Question about moving data from Older imac to newer iMac

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imac intel Core 2 Duo
Hi all.
I currently have an early 2010 iMac running 10.6.8. It's been a good friend and while there's nothing really wrong with it , it's kind of slow and don't want to go through the hassle of upgrading to Yosemite on this machine that has only 4GB of RAM and is out of warrantee.

I am purchasing a one year old iMac from a friend and I know it's in good shape. 1TB hard drive and almost two years left on apple care. My last back up is over 8 months old so I need to do a new one before taking ownership of the new computer. I will retain my old iMac for at least a few weeks after I get the new one.

I have an external hard drive but it's not time machine compliant for some reason. On the old imac I have tons of photos, hours of family videos and downloaded and ripped videos, and various work documents, PPT, XLS, Word etc. I also have a 45 GB music library in Itunes.

I am wondering if I should just copy the entire hard drive to my external hard drive and really start from "scratch" with the new iMac. I am almost positive I don't have any virus or malware on the old mac but you never know. I could buy a time machine compliant external drive but when I restore to the new Imac will I be also dragging over any problems from the old iMac? And if I do the Time Machine Option how long will 500GB take to restore? And will the computer look just like my old one? Same folder structure ? And as for my old apps like iLife and older versions of certain other programs that may not be compatible with Yosemite..will those move over and not function?

Basically I am just thinking of starting fresh and doing things manually over a week or two as my current imac is kind of all over the place with files here and there. But if everything moves over as it was on the old machine I guess I could take my time and do the same thing.

Really appreciate any thoughts or advice.

Thank you!
Jackie
 
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2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
You don't even need to involve or bother using Time Machine to access your data on the external drive.

But when you setup the new iMac for your use, you might want to use your old Username and password when setting it up if it's not available to use with a Migration Assistant from the old external drive.

That will help keeping the permissions correct and easier access. ;)
 

Rod


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2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
PM-R is correct, for your purposes using Migration Assistant via Ethernet cable would be the fastest and easiest way to go. Apple instructions for this can be found here;
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204320
 
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2011 27" iMac, 1TB(partitioned) SSD, 20GB, OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan
Gee Rod, thanks for the credit, but I wasn't even thinking of or using Ethernet, but you're correct, it can be fast and useful. I was more concerned about the OP's concern about Time Machine, and it's not even required for the job at hand as far as I can see.

I haven't bothered or used TM for years as CCC does and suits all my backup needs.

PS: I had to laugh at myself a few weeks ago when youngest (adult) son was visiting with his newer MBPro and needed to do some OS X changing, so I got out my FW cables and he shook his head no - no FW ports. So I grabbed an Ethernet cable to do the data transfer, and again he shook his head no - his MBPro didn't even have an Ethernet port for Gods sake, and certainly no %$#@(*&# $40.00-$60.00 Ethernet adapter.

So much for "new and improved". :(
 

Rod


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2021 M1 MacBook Pro 14" macOS 14.4.1, Mid 2010MacBook 13" iPhone 13 Pro max, iPad 6, Apple Watch SE.
Gee Rod, thanks for the credit, but I wasn't even thinking of or using Ethernet, but you're correct, it can be fast and useful. I was more concerned about the OP's concern about Time Machine, and it's not even required for the job at hand as far as I can see.

I haven't bothered or used TM for years as CCC does and suits all my backup needs.

PS: I had to laugh at myself a few weeks ago when youngest (adult) son was visiting with his newer MBPro and needed to do some OS X changing, so I got out my FW cables and he shook his head no - no FW ports. So I grabbed an Ethernet cable to do the data transfer, and again he shook his head no - his MBPro didn't even have an Ethernet port for Gods sake, and certainly no %$#@(*&# $40.00-$60.00 Ethernet adapter.

So much for "new and improved". :(

pm-r I feel your pain. My son made the exact same purchase just a few months ago. Being a sound engineer and teacher he is more savvy than me but when he mentioned his new MBP didn't have even an ethernet connection I was flabbergasted. My first thought was how would someone setup a new modem/WiFi router? Most needed to be connected first by ethernet to use the supplied software disk to enter network settings, passwords etc. Or has that changed?:(
 

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