Should I use timemachine on a brand new computer? (Old computer is pretty SLOW)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dwu009, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. dwu009 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys,

    so I'm most likely going to purchase a 15" MBP when it's released, and I'm wondering if by using Time Machine to essentially "ghost" my computer onto the new one, will the slowness come with it?

    My blackbook that I currently have now hasn't been the snappiest lately and I'm wondering if that sluggishness will come along with time "machineing" it to the new computer, CPU speed increase aside.

    Thanks guys! :cool:
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    "Between the Hedges"
  3. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #3
    It might. It's hard to say. I'd start all over if I were you though. A new machine deserves that!
     
  4. Pballer110 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    #4
    Whats the difference between migration assistant and time machine? also how can you transfer your itunes account with all the playlist intact?
     
  5. thinh3d macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    #5
    Just copy the whole Music folder over yourself :)
     
  6. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #6
    This link discusses all you need to know about TM and how Migration Assistant relates to it

    A TM restore brings everything over
    A Migration Assistant transfer only brings your files, not the OS
     
  7. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    US East Coast
    #7
    In 2008, I used Migration Assistant (for the first time) on my then-new Macbook to bring everything over from my old iBook G3 600mhz. As you can imagine, that machine had gotten pretty slow and old. Plus, it was PowerPC and the new one was Intel. After I had finished migrating (and I just migrated everything), the new computer was zippy, fantastic, and looked just like my old one (meaning, desktop, prefs, everything just came right over, so it was my same environment on a new computer).

    The few things that didn't apply to the new computer were put in a separate folder by the Migration Assistant, so could check them over or whatever.

    You can use the Migration Assistant to bring everything over directly from your other Mac, or you can use it to bring everything over from a Time Machine backup.

    One key is to not start up the new computer and put in your usual username, etc. before migrating. If you do that, the migrated account will become "user name1" and it's a bit of a pain. But if you just start up the new computer and follow the menus, it will bring you to Migration Assistant automatically. Then you can choose where to get the info from (other computer directly, TM backup, etc.). You can also choose to only bring over certain folders or whatever. You don't have to bring everything.

    I don't know if it's really important or not, but I like my user name to be the first account on the computer. So if I do want to fire it up and play with it first, to check it out, I then reformat it back to "new" before migrating. I'm not sure how necessary that is, but I had read things about how the first username was important for some reason, and I really don't know enough to know whether that is true or not. Maybe it's fine to start it up with another name and play, then migrate over your "real" user name. I do know I did not want "user name1" Ugh.

    Miss Terri

    PS: Meant to add that I had entertained notions of getting the old computer all "cleaned up" and sorted out before migrating. But then I realized that it would take forever because the old computer was soooo slow. PLUS, the new computer had a much larger hard drive. In the end I never actually felt much need to "clean," as the new computer was super zippy. But if I had wanted to, it would have been much faster and easier on the new computer.
     
  8. dwu009 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #8
    great! migration assistant sounds like a much better option than time machine, as a new macky does deserve a fresh start.

    And as a reply to the iTunes keeping play counts and such, this might help.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=739897

    Thanks for the input guys!
     
  9. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    US East Coast
    #9
    Actually, it's not really "instead of."

    1) Migration Assistant is a way to move things onto your new computer.

    2) A Time Machine backup is one possible source to use for Migration Assistant. (The actual old computer is another.)

    If you just start up your new computer and follow the prompts, it will automatically ask you if you want to use Migration Assistant to bring data onto the new computer. If you do, it will ask you to choose a source (another Mac, a Time Machine backup, etc.)
     
  10. dwu009 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #10
    as a reply to miss terri,

    1) so you're saying I could plug my external hard drive with time machine on it to the new mac, and then transfer what I need from it using migration assistant?

    2) regarding the username snafu. So, when I start up my mac, I shouldn't create a user account until I transfer over everything from a time machine? I'm assuming there's an option to do that when I start up a brand new mac?
     
  11. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    US East Coast
    #11
    If you use Migration Assistant (I can highly recommend it), what you do is follow along with the welcome screens on the new computer and then it will ask you if you have data you want to migrate over. Then it asks you to choose a source. One possible source is a Time Machine backup (which you choose on the screen and then it tells you to plug it in after that). Another is the actual other computer (again, if you choose that radio button and it tells you to connect that old computer to your new one). If the data you have is the same on your TM backup and on your old computer, and your old computer is not physically broken, I'm not sure there's a compelling reason to choose one over the other. They should both work.

