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Question: Migration Assistant from Mavericks to High Sierra

I am transferring to a new MBP from a mid-2015 MBP. The new machine is High Sierra (APFS) and the old one is Mavericks (journaled HFS+).


I wish to use Migration Assistant to transfer settings and personal files from the old machine to the new one (not the apps of course). I have connected the two machines with an ethernet cable, directly. WIFI is turned off on both machines although High Sierra seems to want to turn it on all the time. Mavericks is selected to provide a source in MA, and High Sierra is selected to obtain data from a machine running Mac OS.


When initialising MA, High Sierra sees the Mavericks machine and the machine is listed as an available source. However, Mavericks does not display the High Sierra machine and cannot see it. Mavericks continuously searches for another machine.


When I try to start the migration process, High Sierra complains that it cannot connect to Mavericks (so it does try).


Why will Mavericks not see High Sierra? Why will they not connect?


What is the solution/alternative?

MacBook Pro TouchBar and Touch ID, macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

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Nov 16, 2017 4:57 AM in response to LRDiscovery In response to LRDiscovery

I think you did everything right, and it would probably be a lot simpler if you were to try one of a couple workarounds, in the following order.



Why doesn't it work? Of course it should, but in the past I determined attempting to migrate content from Macs running macOS versions long out of date simply didn't work. Mavericks is pretty old by now, so perhaps that's the reason.

Nov 16, 2017 4:57 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 6:49 AM in response to Lanny In response to Lanny

At this point, being able to use Setup Assistant would be a do-over.


When you first powered up your new Mac, you were given the opportunity transfer your data and accounts from an existing Mac or volume. That is by using what is known as Setup Assistant. If you bypass that option, and continue to configure your new Mac, and make the mistake that many make by using your same user name, you will subsequently discover that you won’t be able to use Migration Assistant to migrate in a user with the same user name. That’s why using Setup Assistant would have been a better choice.


Of course the only way to use it now would be to erase the drive in your new Mac and start over again, but it could be done.


Or, you can continue with Migration Assistant, note the issue with using identical user names.


However, I still recommend that you upgrade your older or donor Mac to the highest level of macOS first. There have been numerous updates to the included OS applications, i.e., Mail, Safari, etc., and their related data file formats that would surely cause issues if migrated into an OS version 5 levels beyond.






And as pointed out, transferring data and applications from a Mac that has an out of date OS version creates a lot of unknown variables, mostly because there was no good reason for not keeping the older Mac upgraded. Any Mac that runs Mavericks can be upgraded to a minimum of El Capitan.

Nov 16, 2017 6:49 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 9:38 AM in response to John Galt In response to John Galt

Yup. Thanks. I am trying the Time Machine option too (just been doing a back up). I thought about cloning the disk if that offers little joy.


I did wonder if the number of versions was the issue. Plan C then, upgrade Mavericks.


Unfortunately, I can't start over because the image on the machine is corporate, meaning there are policies from JAMF, etc.

Nov 16, 2017 9:38 AM

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Question: Migration Assistant from Mavericks to High Sierra