Possible migration assistant errors and file transfer

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bigsnowdog, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. bigsnowdog macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2009
    I have a G4 1.25 Ghz MDD desktop unit and have just purchased a 2010 Mac Pro. I have my Mac Pro all set up with the new software. I wanted to move documents to the Pro from the G4 using migration assistant.

    I made the necessary selections and deselections to copy documents, but not copy applications. I did not choose to copy users or settings. What I got was a copying of the applications [why, I don't know, since I did not request that], but not of the documents. I since have learned I needed to copy users, too, in order to get documents. Does that seem right?

    I have an idea that I have some problems now because of the G4 software being on the Pro. Word, for example, saves very slowly; the saving is marked by prolonged spinning of the colored pizza of death. This machine has 12 Gb or RAM, so it is not a RAM issue.

    I debate on trying to strip all the old mac's software out, but might miss something, or might remove something I don't want to remove. So, I consider just erasing the drive, reinstalling the OS, and reinstalling all my new software. Then, perhaps, moving documents in some more manual way.

    Can you connect two macs with ethernet or firewire and simply drag files between two finder windows? ....rather than this migration assistant which seems to be able to cause problems?

    I do have two other internal drives, so I could build a new boot drive with new software as an alternative. The Mac Pro came with only two DVD's of software. Are those enough for a new install?

    Thank you.
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    There are essentially four different things that Migration Assistant will move (or attempt to move) for you: Applications and their associated support files, system-level network and time zone settings, Users (which includes any of the files within their accounts, most of which are what people would call "documents"--the Documents, Desktop, Movies, etc folders), and "everything else", which essentially means any stray folders at the top level of the hard drive.

    Now, if you had Classic installed on your old G4, it's possible that your documents were installed somewhere other than the standard /Users/youruser/Documents folder, in which case they might not get moved as expected. The same might happen if you installed things in nonstandard locations, or if there was other leftover Classic stuff (I don't know if Migration Assistant knows to ignore Classic or not--been so long since I've migrated from a system that had it).

    Otherwise, I have no idea why it would have tried to migrate Applications if you didn't tell it to--I've occasionally had Migration Assistant miss things, or mess things up, but I've never had it move something I didn't tell it to.

    Depending on what you had installed previously, since the computer is pretty new it might indeed be the best idea to just wipe it and start fresh. What you COULD do, using either an extra external drive or one of your other internals, is clone the current Mac Pro system to a second drive, reinstall from the OS discs, then use Migration Assistant to move ONLY the Users over from your Mac Pro clone; this will pretty much guarantee you don't accidentally get any Applications stuff (Migration Assistant works better the closer the system you're migrating from is to the one you're migrating to), and will save you having to reimport your users or documents. Then of course reinstall any apps you need. This is probably what I'd try first.

    If you haven't done any customization in your current setup, the alternate would be, prior to the above, to just try wipe, reinstall, and Migrating again, this time just checking "Users" and unchecking "Applications" and seeing if it works this time. If not, wipe and do the above.

    Yes, you can do exactly this--connect them via a Firewire cable and boot the G4 into Target Disk Mode (hold down T at boot on it). Then just browse the G4 drive that mounts and copy anything you want manually.

    Yes, including all bundled software (iLife, pretty much). Unlike a lot of PC manufacturers (Dell and HP, I'm looking at you), Apple ships their computers with a full set of restore discs.

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