Transfer 2012 mbp's system to 2016 mbp possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sneak3, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. sneak3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    Hey guys.

    I have here what seems to be a simple question but I have no idea and have no way to test it before committing.

    I have a fat macbook pro mid 2012 and I wanted to run a time machine, put it all in an external hdd, SELL the mbp, buy the new 2016 mbp and then finally transfer everything back to the new machine to continue my work uninterrupted.

    Is that possible at all? If so, can I keep my mid 2012 machine in El Capitan or do I need to update to sierra in order to perform such action?
  2. chabig, Nov 23, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016

    chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    What I would do is this:

    1) Clone your current system to an external hard drive
    2) When you first start the new MBP it'll give you the option to migrate from an older machine--do it from the external drive
    3) There is no step three

    Even better, avoid the external drive by migrating your old MBP to the new MBP directly first. Then sell the old MBP.
  3. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Time machine is incredible at migrating your computer flawlessly. Grab an external drive and back the 2012 up using Time Machine via system preferences. Plug the drive into the new machine and during the setup process, you can migrate everything from your old machine. It will literally be like nothing happened. If you never had to do this before, it's one of the best reasons for owning a Mac. If you've already set up the new Mac, just launch Migration Assistant from spotlight, and the same process will engage.

    Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 4.45.26 PM.png
  4. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
    I have to sell it first, unfortunately.

    So by clone you mean timemachine, right?

    And guys, what about the fact 2016 models should not be running with El Capitan?
  5. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    Migration assistant won't care if you're running El Capitan. It was built to just this. Get the external drive and backup everything using Time Machine in system preferences. You'll be golden.

    Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 4.49.28 PM.png
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If your time machine backup was from Snow Leopard, or something older, then that might be challenging.
    But, one version newer, El Capitan to Sierra, as others have said, should be no problem at all.
  7. sneak3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2011
  8. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    That's one way, but a simpler way is to just "clone" the internal drive to an external drive. Think of time machine as a repository of backups, while a clone is a file for file duplicate hard drive. The clone is simpler because it doesn't carry the overhead associated with a system of backups. Here is good webpage that discusses how to do it using three free tools:
  9. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    One run of time machine and OP is done. It's really the least complicated way to do it, don't you agree?

    I say use the tools already available to you, no reason to complicate further.

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