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  1. #1

    izmc79's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 06, 2007
    Posts
    17
    Question transfer data from old iMac to new iMac
    Hello,

    (Sorry - not sure if this post should be here or in "other hardware" - it's about iMacs, but also about data cables... Please forgive me if I've got it wrong)

    So, I have an old PowerPC G4 iMac which is no longer connected to the internet (this is at work) and I need to transfer data (music, photos and movie files mainly) over to my new Intel Core i5 iMac (27 inch, so lovely!).

    My old backup files won't transfer because the programme only works on PowerPC (who knew?!)

    My old Firewire cable doesn't fit into the new machine.

    What can I do? USB? Ethernet Cable?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    EDIT: should also say that the old PowerPC is not in great shape - runs slow incrementally and freezes eventually until switched off.
    MacBook 13" Aluminium, OSX 10.5.6

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,850
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Hi and welcome to the Mac Forums. You're in the right place....

    You can do a data transfer with either USB or ethernet. And, perhaps even faster by firewire but you will need the correct adapter first for the FW cable.

    Attach the two machines via whatever method works best and then turn on sharing. You may even be able to use the Migration Assistant on the new iMac. Worse comes to worse, you can always use an external USB hard drive to copy and transfer data.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Aug 25, 2011
    Posts
    49
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro 13 inch 2011 8GB RAM 750GB Hard Drive and Mac Pro (Early 2009)16GB RAM 2TB x4 Hard Drive
    Yes there're several methods but I recommend 2 easy methods without using any tools

    Connect 2 machines via Ethernet and run Migration Assistant on new iMac

    or

    Use your old iMac as Target disk mode (Hold 'T' while turning your old iMac on) and connect to new iMac via firewire (FW400 -> FW800) and use Migration Assistant on new iMac

    I think Ethernet cable is easier and cheaper to buy but Firewire is faster because I think old iMac doesn't have Gigabit Ethernet.

    Your old iMac's not in great shape? You can do it hard way by take out the Hard drive from your old iMac and connect old hard drive to new iMac via USB (Serial ATA/IDE to USB adaptor is required)

  4. #4

    Nikonshooter's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 02, 2009
    Location
    DUBLIN, iRELAND
    Posts
    239
    I'm about to do the same, have my Macbook and going to buy a 27inch iMac. I currently have movies from iMovie taken off my machine and on an external hard drive, when I import them into the new machine the new machine should authorize it as I am using the same sign in for my iTunes account right?
    27' iMac i5 2.7 10.7.1  1TB HD  16GB DDR3 - AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB - Magic Trackpad * White iPhone 4s 16GB  iPad 2 64GB  iPod Nano 1st Generation  iPod Nano 6th Generation  iPod Touch 1st Generation  MacBook Unibody 1st Generation 

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2009
    Posts
    184
    Specs:
    iMAc 1.8GHz PowerPC G5, 2GB, 10.5.8
    If your machine runs poorly, yank out the drive into this StarTech case
    Amazon.com: StarTech.com 3.5-Inch USB FireWire SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure SAT3510U2F (Silver): Electronics
    USB +FireWire to boot.

    But really, just connect your external backup drive to the new machine. You DO have one, don't you??????????????????????

  6. #6

    Nikonshooter's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 02, 2009
    Location
    DUBLIN, iRELAND
    Posts
    239
    Yes, but I do not want to transfer everything over...
    27' iMac i5 2.7 10.7.1  1TB HD  16GB DDR3 - AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB - Magic Trackpad * White iPhone 4s 16GB  iPad 2 64GB  iPod Nano 1st Generation  iPod Nano 6th Generation  iPod Touch 1st Generation  MacBook Unibody 1st Generation 

  7. #7

    izmc79's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 06, 2007
    Posts
    17
    Thanks
    Thanks so much for your replies.

    I think I will use Ethernet as I already have the cable (good to know you can buy a Firewire cable that goes from the old port to the new port - but why didn't they just keep it the same so I can use the old cable???!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Head_Unit View Post
    If your machine runs poorly, yank out the drive into this StarTech case
    Amazon.com: StarTech.com 3.5-Inch USB FireWire SATA External Hard Drive Enclosure SAT3510U2F (Silver): Electronics
    USB +FireWire to boot.

    But really, just connect your external backup drive to the new machine. You DO have one, don't you??????????????????????
    Yes I do have an external backup drive but the new mac cannot read the old PowerPC backup data, grrrr!
    MacBook 13" Aluminium, OSX 10.5.6

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2012
    Posts
    1
    FireWire cable recommendation
    I have recently purchased a 27" imac and had an abysmal experience trying to use Time Machine to transfer all my data from my old 21.5" imac - permission issues all over the place. Soooo, I am getting ready to wipe the new hard drive and begin anew. I used a FireWire several years ago to transfer all my data from an old emac to a newer G5 and it worked beautifully so I'm inclined to use this method again. My question is this, is an adapter for the 800 to 400 going to do the trick or should I purchase an 800 to 400 FireWire cable? And if cable is the answer, can anyone suggest a brand? Thanks so much for any guidance. I'm a work-from-home designer and this is NOT my forte!

  9. #9

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    6,881
    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    An adapter will work. Why are the ports different? Because the bus is different. The reason it works is FW800 is backwards compatible to FW400.


    I've done it in every method mentioned in this thread, a eth cable DIRECTLY connected between the two is just about as fast as FW800 (assuming gigE connections on both sides).

    Nikonshooter, what don't you want to transfer?
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

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