1 Reply Latest reply: Mar 27, 2007 11:42 PM by Kappy
DanK Level 1 Level 1
I am interested in using Migration Assistant to transfer data to a new Mac. My question is: does Migration Assistant ask you what you want to transfer, and let you pick which specific items to transfer? I would like to transfer my important files, and a few account-type settings, but not all the junk I've collected over the last five years. Is this possible?

iMac G4 800MHz   Mac OS X (10.4.2)  
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10
    Here's some useful information:


    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 or G4 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 (does not work), TechTool Pro (pre-4.5.1 versions do not work), SuperDuper (newest release works), and Drive Genius (untested) may not work properly on Intel-Macs. The same caution may apply to the many "maintenance" utilities that have not yet been converted to universal binaries.

      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

      Because Migration Assistant isn't the ideal way to migrate from PowerPC to Intel Macs, using Target Disk Mode or copying the critical contents to CD and DVD or an external hard drive will work better when moving from PowerPC to Intel Macs.

      Basically the instructions you should follow are:

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

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

      3. Startup your old Mac in Target Disk Mode.

      4. 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.

      4. 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/com.apple.mail.plist (* This is a very important file which contains all email account settings and general mail preferences.)
      /Home/Library/Preferences/ copy any preferences needed for third-party applications

      /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 another forum user 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.

      It's not advisable to use Migration Assistant to transfer from a PPC Mac to an Intel Mac. You would be better off simply moving your data files per the suggestions in the above FAQ.

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