Order Placed; moving files from old iMac Question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BESLC, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. BESLC macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #1
    First off,thank you all for answering my earlier questions!

    I placed my order this morning for my new iMac...now I have a question on saving files and photos from old system.

    My old system is running Snow Leopard with an external Time Machine backup. My question is, can I plug the Time machine external drive into the new machine to transfer backed-up files and photos? I know there is an option for a Time Machine backup(or there was on my old system at start up), which displays at initial start up.

    If this can be done, are there any compatibility issues between Snow Leopard and Mavericks ? Do I just select install from Time Machine backup?

    If it is not possible to do this or a better method for saving files and photos ,I would appreciate your assistance..thank you in advance.
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #2
    When you turn on the new machine simply follow the onscreen instructions, when it asks if you are migratign from another Mac click yes and it will prompt you to use the Time Machine drive. Prior to doing so ensure the TM drive is working OK on the old machine. Don't just "trust" it will, test it first!
     
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #3
    When you start the new Mac up you'll get into Migration Assistant and it will ask you if you want to transfer from a TM backup. Once you say yes, it should be plain sailing.

    In my case, it wasn't, due to to an obscure TM bug, so I was walked through migrating the data directly off the old iMac by Apple, by connecting the two together using Ethernet. That was pretty easy.

    So, lesson being, don't erase your old machine until
    1. Your data stuff is safely onto the new machine, and
    2. Its been backed up onto TM from the new iMac.

    The other consideration is apps, you may be better off only migrating data, and reinstalling apps. Don't forget to get license keys and similar for any apps on the old machine before you wipe it.

    I'm not sure where bookmarks are stored and how that works, I did migrate everything because both machines were on the same OS but I"m just thinking there may be a app issue with different OS's.
     
  4. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 6, 2008
    #4
    Same question here

    I have a similar question. Following the above messages, I see where there is a difference between installing apps vs files.

    Do I need to save/migrate application PKGs/DMGs from my download folder? Some of them are years old. I never go back to the download folder, so I wonder if any of it is needed. Will I want to reinstall apps directly from the old download files, or will just migrating them or using TM do the trick?

    If I simply migrate an app from my old Mac to my new one, won't it bring along the file/folder locations where it stores files? If so, if I upgrade to a fusion drive, and put apps on the SSD and files/folders on the HD, won't the apps from my old MAC have trouble finding files on the new one?

    Seems to me that there are two ways to get my new Mac up and running in as close a configuration as my old one. However, they do seem to have distinct differences. Gladly, the posters on this board understand them and can explain them a bit better than Apple does.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    You can delete those DMG files now. The apps have already been installed and they will get moved over by Migration Assistant.

    The only DMG you may want to keep would be if for example you bought a digitally licensed download of something like MS Office and you wanted to keep that installer in case you want to reinstall on another computer. But otherwise, for things like Chrome or Firefox etc you may have downloaded a DMG to install, you can just delete the DMG after the install.

    No harm really if you don't delete the DMG files, but it is just more data that the Migration Assistant will need to move over and it will take more time.

    Yes, the migration will bring over all settings files and folder and data/document files and folders and they will stay in their current location.

    Nope. That is not how a Fusion drive works. A Fusion drive is seen by the system as one, large disk so operationally everything you do now will be exactly the same. The OS will move data back and forth between the SSD and hard drive depending on usage, but you will never see this or know that it is happening.
     
  6. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Great Answer

    I appreciate the lesson on Fusion drives. I now know what I need to, and my choice is easier.
    Steven
     
  7. BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #7
    Another Question

    Thank you guys for your replies, I have another question.

    Does the Migration Assistant on Mavericks allow you to open and individually select items to be migrated? In reading about older OSX migrations, you had to migrate all applications, not individual ones. I am trying to find out if you can select what info you wish to migrate under each area such as settings, applications,downloads and documents.

    Thanks again for your time!
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    You have some control over what gets migrated, but not to the degree you may want. Once you start you will get the screen below and you can check/uncheck from the list. Within the categories on that checklist it is all or nothing. There is no way, for example to just bring in some apps or some of the Documents folder.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #9


    In looking at your screen shot, you can check folders for various items, if you check music under Apple do your itunes music files move to the new machine under itunes, the same question on iphoto photos ? If these files do not go to itunes or iphoto do you need to migrate the itunes and iphoto Applications to insure the music and photos are migrated into itunes and iphoto on the new machine?

