong. You should have run MA during system setup without making any account at all, and MA would have brought the account in.

    What happens is when you make an account on a Mac it assigns a userID. The first account is assigned userID 501. So what you did was made account 501 then tried to import from MA another account 501 and this causes all sorts of account and permissions problems. I would erase the drive and reinstall as @DeltaMac suggested, then after the install when the new install first launches, import from there as part of system setup.

    If you want to avoid that and are up for a test... there is another way that might work. Go to users and groups and add two more admin accounts. Name them whatever you want and something different than the other accounts... like test3 and test4. Now login to test4 and delete all the other user accounts and their data. That should get test4 up to userID 504 or so, and hopefully the old account on your backup is 501 or 502. Now from within test4 run MA and import everything. That should bring in the old account and all your data. Once that is done you can reboot to the original, imported account and delete the test accounts.
     
  10. JamesDeRiven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    #10
    Since all the Applications transferred-over without a hitch, I've decided to just move my user folder over manually via my external drive.
     
  11. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #11
    Typically, Applications will not be much affected by the migration process - but user accounts can often have challenges, maybe because of issues with the userIDs for the accounts. The system may not always work nicely with accounts that are copied.

    You should probably be fine...

    It's a good occasion to learn something about setting permissions/ownership, I suppose.
    (The migration assistant can help you avoid those challenges --- just sayin' )
     
  12. Marshall73 macrumors 65832

    Marshall73

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    #12
    i have never been able to recommend MA. It has terrible performance issues and when setting up a new Mac it’s easier just to copy everything manually. Especially if you use iCloud and iCloud Drive.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #13
    I suspect a lot of the trouble people have is issues like OP here.... I have used MA over and over through multiple generations of Macs and OS versions, and never had any problems.

    I think it would help if Apple popped up a warning message in cases like this and warned users they are about make a mess.
     
  14. Marshall73 macrumors 65832

    Marshall73

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    #14
    In a business setting MA is just too slow. We can provision a new Mac and manually copy the user data before the assistant has even progressed to 10%. It’s also a much cleaner process, you don’t bring over any unnecessary rubbish. It’s been part of our procedures for the past 5 years now when moving users. Only used for portables as the desktops are setup for hot desking.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #15
    Oh I agree if the have the gear and ability to do that... but I don't think the average home user does. I see a lot of posts in here from people that tried to manually move things over and now they cannot find things like contacts, bookmarks, etc.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    OP wrote:
    "Since all the Applications transferred-over without a hitch, I've decided to just move my user folder over manually via my external drive."

    Be aware that you could run into problems doing this, generally with permissions.
    But you seem to be having enough problems already.

    If you still have your older Mac "set up and running", I can instruct you how to do "a perfect migration", but it will involve some work and you'll need an external drive.
     
  17. jgelin, Mar 1, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018

    jgelin macrumors 6502a

    jgelin

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Location:
    St Petersburg, FL
    #17
    Yes I encountered the same when setting up a new iMac on Tuesday. The only reason I encountered this was because the MA failed to actually create my account fully, so I wound up with a 501 made, then once booted into the account MA ran into the permissions errors as you describe. I don't think it is a particular flaw in the MA app but more so in the workflow of how it is done. In the end it was easier to just go into recovery, wipe internal, and just restore over it from TM. Had me up and running in no time as opposed to the 3 times fail with MA...
     
  18. VJ12 macrumors newbie

    VJ12

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    Apr 5, 2017
  19. Mike Boreham macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    As said earlier Migration Assistant app used from the Utilities Folder is unreliable and creates UID problems.

    Migration Assistant run at the end of the install process, also referred to as Setup Assistant is reliable and the way to go.

    I suggest the OP makes a bootable USB installer, boots from it, wipes the internal drive, and then installs from it with the the old Mac connected by target disk mode or with a clone of the old Mac attached. At the end of the install Setup Assistant will ask if you want to migrate from another Mac, a disk or a TM back up.

    Done this is many many times without a problem.
     

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18 February 27, 2018