8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 22, 2010 11:19 PM by baltwo
qamera Level 1 Level 1
Hi. I have an old iMac (about 4 years old, with the clear/white lucite case) but running Leopard. Just bought a new iMac. Want to transfer everything over, including my Windows Partition. I have a Firewire 400-to-800 cord.

Using Migration Assistant, I cannot establish a connection with the old iMac. Specifically, holding down the "T" key does not seem to work. It just boots right up with the "Apple chord" sound.

I tried changing the boot settings on the old iMac so that it would start up in Target Disk Mode. It did so, but Migration Assistant on the new iMac could not recognize the old iMac even though the old iMac had the "firewire" logo floating around on the main screen.

I then hit "back" went to option #2, attaching an Ethernet cable to both computers and running Migration Assistant on both, inputing a specific code in the old iMac that was generated by MA on the new iMac. No connection was established and it timed out. I tried this three times.

Apparently there is an option to use the wireless connection, but that was grayed out.

I then booted up the new iMac and it connected fine to my wireless network (proving that the wireless connection works).

I then set the new iMac Start Disk to Target Disc mode and, with the Firewire cable still attached, rebooted so that the new iMac was a slave of the old iMac (proving that the firewire connection works fine).

I then copied one of the User folders from the old iMac to the new one. However, the User folder was not recognized as an Account in the new iMac. I'm sure I have to transfer over the user settings somewhere.


1) Why doesn't Migration Assistant work, if the connections all work fine?

2) If I cannot get Migration Assistant to work, what is the manual work-around? Clearly the firewire connection are fine and I can drag and copy files and folders. And - with the manual work-around, how do I transfer registrations of all the software that I have?

3) Finally, how do I migrate my Boot Camp installation over from the old iMac to the new one? I have already created an NTSF partition on the new iMac.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer these questions!

Mac OS X (10.6.4), MBP, iPhone, iPad, D700, tons of software
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    A Basic Guide for Migrating to Intel-Macs

    If you are migrating a PowerPC system (G3, G4, or G5) to an Intel-Mac be careful what you migrate. Keep in mind that some items that may get transferred will not work on Intel machines and may end up causing your computer's operating system to malfunction.

    Rosetta supports "software that runs on the PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor that are built for Mac OS X". This excludes the items that are not universal binaries or simply will not work in Rosetta:

    Classic Environment, and subsequently any Mac OS 9 or earlier applications
    Screensavers written for the PowerPC
    System Preference add-ons
    All Unsanity Haxies
    Browser and other plug-ins
    Contextual Menu Items
    Applications which specifically require the PowerPC G5
    Kernel extensions
    Java applications with JNI (PowerPC) libraries

    See also What Can Be Translated by Rosetta.

    In addition to the above you could also have problems with migrated cache files and/or cache files containing code that is incompatible.

    If you migrate a user folder that contains any of these items, you may find that your Intel-Mac is malfunctioning. It would be wise to take care when migrating your systems from a PowerPC platform to an Intel-Mac platform to assure that you do not migrate these incompatible items.

    If you have problems with applications not working, then completely uninstall said application and reinstall it from scratch. Take great care with Java applications and Java-based Peer-to-Peer applications. Many Java apps will not work on Intel-Macs as they are currently compiled. As of this time Limewire, Cabos, and Acquisition are available as universal binaries. Do not install browser plug-ins such as Flash or Shockwave from downloaded installers unless they are universal binaries. The version of OS X installed on your Intel-Mac comes with special compatible versions of Flash and Shockwave plug-ins for use with your browser.

    The same problem will exist for any hardware drivers such as mouse software unless the drivers have been compiled as universal binaries. For third-party mice the current choices are USB Overdrive or SteerMouse. Contact the developer or manufacturer of your third-party mouse software to find out when a universal binary version will be available.

    Also be careful with some backup utilities and third-party disk repair utilities. Disk Warrior 4.1, TechTool Pro 4.6.1, SuperDuper 2.5, and Drive Genius 2.0.2 work properly on Intel-Macs with Leopard. The same caution may apply to the many "maintenance" utilities that have not yet been converted to universal binaries. Leopard Cache Cleaner, Onyx, TinkerTool System, and Cocktail are now compatible with Leopard.

    Before migrating or installing software on your Intel-Mac check MacFixit's Rosetta Compatibility Index.

    Additional links that will be helpful to new Intel-Mac users:

    Intel In Macs
    Apple Guide to Universal Applications
    MacInTouch List of Compatible Universal Binaries
    MacInTouch List of Rosetta Compatible Applications
    MacUpdate List of Intel-Compatible Software
    Transferring data with Setup Assistant - Migration Assistant FAQ

    Because Migration Assistant isn't the ideal way to migrate from PowerPC to Intel Macs, using Target Disk Mode, copying the critical contents to CD and DVD, an external hard drive, or networking
    will work better when moving from PowerPC to Intel Macs. The initial section below discusses Target Disk Mode. It is then followed by a section which discusses networking with Macs that lack Firewire.

