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Question: Preferred SetUp Assistant Connection

I will be migrating the entire contents of the internal drive on my old MacBook Pro to a new iMac 27 using SetUp Assistant. Apple recommends using WiFi for the transfer. However, several other sources recommend using either Firewire or Ethernet. Since I will be transferring only about 500GB of data, speed is not of paramount importance to me. However, reliability is.


I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you so much.

MacBook Pro, OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)

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kitjv wrote:


OK, at the risk of sounding a bit pesky....one other method of migration I failed to inquire about previously -- ethernet. Compared to migrating via a USB external backup drive, how would connecting both Macs with a ethernet cable compare? Forgive me if I am beating this issue to death.

Ethernet does work for some, however I have found the most reliable method is using a USB connection from either your Time Machine or cloned backup EHD. I know it works, it's reliable which in the end is what you are after.

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Nov 12, 2017 11:40 AM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

New iMacs do not have FireWire ports. That leaves you with a Thunderbolt cable with a Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter from Apple. Assumes your old computer has a FW800 port.


The problem with Wi-Fi or Ethernet is one of both speed and reliability. Ethernet is more reliable but not like using Thunderbolt.

Nov 12, 2017 11:40 AM

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Nov 12, 2017 8:24 PM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

You have a Time Machine backup for your MacBook Pro, right...?


If you do, then simply use that to Migrate during Setup Assistant.

see > How to move your content to a new Mac - Apple Support


If you do not, then make a Time Machine backup and use it while setting up your new Mac.

see > How to use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac - Apple Support

Nov 12, 2017 8:24 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 11:01 AM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

There are T2-T3 adapters along with the T2-FW adapters, but I have no idea if using both will work. My suggestion is this: Format an external USB disk, copy the files you want to the USB disk. Move the disk to the new computer and restore your files from the USB disk. Your new computer should have USB 3 ports but if it doesn't there are simple adapters for USB 3.0 to USB-C. I bought mine from Amazon.

Nov 13, 2017 11:01 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 1:29 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Kappy: The incompatibility of using 2 adapters was a concern of mine also. Your suggestion of migrating the files from my old Mac to the new Mac makes sense. Since I already have a complete backup clone of my old Mac on a USB external drive, I assume that I can use StartUp Assistant on the new Mac to transfer everything EXCEPT the old OS from the old Mac. Am I correct? Thank you. And thank you for your patience.

Nov 13, 2017 1:29 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 3:04 PM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

Migration Assistant is only going to transfer the user account/Home folder, some third-party applications and support files. No system files. From the Setup Assistant, you can use MA with your existing backup. Be sure it is connected to your new computer.


One caveat with MA is that if the user account on the new computer is the same as on the old one, then MA will make the transfer but will force a new name on the imported account. For example, if your Home folder is "kitjv" then when imported you can either rename it or MA will rename it as "kitjv1." If you want the same name then do not use that name for the first new account made via the Setup Assistant.

Nov 13, 2017 3:04 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 3:30 PM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

kitjv wrote:


Excellent. I assume that if some 3rd-party apps & support files are not transferred, I can do so afterwards via Migration Assistant?


Thank you .....again!

All the third party apps should migrate, however prior to migrating ensure all are up-to-date. If you have VERY old legacy apps that were never designed for Intel based Macs they will not migrate.


On occasion some apps such as MS Office require a re-install or that you provide the security code that was provided by the vendor when you first installed the app. It is critical that you always keep these codes handy as you never know when they will be needed.


BTW, I still recommend using Time Machine. Much more simple, less expensive and frankly more reliable than having to go out an buy adapters!

Nov 13, 2017 3:30 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 4:10 PM in response to rkaufmann87 In response to rkaufmann87

Thank you for the clarification. I appreciate it.


Your point regarding Time Machine is well-taken. I have decided that using the adapters is both relatively expensive & questionable whether the 2 adapters will indeed work properly. Instead I have decided to connect the external backup volume (from the old Mac) to the USB-3 port on the new Mac. The transfer will be made via Carbon Copy Cloner.

Nov 13, 2017 4:10 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 4:35 PM in response to kitjv In response to kitjv

That is something MA does on its own - 3rd party apps and support files plus system preferences. BTW, I never recommend Time Machine especially with High Sierra where we are learning about some issues with APFS formatted drives. Time Machine drives must not be reformatted APFS. And, one should not try using Time Machine to backup an APFS formatted drive.

Nov 13, 2017 4:35 PM

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Question: Preferred SetUp Assistant Connection