Transferring Old iMac Contents To New iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by RootBeerMan, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2016
    OK, I've read up on the migration assistant and it all seems relatively straightforward, but I will be transferring the apps and contents from a 2006 iMac (Lion) to a newer 2015 5K retina 27" iMac (OS unknown at this point). Any advice? Or help? I'm most concerned about getting my older data out of iTunes so I will be able to backup and nuke my iPhone (which got borked when I updated to iOS 10). Will these backups be able to go over to the new machine? I'd really like to have my old music libraries back on my iPhone.

    New machine is:
    27-inch iMac 3.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5 with Retina 5K display, 8GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion Drive
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you have an external drive large enough to backup the contents of your OLD internal drive on the OLD iMac?

    If so, here's what I'd suggest:

    - Get ahold of CarbonCopyCloner. It's FREE to download, and it's FREE to use for the first 30 days.

    - Use CCC to create a "cloned backup" of your OLD drive. CCC clones are mountable on the desktop, and all files are in "plain old finder format". The clone will look and operate EXACTLY as does the drive in the old iMac

    - When you get the NEW iMac, BEFORE you press the power-on button, connect the cloned backup drive.

    - Now press the power-on button and go through the initial setup procedure.

    - At the appropriate time, the setup assistant will ask if you with to transfer accounts, apps, settings and data from another computer or drive.

    - You want to "aim" it at the backup drive.

    - Setup Assistant will bring over your account(s), apps, data, and settings.
    BE AWARE that some older 3rd party applications probably won't run without updating. You'll just have to check each one to see what works and what doesn't.
    BE AWARE that iTunes will probably need to do some kind of an "update" on your old library.
    BE AWARE that if you used iPhoto before, that library will automatically open in Photos.
    HOWEVER, if you wish to keep using iPhoto, you can do it by locating iPhoto 9.6.1 and installing and using that instead.

    I don't use any iOS devices, and I have never used iCloud, so I can't say how synching will go with those areas.

    But I think you'll find that "migration" will go quite smoothly by doing so from a cloned backup drive.
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Is there any reason you can't or shouldn't do this via a time machine backup?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    I've never used TM -- probably never will.

    From reports posted by others I've read here, some have said that "migrating" from a TM backup can take somewhat longer than from a cloned backup.

    I will -guess- the reason is because a cloned backup has only ONE COPY of every file that was on the source drive, whereas a TM backup may have several, perhaps many.

    I will -guess- that when Setup Assistant does a migration via TM, that it must "sift through" the various versions on the backup, a "checking process" that must be repeated for every file to be migrated.

    I could be wrong.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Nope... a Time Machine backup works perfectly for this.
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Thanks. I opted to do clean installs and just copy/paste the folders where my data and other stuff were. Since my 2009 lagged so much, I didn't want to transfer any app junk that might have plagued my old system. I had accumulated a lot of apps that I never used more than once. My new system is going to be streamlined to only those I actually use.
  7. RootBeerMan thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2016
    Update: Well, I had a pretty successful transfer, all in all. Using migration assistant I tried the direct ethernet connection first and that was a bust. My old iMac was just too old and the OS wasn't compatible. Next up was trying to use my external HD and Time Machine backups. This worked perfectly. Took about an hour and a half or more, but it got the job done. Had a few bobbles with some apps, (Keynote, Pages and Numbers on the new machine disappeared) and had to spend a couple hours updating stuff but all in all it was pretty painless. Managed to get my borked iPhone 5s restored and working from my old backups that were transferred over. That was nice. Best of all I now have a newer model iMac that's blazing fast, has a huge screen and runs all the latest stuff. Now to see about getting a newer iPhone.

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