Need an effective method to swap everything from an old iMac to a new iMac

feracuffz61

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
10
0
Hey Everyone!
I'm looking to swap iMacs with my parents. I have an older iMac (bought around 2008) and I want to move everything over to my parents newer iMac (bought around 2010), and from there move everything from my parents iMac over to my older iMac.

I have done tons of work on mine and have over 150 applications. The amount of work it would take to manually install all of these makes this swap not worth it. Is there a way to do this easily with time machine and an external hard drive, or any other way? I need both systems to be exactly the same just on different machines.

I desperately need the extra speed of the newer iMac for my video editing and my headphone jack has stopped working, which is pretty imperative for editing also. Would it be better to just invest money in more RAM and a repair of the jack? Since my parents have cleared me for this swap and only use their computer for email and Facebook then I think this is the best way to go. Let me know what you think.

I've included the hardware overview of both computers at the bottom. Humongous thanks to anyone that can show their skills and offer a detailed solution for me!

New iMac (Parents)
Model Name: iMac
Version: 10.6.8
Model Identifier: iMac11,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i3
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 5.86 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: IM112.0057.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.64f5

Old iMac (Mine)
Model Name: iMac
Version 10.8.2
Model Identifier: iMac8,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: IM81.00C1.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.30f1
 

Black Diesel

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2011
183
28
What about Migration assistant or am I missing something?

Does migration assistant move everything over to the new machine or does it allow you to choose what you want to move over (applications/files/etc.).

I'm going to have to do the same thing soon and I don't want to move over all the garbage, just a few key applications. Let me know.
 

Mike Valmike

macrumors 6502a
Feb 27, 2012
551
0
Chandler, Arizona
To do this to the degree you're saying, you need a third machine.

Migration assistant:
Old A -> C
Old B -> New A
C - New B

I don't think you'll be able to pull it off just copying to external USB HDDs and such... too many settings to preserve. Also, just so you know, this will break your activation on MS Office 2008/2011 if you're running it.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,978
9,624
California
Does migration assistant move everything over to the new machine or does it allow you to choose what you want to move over (applications/files/etc.).

I'm going to have to do the same thing soon and I don't want to move over all the garbage, just a few key applications. Let me know.
It does give you some choice about what to move, but not to a fine degree. Below is a screenshot from here.

For example, you can tell it not to migrate applications, but if you want to migrate applications it does them all. There is no way to only select some apps.

 

feracuffz61

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
10
0
What about Migration assistant or am I missing something?
Just watched a tutorial on Migration Assistant since I am pretty unfamiliar with it. I see how it is simple and helpful when moving everything to a completely new computer but I want to completely swap one iMacs system with another, keeping both completely intact. I guess I just make time machine backups for both computers and then use them for migration assistant, correct?
 

CASLondon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2011
536
0
London
Hey Everyone!
I'm looking to swap iMacs with my parents. I have an older iMac (bought around 2008) and I want to move everything over to my parents newer iMac (bought around 2010), and from there move everything from my parents iMac over to my older iMac.

I have done tons of work on mine and have over 150 applications. The amount of work it would take to manually install all of these makes this swap not worth it. Is there a way to do this easily with time machine and an external hard drive, or any other way? I need both systems to be exactly the same just on different machines.

I desperately need the extra speed of the newer iMac for my video editing and my headphone jack has stopped working, which is pretty imperative for editing also. Would it be better to just invest money in more RAM and a repair of the jack? Since my parents have cleared me for this swap and only use their computer for email and Facebook then I think this is the best way to go. Let me know what you think.

I've included the hardware overview of both computers at the bottom. Humongous thanks to anyone that can show their skills and offer a detailed solution for me!

New iMac (Parents)
Model Name: iMac
Version: 10.6.8
Model Identifier: iMac11,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i3
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 5.86 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: IM112.0057.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.64f5

Old iMac (Mine)
Model Name: iMac
Version 10.8.2
Model Identifier: iMac8,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: IM81.00C1.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.30f1

You should repair the jack and max out the ram just to be a good son, for sure. But if you are doing anything with video this is a good swap, though you might think about your upgrade timeline.

Migration assistant will take apps across, and users. I don't do this, however. This is what I would do (and do regularly, did it on 2 machines this week.

Make bootable clones of each machine - identical note for note copies.

I use an external drive, partitioned with enough space and headroom for each machine, and any extra space dumped into a 3rd partition. Make sure it has USB 2.0 and/or firewire so the older machine can boot from it.

Deactivate any Adobe, Avid kind of software to make life easy on yourself later.

