Migration Assistant over USB?

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 1, 2005
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Is it possible to use Migration Assistant over USB? To migrate from 13-inch MacBook Air (mid 2009), which has a single USB 2 (480 MBit/s) port, into a new MacBook Pro (mid 2017) 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo/2GB/128GB SSD, which has two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

If possible, how to do it? Because I think that Target Disk Mode (TDM) does not work on the MacBook Air described above (since it only has a USB port; it does not have Thunderbolt or FireWire ports).

If possible, I do not want to use WiFi (it is utterly slow and unreliable) or Ethernet (cumbersome and also quite slow and unrealiable sometimes).

Thanks!
 

cruisin

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2014
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Canada
One way is to connect a external hard drive and make a Time Machine backup. Then use the backup and Migration Assistant on the new Mac. If you use the same username as on the old Mac it will even overwrite the existing account with your old account.

Gigabit Ethernet (and gigabit WiFi) is actually quite nice, but the earlier speeds were bad for big transfers. I use gigabit WiFi for Time Machine backups, and I believe the speed is limited by the hard drive used for the backup. So it isn't much faster than USB 2 because of the hardware used.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2015
2,656
973
Oregon, USA
No, you can not connect the 2 Macs to each other with USB and use Migration Assistant if that is what you are asking.

If it were me, I would get a external USB HD (preferably USB3 so it is faster access for the 2017 MBP), connect it to the 2009 MBA and clone it (Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!). Connect the cloned external USB HD to the 2017 MBP and use Migration Assistant.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,403
1,984
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Don''t think a direct USB connection will work. I have usually done what @cruisin suggests - use an external hard drive with either a clone or time machine backup. Don't you aready have a backup disk? You really should have one, I'd do that before moving anything.... just in case. ;)
 

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 1, 2005
1,703
531
No, you can not connect the 2 Macs to each other with USB and use Migration Assistant if that is what you are asking.
Yes, that is what I wanted. Thanks for all answers above. I guess then that the best approach would be to make a full backup of the old MacBook Air with Time Machine into an external disk using USB cable, and then use Migration Assistant on the new MacBook Pro to migrate from such backup using Thunderbolt cable.
 

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