Moving (back) from MBP to MBA

AlliFlowers

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Jan 1, 2011
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My biggest concern moving computers is syncing my iPhone and iPad, so I want to make sure that I get that part right.

My plan is to connect the two Macs (when the MBA is delivered tomorrow) via a Thunderbolt cable, putting the Pro in Target mode and then just copying my iTunes folder over intact.

This just seems too simple...what am I missing?
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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If the existing library is in the default location, without thinking deeply but having moved my iTunes library around way too many times in the last couple of years, I think you will be golden. You shouldn't even need to do the option-click to point iTunes to the correct .itl file...
 
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motrek

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Sep 14, 2012
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My biggest concern moving computers is syncing my iPhone and iPad, so I want to make sure that I get that part right.

My plan is to connect the two Macs (when the MBA is delivered tomorrow) via a Thunderbolt cable, putting the Pro in Target mode and then just copying my iTunes folder over intact.

This just seems too simple...what am I missing?
If you are switching from one computer to the other (and not intending to use the old computer, or intending to use it for different things) then it seems like you should use Migration Assistant to automatically copy ALL of your stuff from the old one to the new one...?

I've never done this with a Thunderbolt cable but if you have a spare external hard drive handy, and it has enough space, that makes using Migration Assistant very easy. You just use SuperDuper! (or similar) to copy the old computer's drive to the external drive, then when you are setting up the new computer you just plug in the drive and point Migration Assistant at that when you're prompted.
 

AlliFlowers

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I specifically don't want to use migration assistant. I want to reinstall all apps and set them up new. I purchased a Thunderbolt cable specifically for this as it appears this is the fastest way to get things done. Copying to an external drive, and then copying again from that drive to the Air would be twice the work of using the Pro in Target mode and copying directly.

Right?
 

Dark Void

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Jun 1, 2011
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Most people make moving media too complicated. I don't believe you're doing that here, but just to ease your mind - it's literally as simple as dragging your iTunes folder onto a USB drive and copying it over to another computer. This is what I have done to copy the contents in the past.
 

motrek

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Sep 14, 2012
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I specifically don't want to use migration assistant. I want to reinstall all apps and set them up new. I purchased a Thunderbolt cable specifically for this as it appears this is the fastest way to get things done. Copying to an external drive, and then copying again from that drive to the Air would be twice the work of using the Pro in Target mode and copying directly.

Right?
Might be. I haven't ever used target mode for anything so I don't know. I have copied files to/from an external drive a million times and it's easy enough so that's probably what I would do but I can't say that's the best thing. :)

As for just being able to copy your iTunes folder... might work, might not. I can easily imagine that some of your iTunes data (e.g., device backups) might be tied to Keychain credentials that wouldn't be on your new machine unless you used Migration Assistant. But I don't know. Doesn't matter much though as long as you keep all your data on the old machine untouched until the new machine is working. :)
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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Might be. I haven't ever used target mode for anything so I don't know. I have copied files to/from an external drive a million times and it's easy enough so that's probably what I would do but I can't say that's the best thing. :)

As for just being able to copy your iTunes folder... might work, might not. I can easily imagine that some of your iTunes data (e.g., device backups) might be tied to Keychain credentials that wouldn't be on your new machine unless you used Migration Assistant. But I don't know. Doesn't matter much though as long as you keep all your data on the old machine untouched until the new machine is working. :)
For better and for worse, I've had to do this quite a few times in the last few years, both with Windows and OS X. Windows gets a little more involved, but OS X is basically as easy as copy from the source to the target. See a little more in next post, though.
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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I'll let y'all know tomorrow. Like I said, my biggest concern is not having to restore my iPhone/iPad.
I'm sure it's obvious to you, but for the record (since threads live forever), you'll have to "trust" the new machine from your iDevices, and I think I've had to manually log into the iTunes and Mac App stores from the new machine. And verifying that the new machine works as expected before nuking the old machine is highly desirable (including making sure that your iDevices work as expected after your first sync on the new machine while you've still got access to the backups on the old machine/disk). I'm pretty sure you'll find it completely uninteresting.

Oh, IMPORTANT POINT: make SURE you deauthorize the old machine in the iTunes store BEFORE you wipe the disk/transfer the computer! There are fixes but it's easier just to remember to do it right in the first place. ;)
 

Dark Void

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Jun 1, 2011
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I still say just use a flash drive if you have one and copy your iTunes folder. I've done this and have had no issues. It will copy the backups of your devices as well. These can be seen under iTunes > Preferences > Devices.

Therefore, you should have no issues. Your devices should plug in and update their sync normally.

Newellj makes a good point with deauthorizing before wiping. I'd follow that advice as well.
 

Amplelink

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2012
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Can I just ask why you're moving back? The difference in screen quality will be pretty jarring won't it?
 

AlliFlowers

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Jan 1, 2011
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Shouldn't be much of a difference since I don't have the rMBP. Besides, at my age I honestly don't see the retina quality.

Every ounce counts for me, and the Pro has just gotten too heavy. I loved the form factor of my original Air, and the only reason I switched in the first place was for the hard drive space. I no longer need the space.
 

AlliFlowers

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Jan 1, 2011
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L.A. (Lower Alabama)
Success! Took very little time, and I was able to pick and choose what I wanted where.

Thanks to all who offered help!

BTW - Thunderbolt and Target mode are the way to go.
 
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Melrose

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Dec 12, 2007
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My dad keeps his iTunes lib on an external drive and it goes from computer to computer. Hold down Option when you open iTunes on a new machine and it lets you select where your lib is. :)
 
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