    Thank you again for your reply. Sorry if I am seeming tech challenged on this issue..I just need to insure the appropriate info is migrated correctly.
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    You music and photos will be put in the correct folder on the new machine so that iTunes and iPhoto will see them straight away when launched. Those files will be in the right spot and ready to go whether you have iTunes and iPhoto on the new machine or not. I would check the applications box and let Migration Assistant move over your app. If there is a newer version of iTunes, for example, on the new machine it will just leave it alone.
     
  11. tgrays macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2013
    #11
    This thread has been quite informative, thank you! Like the OP, I'm also looking for info in regards to migrating from Snow Leopard to Mavericks (I assume that's what my new iMac is shipping with, as I remember hearing that some people are still getting the ML on theirs).

    --

    BESLC, have you received your computer yet? Just wondering how your migration went and the steps you took.

    --

    I, too, have some questions for all you more knowledgeable people, please:

    1. Do I need to have the same user set up in the new computer as the one I'm migrating from?

    2. Since it seems I won't be able to choose specific apps or files to migrate, would it make more sense for me to just set up the new computer and then copy over files instead? Will that cause certain things to "break" and not work properly?

    For various reasons, I'd really like to avoid migrating all the apps, documents, and what nots. Since it appears we're not able to choose specific apps or files, what would be the best way to move over my passwords (keychain), Mail, Firefox, and iTunes data (not so much the music, but more the sync and backup data for my iPhone and iPad)?

    Thanks in advance for any/all help!
     
  12. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #12
    I believe it's easiest and most efficient to use the setup assistant that runs when you first start your new mac and then migrate all the stuff over. If need be, before you migrate, and on the old machine, do a final good backup, delete big old files you know you'll never need (like downloaded stuff), and make sure stuff works. Take notes of things like network and email settings in case they get borked in the migration.

    Running the setup assistant and migrating the VERY first time you fire up the mac minimizes the chance you'll have issues with user names and IDs, which is a concern. If you want more info go to pondini.org (RIP).

    Once the stuff is on the new mac, some of the incompatible software may have been moved. Fine, delete it. Some will show with a circled bar through it cuz it won't run on Mavericks. You can toss that too. Some stuff will be broken, or need serial numbers reentered etc. You'll fix those.

    Most all of your settings and passwords and such should transfer. The systems are quite different, so you'll probably have to reenter some settings and change some stuff; it's inevitable. And that being the case, it's easier to transfer as much over as possible and then trash what you don't want, or can't use, than to go back and try to manually move it.

    If you choose to avoid migrating this stuff, you'll have to check for each type of data you want to leave behind. Moving some stuff, like a bunch of Word files, is as easy as copying; moving PS is darn near impossible and requires reinstallation; moving iTunes libraries is pretty straightforward; moving iPhoto stuff depends on how you have iPhoto set up. Again, easier to let Apple do it and then delete than to search around here incessantly to figure it out yourself.
     
  13. BESLC, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014

    BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Yes, my iMac arrived the evening of Jan 8, I set it up the following day. My machine had Mavericks installed.

    I have found there is a work around for migration using your Time Machine backup,if you want to only migrate certain data or apps from Time Machine. I am attaching aYoutube video which explains the work around.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akwS-tVqUus

    The work around gives you complete flexibility on what you migrate. If you do the default Time Machine migration, you are limited to what you can and can not migrate.

    If you use the default Time Machine migration and allow everything to migrate, your new machine will look exactly like your old machine, migrating users, passwords and all apps and data. It will just install all of your old apps and data on the new machine.
     
  14. tgrays macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2013
    #14
    From my understanding PS (or anything Adobe) is a lost cause, even with doing the initial setup migration assistant. It's one of the few apps I had wanted to move over until I read elsewhere that I couldn't anyway.

    Your suggestions do sound like it'd be the most sensible approach, and normally, that's what I'd go with. However, I feel like I'd end up giving myself more work if I do it this way, because I only want to move over a few selected things. I'd end up having to do some massive clean-up afterwards if I used the setup migration.

    A large part of why this is a dilemma for me is because the old computer will still be in use *as is* (with SL installed and most of the current files and apps intact). However, I do not want a majority of those in the new iMac. These two computers will be used for different purposes (and by different people). The few apps that I do need on the iMac will likely be easier to re-install than to migrate, such as the Adobe stuff. So with all that in mind, I've been looking for an alternate way to move some crucial stuff over only.

