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Question: Can't get my iMac and MacBook to see each other using Migration Asst.

I just replaced the hard drive in late 2011 MacBook Pro with a Seagate 1T SSHD. I have formatted the drive and installed Lion (10.7.5) off the internet. I have no saved info from my previous HD because it went belly up and I had no backup. I'm trying to transfer info from my iMac, which is using El Capitan (10.11.6) to my MacBook Pro. They are both signed in to the same wifi network, but they can't seem to find each other. I thought I might be able to transfer via firewire, but I'm not sure how to do that, either.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.5), newly formatted HD

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What you did was normal, so I cannot tell you where your files went. Did you transfer them from or to the MBP? The MBP's drive icon was on your iMac's Desktop. Did you simply drag the files to the drive's icon? If so then you will find them in the MBP's root directory. That is the directory where you find the Applications, Library, System, and Users folders.

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Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM in response to retiredhappy In response to retiredhappy

To transfer over your local network you need to enable File Sharing in Sharing preferences of the Source computer. This will allow the Target computer to access files on the Source.


To use FireWire both computers must have FireWire ports. The 2011 MBP has one. We have no way to know about the iMac since you provided no model information.


Also, see Target Disk Mode.

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Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Kappy, thanks for your help. I wanted to try your suggestions before I responded. Sorry it took so long. I found file sharing was already active on my iMac. It's a late 2009 21.5". Processor is a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Not sure what else I might need to give you. I turned on file sharing on my laptop and chose the same items that were chosen on my iMac. i.e:File sharing, Printer sharing & Remote Login. I've never used file sharing before so I don't know if those are the common/best things to select or not. Made sure both computers were using the same wifi network and went back to Migration Assistant. I had the laptop as the receiving computer and the iMac sending "To another Mac." The little clockwork looking wheel kept going round and round on both computers for at least 5 minutes before I 'quit' on both computers. So I followed your link to "Target Disk Mode." Followed the instructions and found my laptop hard disc sitting on my iMac desktop. My laptop screen only showed the Firewire logo floating around. I proceeded to copy apps, folders and documents that I thought I might want to my laptop hard drive. I know it was copying because some of the info took 20 to 30 minutes to copy. After I got most all that I wanted, I ejected my laptop HD from my iMac and then turned off my laptop. After disconnecting the firewire cable I started my laptop, signed in and I have no idea where all the items are that I copied onto my laptop. I can't find them anywhere. I had my laptop finder window open while it was sitting on my iMac desktop. And as I dragged an item to the HD it would appear in it's finder window. I guess I should have checked some of the folders that I copied to see what they showed before I ejected the HD.

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM in response to retiredhappy In response to retiredhappy

To transfer over your local network you need to enable File Sharing in Sharing preferences of the Source computer. This will allow the Target computer to access files on the Source.


To use FireWire both computers must have FireWire ports. The 2011 MBP has one. We have no way to know about the iMac since you provided no model information.


Also, see Target Disk Mode.

Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Kappy, thanks for your help. I wanted to try your suggestions before I responded. Sorry it took so long. I found file sharing was already active on my iMac. It's a late 2009 21.5". Processor is a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Not sure what else I might need to give you. I turned on file sharing on my laptop and chose the same items that were chosen on my iMac. i.e:File sharing, Printer sharing & Remote Login. I've never used file sharing before so I don't know if those are the common/best things to select or not. Made sure both computers were using the same wifi network and went back to Migration Assistant. I had the laptop as the receiving computer and the iMac sending "To another Mac." The little clockwork looking wheel kept going round and round on both computers for at least 5 minutes before I 'quit' on both computers. So I followed your link to "Target Disk Mode." Followed the instructions and found my laptop hard disc sitting on my iMac desktop. My laptop screen only showed the Firewire logo floating around. I proceeded to copy apps, folders and documents that I thought I might want to my laptop hard drive. I know it was copying because some of the info took 20 to 30 minutes to copy. After I got most all that I wanted, I ejected my laptop HD from my iMac and then turned off my laptop. After disconnecting the firewire cable I started my laptop, signed in and I have no idea where all the items are that I copied onto my laptop. I can't find them anywhere. I had my laptop finder window open while it was sitting on my iMac desktop. And as I dragged an item to the HD it would appear in it's finder window. I guess I should have checked some of the folders that I copied to see what they showed before I ejected the HD.

Nov 13, 2017 12:44 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Nov 13, 2017 10:47 AM in response to retiredhappy In response to retiredhappy

What you did was normal, so I cannot tell you where your files went. Did you transfer them from or to the MBP? The MBP's drive icon was on your iMac's Desktop. Did you simply drag the files to the drive's icon? If so then you will find them in the MBP's root directory. That is the directory where you find the Applications, Library, System, and Users folders.

Nov 13, 2017 10:47 AM

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Nov 13, 2017 11:20 AM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Yes, I drug them from the finder's window on my iMac and dropped them onto the MBP's icon on the desktop. I also had the MBP's finder window open, and when I dropped the file onto the icon I could see it appear in the finder's window. Couldn't find this 'root' directory, so I asked "how do I find it?" on my browser and found the keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+G, then type / and hit return. Lo and behold, there it all was. Just to see what happens, I've drug one of the smaller items and one folder to another location and they seem have copied over OK, but the original is still in the root directory. Can I now safely get rid of the item still in the root directory? I really appreciate all your help, Kappy!!

Nov 13, 2017 11:20 AM

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Question: Can't get my iMac and MacBook to see each other using Migration Asst.