Moving to new iMac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 5, 2010
Raleigh, NC
I am buying a new iMac i7 and planning to migrate the data from a 2008 iMac. The new iMac will have both the SSD drive and a 1TB drive. I want to use the SSD drive for the OS and applications and the regular drive for User data. Can I use the Migration assistant and specify the destination for the Applications and Data to go to different drives, or can I run the Migration Assistant multiple times and move the data, settings and applications separately. Or is there an easier way to do what I want, ie just reinstall the applications and move the data.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2010
Yes. Migration works. Think Apple has a nice "migration" ULR on their website as well... re:


During the many years, I've done "many" old box to better box upgrades in the "windows" world. Regardless of OS, I always recommend:

- Start with virgin OS.
- Add mandatory OS fixes / patches.
- Install Apps (from scratch).
- Install application fixes / patches.
Test, test and test.

Make a backup (baseline backup) of your new "BASE System". Can use DVDs or external USB drive. Or, "clone the base system" using Carbon Copy - if you have it.

Manually transfer (copy) data files (and only data files) from old system to attached external drive. re: USB connected HD. Connect external drive to new system and manually copy data files to new / better system.

Keep old machine "untouched" for up to 3 months. Bottom of one's closet works great. If you accidentally missed a file or want to move over a special file (like bookmark config files), you can - using a USB small stick.

If using an external Drive for the initial File Transfer, one can then re-configure this same external device for Backups - on the new / better system. For example, use included Time Machine. Make sure you store intial data files in a different folder (or partition). And, mark that "intial backup area" as "read Only".

Lots of "manual" file copying tasks but doing it manually, also allows me to perform "house cleaning" as well. re: Remove those old movies, songs qnd data files that I no longer need. To me, house cleaning every year should be mandatory. But in reality, the average person only does in-depth house cleaning when they upgrade to a better system. Just like when moving to a different house (but that's a topic for a different thread).

Good luck...



macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2009
I agree, you should do a new install, and re-install programs, and copy over your data. Last week I was going through the finder, and I found my Library folder was 63GB! Turns out 35GB of that is iPhone backups! It never deletes them over the years. Who knows how many things are still sitting there on your hard drive?

Mr. C.

macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2010
I would actually also be very interested in knowing whether it's possible to migrate apps/system and users (on 1 drive) with Migration Assistant to new, separate boot and data drives.
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