Used Mac - Do I need to Re-Install OSX?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mr. Monsieur, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Mr. Monsieur macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004

    I just purchased a used iMac on eBay and I'm planning to clone my current hard drive (MBP) using CCCloner and then transfer it to the new (used) iMac.

    When I first turned the iMac on it walked me through the steps for setting up a brand new mac, so as far as I can tell, it came with a fresh installation of High Sierra.

    I'm wondering, though, if I need to do anything else to make sure that the iMac didn't come with spyware (or whatever) on it? Will it be enough to simply clone my MBP onto the iMac?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    You should be fine going through the clone transfer with CCC.
  3. Fishrrman, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Did you already set up a "new account" on the iMac? That could be a mistake.
    Be aware that you could start having problems if you try to "migrate" from the old MacBook.

    I'll provide you with a way to correct this, if you care to follow my instructions.
    I suggest you print this reply out, and "check steps off" as you follow along.

    First, DO use CCC to clone the contents of the MacBook to an external drive.
    But DON'T connect it to the new iMac, not yet.

    Assuming you've already created a new account on the iMac, do this:
    1. In your new account, go to the Users & Groups pref pane in System Preferences.
    2. Click the lock icon and enter your password.
    3. Now, click the "+" sign (above the lock icon). It will prompt you to create a new account (yes, you want to do this)
    4. Give the new account administrative privileges.
    5. Name it "temp502" and make the password "temp502" so you can remember it.
    6. Create the new temp502 account.
    7. Now, LOG OUT of your existing account, and LOG INTO your temp502 account.
    8. Now, again click the lock icon and enter your password
    9. Next, you want to click ONE TIME on the first new account you created (the one other than the temp502 account) to select it.
    10. Now, click the "-" sign (above the lock icon) to DELETE the other (first) account. Again, YES, you want to do this (I'll explain why later)
    11. You want to remove the account entirely (DON'T "archive" it).
    12. When done, the only account on the new Mac will be the temp502 account.

    Now, you're ready to connect the CCC cloned backup drive. Do this.
    Next, open Migration Assistant (all other apps will quit).
    It will ask for a password, use the "temp502" password.

    Now, "aim" Migration Assistant at the new iMac.
    Select what you want to "bring over" (I would select everything).
    Then, let MA "do its thing".
    This will take a while.

    When done, you should be presented with a login screen and you can log into your account with your "old" password (the one you were using previously on the MacBook).
    Everything should now look "as it did before", except you'll be on the new iMac.

    WHY you needed to create the temp502 account above:
    Accounts on the Mac have their own "ID numbers", that are normally hidden from the user.
    The "first account created" will always have the ID "501", and be the primary account.

    BUT... if you booted up the iMac and created a new account, and it became the 501 account, when you tried to migrate data from the MacBook, it would "come over" with a DIFFERENT account number (502, etc). Things wouldn't be right. You could start having "permissions problems".

    SO...You needed to create a TEMPORARY "temp502" account first.
    Now, you can log into the temp502 account and then DELETE the first, "501" account.
    Now, when you migrate, the migrated account will "fall into" the 501 slot, and things will be as they should.
    All your stuff will be there, no permissions problems.

    Got it...?

    After all this is done, you can delete the "temp502" account if you wish.
  4. Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Fishrrman...this is awesome...thank you so much! I will work on it and will get back to you once completed! question: After setting up the initial user account, I actually went ahead and wiped the hard drive and reinstalled OSX...and then created a new user account(!) -> Since I wiped the hard drive, I'm guessing that this will not change your directions? (That is, I'll still call the new account "temp502"?)

  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    If it's a clean copy of OS X, I don't see any problems.

    The idea of creating the temp502 account is so that you can REMOVE a mistakenly-created "501" account, then use migration assistant to bring "your old stuff" over.

    Doing that should bring it over as the "501" account.
    Job done.
  6. Mr. Monsieur, Mar 26, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018

    Mr. Monsieur thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Sooooo...there's an unexpected wrinkle to the story(!) I brought my old MBP (from which I was planning to clone the HDD) to the Mac Store, as it has been turning itself off regularly. I was told that it was kernel panics and that the likely culprit was: 1) a software corruption, and 2) not enough RAM. If the former is correct (and I'm guessing they're right...I've been cloning the HDD for the past nearly 10 years(!), then I shouldn't clone the HDD, but use the Mac Migration tool to move stuff over.

    This brings me back to my original question: should I completely scrub the computer and reinstall, or should reinstalling OSX be sufficient? THANKS again!

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