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Migration Assistant Fail

326 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 23, 2014 11:12 AM by CGiannetto RSS
robogobo Level 2 Level 2 (290 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 4, 2014 2:43 AM

Already posted to Apple's Feedback page, but thought I'd get it out here to vent.  Maybe someone has a miracle in their hat.


Apple's Migration/Setup Assistant is a complete failure.  I just bought my wife a new Macbook Pro, and tried for two days now to migrate her user account from her old Mac Mini to her brand new machine that she was very excited about.  I've tried several times and one or both machines keep disconnecting after the verification code is confirmed.  I tried over Ethernet, Wifi, connected directly and over a network, repaired permissions on both machines, zapped the PRAM, tried from Setup Assistant and tried Migration Assistant after creating a new Admin account, reinstalled the OS on both machines, even tried from the Time Machine backup and nothing.  crash crash crash.  They're both running the latest version of 10.9 Mavericks.


Console shows a variety of messages, but most consistently the threads causing the crash are:


Dispatch queue:

SM AutoLoader Server-requests


with reason:


attempted to determine server mode without evaluating


Unfortunately, this is typical of the experience I've had with Apple products lately.  They used to just work.  Now they just don't.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,005 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2014 4:15 AM (in response to robogobo)

    The fact that both are running 10.9 is certainly helpful, though if the one being migrated to is running an older version of 10.9 that could cause a problem too. 


    The Migration Assistent has a much greater chance of failure if there ever was a PowerPC Mac's data moved over, since it does not take account for the differences of PowerPC and Intel Macs.  Instead this tip is required for migrating:


  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,690 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2014 4:26 AM (in response to robogobo)

    Migration/Setup Assistant via ethernet network either works or it doesn't and all too often it doesn't without providing any useful clues as to why. WiFi is too slow for anything more than a small amount of data. If the new computer is a Mac Mini using FireWire target disk mode is the best solution but since all the other Macs don't have FireWire that means purchasing a Thunderbolt/FireWire dongle which may not be needed afterwards. That’s $30 wasted.


    For this reason I've been recommending that users use a USB external drive to back up the old computer and then use it with Setup Assistant to migrate to the new computer. As a brody mentioned, migrating from a PPC to Intel computer is somewhat more problematic. The solution there is to migrate only data or to prune the old computer of incompatible software first.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,540 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2014 10:25 AM (in response to robogobo)

    The warranty entitles you to complimentary phone support for the first 90 days of ownership.

    If you bought the product in the U.S. directly from Apple (not from a reseller), you have 14 days from the date of delivery in which to exchange or return it for a refund. In other countries, the return policy may be different. If you bought from a reseller, its return policy applies.

  • CGiannetto Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2014 4:01 PM (in response to robogobo)

    I agree completely and have run into the same exact problem trying to migrate from a mid 2010 MacBook Pro running Mavericks to a brand new rMBP.  I spent an entire weekend just trying to get Migration Assistant to "see" Setup Assistant on the new computer ... the target could see the source but the source just would not see the target.  I finally got it working by creating a completely separate private network between the two machines and directly connecting them via Ethernet cable.  Now I have the exact same crash reported here.  Setup Assistant starts to interrogate Migration Assistant and then Migration Assistant crashes and the old MBP ends up at the login screen again.  I've tried booting the old machine in safe mode but it still does the same thing.  I'm going to try target disk mode as soon as my thunderbolt-to-firewire adapter arrives.  Apple's definitely not making this move easy. 

  • Grant Lenahan Level 4 Level 4 (1,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2014 4:08 PM (in response to robogobo)

    I would either:


    1. call APple

    2. take it to a genius bar, or

    3. do it the old fashioned way - copy over your docs, pictrues etc and just re-enter other stuff. Its not that hard.


    One caveat - you need ot make the users/you/library visible.



  • CGiannetto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2014 4:59 PM (in response to Grant Lenahan)

    I could certainly do it manually but it would take more time than I currently have to devote to it.  This is a computer I use to help support the systems I'm responsible for at work and it just shouldn't take days  of fiddling to get it up and running.   I was able to get the migration to work properly going from Mountain Lion to Mavericks but had issues with the network configurations that were transferred over.  I have many specialized network configs set up for specific tasks around the office and for one reason or anther the migration appeared to swich ethernet for wifi settings and I didn't feel like going through all of them to re-enter the proper settings.  I thought that perhaps going from the same OS release might clear up these issues so I upgraded the 2010 MBP to Mavericks figuring that it would eliminate one change (common wisdom being to never make more than one change at the same time if you can avoid it).  Guess I was wrong ...

  • Grant Lenahan Level 4 Level 4 (1,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2014 8:44 PM (in response to CGiannetto)

    days?  On my worset nightmare it only took hours...


    OK, if your config is that complicated...


    So if its a huge deal, take the problem to Apple, you have a warranty.



  • CGiannetto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 23, 2014 11:12 AM (in response to CGiannetto)

    Just to follow up on my posts to this thread, I was able to get "migrated" using a Thunderbolt-to-Firewire cable, putting my old MBP in target disk mode.  Everything transferred over without issue, including all of my network settings (no confusion this time about built-in-Ethernet and WiFi).  The new machine (2.6GHz) sure is fast


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