    Here is the thing on the usernames:

    When you go to migrate your old computer and it's user name(s), well, the way the Mac works is there can't be two of the same user name. So if you ALREADY had started up your new computer, skipped the migration, made your (same) user name and played with the computer, and THEN tried to migrate, well the migration would go "Oh, there is already a DanMan" (or whatever the name was). So it would make your whole new username with all your new migrated data "DanMan1"

    For that reason, it's good not to start up the new computer and get it all personalized with "DanMan" and THEN migrate. Because you will have an empty "DanMan" account, and a "DanMan1" with all of your data and everything. And the Mac is a bit skeevy about changing your short name.

    Some people fire up the new computer and play with it with another ("throwaway") user name, then migrate their real username and make it the main one (and that will work). I just once read that certain hidden things are attached to the first main username, and I don't know if it's true or not, but I figured it does not hurt to play it safe. You can also "fix" it later by going in, renaming the first "DanMan" to something else, then making "DanMan1" into "DanMan, but again I think that might mess with hidden short name stuff - not sure though.

    On my new MBP, I wanted to fire it up and make sure it worked okay and screen was good, etc., so I played with it for a while and then put in the system disks and did a fresh install, and then migrated. But this fit my grand plan as I did not want iLife 11 and instead wanted to keep my iLife 08 from my other computer. So I just did not reinstall iLife and then ILife 08 came over from my old computer.

    If I had not had that plan, I probably would just have migrated over when I first started it up. After all, if it proves defective, you can THEN wipe it out, reinstall the OS and return it to Apple. Chances are that won't be necessary. That's what I did on my 2008 Macbook and it worked just great. Just turn it on, follow screens, use Migration Assitant, and away you go!

    I also make a second administrator account (later, after all migrating is done), just in case I ever need one.

    Some people don't like to use their main (root) account for daily use. I do, but there may be something I don't understand and maybe that's not the best (?).

    At any rate, I do know that what I said about user names is correct, and that if you have DanMan on the computer already and then go to migrate you will end up with a bit of mess to fix.

    I have had great luck with just firing up, using Migration Assistant to move everything over, and going from there. But then I never had a dangerously, horribly, scarily messed up computer, just an old sloooow one.
     
  12. dand1996 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    #12
    I had issued with my old time machine backup (corrupt files and errors) while doing a full system restore. I was able to successfully perform a data migration using the same backup after I deleted the corrupt files.

    My computer has been running with no issues.

    The question is... when I get my new MBP should I use data migration or start from 100% scratch and bring over my user folders manually?

    Does data migration bring over any system files or just user files?
     
  13. dwu009 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #13
    I would assume you can choose?
    Anyone else know as to what happens to the system files?
     
  14. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #14
    There is no magic to the first account. The accounts are internally numbered and you can actually change the account number (if you know what you are doing!) to make any account "first". It is a good idea to create a second account for recovery just in case your own account gets munged. And if you have multiple computers it's useful to create the accounts in the same order (so each account name gets the same number) as the user names will match up on any external drive you connect.
     
  15. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    US East Coast
    #15
    If you use Migration Assistant it gives you choices about what you want to migrate over. The whole nine yards, just a user folder, etc. etc.

    The way I understand it to work, it does not bring over system stuff you don't need. So, if the new computer has OS 10.6, it does not bring over 10.4 or whatever.

    I kind of used this in reverse. I had iLife 08 on my Macbook and my new MBP came with iLife 11. I didn't want to use iLife 11 (may in future, and of course I have the disc, but did not want to now). I reinstalled the system disc and NOT the iLife disc, and then migrated from my Macbook (well, from a TM backup of my Macbook).

    The Migration Assistant DID bring over the iLife 08, but ONLY because there was no newer iLife installed. Had I just fired up the MBP and migrated, Migration Assistant would have "known" to leave iLife 08 behind because the new computer had iLife 11.

    Sometimes when you open up the new iPhoto or whatever, the machine has to convert your data, but that happens pretty seamlessly. You don't have to "know" what to do, but can just follow along with what it does (unless you have some power user reason to do otherwise).

    At least, that is my somewhat beginnery experience (so if I can do it.... I figure anyone can).
     

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