10 Replies Latest reply: Oct 25, 2009 4:00 PM by mreed
bigstar62 Level 1 (0 points)
My wife is ready to get me a new 21.5 imac and I am wondering if the transfer of files from my emac G4 will be difficult. I currently have an EHD with a clone of my internal and the other part is 100 gigs of itunes. Also, will my photos be able to transfer over to the new imac if the ilife is 06?

  • rkaufmann87 Level 9 (55,228 points)
    It should be extremely easy. Use Migration assistant and you're all set. My recommendation is to migrate only data files not programs. For your applications check to see if they are supported on Intel machines and if possible get that update, if you have software that only runs on PPC then it will still work on the new iMac it will once Rosetta is installed. While you're waiting for the new machine do some housekeeping on the old machine to make sure all the data files are well organized to make things as simple as possible.


  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (32,908 points)
    For the actual transfer, you can use FireWire Target Disk Mode on the eMac


    and connect it to the new iMac using a FireWire cable. Or you can connect that external hard drive. Either way, you will need a FireWire 800 (9-pin) to FireWire 400 (6-pin) cable, because the new iMacs have only FireWire 800. For example.


    FireWire will be the fastest method.

    You can also do the transfer using File Sharing. A direct Ethernet wired connection between the two Macs will be faster than using wireless (assuming the eMac has AirPort). All you need to do is connect the two Macs, turn on System Preferences Sharing pane +File Sharing+ on the eMac (hopefully the eMac has at least Tiger). On the new iMac, open any Finder window. The eMac should be shown under SHARED in the sidebar. Select it and click on +Connect As+ to the right. Provide the user name and password for the user account on the eMac to mount the eMac's drive.
  • mreed Level 2 (395 points)
    bigstar - I'm just going to offer this suggestion based on my personal experience. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT MIGRATE EVERYTHING FROM G5 TO INTEL MACS. Sorry about the caps, I just wanted to emphasize the point.
    There's a difference in the architecture that will cause problems on the Intel Mac. I suggest manually migrating only your personal files (documents, music, photos, mail ) after reinstalling all your software. Really, do clean installations of all your apps.
    You will have to reset your preferences everywhere.
    I had used a Time Machine backup to migrate from G5 iMac to Intel iMac and had nothing but problems. After discussion with Applecare, I actually erased HD and reinstalled OS from install disks and then all apps. Then manually moved everything from TM backup for 4 users.
    It was not pleasant or pretty but it did solve the issues I was having.
    All of this being said, there will still be permissions issues which was resolved by getting a Senior Tech at Applecare ( this is second level tech support )to help me run a series of commands in Terminal.
    Apple used to transfer data free with new purchase. Just found out they now rope you into One to One program for $100 and then will transfer data.
  • mreed Level 2 (395 points)
    Meant to say your G4 to Intel Mac. It still applies though because the G4 and G5 are Power PC chips.
  • Chris Habig Level 4 (2,225 points)
    He can also use the Migration Assistant over an ethernet cable, instead of using File Sharing. The Migration Assistant will bring everything over without having to manually drag and drop.
  • bigstar62 Level 1 (0 points)
    The emac does not have Airport, I use the ethernet. I may just use my backup data discs and just rebuild my itunes library as I do not have many docs or photos.
  • Bob Jackins Level 4 (1,995 points)
    +"My wife is ready to get me a new 21.5 imac"+

    I have a question for you, how did you swing this!!!!! I have never found this answer in these forums. lol
  • bigstar62 Level 1 (0 points)
    Birthday gift but I am having second thoughts being that my G4 emac has been a great computer.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 (32,908 points)
    Migration Assistant uses File Sharing or FireWire Target Disk Mode or a directly connected disk. I was just pointing out the transfer connections that are possible. It's up to the user to decide on using Migration Assistant, or moving files manually.

    For the iTunes transfer, if you don't want to "rebuild the library" and lose all of your playlists, play counts, ratings, etc., here's how you may be able to do it.

    I believe you described having 100GB of iTunes files on an external drive. On the eMac (with iTunes not running), copy your iTunes folder, which is usually at

    <user home folder>/Music/iTunes/

    from the internal drive to that external drive. This folder contains your +iTunes Library+ file and all the other supporting files, except in your case you previously moved your +iTunes Music+ folder to the external drive. So the iTunes folder itself should be fairly small.

    Disconnect that drive from the eMac and connect it to the new iMac. Copy that iTunes folder (but not the 100GB of media files) from the external drive to the iMac. There will be an existing iTunes folder on the iMac. Assuming you have not added any new stuff to the iMac's iTunes library that is not already in your eMac's iTunes library, replace the iMac's iTunes folder with the one from the eMac. You can delete the existing folder or just rename it something else. Because that same external drive with the iTunes media files is connected, when you run iTunes, it should now look the way it did on the eMac. Try playing a few songs to make sure.

    To get the 100GB of iTunes media files copied to the iMac without losing all the playlists and other song/video related data, use the +Organize Library+ command. First go to iTunes Preferences Advanced tab. For the +iTunes Media folder location+, click the Reset button to set it to the default location (you can use a different location if desired). Below that, make sure the checkbox for +Keep iTunes Media folder organized+ is checked.

    Then +File -> Library -> Organize Library+, and use the option to +Consolidate Files+. This will copy over all of your iTunes media files from the external drive, while updating your iTunes library with the new locations of all the media files (songs, video, etc.). Therefore, your playlists and other related data will remain valid. Disconnect the external drive and play a few songs to make sure.

    Keep your backup on that external drive for a while, until you are comfortable that everything is working properly and everything was copied over. And if the above does not work properly for some reason, you can always start with a fresh iTunes library and add everything manually.
  • mreed Level 2 (395 points)
    No second thoughts once you see just how fast this system is. Helped a friend buy her 27" iMac today. It's really incredible.