Transfer from old iMac to new iMac

Kim Hughes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2017
5
3
Perth
I'm upgrading to a better spec iMac and want to transfer all apps, files, settings, etc. What is the recommended method - I have a time machine backup and a SuperDuper clone of my old iMac.

From the research it seems I have many options:
- Migration Assistant from old iMac (using Thunderbolt and Target Mode)
- Migration Assistant from Time Machine disk
- Start in R mode and restore from Time Machine disk
- Use Target Mode start up and then Migration assistant (using Thunderbolt connection)
- Clone to the new iMac using SuperDuper.

Should I do a clean install of Sierra on the new iMac (its second hand with the old owners stuff on it). Both are late 2012, Mine has Sierra, his has Yosemite).

Any advice appreciates to resolve my confusion as to the best method to a ensure smooth transition.
 

CoastalOR

macrumors 68020
Jan 19, 2015
2,458
899
Oregon, USA
All of your methods could work, but it would be very important to me to clear out the old owners stuff first, before transitioning. I like the clean install of Sierra method then Migration.
I would:
- Create a Sierra USB installer (always good to have).
- Boot from the installer, run disk utility, format the internal drive, and install Sierra.
- Use Migration Assistant to copy settings, files and apps from the SuperDuper clone (it is faster than TM).
 

Kim Hughes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2017
5
3
Perth
All of your methods could work, but it would be very important to me to clear out the old owners stuff first, before transitioning. I like the clean install of Sierra method then Migration.
I would:
- Create a Sierra USB installer (always good to have).
- Boot from the installer, run disk utility, format the internal drive, and install Sierra.
- Use Migration Assistant to copy settings, files and apps from the SuperDuper clone (it is faster than TM).

Thanks appreciate that - do you have a link to Create a USB installer?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
My recommendation:

1. Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup of your old Mac. (both CCC and SD can be freely downloaded to do this)
2. Take CCC backup to new Mac, connect it.
3. At the appropriate moment in the setup process, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate data from an old computer or drive.
4. "Point" setup assistant towards the cloned backup, select what you wish to migrate (accounts, apps, data and settings), and "let it go".

I suggested using a cloned backup because others here have reported that the migration goes faster than from a time machine backup.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,158
8,818
California
What is the recommended method - I have a time machine backup and a SuperDuper clone of my old iMac.
Lot's of ways to get this done, but I think the one with the fewest steps is this. On the new machine hold command-option-r at boot to get to Internet recovery. After you enter your wifi info you will see a spinning globe while the recovery utility downloads and installs. Once that is done you will see the recovery screen. Now start Disk Utility and go to the erase tab, then select the drive itself at the very top of the left column then erase the drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Then quit Disk Utility and click restore. Follow the prompts and attach your Time Machine disk as the source of the restore. This will place Sierra along with all your apps and data on the new machine and leave everything just like you had it on the old setup.
 
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Kim Hughes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2017
5
3
Perth
My recommendation:

1. Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup of your old Mac. (both CCC and SD can be freely downloaded to do this)
2. Take CCC backup to new Mac, connect it.
3. At the appropriate moment in the setup process, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate data from an old computer or drive.
4. "Point" setup assistant towards the cloned backup, select what you wish to migrate (accounts, apps, data and settings), and "let it go".

I suggested using a cloned backup because others here have reported that the migration goes faster than from a time machine backup.
That Weaselboy appreciate that. Is it necessary to clean and reinstall Sierra first? - or will the migration just copy everything but the OS? Thanks.
[doublepost=1489270661][/doublepost]
Lot's of ways to get this done, but I think the one with the fewest steps is this. On the new machine hold command-option-r at boot to get to Internet recovery. After you enter your wifi info you will see a spinning globe while the recovery utility downloads and installs. Once that is done you will see the recovery screen. Now start Disk Utility and go to the erase tab, then select the drive itself at the very top of the left column then erase the drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Then quit Disk Utility and click restore. Follow the prompts and attach your Time Machine disk as the source of the restore. This will place Sierra along with all your apps and data on the new machine and leave everything just like you had it on the old setup.
Thanks again Weaselboy - I think this clear explanation covers my previous reply query regarding cleaning and installing Sierra first ie first I erase the internal drive and Time Machine (or SuperDuper clone) will migrate across Sierra?
Thanks again mate
 
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RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
1,270
5,004
When I got my new 27" iMac back in November I used the technique Weasel Boy suggested. The Time Machine restore went fast and flawless. Everything made it over nice and clean. I had tried Migration Assistant and it didn't work worth beans.
 
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Kim Hughes

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 10, 2017
5
3
Perth
When I got my new 27" iMac back in November I used the technique Weasel Boy suggested. The Time Machine restore went fast and flawless. Everything made it over nice and clean. I had tried Migration Assistant and it didn't work worth beans.
Thanks mate I'll follow his method too.
 
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captarty

macrumors newbie
Nov 30, 2018
2
1
My recommendation:

1. Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a cloned backup of your old Mac. (both CCC and SD can be freely downloaded to do this)
2. Take CCC backup to new Mac, connect it.
3. At the appropriate moment in the setup process, setup assistant will ask if you wish to migrate data from an old computer or drive.
4. "Point" setup assistant towards the cloned backup, select what you wish to migrate (accounts, apps, data and settings), and "let it go".

I suggested using a cloned backup because others here have reported that the migration goes faster than from a time machine backup.
[doublepost=1543595938][/doublepost]Using a CCC backup of my old iMac and connecting it to the new iMac worked! I did that after trying to use the migration program that kept on quitting for one reason or another.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
captarty wrote:
"Using a CCC backup of my old iMac and connecting it to the new iMac worked! I did that after trying to use the migration program that kept on quitting for one reason or another."

My opinion only, but CCC (or SuperDuper) is almost always "the better way" to do it.

Others will disagree.
Some will disagree vehemently.