    If push comes to shove and I can only choose between migrating completely or not at all, I may actually pick the latter. But that is of course not ideal. :p After narrowing things down, I'm currently most concerned about Mail, my passwords, Firefox stuff, my iTunes stuff (mainly the apps and stuff for my iPhone and iPad; not the music and books as I manage those separately anyway), and miscellaneous app data. All the other stuff are really just files I can copy over without worrying about stuff breaking.

    Oh and thanks for the pondini link - that looks quite informative! I'm gonna have to peruse it and see if I can find another way to do this.

    Thanks again for that video link! I've actually done that before to restore specific files in the past, but I had been wondering if it works for apps too and it looks like it does (at least for the simpler apps).

    If I may ask, did you use this method to migrate any apps over? If so, did it bring over any user data or does it just purely transfer it over like a new install? By user data, I mean, say you bring over a chat app - will it bring over the login names or chat history? I'm assuming not, but thought I'd check anyway.

    It looks like in the end, I may have to use the restore method like the one you linked - though I'd probably have to do some research on where to locate the files I need and where to move it to (things like Mail data or keychain passwords). Did you do any of those by any chance?

    Anyhow, thanks all and I apologize for the convoluted replies and thought process. If anyone have any other ideas or input, I'd love to hear it!
     
  15. BESLC, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

    BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #15
    tgrays,

    I did a combination of the default migration from Time Machine and the work around,

    Prior to getting my new iMac, I began cleaning files out of my old iMac, then I ran a backup and selected the last backup for the migration( you can select a specific backup for migration).

    During initial setup ,I migrated everything except documents and downloads, on these two areas I did the work around because I only wanted certain items migrated.

    I would think if you did the work around on any application it would migrate it intact. My Office Suite migrated with everything intact and is working on the new machine, this was one application I had concerns on.

    You could do a combination migration as I did and select what you migrate by default for the majority of items and then use the work around for select data and apps. I hope this helps, when do you get your new machine?
     
  16. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #16
    Not to be picky, but the video is about restoring stuff, which is a bit (well, a lot in some ways) different. Note that he had already install a new system and at least one user. It's more or less like copying over. If you try to move over an entire ~/ directory you can end up with some messy permissions problems depending on how you set up your Mac. The Pondini site explains all this. But it can work great if you have a limited number of things to copy.
     
  17. BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2010
    #17
    I can certainly understand your concern and you have a valid point. I am by no means an expert as you can tell by my initial question on this thread. Using the dual migration worked for me, perhaps in other situations it may not be warranted. Hopefully others can chime in to clarify if there are issues to be aware of.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  18. tgrays macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2013
    #18
    BESLC,

    Thanks again, for sharing your experience with me. I've been looking into whether there's any difference in how an app transfers over in terms of using migration assistant vs restore. So far, I haven't found anything definite though.

    I did find that the way Mavericks handle Mail (or I think from Mountain Lion onwards actually) is significantly different than SL, and the moving files over method is no longer as easy as it used to be when we did things the old school way without TM.

    So, FYI for anyone else who might stumble across this thread looking for info: the safest way to get stuff like Mail or user data over seems to be migrating the Users (at the very least the Library). I think this actually includes Keychain passwords, Firefox stuff, and even the iPhone backups. For iPhone apps and such, those are in the actual iTunes folder I think.

    The iMac is estimated to arrive around 1/16 - 1/18, so some time next week (and hopefully won't be delayed until the following week). :)
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    If you move apps over using the Migration Assistant is will move over the app and all settings and data associated with the app. For example, it would move over iPhoto and all your photos and also any configuration preferences you has set in iPhoto.

    If you manually move the app over with Time Machine like BESLC showed in his video it moves over the app only and no associated data or configuration settings. This is essentially the same as if you setup a new computer then installed the app. The way BESLC does this just makes it easy to move over say 13 apps at once without having to manually reinstall each app. This won't work for some apps like MS Office and PShop that install files needed to run outside the main app bundle.
     
  20. tgrays macrumors member

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    Apr 21, 2013
    #20
    Weaselboy,

    Thanks for the clarification on the difference between the two methods. I wonder if migrating over the Library would help solve the problem since the preferences and application support stuff would get ported over. However, I have heard that apps like Photoshop wouldn't successfully migrate either way, so I wondered what it is that goes wrong with some apps if Setup Assistant is supposed to migrate everything exactly as is.