Use Carbon Copy Cloner (you can use shareware version for Snow Leopard, ML needs the paid version which is still worth having)

Make Bootable clones, and importantly test them by going into system preferences, changing start up disk to clone, and reboot.

Once this is done, do a clean install of OS on each machine.

Reinstall your ML upgrade on the new machine you want (or better, before starting make a ML install USB stick to skip the download)

Once this is done, use CCC to copy back the clone you want on each machine.

Re-activate the Adobe software if you have it. Update all the software, checking versions are appropriate. Viola! Each machine should be exact, swapped copies of the users, apps, data from before.

Don't delete your clones yet. Be thorough about checking data, apps, etc, and wait a few weeks to delete. Then re-back up.

I use this cloning regularly for my backups, rather than time machine. Since you said you want exact copies, its the easiest way for you.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Just watched a tutorial on Migration Assistant since I am pretty unfamiliar with it. I see how it is simple and helpful when moving everything to a completely new computer but I want to completely swap one iMacs system with another, keeping both completely intact. I guess I just make time machine backups for both computers and then use them for migration assistant, correct?
It's what I'd do. There might be faster ways (like imaging drives etc.) but this one is hands down the simplest way to do it. You just need external drive for each computer.
Having timemachine backup on external drive is also a good thing in case something goes wrong when swapping the system.

If it were me, I'd still keep Carbon Copy Cloner image as another copy on another drive but that's because I'm paranoid about my data - you don't need to do it.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
Buy,borrow or beg two hard drives the same size or larger as each Mac and get a FireWire or USB enclosure. One will do. Install Carbon Copy Cloner on each machine and use it to clone each internal drive to respective externals. Label them. Connect your cloned drive to the new Mac and boot from it by starting up with the option key depressed, selecting the external as the boot drive. Run Disk Utility to format the internal and have CCC clone the external to the internal. This will remove everything, including the OS and replace it with your stuff. Repeat with the other drive for the other machine. Store those external drives under lock and key in case anything goes wrong.

I did something similar to my MBP when I converted it to an ssd/hdd combo.

Dale
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,978
9,624
California
Just watched a tutorial on Migration Assistant since I am pretty unfamiliar with it. I see how it is simple and helpful when moving everything to a completely new computer but I want to completely swap one iMacs system with another, keeping both completely intact. I guess I just make time machine backups for both computers and then use them for migration assistant, correct?
Yes that would work. Just be careful about user account names. If you have an account named "junior" (for example) on the iMac and Migration Assist (MA) import another account with the same name "junior" it cases all sorts of havoc with duplicate accounts etc.

As long as the account on both machines is named differently now you can use
MA to import Junior into Senior then login to Junior and delete user Senior. Vice versa on machine two.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Yes that would work. Just be careful about user account names. If you have an account named "junior" (for example) on the iMac and Migration Assist (MA) import another account with the same name "junior" it cases all sorts of havoc with duplicate accounts etc.

As long as the account on both machines is named differently now you can use
MA to import Junior into Senior then login to Junior and delete user Senior. Vice versa on machine two.
That's why he shouldn't use Migration Assistant but Setup Assistant. Do a clean install of OS X and during the installation process you will be asked if you want to move old data into your new system (it's called Setup Assistant). This will not cause any conflict.
Setup Assistant comes only during the installation process, Migration Assistant can be problematic due to the reasons mentioned above.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
Yes that would work. Just be careful about user account names. If you have an account named "junior" (for example) on the iMac and Migration Assist (MA) import another account with the same name "junior" it cases all sorts of havoc with duplicate accounts etc.

As long as the account on both machines is named differently now you can use
MA to import Junior into Senior then login to Junior and delete user Senior. Vice versa on machine two.
The machines the op is using run different versions of the Mac OS. Will Migration Assistant write 10.6.8 over 10.8.2? That would be part of the process of putting his stuff on the newer machine.

Dale
 

feracuffz61

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
10
0
The machines the op is using run different versions of the Mac OS. Will Migration Assistant write 10.6.8 over 10.8.2? That would be part of the process of putting his stuff on the newer machine.

Dale
Will upgrading my parents iMac to 10.8.2 help before doing this? I was planning on being a good son and doing it for them anyway. My major concern is messing up my any of my application licenses for my editing applications like you guys are mentioning. My parents don't have many applications on their computer if this makes a difference.

So I should use "setup assistant" instead of "migration assistant"? looking into it now.

