Trading Macbooks, what's the best way to transfer accounts and files?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by k6578, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. k6578 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    A family member and I would like to trade our MacBooks with Yosemite installed (one is a Pro and one is an Air). We also have Time Machine backups.

    What's the best way to do this trade in terms of transferring accounts/files? Ideally we don't want the other person's stuff remaining on the hard drives.

    Option 1: Create a new administrator account and then delete the current account.

    Option 2: Create a boot installer USB drive and then do a fresh install.

    Any suggestions?
  2. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2011
    You answered your own question...Use Time Machine. Format both laptops, then restore on your new machine...
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Option key boot to your TM disk and you will see a recovery screen. Start Disk Util from there and erase the internal drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit Disk Util and click restore and follow the prompts.
  4. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    Fresh install is always best, did the mac file transfer thing, and it doesn't work near as well as fresh install/time machine.
  5. k6578 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2012
    Can I put the boot installer file into the same external drive as the Time Machine backup? Or do I need a separate partition or USB drive? Can the partition have other files in it too?
  6. jdphoto macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2014
    The installer needs to be on its own partition by itself, 8GB should be big enough, it can be on the same drive as the time machine backup assuming the drive has space.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Here's another approach that would probably be quickest and gives a 100% swap of all files between machines.
    1. Get two external, empty hard drives (beg, borrow, steal as necessary) and a copy of either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! You can do this with a single external drive partitioned into two partitions each larger than the drives in the MacBooks, but the process isn't quite as slick.
    2. Connect an external to each system and clone the internal drive to the external using CCC or SD!
    3. Swap the externals, boot the computers from the externals ( hold down Option key when you boot), then clone the external drives back to the internal drives.
    4. That's it!

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