Setting up as new and copying the old?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SamVilde, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. SamVilde macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    Can't believe I'm asking this, old as I am.

    Just ordered new MBP to replace my 2008 MB, and am not sure about the best way to transfer over my data. I remember reading posts about migration assistant copying over bugs or fluff or settings where a person might be better setting up as new. Is that true?

    In the past, I think I set up as new and then just copied over folders (documents, photos, etc.) Is that a better way, or just a slower way?

    I'm going to pick up the new computer while on vacation, away from home, and away from my old computer. I guess I could bring a time machine backup with me - if it's better to do all the set up all at once.

    Remind me?
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    To me, it depends on what version of macOS is on the 2008 MB and what version your current User Account started with. If it has been through a lot of macOS upgrades and you have time to put in the extra effort required then starting fresh would be my choice.
     
  3. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #3
    2008 MacBook is running El Capitan, and has been through all the itirations since whatever was out in 2008. Everything is running great, but I don't think I can take my programs with me (can I? All those are old versions anyway, some of it is pirated and was never updated - so while I love my super old copy of photoshop, maybe it's time to move on.), so it's just data and files. I can copy those over on a freshly set up machine?
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    Some legitimate software, such as MS Office 2011, will require authorization when migrated to a new machine.

    To get the old software to work a migration via macOS is often required. Some apps can just be copied over and work.

    I don't know of any specific software that will run in El Capitan but not in Sierra. There probably are some.
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    Aug 28, 2012
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    Between the coasts
    #5
    If it's currently running well under El Capitan, chances are you've already cleaned out all the "fluff." Under those circumstances, I'd go with a straight migration (you can do that as part of the setup process, without separately running Migration Assistant later on). It's a lot easier to setup the migration and walk away than to rebuild the contents of your previous machine. Further, a blanket migration of that sort ensures everything will be transferred. Manually restoring data/apps leaves the risk of missing/forgetting something.

    Migrating from the Time Machine backup may be most effective. The least effective tends to be a wifi migration, as wifi reception/speeds may slow things down. Hardwired tends to be more reliable, but would require some sort of adapter (Firewire to Thunderbolt, or Ethernet to Thunderbolt/USB-C, or USB-A to USB-C). You'd probably get more mileage out of the USB-A to USB-C adapter required for a Time Machine transfer.
     
  6. Fishrrman, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    My thoughts (which will be different from most folks):

    I suggest that instead of Time Machine, that you do the following:

    1. Download CarbonCopyCloner. CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for 30 days).
    2. Create a bootable cloned backup of your 2008 Macbook. Nothing to it.

    NOW... you have a "finder-mountable" exact copy of the 2008's internal drive.
    You can use Setup Assistant to do a regular migration of accounts, apps and data, or you can "pick and choose" -- use the finder to navigate wherever you want on the backup, and then copy one file, a group of files, a folder, several folders. Anything you want.

    How to avoid permissions problems:
    a. Connect backup drive to new Mac
    b. Click ONE time on the backup drive icon
    c. Type command-i to bring up the "get info" box
    d. At bottom of box, in "sharing and permissions", click lock icon and enter your password
    e. Put a check into the box "ignore ownership on this volume"
    f. Close get info.
    Now you can copy anything from the old drive, and it will be "assimilated" into the NEW account on the NEW MacBook.
     
  7. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York City
    #7
    @Fishrrman - Can you install a clone of an older OS onto a new MBP built for, and running, the lastest OS? That sounds either impossible or unwise. Since the 2008 MB doesn't qualify for Sierra, I haven't (and don't want to) try. Otherwise this process sounds interesting, especially for the choice of what to import.

    @ApfelKuchen - I had forgotten this, but when I installed the SSD I used my time machine backup, and the computer woke up with all its programs and permissions perfectly intact. Was that just through time machine, with no other steps?

    Mostly I plan on reinstalling fresh software, especially since the new MBP is the TB version, and I want the TB compatible versions. I don't have that much, anyway, and I have the time.

    I guess, if it's easy, I would like to keep these very old copies of my adobe programs, since I am unlikely to pay $$$$ to replace them with new versions. Other than that, I'm as happy to do it the slow way. My data is pretty well organized and I don't think I'd miss anything in the transfer.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    "Can you install a clone of an older OS onto a new MBP built for, and running, the lastest OS?"

    No, and I never said that you could.
    The purpose of the "cloned backup" is to create an EXACT COPY of your old Mac's drive that is "mountable" on the desktop of the NEW Mac. You can then copy files, folders, applications -- ANYthing you wish -- directly to where you want them to go on the new Mac. Just be sure to override permissions first (as I detailed above).

    With the old Adobe apps, you could use either "Setup Assistant" (during the initial setup) or Migration Assistant (later on) to "bring them over".
    Then see whether they work for you or not.
    If they don't work "as migrated", then -- delete them, reinstall them, or upgrade them (your choice).
     
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #9
    If you were replacing the HDD with SSD... Yes. You could have restored from a Time Machine backup as, basically, a one-step process. If you were booted into OS X Utilities (from an install DVD or a bootable install USB drive in this case, since a 2008 can't boot to Internet Recovery) you could have chosen Restore From a Time Machine Backup and it would have been hands-free from there, reinstalling the OS, apps, and data.

    If you use Migration Assistant or Setup Assistant (as you'd normally do with a new Mac), restoring from Time Machine does not restore the OS, it retains the currently-installed OS. You would be presented with options to copy apps, user accounts, and computer and network settings.

    You might have used either of these two approaches when getting that SSD up and running, depending on whether your first step in OS X Utilities was to Restore from Time Machine backup, or Reinstall OS X.
     
  10. SamVilde thread starter macrumors regular

    SamVilde

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #10
    OOOOH. Thanks for this second reply - much clearer now. I thought the CCC app would clone this computer onto that computer, which didn't make sense, OS speaking. Since I have a Time Machine drive already and also have a spare drive to play with, I think I'll try your idea. If it doesn't work, I have the Time Machine drive as a plan B.

    Thanks for the idea, and the clarification.

    Why did you say (in post #1) that most people wouldn't advise this way of doing things? Just because more steps than is required?

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    "Why did you say (in post #1) that most people wouldn't advise this way of doing things? Just because more steps than is required?"

    Because the "standard, canned reply" is to say, "use a Time Machine backup and Setup Assistant".

    I prefer finder-mountable (and BOOTABLE) backups.
    That's just me.
     
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Joined:
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    #12
    Maybe it's the "standard, canned reply" because it's a free, built-in tool, rather than a $39.95 optional app?

    Just to play Devil's Advocate, you can also use a Time Machine backup to do a selective restore of folders and files. You can also make a "finder-mountable (and BOOTABLE)" disk image in Disk Utility or with Terminal.

    In the end, our preferences in tools often come down to familiarity and ease-of-use.
     

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