Which is the best way to set up/migrate/copy from old iMac to new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by glrnet, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. glrnet macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2013

    I have read so many different ways to achieve this that I'm more than a tad confused. So heres is the scenario:-

    Currently I have a 2007 iMac running Lion OSX on a single 750gb hard drive, I have just taken possession of a 2011 27" iMac running Snow Leopard OSX, the new machine has two hard drives, 1 x 250gb SSD and 1 x 1TB standard hard drive.

    Ideally I would like to "shift" everything from the old machine to the new machine "as is". I guess my first task will be to do a clean install of the new machine with Lion OSX and go from there?

    My questions are:-

    Should I use setup on the new machine?
    Should I use Migration Assistant?
    Should I use something like Super Duper?

    My confusion obviously revolves around the fact that I have 2 hard drives now, the SSD will be used as the system and boot up drive.

    Any help or tips would be much appreciated.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago

    Last time I had to do this, and on the advice of my Apple guru, I actually used migration assistant over Thunderbolt....you aren't going to have that option, and it's going to take a very long time over wifi etc. I think Super Duper might well be the better bet here..or Carbon Cloner, which although now a paid for product gets great rep here and on other Mac boards.
  3. glrnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2013
    Thanks Macman, I also forgot to mention that I am running Windows 7 via Parallels
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I like using Migration Assistant but have used SuperDuper/Carbon Copy Cloner in the past as well. Both works fine.

    Yes, I would do a clean in stall on your 2011 iMac first.

    As long as all your stuff will fit on the SSD, there's nothing to be concerned about. Just point to it when asked to choose a target location.

    Is your Windows 7 install just a virtual machine or do you have it installed in a Bootcamp partition? If it is strictly just a virtual machine, there's nothing extra you need to do.
  5. glrnet thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2013
    Thanks pastrychef, unfortunately not all my stuff will fit onto the SSD, I am not using Bootcamp
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    When I made my transition to an SSD, I changed the location of my iTunes media folder and that freed up A LOT of room.

    I'm not very familiar with Parallels, but I believe you can change the location of your virtual machine.

    Try moving these two items and see if it clears up enough room for your system fit in the SSD properly.
  7. InTheMist macrumors member


    Jun 22, 2013
    I recently got two new macs to replace my old MacBook Pro, so it's still fresh in my mind. I used migration assistant using a TimeMachine backup.

    Worked like a charm, apps, data and all.
  8. mmomega macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I just did a copy/transfer this evening from a 2010 iMac HDD Lion to a 2012 iMac Fusion drive ML using a Time Machine USB and it went flawless.

    The older iMac had Win7 via Parallels 6, after the initial setup using Time Machine backup I was informed to update Parallels, after upgrading to Parallels 8 everything was working exactly the same yet much quicker overall. Very painless process.
    It took about 1-2hrs to create the initial 80GB Time Machine backup(I left for the Apple Store after starting the backup so I'm not sure exactly how long it took to backup) and a little less than 30 min to restore using a USB 2 external.
  9. Sped macrumors regular

    May 30, 2003
    You can also connect the new and old machines via Ethernet to speed up the transfer with Migration Assistant.
  10. james6000 macrumors member


    Jul 3, 2007
    So does migration assistant work the same as CCC/super duper? I understand it transfers apps, data and such, so will the new system mirror the old one or just contain the same data?

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