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Moving files from an older G4 to a slightly faster one, etc.

3250 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2009 1:13 PM by P. Michael Hartman RSS
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P. Michael Hartman Calculating status...
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Sep 25, 2009 10:42 AM
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)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 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.
    G4 Quicksilver dual 800 MHz 2x120 GBHDs 1.5GBRAM dual-boot 10.4.11 9.2.2, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2 G3 beiges, IIci. iTunes 7.5
  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,125 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).
    G4/500; G4/733; various OS's, Mac OS 9.1.x, DSL, enet
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,245 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

     G4 1.25MHz MDD, G3 400 FW Pismo,, Mac OS X (10.5.6), OS 10.4.11/9.2.2, Canon LiDE30 Scanner, Canon i960 Printer, Belkin UPS
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,060 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.
    An Apple user since 1981, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,585 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.
    G4 Quicksilver dual 800 MHz 2x120 GBHDs 1.5GBRAM dual-boot 10.4.11 9.2.2, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 2 G3 beiges, IIci. iTunes 7.5
  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10 (101,125 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.
    G4/500; G4/733; various OS's, Mac OS 9.1.x, DSL, enet
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 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
    Beige G3,G3 B+W,G4/867,G4/dual 1.25 MDD, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, and 9.2, 10.4 and Server - LW IIg, LW 4/600, ATalk ImageWriter LQ
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,060 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.
    An Apple user since 1981, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 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.
    Beige G3,G3 B+W,G4/867,G4/dual 1.25 MDD, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier, and 9.2, 10.4 and Server - LW IIg, LW 4/600, ATalk ImageWriter LQ
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