Mini ordered... question about 'migrating'

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by BingClawsby, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. BingClawsby macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Even though I've been using macs since 1996, I never really delved into all the OS features. My next mac, and current computer, was 10 years later... a 2007 macbook. I've now upgraded to the late model mini.

    Normally, my ignorant old school way once I got the new machine, would be to get out all my important applications discs (in my case, Logic, Native Instruments, Photoshop, etc) and go through the entire install processes from scratch... which in the case of Logic and NI, takes literally 10-12 hours each with all their content. I did this when going from Tiger to Snow Leopard.

    Then I would update everything over the internet to their latest versions. All my apps licenses allow installs on 2-3 machines.

    Now, I've heard off this 'migration assistant' thing and have an idea what it does, that is, transfer applications and settings from one computer/OS, to a newer one....apparently to save that huge hassle of installing everything again from scratch I take it :eek:

    I can find out how to do it.... apparently connect my macbook via FW to the new mini's that's not the question

    What I'd like to know... is this process totally infallible? One reason why I did re-install everything fresh the last time is that I'd read stuff about screw ups when people updated new OS over the previous version and stuff. So I kind of have this mistrust of the whole migratory/updating assistant/wizard thing.
    Am I being needlessly paranoid? I can connect my new mini to my macbook and all my apps, all their settings, all their sample content, all their prefs... will all install themselves in the right places onto Mountain Lion from where they currently are in Snow Leopard?

    Freaks me out...seems too much to ask from some automated process!:eek:
  2. AC Rempt macrumors 6502

    AC Rempt

    Feb 24, 2008
    Totally infallible? No, but that's asking a lot. Some folks have complained in the iMac forums about the process hanging, etc. That said, I just moved a ton of data from my old iMac to my new mini without a hitch.

    However, I've never read about Migration Assistant damaging data either on the original drive or the destination drive.

    If you're really freaked, backup all your data on a separate drive using Carbon Copy Cloner, and then if something goes wrong, you still have a copy of stuff all safe and sound.
  3. BingClawsby thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Thanks :)
    Yep, that I have. Maybe I should backup the mini OS fresh out of the box as well before migrating stuff as well...
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I used migration when moving to my current MBP and only had a couple of problems. Photoshop required entering the license key again which was a problem as I had already installed it on my old MBP and my wife's iMac. It wouldn't allow another activation. Had to call Adobe to get it working.
  5. AC Rempt macrumors 6502

    AC Rempt

    Feb 24, 2008
    I had that issue, too. Also, Office 2011 needed me to reenter the product key. Once those things were done, no issues.
  6. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
    I use migration assistant several times a day when I migrate customers data from their old machines to new machines. It has failed on me on very rare occasions, and usually when there are extenuating circumstances.

    As mentioned, expensive professional software will likely require that you reactivate it. I recommend Migration Assistant on the whole, if it didn't work so reliably I would use other methods on customer machines.
  7. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
    I usually get a thumb drive out and transfer over my apps and data piece by piece.
    Cause thats how we did it back in the day, fresh app installs
  8. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
    Transferring apps manually is NOT for the layperson.
  9. BingClawsby thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Thanks folks... yeah, I guess I'll give the migrate thing a whirl.
  10. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    While you can do the migration via FW direct from the old computer... what I did was time machine backup to an external USB drive, then did the migration from that USB backup. Original computer was sequestered so no chance of screwing it up. FWIW it worked great for me first time.
  11. BingClawsby, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

    BingClawsby thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010

    Let me see if I understand. I do have my current macbook Snow Leopard system backed up via time machine on an external usb 2 hdd. I also have my system cloned on another ext usb2 hdd.

    So I have three migration options.... via my macbook itself, via cloned system or via time machine backup, correct?

    Granted, I don't 'time machine' religiously or cloned my system up to date. So I suppose the first thing I should do is clone and time machine to date

    Question.... does migration work from usb2.0 drives? I do remember a lot of complaining when apple dropped FW (before putting it back) that 'now we can't use migration from one computer to another because it only works with FW and not usb'..... wait.. that was 'target disk mode' I believe, not migration.

    Oh yeah.... does the migration thing let me select specific applications and stuff that I want to migrate?
    There's going to be a lot of things that I don't want to transfer until I go research them to see if they're mountain lion compatible

    Ah, found this: Pretty much explains it all
  12. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If you have updated your clone and TM backup, you can use any of the three options you listed with the exact same end result. MA does still work with an external USB2 drive. Of the three options you listed the external clone would be my first choice as a MA source.

    It is either all or none with the apps. You can just remove the ones you don't want after the MA completes.

    I have used MA through several generations of computer and OS changes and never had a problem.
  13. August West macrumors regular

    August West

    Aug 23, 2009
    Land of Enchantment
    I've been very impressed with migration assistant the few times I've used it since switching to Mac a few years ago. It is a huge selling point to me over the pain and suffering I used to go through when I upgraded Windows machines.

    I just used it last weekend when I upgraded from my old mini to my new 2012 i7 mini. When the new machine arrived the first thing I did was swap out the HDD to a SSD and stuck in 16gb of RAM. Then I started up in recovery mode and installed ML using the internet recovery feature (which I consider an outstanding feature of the newer Macs).

    Went off for a bit while it did it's thing, then came back and told it I wanted to migrate from the Time Machine backup of my previous machine. Went off a did a couple of other things and when I came back everything was finished and ready to go. I only ended up having to tweak a couple of settings and update a couple license keys. Very minor stuff.

    All in all, it couldn't have been much easier or gone any smoother. While OS X is far from perfect, this is one feature I really feel they have nailed. Once again I'm impressed.
  14. BingClawsby thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Excellent, thanks guys.

    Case closed... I will 'migrate'! :)

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