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What are best practices for moving to a new Macbook?
April 8, 2011 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I have a few questions regarding upgrading from one Macbook to another and transferring data/settings.

I have a larger HD in my current Macbook than my new one will have, and I would like to continue to use my current HD in the new Macbook.

I have a bootable clone of my current HD on an external drive, and this backup was created using SuperDuper. I also have Time Machine backups on another external drive.

The old Macbook is a 2006 white 2GHZ Macbook running Snow Leopard. The new Macbook will most likely be a current generation 13" Macbook Pro.

I don't use Mail.app, but use Gmail instead.

Given those facts, what is the best way to get my stuff onto the new Macbook (when I get it) with the least amount of work?

Thanks, as always, for your help.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What I did, FWIW, is plug in my Time Machine disk from the old box into my new box when it gave me the option to do so when I first started it up, and waited for a couple of hours. It migrated everything apart from, strangely enough, the WLAN password.

In your specific case I would recommend swapping the HDs first, and seeing if it works. If it does, you're done. If not, reinstall the OS from scratch, then do the Time Machine thing. Worst case is if the new machine can't use the old disk at all; then you'll just have to swap the disks back, and you'll be stuck with the new smaller disk. Can't tell you what the chances of that are, though.

/sorry if the above doesn't include anything you didn't already know
posted by labberdasher at 12:12 PM on April 8, 2011


In your specific case I would recommend swapping the HDs first, and seeing if it works.

Agreed. I have (I think) the same 2 MacBooks and have swapped hard drives numerous times between them seamlessly. The hard drives are accessed differently in each machine (check online for instructions) but they are both very easy to remove and install.
posted by The Deej at 12:16 PM on April 8, 2011


I used Time Machine as well. However you can use Migration Assistant. See the article in MacLife
http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/10_things_do_your_new_mac
posted by PickeringPete at 12:20 PM on April 8, 2011


Just use Migration Assistant, which can either restore from TimeMachine, directly from your old computer over the network, or from your external clone. Save yourself the trouble of swapping hard disks. Migration assistant pretty much just works. My only complaint is that I wish it were faster. I think the only things I've had to redo are WiFi passwords and reinstall xcode.
posted by Good Brain at 12:48 PM on April 8, 2011


Save yourself the trouble of swapping hard disks.

4ster has to swap hard drives anyway:
"I have a larger HD in my current Macbook than my new one will have, and I would like to continue to use my current HD in the new Macbook."
posted by The Deej at 12:51 PM on April 8, 2011


You could probably get away with just swapping out the hard drives. You might want to reset the NVRAM and hold down option when you boot up the first time so you can boot with the ignore caches flag (-f). Could help, can't hurt.

Snow Leopard should recognize the new hardware all on its own, but if there are any issues, the most sure-fire glitch-free method would be to wipe the hard drive, reinstall Snow Leopard, and then use the migration assistant.
posted by patnasty at 1:19 PM on April 8, 2011


Nthing Migration Assistant. I'll offer to run it anyway when you boot up fresh from a new install anyway. MA is probably the best thing about MacOS that no one seems to know about.
posted by chairface at 2:51 PM on April 8, 2011


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