Migrating old Mac to new Mac

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I have an old Mac running OS 10.3.9. I want to transfer the contents to a newer Mac using Migration Assistant. I have connected the 2 computers with a firewire cable. But when I reboot the old Mac holding down the T key, I do not get the Firewire symbol. Instead I get some dos like instructions telling me how to continue the reboot. When I follow the instructions, I get a normal reboot, not the firewire symbol. As a result I am not able to connect the two computers.

What have I done wrongly? Help will be much appreciated.
 
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Your Mac's Specs
2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs
Well first of all you don't use Target Disk Mode (what you are trying to do) when using Migration Assistant. If you want to use Migration Assistant then just connect the two computers and start up Migration Assistant in your Applications folder. Here is the instructions.

As to your Target Disk Mode problem I don't know why your old computer is not cooperating but for TDM to work all you need is one computer to cooperate. This means that if your new computer works when you hold down the T key then you can use your old computer to transfer files to your new. TDM is a two way street meaning it doesn't matter which computer is the target computer. Whichever computer is in command you can use it to transfer files to and from the other computer.
 
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I have found the problem. Migration Assistant only comes with OS 10.4. It is not with the OS on my old Mac, which is OS 10.3.9. So that method of transferring won't work. Is there any other way?
 
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Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
Your Mac's Specs
MacMini 14.3, 8.1 & 4.1, OS 13.5, 10.14, & 10.11 & 10.6; Macbook Pro 8.2, OS 10.12.
Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are two applications that might work for you. I've read mixed reviews of CCC, whereas SD seems to do the job effectively.

Have you considered networking your two computers? You'll need an ethernet hub (a.k.a. 'switch') in addition to your router, OR, a multi-port router.

Two other ways are:
1. remove the drive from your old Mac and connect it to the new one via a USB adaptor kit. Transfer will be slow however.
2. guessing that you don't really want to use the old drive in the new Mac, and you haven't specified what your two Macs are, there is still however the option of transferring the hardware, ie. just move the drive over.

Keep trying the Target mode meantime. It can be a bit of a lottery.
 

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