    I keep wavering between just going ahead with the complete Setup Assistant and doing most things manually. My main concern is really the fact that Mavericks is so different from SL that I'll end up causing myself a ton of headache if I don't go with Setup Assistant. I guess I'll find out soon either way once the iMac arrives!
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    Migration Assistant does move everything over including all the prefs and library files. The problem with Adobe apps and MS Office apps specifically is not that the proper files have not been moved over. The problem is the software license on those apps is linked to a specific machine, so when you move to a new machine the apps detect new hardware and they stop working until the software registration info is updated. So it is a limitation imposed by the application developer and not a limitation of Migration Assistant.

    I have used Migration Assistant (MA) many time and it always works well for me. If you machine is working okay now, then very likely MA will get the job done for you. If your machine is not working well now due to some software or utility you may have installed for example, then MA may import that problem to the new machine.

    I would make a fresh Time Machine backup before you migrate the go ahead with MA as soon as your startup the new machine. Then if you have problems you can always do a fresh install of the OS and migrate manually from the Time Machine backup.
     
  22. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I think I've got it.

    This thread is exactly what I needed for my upcoming delivery of a new iMac. However, it gets a bit complicated. So, let me summarize how I see it and tell me if I am wrong.

    My 2008 iMac runs on Mavericks, I assume my new refurb will. If not, I will update it before migrating anything.

    I have almost two weeks to prepare for this, so the first thing I am going to do is get about cleaning up my old iMac. I will be removing 95% of my download files and deleting apps I no longer or never used. (I'll keep the stuff I still might use in the future.) I will do the same for documents. I will clean up duplicate files and photos (A good dup app would help here, but everyone I see has both supporters and detractors. Anyone out there recommend one which stands above all others?) I use Adobe Lightroom, so I wonder if the apps which claim to delete dups from iPhoto will still find my dups in the Lightroom files - I know I have hundreds of duplicate photos on my iMac. I will clean-up bookmarks and try to delete unwanted cookies. This may be a problem as I have amassed over 3000 of them and going through them is very tedious.

    Once I have my iMac pretty much looking like I want my new iMac to look, I will make sure Time Machine has backed up the latest version.

    When I get the new iMac I will use Migration Assistant to copy the latest Time Machine backup, as is, to the new machine. If I understand the other posters correctly, this ought to be almost 100% perfect except for some Adobe stuff which may have problems with registrations. I'll deal with anything like that which doesn't operate properly by fixing them individually.

    Of course, I will keep the old machine and all old back-ups handy in case Murphy's Law kicks in. (To anyone who isn't familiar with Murphy's law, it is as follows - "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.")

    If anyone sees a problem with my plan of action please jump in.

    Thanks, Steven
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #23
    Just a tip on this. To update the new machine before you migrate is a good idea. But you will need to make an account on the new machine to do that. When you do, just call it "temp" or something and don't name it the same as your existing account on the old machine. If you do, Migration Assistant will try to import the account into itself and this makes a big mess and causes duplicates.

    So just make the temp account and login to it, then do your Mavs updates. The while still in the temp account run Migration Assistant to pull in your old account and data/apps. Then restart and login to your old account now on the new machine. Poke around to make sure everything is there then delete the temp account.


    Yep... you have just of it. Mostly MS Office and Adobe apps have this issue. Everything else should be just like you had it on the old machine.

    Let us know how it goes for you.
     
  24. BESLC thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I started the thread because I wanted to make sure my migration was done correctly,it really is very easy to perform.

    The setup on your new machine is really straight forward. You will go through the initial setup screens ,then it will ask if you are migrating files from another mac or time machine backup..you select yes, plug your time machine drive in, once the drive icon shows,select it ,hit continue and move on.

    You will have a screen show that you can select from those items you wish to install or you can do the default which is everything. Once migrated, your new machine will look just like your old..screen,passwords,applications and data.It truly is a very straight forward process.Those apps that are not compatible will not install. I had one,it showed up on the dock as a question mark..I just trashed it, since it was not something I needed.

    As you mentioned, if you are cleaning up your old machine, you will select the latest backup from time machine to migrate.
     
  25. GovtLawyer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 6, 2008
    #25
    Does this hold true if the iMac comes with Mavericks? I know many of the 2013s are sold with SL, but since it is a refurb, it might come with Mavericks already installed.
     

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