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How do I transfer all info from one Mac to another?

272 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2012 5:52 PM by Kevin Neal RSS
TominTexas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 18, 2012 9:12 AM

A few months ago I bought a new MacBook Pro, and want to use my old one as a backup. How do I transfer all the info on the new one to the old one? Got a firewire, if that helps.  OS 10.8.2 on both.

 

Tom in Texas

MacBook Pro
  • Dessicator Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    When you say "transfer all the info on the new one to the old one", do you mean clone the new one to the old one?  Or do you just want to transfer your user files, settings, applications, etc.  If the latter, simply start the application "Migration Assistant" on your old computer (it may be in the Utilities folder).  It will lead you through it.  You may have to start the new computer in firewire target disk mode, I can't remember, but Migration Assistant will.

     

    If the former, there are a couple of ways to do it.  You can erase the old one and "restore" it from the new one using disk utility.  However, dedicated cloning apps may be better.  Some people like Carbon Copy Cloner, but I highly recommend SuperDuper!  It is a great little app and very well supported.  You would set it to "smart update" the old HDD from the new one.  The first time you should erase the old one beforehand, then it would copy everything.  Afterwards, when you run it, it will just copy and erase what is needed to make the old one a mirror/clone of the new one.

     

    However, keep in mind that cloning to the old one like this is just using it as an external hard drive.  You could boot the new computer from the old drive in an emergency, but I wouldn't expect the old computer would work.  It might, but there could be very hardware-specific files and settings in the system that are set for the new computer but not the old one.

     

    Jim

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    Dessicator wrote:

     

    When you say "transfer all the info on the new one to the old one", do you mean clone the new one to the old one?  Or do you just want to transfer your user files, settings, applications, etc.  If the latter, simply start the application "Migration Assistant" on your old computer (it may be in the Utilities folder).  It will lead you through it.  You may have to start the new computer in firewire target disk mode, I can't remember, but Migration Assistant will.

     

    If the former, there are a couple of ways to do it.  You can erase the old one and "restore" it from the new one using disk utility.  However, dedicated cloning apps may be better.  Some people like Carbon Copy Cloner, but I highly recommend SuperDuper!  It is a great little app and very well supported.  You would set it to "smart update" the old HDD from the new one.  The first time you should erase the old one beforehand,

    Are you sure about that, seems like that would erase the data that needs preservation?

  • Dessicator Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 18, 2012 12:42 PM (in response to Csound1)

    Well, problem is, his goal is not very clear.  But he did say he wants to transfer information from the new to the old computer, not the other way.  In thescenario you refer to, the assumption is he wants to clone the new computer to the old one, using the latter as a backup drive.  That implies there is nothing on the old computer he wants to keep (if there is, cloning is a bad idea).  But IF cloning is the goal, I would certainly erase the old one first to start fresh.  The cloning process would essentially do that anyway, but with more opportunity for screwups.

     

    TominTexas, I guess you should clarify what exactly you want to accomplish before doing anything.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    Yes, it's not clear, perhaps refer to 'source' and 'destination' drives.

  • Thebestplacehere Level 3 Level 3 (700 points)

    So you want to use your old mac as a HD for Time machine ?

    I mean use it as Time Capsule?

    When you say back up what mean/

    We all confuse with your question.

    You can connect mac to mac,i don't know if then you can use a mac with time machine or just need to open migration assistant in the utility folder and choose transfer data from mac to mac..

    Am i clear?

    MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,385 points)

    OK

     

    Buy an external drive to use with TM, simple, reliable, cheap. TM is not designed to work with a seperate computer as a substitute for a drive.

  • Kevin Neal Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)

    In theory you could partition your old Mac HD, one partition would be small, just big enough to boot the Mac, then you could share the second partition and user carbon copy cloner to regularly clone your current mac to the second partition on your old mac, then if you need to use your old mac just reboot holding ALT and select the second partition

  • Kevin Neal Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)

    Lots of ways you can do this, Migration Assistant over firewire (or ethernet) or Target disk mode to mount the old mac via firewire and use disk utility to make the inital full restore, then use CCC or super duper to make regular incremental backups to the old mac

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