New iMac migration problems - please rescue me!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bush Girl, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Bush Girl macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    I should start by saying hello and admitting that I am about as un-techincal as it's possible to get so you'll need to use very short words with me!

    I've been running an iMac with Lion for years and tried to migrate over to my new iMac with Mavericks. I wasn't able to do a Mac to Mac migration as my firewire cable won't fit into the new iMac, so I plugged in my Time Machine. I assumed this had been working just fine (had no problems with it over the years), but it seems that the last back up on it is dated July 2011, so now my new iMac looks like my old one did 2.5 yrs ago. I guess I can copy over the missing documents/photos etc from my second back up EHD, but the desktop doesn't "work" the way Mavericks is supposed to (scrolling etc).

    So I need your advice.....should I just copy over my missing files? And if so, will I need to re-install my (now very out of date) software on my new Mac?

    Or is it possible to un-install/delete the Time Machine migration I've just done and take the new Mac back to brand new/clean slate status? If so, please could some kind soul tell me how?

    Also, once I've sorted out the migration/clean slate business above, I'm planning to upgrade my 3 principal software packages (MS Office, Lightroom & Photoshop Elements) on home user licences - should I install my old versions first?

    I'm sorry if I'm using the wrong terminology but I would be very grateful for any assistance and hand holding you guys can offer.

    Thank you.
  2. carr1on macrumors newbie

    May 22, 2011
    re: New iMac migration problems - please rescue me!

    I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with the migration. Your Time Machine backups should have been useful to at least restore your user data.

    Assuming your old iMac is still in place, and has all your old data on it, here is what would do:

    1) Re-Image your new iMac with Mavericks

    Here is a great article on how to do that:

    This will start your bright shiny new iMac with a clean, shiny, and fast new OS Mavericks. Who knows what Time Machine did in that restore from 2011.

    2) Install your applications

    Take this as an opportunity to get the latest versions of all the apps you use regularly. Any apps you've purchased through the App Store are easy to re-install.

    3) Restore your data from the old iMac

    If you have a wireless network at home, this would be the easiest method.

    Important folders to look at:

    • Documents
    • Pictures
    • Movies
    • Music

    I hope this helps.

    Also, make sure your Time Machine backups are occurring not he new machine!

    If you are going to sell the old iMac, be sure you wipe it completely before handing it to the new owner. OSX Daily has several articles on the best way to do this.
  3. Bush Girl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    Thanks so much for your prompt reply, Carr1on.

    I'm having difficulty being able to download the free copy of Mavericks from the App store as it says I already have it installed on my new iMac. My old Mac is too old to accept the download.

    I asked it to download on the new Mac, which I thought it failed to do as nothing happened for about 3 hours, then a message popped up saying Install OS X. It went through the installation process and an hour old 2011 layout came back up again! I can't find where, if anyway, it downloaded to as there's nothing in my Downloads directory. :confused:
  4. Weaselboy, Jan 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014

    Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Whoops... you missed a step in the article carr1on linked.

    Once the Mavericks download completes, you need to quit that installer then make the USB installer key with the 5GB Mavericks installer that is now sitting in the /Applications folder. By letting the installer run, you just reinstalled Mavericks without starting fresh and at the end of that install Mavericks deleted the 5GB installer file so it is not there for you to make the USB key.

    Unless you just want to have the USB key in hand, I can suggest an easier way to accomplish the same thing.

    Just command-r boot to the recovery partition. From there start Disk Utility and erase Macintosh HD then quit Disk Utility and click reinstall OS. Then will download Mavericks again and install it fresh on the blank drive.

    At the end you can setup you account then manually reinstall everything like carr1on suggested.

    I think you know this, but by dong this all apps and data on the iMac will be gone, so make sure you have a good backup.
  5. macthefork macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2013
    As mentioned above, Command - R boot to the recovery partition. Use Disk Utility to erase the partition and then restore Maverics. Then reboot into the Maverics Partition and check for updates.

    After restoring and updating Maverics on your new computer you can use migration assistant with the two Macs connected together with Ethernet or WiFi. It takes longer than with firewire, but it works. (Ethernet is slightly faster than WiFi)

    Here is an article from Apple about migrating from one computer to another with Maverics.
  6. Bush Girl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2014
    OMGoodness, you guys are geniuses, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!

    You have totally rescued me from my own mistake - I sure won't be migrating over my entire old Mac, but will copy over those files/photos/music that I want. And you've introduced me to OS X Daily which I didn't know about and has loads of really useful stuff on.

    Thanks so much :)

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