Migration Assistant from very old machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Labpig, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Labpig macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2015
    I have a mid-2009 MBP that originally came with snow leopard and now is running el capitan, so it has been through 5 OS X upgrades. it is running fine, but is definitely a little slower than with yosemite.

    I am considering getting a new 13" macbook air and i have been reading the forums re using migration assistant versus coping files across manually to the new matchbook air. Most say MA is fine, but as i have had 5 upgrades, my question is: will MA copy old files and settings across from previous OS X's?

    I'm not so concerned about using extra disc space for unused files, but I don't want my new MB air to be slowed down by files from previous OS X's

    As a second question, can anyone comment on the performance difference between a mid 2009 MBP vs 2015 13" macbook air? ( I appreciate that I'm in an OS X forum)

    thanks guys
  2. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    You will be fine with migration assistant. I have been through two macs since 2008 and all the OS upgrades and I have never had to do anything other than upgrade and migrate.

    That being said, your performance may be better migrating the files manually. I am actually considering a clean install of EC to see if it improves my performance since I haven't done a clean install since 2008.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    As slu said above, migration assistant will work if you choose to use it.

    If it was me, I'd probably do a "clean install" of all the apps.

    Then, I would carefully "hand-migrate" all the other stuff I wanted to bring over.

    Be aware that you -can- "hand-migrate" files and folders from your home folder, BUT....
    ... you MUST be careful and selective as to WHICH files/folders you choose.

    For example:
    You CANNOT simply copy over the main sub-folders in your home folder, such as "Movies", "Music", "Pictures", etc. I believe these folders represent symbolic links and you will run into problems if you simply try to "drag-copy" them.

    HOWEVER, you CAN open these folders individually, and then copy all the items INSIDE them. That works fine, I've done it myself.
    You can even migrate items like your music and photo libraries (however, you may have to "re-direct" your apps on the new Mac to "point the way" to these new libraries).

    When doing a manual migration, it helps to keep paper and pencil nearby, and keep some written notes as you go along so you know what's been moved and what hasn't...
  4. Labpig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2015
    Thanks for the tip re not dragging folders. That's probably what I would have done!

    I really don't have that much data to transfer apart from music (can I drag album folders, or do I need to select individual files?)
    My time will be mainly taken up with preferences, both system and apps
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I really don't have that much data to transfer apart from music (can I drag album folders, or do I need to select individual files?)"

    Are these files "within" an iTunes library?
    Or are they just "standalone" files and folders on your drive (that is, not imported into iTunes)?

    I'm writing this on a Mac running 10.8.5 -- it's possible that things have changed on more recent OS's, but...
    ... if I open my own home folder, and then open the "Music" folder, I see a sub-folder named "iTunes" which should be able to be "copied whole" to the Music folder in a new account.

    If the music files/folders are free-standing, just copy them as you wish....
  6. Labpig thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2015

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