Migration checklist for moving to new 2018 mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacNeal, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. MacNeal, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    MacNeal macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast
    As I noted on another thread in this forum, I got my new i5 mini with 16MB RAM and 512MB SSD yesterday and hope to set it up Sunday, along with migrating my files, apps, and settings, etc. from my mid-2010 mini.

    I've got a few questions, as I want to do this in the right order, and Apple's support doc on "How to move your content to a new Mac" is unfortunately vague on a few crucial matters.

    I plan to use Migration Assistant and my latest Time Machine backup on an external HD for the process. I only have one monitor and Apple's support doc seems tailored mainly to people moving stuff from one laptop to another (where both have built-in displays). Since I only have one monitor, I would be flying blind trying to connect both minis to each other.

    Quick questions:

    1) Should I set-up the new mini using the Set-up Assistant prior to using the Migration Assistant to move content from my old mini to the new one?

    2) Can I use the USB-C to USB Adapter that I just bought from Apple to connect my Time Machine external HD (which has USB 2.0 cable, I believe) to the new mini?

    3) Similarly, should the USB-C to VGA Multiport Adapter I just bought from Apple suffice to connect my Dell HD monitor (with a VGA cable) to the new mini? If I'm not mistaken, both of those Adapters plug into the Thunderbolt ports.

    4) I have a (non-Apple) ergonomic keyboard and a cordless Bluetooth mouse that I've used with my old mini. I've had them connected to a USB hub (the keyboard by a cable w/ adapter and the mouse via a Bluetooth receiver plugged into the hub). Can I just plug that hub into one of the USB3 ports on the new mini in order to connect everything plugged into the hub to the new mini?

    5) I have Gig Fiber broadband coming into a router w/ Wifi for our home network. Can I just switch the ethernet cable from the router to the new mini's ethernet port, or is there likely some complicated switch-over procedure. (I realize I can probably query my broadband provider about that.)

    That's it, I think. If any of you have already been through a similar switchover, I'd be grateful for any tips or warnings you can provide. Although I am a "MacRumors Newbie", I've been using Macs since 1984 and appreciate the deep knowledge and experience that regulars on the Forums here have.
  2. Originalbitman macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2012
    While you wait for answers I have a few questions for you.

    1. What OS were you running on the 2010?

    2. How much old stuff like apps and utilities is there in that Time Machine BU?

    The reason I ask is because I tried to migrate from a mid 2010 Mini running High Sierra to a 2018 Mini. I cleaned a lot of old stuff off the 2010 but over the years I have always migrated. Never a clean install since who knows when. My 2018 couldn’t complete booting after migrating. I tried twice with a fresh install of Mojave in-between and migration from a CCC clone the second time with no luck. In the end I had to fresh install Mojave again and build the 2018 clean by reinstalling my apps, syncing iCloud stuff and new User accounts. It all went much better than I expected.

    Don’t want worry you but just offer a heads up.
  3. MacNeal thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast
    Many thanks for your response. My answers are:

    1. The OS on the mid-2010 mini is High Sierra 10.13.6, the highest version it can update to on a mini of that vintage.

    2. I ran a CleanMyMac X scan today on my 2010 mini and cleared out a bunch of lingering crapola. So the latest Time Machine BU (of 14 minutes ago, or of tomorrow morning) should reflect the departure of much of that "old stuff".

    All that said, I cringe at the thought that I may run into the same obstacles you ran into in your transition. I honestly don't recall how I migrated from my old Mac G4 eight years ago to the Mac Mini. It may have been a clean install. I don't recall using the Migration Assistant at that time. But my 2010 mini has been in place for 7-8 years, so it is plenty bogged down with accumulated stuff. Hopefully, CleanMyMac X cleared a lot of that out. (BTW, I've taken the MacWorld review of CleanMyMax into account and not used it to search for malware. I have real-time MalwareBytes installed on my "old" mini and trust (heh) I can shift that coverage over to the new 2018 mini. Same with the newly paid CleanMyMac X, for that matter.
  4. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2018
    1) No. Just run migration assistant and follow the prompts. Make sure both Minis are connected to your network switch so they can see each other.

    2) Yes

    3) Yes, barring unforeseen hardware incompatibilities

    4) Yes but you likely (possibly) don’t need the Bluetooth receiver any more. Try without first and ensure smooth mouse movement. Some people are having problems with their USB 3.0 devices interfering with Bluetooth

    5) Yes, but see #1. You’ll want both Minis connected to the router during migration
  5. MacNeal thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast
    Many thanks for your input.

    Previous advice I received suggested that a migration was easier/better from a Time Machine backup than trying to connect my old mini and new mini together. I'm not sure what you mean by a "network switch". I have one monitor, but two minis (the old and new). I don't have an easy or obvious way to have both minis use the same monitor at once.

    Thanks for any clarification...
  6. Originalbitman macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2012
    I forgot to go to turn off User Log-in items before I made my clone and TM backup. That could have helped.
  7. MacNeal thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast
    How does one "turn off User Log-in items"? What does that entail?
  8. Originalbitman macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2012

    You can have apps, documents, folders, or server connections open automatically whenever you log in to your Mac.

    Add or remove automatic items
    1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.

    2. Select your user account, then click Login Items at the top of the window.

    3. Do one of the following:
      • Add a login item: Click the Add button + below the list of items, select a document, folder, app, server, or other item, then click Add.

      • Remove a login item: Select the name of the item you want to prevent from opening automatically, then click the Remove button - below the list.

      • Hide a login item: If you don’t want an item’s windows to be visible after login, select the Hide checkbox next to the item.

