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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

How do I transfer data from one OS X to another?


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Narpstar

 
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Hi guys,

I'm about to install a new hard drive in my iMac 7,1. I'm going to remove the one which is currently in it (which contains all of my important data) and replace it with a blank 2TB hard drive, then install Snow Leopard on it.

My question is, how do I get all the data from the original hard drive onto the new one? My external hard drive is full, so I can't back up OSX onto it with Time Machine. I do have an external hard drive case which I can put the original hard drive into. Can I just connect the original one to the iMac and somehow transfer all the data to the new one? Or can I connect the 2TB hard drive externally, partition it, back up my data with time machine on the first partition, then install the new HDD and install Snow Leopard on the second partition, then consolidate the partitions?

I want to keep all emails in Mail.app, all photos in iPhoto, etc.

Thanks for the help,
Narpstar
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McYukon

 
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Yes, you can.
#1 Install the new HD
#2 Install OS X on it.
#3 Put the old HD in the extra case so that when you boot the new HD and the Welcome to Mac OS X Screen comes you can choose to transfer your data from a external HD.
Should look something like this, but fullscreen.

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Narpstar

 
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Well that is fantastic news. So simple! And that will keep iPhoto, iTunes, apps, etc. organised?
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Buzzard2010

 
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It will place every single bit of information on your old HDD exactly as it is onto the new one. Great tool

- Simon


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Narpstar

 
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Certainly is! I switched to Mac a couple of months back and have constantly been pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and solidarity of its design.

Apple think of everything. They restrict you to their methods, but their methods are so well thought out and implemented, I'm actually happy with the restrictions.
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Buzzard2010

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narpstar View Post
Certainly is! I switched to Mac a couple of months back and have constantly been pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and solidarity of its design.

Apple think of everything. They restrict you to their methods, but their methods are so well thought out and implemented, I'm actually happy with the restrictions.
Very well said, and i'm glad your enjoying your mac it is good to have someone that realises that mac isn't windows so it won't be the same. Instead of saying things like "on Windows I could do such-and-such why can't I do it on OSX" it's nice that you have embraced the OS and are finding it good for what you need.
Like you say you do have some restrictions, but Apple has thought it out and the restrictions are there for a reason.

May you have many more months of Apple happiness.

And of course start a thread again if you ever need more advice.

HTH
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Narpstar

 
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Hmm... I've just performed the migration, and my apps have come across to my new HDD, however all my photos are no longer in iPhoto.

Any ideas?
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Buzzard2010

 
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Hold down "alt" when you open iPhoto, make sure your library is selected and that it hasn't created a new one.

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Narpstar

 
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Ah yes, there it is. Although it's pointing to my external HDD. Shouldn't that have transferred over with everything else? If I select the library on my external HDD, will it then transfer it to the new internal?
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Buzzard2010

 
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It would seem that something has gone wrong in the time machine restore, I suggest you delete the iPhoto Library and use Migration Assistant to get your photos back onto your internal HDD.

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Narpstar

 
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Hmm.. I didn't actually ever do a Time Machine backup. I just took the hard drive with OS X on it out of the iMac. It seems lots of things didn't transfer over... most of the Applications transferred without a problem (although my Steam games are not installed, even though Steam is). Settings carried over. The things which didn't were:

Libraries (iTunes, iPhoto, etc.), and documents and files which I had just stored in folders.
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McYukon

 
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Strange
You will need to move the missing stuff over manually. It's not to hard, I've done it myself.

Quote:
(1) All User Documents

From the old Macís home directory (your user folder, known as ~ in UNIX parlance), copy the contents of the Desktop, Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures and Sites folders (aka ~/Desktop, ~/Documents, etc.) Donít move the folders themselves, but rather copy all items from the old folders to the same respective folders on the new Mac.
Did your Safari Bookmarks and dock layout get transferred?

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rico567

 
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Don't count on Migration Assisant to do the job. I was trying to do a migration for a friend from an old to a new iMac, and couldn't get MA to work at all. In the end, updating OSX on the old machine only resulted in a completely unbootable system, and one that wouldn't boot from the Install Disk. Ended up using a brute force method, disassembling the old iMac, removing the HD, installing it in my old G5 tower, and moving the files that way. Not a smooth migration, by any means, but at least the individual has all their files, except for one folder out of many, in which the files have all been split into resource & data forks, with the resource forks neatly placed in a folder. Still can't figure that one out.....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narpstar View Post
Certainly is! I switched to Mac a couple of months back and have constantly been pleasantly surprised by the simplicity and solidarity of its design.

Apple think of everything. They restrict you to their methods, but their methods are so well thought out and implemented, I'm actually happy with the restrictions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
I wish folks that are always asking ("Mac or PC")...would read more of these threads!

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luxelliott

 
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Greetings! I am about to embark on a similar situation as the OP. I came to this forum to ask for assistance and saw this post. I felt that my question was close enough that I did not want to create a new topic. If you feel I should once reading my question, I will.

I am receiving a new Mac Pro tomorrow. I am currently using a Mac Pro and will be taking the harddrive out of this one and placing it in the new one. Since there is a fresh version of OS X on the new machine, I want to transfer all the apps etc. over to the new HD.

1. Will I have to register all the applications that required a serial number on the new machine assuming I transfer all the correct folders?

2. Reading that migration assistant might not do all of the work. Is there a resource that explains all of the folders required for a successful transfer?

Many thanks and I am not attempting to hijack this post. It is so similar.

Lux
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