Thank you guys so much
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
If you need to preserve your folk's installation - do the cloning thing, as detailed above. Deactivate licenses, also 'deauthorize' iTunes before cloning. You can also use SuperDuper! instead of Carbon Copy.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
100
Folding space
Will upgrading my parents iMac to 10.8.2 help before doing this? I was planning on being a good son and doing it for them anyway. My major concern is messing up my any of my application licenses for my editing applications like you guys are mentioning. My parents don't have many applications on their computer if this makes a difference.

So I should use "setup assistant" instead of "migration assistant"? looking into it now.

Thank you guys so much
The OS update will simplify things. The catch here is that you are moving to a new machine. I only changed drives in the same machine. App registration and iTunes Authentication is linked to the machine identifier and that will be different for each Mac. It's not something that can be cloned. I can't really help, as I've never transferred from one machine to another, although that's just what Migration Assistant is for.

Dale
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,978
9,624
California
That's why he shouldn't use Migration Assistant but Setup Assistant. Do a clean install of OS X and during the installation process you will be asked if you want to move old data into your new system (it's called Setup Assistant). This will not cause any conflict.
Setup Assistant comes only during the installation process, Migration Assistant can be problematic due to the reasons mentioned above.
They are exactly the same as far as importing data and both use Migration Assistant. When starting a new machine the setup assistant launches and asks you to select a time zone and language then it launches Migration Assistant. You will even see if says Migration Assistant when setup launches it. As long as you run MA from a different account there will not be any problems.

The machines the op is using run different versions of the Mac OS. Will Migration Assistant write 10.6.8 over 10.8.2? That would be part of the process of putting his stuff on the newer machine.

Dale
You can import using MA from Snow Leopard to ML, but I agree having both on the same OS version would reduce chances of a problem. Using MA will not update the OS though.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,574
279
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
They are exactly the same as far as importing data and both use Migration Assistant. When starting a new machine the setup assistant launches and asks you to select a time zone and language then it launches Migration Assistant. You will even see if says Migration Assistant when setup launches it. As long as you run MA from a different account there will not be any problems.



You can import using MA from Snow Leopard to ML, but I agree having both on the same OS version would reduce chances of a problem. Using MA will not update the OS though.
The use of a different (temp Admin) account is important and worth repeating. :)

With Setup Assistant at system installation time, the users home account has not been set up yet and there are no problems moving that account from the old machine to the new one.

With Migration Assistant after initial installation, chances are the user has already created a base account in their name. Migration Assistant will then create another account when it tries to copy over their old account from the old machine and this will take some doing to straighten out. If I intend to use Migration Assistant after installation, I always initially create a temporary Admin account to use until after I am done setting up the system. I can then either delete that user account, or better still, keep it there in case I need a "repair" login other than my own user account.


-howard
 

CASLondon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2011
536
0
London
I still think its simpler for him to do bootable clones. He'll have to choose two pull down menus, and boom its done.

He doesn't need two externals, just one drive large enough to partition into two large enough sections for each computer.

He doesn't need to do clean installs (though I do when I have a chance), just repeat the clone process changing the two pull down menus.

He can literally partition the external, make two clones, test boot from them, then clone back to the opposite machines.

I'm pretty sure the only software issue would be Adobe, which will be fine if he deactivates first, then reactivates on the new hd. Or if its (ehem....borrowed) software, I'm not sure how those issues work out cloning, I just know that if you own a legit license you might have issues cloning to new hardware if you don't temporarily hibernate your activation.
 

macleod199

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2007
274
0
Just watched a tutorial on Migration Assistant since I am pretty unfamiliar with it. I see how it is simple and helpful when moving everything to a completely new computer but I want to completely swap one iMacs system with another, keeping both completely intact. I guess I just make time machine backups for both computers and then use them for migration assistant, correct?
I restored from a time machine back-up when I got my HD upgraded on my MBP, and it went pretty well. I think there was some small hiccup getting it started, but nothing major.
 

feracuffz61

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 28, 2012
10
0
You should repair the jack and max out the ram just to be a good son, for sure. But if you are doing anything with video this is a good swap, though you might think about your upgrade timeline.

So I ended up just completely erasing my imac and starting fresh (after backing up of course). My earphone jack still doesn't work. Is it worth migrating my parents imac to mine and using theirs? How much better is theirs than mine? I am going to upgrade both of their memory. Is there any other substantial difference in computers that you could briefly explain? If anyone could quickly look over the Hardware Overview and let me know that'd be great!!!

New iMac (Parents)
Model Name: iMac
Version: 10.6.8
Model Identifier: iMac11,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i3
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 5.86 GT/s
Boot ROM Version: IM112.0057.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.64f5

Old iMac (Mine)
Model Name: iMac
Version 10.8.2
Model Identifier: iMac8,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: IM81.00C1.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.30f1
 
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