        Note: Hide does not apply to servers, which always appear in the Finder after login.
    Temporarily prevent items from opening automatically when you log in
    • If you see the login window, press the Shift key while you click the Log In button, then release the Shift key when you see the Dock.

    • If you don’t see the login window, restart your Mac, hold down the Shift key when you see the progress bar in the startup window, then release the Shift key after the desktop appears.
  9. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2018
    The spare ethernet ports on your router, one of which is currently connected to your 2010 Mini per your question #5.
  10. MacNeal thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast
    Okay, but are you implying that it is still better to do a Mac to Mac ethernet connection for content migration, rather than using a Time Machine backup for the content migration? I'm kind of stymied here, because I have two Mac minis, but only one monitor and no easy or obvious way to gain a window into each mini simultaneously. Or am I missing something?
  11. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2018
    You start migration assistant and it takes over the other Mini automatically after you follow the prompts. You’ll only have to switch the monitor over once or twice if you follow the directions.

    I used migration assistant over Thunderbolt 2 to migrate from my 2014 to 2018 Mini. Once it was complete, the new Mini booted up into my existing desktop with all documents and applications intact. Only a few apps needed me to sign back in or release license keys on the old Mac. Otherwise, it’s nearly as painless as upgrading to a new iPhone.

    I can’t speak to using Time Machine to do the same thing, that’s not how I use TM. I use it for documents only.
  12. Easttime macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2015
    I’ve done clean installs on all my new devices past couple of years and found it pretty easy. I am gearing up to do this with my new mini. Most of my key data and photos are in iCloud, so I am usually up and running in a couple of hours. For the Macs, I keep lists of all my installed 3rd party software so I know where and how to get them. Any data in the old hard drive file folder structure I manually copy to the new hard drive using Airdrop for two Macs, or drag and drop from a CCC clone or Time Machine on an external drive. I use an encrypted password manager, facilitating signing the new Mac into external services. Decommissioning the old machine needs a careful checklist (e.g. turning off Find my Phone and Messages, removing from iCloud list, and I think removing from Office 365, etc, then reformatting the old hard drive and setting it up like new). I am making up the checklists. Nice to start off with a clean new Mac.
  13. inmnbob macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2014
    Chicago and Twin Cities
    i did a iMac to Mini direct connect via Ethernet and was amazingly fast and without problems. The second time i had to do this (after returning a defective 1st Mac Mini) I migrated via Time Machine and it took a day compared to 45 minutes-- I had about 600GB of data that was transferred. So I would do Thunderbolt or Ethernet machine to machine if possible.

    Another thing I do but not sure it helps or is necessary is I always reinstall the operating system after a Migration by booting into recovery mode and using that reinstall option. I figure it is just one more way of making sure that any junk from device 1 to device 2 is cleaned up.
  14. Malkie0831 macrumors newbie


    Sep 13, 2017
    I recently had to do a clean install of Mojave on my 2014 Mini after a hard drive swap. I had done 'in place' upgrades for years and had used Time Machine to recover from a couple of failed installs very successfully, but after upgrading to Mojave the machine was so slow it was almost useless.

    So I replaced the HD with a 1TB SSD (a 2.5" SATA ONE) and did a clean install. The difference is magic, even though it is the base spec Mini it runs so much better now.

    Afterwards I had a lot of trouble with TM. I could access the old TM files and get everything back, but could not delete or tidy the old backups. Once I was sure I had everything I had to erase the TM drive and start afresh.

    From my experience I would say it is not the apps and docs that are the problem, most docs/photos and such were on the cloud. My iTunes backup came back from TM Ok and so did my downloads and apps folders. Most of the apps had to be re-installed, but at least the apps folder showed me what I had. It was all the little settings and tweaks that we do to the interface that took ages to find again.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    First recommendation:

    Just get set up and do it.

    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" TM backup on your old Mac.
    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. Leave the hub DISCONNECTED for now
    7. Connect your TM 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.

    That should do it.
    Again, don't "overthink" the task before you. Just do it.

    Oh. One other thing:
    STOP USING "Clean my Mac". It can "clean out" too much!
  16. MacNeal, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    MacNeal thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 11, 2018
    The Left Coast

    I followed your instructions to the letter and it has seemingly worked. A million "thanks!" I think your most important advice was "be patient"! It took close to four hours in all, the last one being a maddening eternally receding horizon, where it would estimate finishing in ten minutes and then keep going from a peak of 89 MB/s down to 2 MB/s and then up and down in between with it grinding to 23 hours and 30 minutes estimate time at one point. I had to go do other stuff out of the room a few times, just so I didn't drive myself mad watching the fluctuating finish time, like waiting for water to come to a boil.

    As you advised, I plugged my mouse and keyboard directly into the USB ports and used the VGA adapter for the monitor and the USB to USB 3 adapter for my TM backup HD. I will try later to switch to my Bluetooth cordless mouse and see whether I run into Bluetooth problems. If I free-up the USB 3 port the corded mouse is on, I may try plugging the USB hub into it and see how other old peripherals work.

    Thanks also to the other folks here who provided advice. I chose not to try the direct Mac mini to Mac mini by Ethernet approach because I didn't want to go anywhere near having to switch the monitor from one Mac to the other even once.

    Now to go do some speed tests for my ISP's 1 Gig fiber upload and download speed to see if those are improved by the new Mini. And, as you noted, I'll have to check my various apps to see what is busted.

    UPDATE: I tested out our 1 GIG fiber (Sonic.net). Before, with the mid-2010 mini I was getting around 184 Down and 250 or so Up, now it is 927 Down and 936 Up! Wow.

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15 December 1, 2018