Migration Assistant issues?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dawindmg08, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. dawindmg08 macrumors member

    dawindmg08

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Just bought a used Macbook Air (2012) to replace an older Macbook Air and wanted to use Migration Assistant to copy everything over. I haven't used that utility in a long time, I usually do a clean install (including all apps) and manually copy files because I've had better results and I like starting fresh (I've seen too many migrations hobbled by bad juju present on the older machine). But it's my wife's Mac and there's not much on it so I figured I would try it. I did a clean install of El Capitan on the newer Air and fired up Migration Assistant on both machines (the older one is on Mavericks).

    I wasn't expecting the new interface, the logging out of the user or the fact that it can all occur over wifi. It took a few tries to get both Macs in sync and get the code to display, but finally I got the migration sequence started and went to bed while the 60GB started to slowly transfer. When I woke up this morning the Migration had failed for unknown reasons. A few things like the System Prefs seemed to have copied, but no applications or photos, music, etc.

    Should I try it again, or go old school and just copy things over? The new MA system seems flaky to me, and unless I did something wrong (did they go to sleep during the transfer?) I would expect another failure. I could also try making a Time Machine backup and then Migrating from that. Not worried about Applications (there's only a few) but files and email settings would be great since those are such a pain to set up each time.

    Sorry this is so long, TIA
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    Did one of the Macs go to asleep during the evening transfer?
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    That is what I would do, otherwise you are moving everything over wifi on both sides and it will take forever.

    One caution though.... on the 2012, did you already make an account and you are migrating from within that account? If you did, that can cause all sorts of problems. The best way is to do a clean install like you did then do the migration from the system setup screen before making an account.

    The problem with doing it from a new account is that new account will be user ID 501, and if the account on the old Mac is also 501, you will have permissions problems. You can read a bit about it here.
     
  4. dawindmg08 thread starter macrumors member

    dawindmg08

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Thanks Weaselboy, that's what I wound up doing. I used a small USB drive to make a fresh TM backup (took 2+ hours for 60GB) and then just used that as the source -- much less pain than wifi. Migration seems to have completed successfully. I didn't set up any new accounts so that doesn't seem to have been an issue; it asked about overwriting the main user account on the new Mac and replacing it with the user account from the 2012 and I chose that option.

    And Satcomer it's very possible that one of them fell asleep during that initial attempt; I didn't check the settings before running MA, but you would think that Apple would set it up so that machines wouldn't sleep during a long process like that.

    Bottom line: migrate with a Time Machine backup. Wifi transfer = PAIN.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Oh good... glad you are all fixed up! :)
     

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