Transfering data from a Macbook to a new Macbook Pro. Time Machine is the best way?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Nghia Nguyen, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Nghia Nguyen macrumors member

    Nghia Nguyen

    Apr 11, 2010
    I'm getting my new i5 Macbook Pro in a few days. Yup, very stoked. What I'm concerned right now is how to efficiently transfer the files from my current Macbook to the new MBP.

    Understanding Time Machine would work very well, but since I've never tried it before, I don't know if it will save my license for Adobe Photoshop CS3 and iWork and a few more minor apps. I talked to an Apple employee at Best Buy, and he somehow couldn't tell me if it really works or not. He was just sure about documents, pictures, and whatnot - he had no idea about license and registration info, etc. That's my first concern.

    My second one is: assuming Time Machine will work that way (as in it will save all of my licenses for Photoshop and everything else), is there anyway I can prevent some of my data from being transferred? Let me make it more clear: I have 50GB of unprocessed photos categorized into folders. When transferring to the new MBP, I only want a portion of it. Will there be an option for me to choose what to backup on Time Machine and what not to? If no, that means I have to manually remove them later. Is that right?

    Aside from Time Machine, is there any other way that really works well on my scenario? Any input is warmly welcome. Thank you!
  2. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    The BEST way is to connect the MacBook to the Pro via FireWire, use Target Disk Mode and use the Migration Assistant located in Utilities.

    Second is the untrustworthy Time Machine. But it's your data.

    Migration Assistant will preserve EVERYTHING. (Including PhotoShop key. No reregistration required) Time Machine will probably lose some stuff in the process. Get a FireWire 400 to 800 cable and take your pick of the first two. The Assistant will walk you through the process and do all the work for you.
  3. jpow112 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    I used Time Machine

    I've just used time machine to transfer from my old blackbook to my new MBP - using Firewire 800.

    Took about 2 hours for 350 Gb, all the licenses seem intact, working fine.

    Just used the migration assistant that appears when you boot up a new mac.

    I did it that way because it was the quickest way to do it. If I was more patient I'd have used Firewire 400 and used my old blackbook in target mode.
  4. stjohnswell macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2010
    I ran migration assistant from my macbook to mbp last night. I ran it wireless over my network and it was pretty slow at 9hrs for about 80Gb of data and apps.

    It is really good if you copy your existing user across. All apps, personalisations, data, history, web log-ins etc are preserved.

    It's really straight forward, just run migration assistant on both and follow the prompts.

    If I was doing it again, I'd try wired for speed.
  5. xjames macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    I'm also waiting for my new MBP, and am considering how to migrate.

    After reading tons of info, I feel that migration assistant via firewire from a previous MBP is safe enough.... but I don't want to clutter my new MBP with unneeded files, and potentially slowing it down with accumulated crap from my current mac.

    So I'm gonna manually install each app, and transfer the documents via this method:

    For parallels I'm gonna install it and copy over the VM file.
  6. kenstee macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Major Hint.....

    Migration Assistant works fine with Firewire. But, here's a hint.

    Do the migration IMMEDIATELY when you get the first dialog box to do it after you power-up!!! If you hit "Do It Later" in my experience the migration will be tougher as you need to create some new user names which fouls things up.

    Also, what I always do with new computers is start it up the first time I power-up from the System DVD, (insert DVD and start-up while holding down the "C" key) open Disk Utilities from the Menu Bar and do an erase and a fresh system install - in fact, I do a custom install - so I just get what I want. In the past I have had some issues with the factory install. After you do this and restart do the Migration IMMEDIATELY when presented with the first dialog box.

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