Transferring all my data from a Mini to an iMac

Jessica08

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Nov 2, 2015
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I will be getting an iMac to replace my 2010 Mac Mini. So since it’s been several years since I’ve had to update computers, what is the best and easiest way to transfer all my data/pictures/etc. to the new iMac? I have one of those western digital my passport drives that I upload to occasionally. Would this work or maybe I need to use the migration assistant? Not sure exactly how to use it but I can figure it out if it’s the easier method.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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The easiest would probably be connecting the Mac Mini and the iMac together and using the Migration Assistant. There are some various options to choose to connect the two, Wifi being the easiest but probably the slowest, ethernet via network or from computer to computer, or some other firewire800 to thunderbolt type adapter.

You could also clone the Mac Mini to your freshly formatted Passport Drive, and use the Migration Assistant.

Those would be the two easiest, but there are other options.
 

Jessica08

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Nov 2, 2015
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Thank you for the info. What is the cable I would need to do computer to computer if I go that route? And would it matter what operating system I’m running on the old computer or would I need to update that to match the one that comes on the new iMac?
 
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vertical smile

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What is the cable I would need to do computer to computer if I go that route?
The cheapest cable would probably also be the fastest easy option.

I am pretty sure that your 2010 Mac Mini has Gigabit Ethernet, So using a crossover Ethernet cable connected from the Mac Mini to the iMac should work.

These cables usually only cost a few dollars at Best Buy of Walmart.

Also, I don’t think the version of MacOS matters as long as the source Mac has the same or older OS.


I never have use a crossover cable with the migration assistant, but I think it would work.

Can anyone else confirm this?
[doublepost=1538486975][/doublepost]Although, I have used a normal Ethernet patch cable connecting both each computer to a router, and this does work with the migration assistant.

You could also just use WiFi, but it might take a long time.
[doublepost=1538487825][/doublepost]Looks like you can just use a normal Ethernet patch cable and connect between the two computers. No need for a crossover cable.

I just found this:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4101126

So, you might have an Ethernet patch cable laying around, it seems I always have many of them, as many devices include them for free.

Just use that, as that would be the fastest and easiest way.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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If you follow my instructions, I guarantee a 98% success rate or better.

1. You need an external drive, USB3, USB2, thunderbolt, anything.
2. You need CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (both are FREE to download and use for 30 days) -- doing it this way will "cost you nothing".
3. When the new iMac comes, take it out of the box and set it up, but DON'T press the power on button yet.
4. On the OLD Mini, connect the external drive, erase it to HFS+, and then do a CCC (or SD) "full clone" of the internal drive. This will be a record of the Mini's drive "exactly as it was" at the moment you "moved up" to the new iMac.
5. When done, power down the Mini, disconnect the drive and connect it to the NEW iMac.
6. Press the power-on button. Begin setup.
7. When setup assistant asks if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive, YES, you want to do this, so....
8. "Aim" setup assistant at the external cloned backup and give it a few moments to "digest everything".
9. Setup assistant will present you with a list of stuff to migrate (apps, accounts, settings, data).
10. Select those items you wish to bring over and "let 'er go". It will take a few minutes.
11. When done, you should be presented with a login screen (and a desktop) that looks just like it did on the old Mini.
12. Done.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,593
5,703
If you follow my instructions, I guarantee a 98% success rate or better.

1. You need an external drive, USB3, USB2, thunderbolt, anything.
2. You need CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (both are FREE to download and use for 30 days) -- doing it this way will "cost you nothing".
3. When the new iMac comes, take it out of the box and set it up, but DON'T press the power on button yet.
4. On the OLD Mini, connect the external drive, erase it to HFS+, and then do a CCC (or SD) "full clone" of the internal drive. This will be a record of the Mini's drive "exactly as it was" at the moment you "moved up" to the new iMac.
5. When done, power down the Mini, disconnect the drive and connect it to the NEW iMac.
6. Press the power-on button. Begin setup.
7. When setup assistant asks if you wish to migrate from another Mac or drive, YES, you want to do this, so....
8. "Aim" setup assistant at the external cloned backup and give it a few moments to "digest everything".
9. Setup assistant will present you with a list of stuff to migrate (apps, accounts, settings, data).
10. Select those items you wish to bring over and "let 'er go". It will take a few minutes.
11. When done, you should be presented with a login screen (and a desktop) that looks just like it did on the old Mini.
12. Done.
This will work, as I have used the migration assistant with cloned drives a few times before. This would be the way to go if it is inconvenient to have the two computers close enough together to link them with an Ethernet cable.

But, the OP was asking for the easiest way to migrate data. Downloading software, dealing with extra hardware, formatting drives, might make the task seem much more complicated than it needs to be.

If the OP can get the computers connected using an Ethernet cable, this would be faster, and easier than cloning the drive first. It would basically replace the first 6 steps with “connect the Macs with an Ethernet cable, and power them on”.
 
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