    If both computers support the use of Firewire then you can use the following instructions:

    1. Repair the hard drive and permissions using Disk Utility.

    2. Backup your data. This is vitally important in case you make a mistake or there's some other problem.

    3. Connect a Firewire cable between your old Mac and your new Intel Mac.

    4. Startup your old Mac in Target Disk Mode.

    5. Startup your new Mac for the first time, go through the setup and registration screens, but do NOT migrate data over. Get to your desktop on the new Mac without migrating any new data over.

    If you are not able to use a Firewire connection (for example you have a Late 2008 MacBook that only supports USB:)

    1. Set up a local home network: Creating a small Ethernet Network.

    2. If you have a MacBook Air or Late 2008 MacBook see the following:
    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- Migration Tips and Tricks;
    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- What to do if migration is unsuccessful;
    MacBook Air- Migration Tips and Tricks;
    MacBook Air- Remote Disc, Migration, or Remote Install Mac OS X and wireless 802.11n networks.

    Copy the following items from your old Mac to the new Mac:

    In your /Home/ folder: Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, and Sites folders.

    In your /Home/Library/ folder:

    /Home/Library/Application Support/AddressBook (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Application Support/iCal (copy the whole folder)

    Also in /Home/Library/Application Support (copy whatever else you need including folders for any third-party applications)

    /Home/Library/Keychains (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Mail (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Preferences/ (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/Calendars (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/iTunes (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/Safari (copy the whole folder)

    If you want cookies:

    /Home/Library/Application Support/WebFoundation/HTTPCookies.plist

    For Entourage users:

    Entourage is in /Home/Documents/Microsoft User Data
    Also in /Home/Library/Preferences/Microsoft

    Credit goes to Macjack for this information.

    If you need to transfer data for other applications please ask the vendor or ask in the Discussions where specific applications store their data.

    5. Once you have transferred what you need restart the new Mac and test to make sure the contents are there for each of the applications.

    Written by Kappy with additional contributions from a brody.
    Revised 1/6/2009
  • qamera Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks! This answers Question 1) but does not answer questions 2) and 3). Any suggestions?

    Regarding 2), I first need to copy of the Home Folders of each of my family members. I tried that yesterday but they were not recognized as Accounts. Do I have to first re-create those "accounts" on the new computer, then copy over the underlying folders and files?

    3) How to migrate over a Boot Camp installation? Can I just drag the contents over to the new NTFS partition?
  • dwb Level 7 Level 7
    Question 2- yes, create the new accounts. Then copy the contents of each old home directory into the new home directory.

    Migrating your BootCamp - there's a program called WinClone WinClone that can create a disk image of your BootCamp installation which you can then use to restore you BootCamp installation. It's general use is for creating a backup clone just as you would use SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner to create a clone of your Mac. However it can also be used to copy a Windows installation from one computer to answer - with some caveats. So it might not work for you.

    Step 1: set up BootCamp on the new computer,
    Step 2: use WinClone to back-up your BootCamp installation and copy the disk image to the new computer,
    Step 3: use WinClone to restore the WIndows setup onto the new computer
    Step 4: restart your computer in Windows - Windows will report an error and check the disk, this is expected. It will reboot a second time.
    Step 5: insert the Mac restore disk and install the Mac tools - these are specific for your computer and will install the drivers WIndows needs

    If it fails you can try repairing Windows using your original Windows disk and then perform step 5. If repairing Windows doesn't work then you'll have no choice but do it the hard way. I've done this successfully with several different systems but there's no guarantee it will work for you
  • qamera Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks. Any suggestions about transferring over my Mac software apps? Things like CS3, Office Mac, etc?
  • dwb Level 7 Level 7
    That's Migration Assistant's job. If you can't get it to work, the only safe thing is to reinstall each program manually.
  • stylr Level 3 Level 3
    What about if I am migrating from intel to intel? What is the best way? Migration Asst on first boot with the older mac in FireWire tdm? Or from a super duper clone of the drive? Or from a time machine backup? I am going from an MacBook pro to a mac mini both running 10.6.4
  • TheOn3LeftBehind Level 1 Level 1
    Migrant Assistant doesn't work for me at all. I was doing it wirelessly (I tried wired and it would knock me off the internet) and it kept failing over and over and over. I had to manually copy everything to my external HD and then move it over. It was really annoying, but then again I bet Migrant Assistant would've taken longer because it IS really slow.

    At the Apple store they said that Photoshop won't transfer over, so that will have to be done manually.
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9