Upgrading mac —*what to save and how to backup?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by eclipse, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. eclipse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    Hi all,
    It's been so long since we last bought a new mac and had to upgrade and transfer everything I'm wondering if there are any last minute tricks and tips to remember?

    Like... how to backup stickies, how to backup all my work emails... what else have I forgotten? I can't wait to get into it... but just nervous I'm going to "break" something. :eek:
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    you can transfer everything using Migration Assistant which you use in the setup for your new Mac. if both of your Macs have Firewire then you can use that. if they both or only one doesnt have Firewire you can use the network with an ethernet cable or via wifi.
  3. pit29 macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2006
    The Golden State
    Migration Assistent worked for me as well...

    If you want to do it manually, do a clean install, re-install all your programs, and then copy over your user folder. Emails, calendar, personal settings etc. are usually stored somewhere in ~/Library.

    Be sure you have a backup. In case you miss something, you can still use Migration Assistant.
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I used MA but only copied user profile and data, no software since it provided an opportunity to get rid of all the crap one accumulates over the years.
  5. 3rdfinger macrumors newbie


    May 9, 2008
    Migration Assistant sucks!

    I'd avoid Migration Assistant...

    Not only does it copy all your files you want, it copies a nest of system files you don't need.

    Although it will WORK, you're better off setting it up with a clean install.

    Would you put ALL your old junk in your new house? or only take the furniture you want to keep and buy new stuff?

    here's what i'd do:
    since it seems like you're buying a new computer you don't really have to "back up". You can transfer everything from your old computer to your new computer using target disc mode.

    Start up your new machine without migrating any data over... when it asks to transfer data, say you don't have any.

    after the machine is all booted up and ready to go.... turn on your old machine holding down the "T" button (target disc mode) then plug it into your new mac. in essence you're turing your old machine into a big expensive external HardDrive.

    then drag and drop all the contents WITHIN your old machines user folder to your new machines user folder. (ie: the contents of Music folder to the new empty music folder.)

    stickies are in a file called Stickys database 'your_user'>Library>StickiesDatabase

    if you're using Mail.app:
    2 files: 'your user'/library/Mail
    'your user/library/Preferences/com.apple.mail* (all files that start with that)

    'your user'/Documents/Microsoft User Data (whole folder)

    Safari bookmarks:
    'your user'/library/Safari/bookmarks.plist

    Firefox bookmarks:
    'your user'/library/Application Support/Firefox (whole folder)

    but the new machine. make an appointment at the genius bar
    take both your computers with you. and have them walk you through it. ;)

    Good Luck! :rolleyes:
  6. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    Thanks all.

    Wife upgraded G5 to Mac Pro no problem... we used the FANTASTIC migration assistant because she had just replaced her hard drive and so it was quite tidy really. (Old drive had a bad sector, machine was 5 years old after all).

    We set it off before bed, and by morning it was DONE! (She had spent DAYS fixing it after the bad sector incident.) She was over the moon, and said it worked like magic.

    However, once I received her G5 and was upgrading from my G4 — 9 years old now! — her G5 "went funky". I plugged it into the network, and SOMETHING didn't like the fact that her new Mac Pro and my old G5 had the same username and kapow! The date reset to the 1970's and nothing would work.

    So... I mucked around with 20 different things. Migration Assistant wouldn't even work (and I did NOT want to use that with a 9 year old G4's quirks and ugly bits and pieces everywhere...).... so after a whole day of mucking around, we did a system reformat. Then.... installing and transfering finally began.

    I also had a weird glitch with my email. I copied stuff across, but somehow my main business email was getting 2 emails, when I clicked on one and deleted it the 2nd one would go grey and every time I wanted to delete that the delete button switched to something called "undelete".

    I played with that for about half an hour and became increasingly anxious... sweat, heavy breathing (of the negative kind!) and finally thought "Stuff it! I'll DELETE THE ACCOUNT and just try again).

    The emails in my in tray weren't essential, so I did it and now I think it's all working.

    Hooray. I finally get to enjoy a G5 Power Pc dual core. (I'm only the assistant designer after all.... my wife is the guru, so she of course gets the machine with 8 brains). :)

    Oh, lastly... how do I make all the type across the whole system slightly larger? I've done "Show view options" etc, but that didn't fix how small the type is on MacRumours for instance.

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