1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2009 1:13 PM by P. Michael Hartman
P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
I have read numerous methods of transferring files though haven't had an opportunity to try any. My main issue is I want to move only certain files and applications, not the OS. The newer on has Leopard and I want to keep it, but iTunes, iPhoto, etc. I want from the other. Is this possible without the need to reinstall everything. Also, I do not have the Leopard installation disks. Will the latter find updates especially to the OS?

800 MHz PowerPC G4, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • 1. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,420 points)
    If you don't have the OS discs then apart from the legal issues of using unlicensed software, you are also living on the edge. Make sure you have regular backups and don't do anything to the computer in terms of updates or adding anything until you have backed up. If something gets corrupted you won't have the discs to use to repair the drive or re-install the OS.

    First, check [Mac OS X 10.5: Using Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac |http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3322]

    If you want to do this manually it can be messy.

    For some applications you can just copy the application itself. Maybe also the application's preferences files too. Others (e.g., Word, Adobe products) have more extensive installers which spread bits and pieces (fonts, preference, plugins, hidden files) all over the place. Those are easier to reinstall from your installer discs.

    Be careful about dragging whole folders of things such as preferences, plugins, whatever. A general preference folder will have items not compatible with the newer OS. Check version compatibility before you move an application. not everything works in Leopard (don't know the OS you are moving from). Again, back up before doing any of this.

    Leopard should find its updates unless something gets broken in the transferring bits and pieces process.
  • 2. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,145 points)
    Hi -

    Limnos has addressed some of the particulars.

    Taking a more general approach, if both machines are G4 desktop models, the simplest way to facilitate moving large quantities of files (documents or programs) would be to remove the internal hard from the old machine and place it as a second internal drive in the newer machine. This would allow files to be moved directly without the need for any intermediate medium and/or without using a relatively slow bus (optical drives, firewire, even ethernet are not as fast as the net transfer speed between two internal drives, particularly two on the same bus).
  • 3. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (45,790 points)
    You could also use a USB flash drive of sufficient size. Plug into older Mac, copy files & then plug into new Mac & copy from flash drive.

     Cheers, Tom

  • 4. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)
    While that may work (moving hard drives from one Mac to another), some applications, and sometimes some operating systems don't survive as a bootable operating system. Data files though generally survive, and as long as the newer machine can still run a compatible application, you can read those documents.
  • 5. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (38,420 points)
    The other thing is I believe the OP said he does not want to move the OS, just applications. Without installer discs he can't install over the existing OS if he were to simply move hard drives.
  • 6. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,145 points)
    I believe my suggestion referenced only facilitating the moving of files (documents and programs). I did not advocate installing an OS or anything else, nor using the old drive as a boot volume.
  • 7. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Very good! And I appreciate the input. The legal issue using Leopard on the new machine is of concern to me along with the software loaded such as Adobe CS, Final Cut, etc. Moving the hard drive is something I considered, but that doesn't place all my login, etc. on the boot drive with Leopard. Also, I would like to network between the two. When I first purchased the G4 I used it along with an older PowerPC for a couple years until it bit the dust. I simply am trying to improve my circumstances as best I can within my limited budget, though want to stay within the parameters of honesty and legality.
  • 8. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)
    If you have ever considered networking, I find that a very compelling solution. You did not get deluged with suggestions to do that because many posters are not willing to deal with the modest complexity for what is often seen as a one-off problem.

    Creating a Small Ethernet Network
  • 9. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Well, I still cannot seem to find a viable solution to this conundrum. I have tried using Migration Assistant with Firewire, but when I reboot the older G4 (OS 10.4.11) and hold the "T" key as instructed the machine simply shuts down! I disconnected all my peripherals to no avail. Ethernet only hangs forever searching for other computers!! (I am using a 4 port powered Netgear hub) I purchased a 600Gb external drive, but the older computer will not open it. It appears in Disk Utility, but I am not able to put anything on it as it does not appear on my desktop. The other with Leopard reads it just fine. This is all beginning to drive me bonkers! It's bad enough I have to fight with Windows machines all day at work, but then come home to an ongoing frustration!!! HELP!!!!! Sorry! Just venting! All assistance is, of course, greatly appreciated.
  • 10. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    a brody Level 9 Level 9 (63,265 points)
    Get a Firewire Parallel ATA hard drive case from http://www.macsales.com/

    Insert the G4s hard drive into that case, making sure the jumpers are
    set correctly for master/slave.

    Connect the case to the newer machine.

    Call http://www.macsales.com/ for support, if you have trouble getting that drive to work.

    Mind you, if target mode doesn't work, either the G4 is too old for it (it is PCI and not AGP), or the clock battery needs replacing.
  • 11. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)
    I purchased a 600Gb external drive, but the older computer will not open it. It appears in Disk Utility, but I am not able to put anything on it as it does not appear on my desktop.


    That suggests it may be formatted with a GUID (Windows and Intel_Mac-compatible) Partition scheme rather than the older (and backward-compatible) Macintosh partition scheme. Use Disk Utility to re-initailize or re-partition with Mac Partition scheme and HFS+ format will allow it to mount on the 10.4 Tiger PPC Mac.
  • 12. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Needless to say, I am more than appreciative of everyone's input. So, as for communicating between the old G4 and newer one I am stumped. It could be the hard drive, as suggested, is simply over the hill and the 2 will not recognize each other. Now the issue with the external drive has become even more frustrating. I connected to the newer Mac and used Disk Utility choosing the option it be readable by any Mac, but still the results are the same. When I plug it into the older I receive "This disk is unreadable…" and if I choose to format it I get an input/output error. I will say in days gone by connecting a couple Macs was as easy as using a splitter between two TV's! Looks like a whole bunch of physical drive swaps going on. On my older G4 I also have a 320Gb drive partitioned into 4. I will move it to the newer, copy content to the external, reinstall, and copy from my startup drive to that and drink a beer figuring out what to do next!!!! Good thing I keep one of my guitars beside me! I had to move my 3000 songs from my iTunes Library to one of the partitions just so I could upgrade my iPhone software, which is where this all began. Hitchcock couldn't dream this mess up in his finest moments. I'm laughing, believe me, and thanks again to all.
  • 13. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Let me ask another question. Does anyone think an Ethernet crossover cable could solve the problem I am experiencing? If I simply disconnected my cable modem and the powered hub I have been trying to use with no success and plugged the 2 computers together will they talk via Ethernet? What I don't want to do is risk my address being changed to something unreadable by my modem when I plug it back in. I did successfully have both computers on the Web at the same time briefly, but the address on the newer on changed to an invalid address and manually changing it doesn't work.
  • 14. Re: Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.
    P. Michael Hartman Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    You were correct regarding the external drive being formatted as GUID. I connected it to the newer Mac and set it to be read by all Macs, but still it didn't work. When I opened it again with Disk Utility it showed there were still 40 or so files on it though invisible. So, I now am trying the "Zero out" option to erase it and reformat it. The problem is the estimated time to finish this task increases exponentially and I'm not sure it's a good idea to continue. It has been running for over 12 hours now an it says there is approximately 12 days and 1 hour left. An hour ago it was 8 days. Looking at the task bar in Disk Utility I can only guess at this rate by the time it finishes it will be perhaps more than a year and maybe even two!!!
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