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Help with the best way to transfer files to a new imac

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Merrill, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Wondering if someone with imac experience can help me with the best way to transfer some of my files from an old iMac to a new iMac. I have looked on line and most of what I see says to use the Migration Assistant, I only want to move some of my information to my new iMac. Mostly info that is in files on my desk top, I know there is some much computer knowledge on this forum so any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Go buy a small USB powered external backup hard drive. You can get 2TB for about $100. Clone your hard drive using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper (I use both). You get a full bootable clone as a backup. You then can plug this into your new Mac and just copy files over as you choose. You should be doing regular backups of your full iMac drive anyways, so you get that security and ease of drag-and-drop to your new Mac.

    BTW, you probably know this, but the first 3 rules of computing are:

    backup
    backup
    backup

    The question is not if you will lose your hard drive/SSD, but when. I have no shortage of friends and colleagues who lost everything (kids movies and photos, documents, work, theses, etc).The desparate ones brought their drive to someplace like Drive Savers (well known NoCA company specializing in data recovery--all of the facilities including clean room). A 'peek-and-shreik' is like $500--full recovery if possible runs into the thousands.

    FWIW, I maintain 2 external back up drives, 1 in a safe (not really fireproof) in my house (which happens to have full fire sprinklers), and 1 in the frunk of my car. I clone weekly. In the past, when I have lost a HD, I shrug, go buy a replacement, clone it back, install the new drive into my Mac, and move on.

    ...off the soapbox.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    If you are only moving data, and not system information, just hook the two computers together with a crossover cable (about $5) and scp the files. Because you are not deleting anything on the old system, you can do it over if you miss something.

    This is the most risk free way I know of.
     
  4. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    Thank you, but can you explain in computer for dummies language how you scp the files.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    First make sure both Macs have Remote Login turned on (System Preferences, Sharing).
    The following is on the new computer:
    Create the directories that that you want to copy files into on the new system (you can do this in the finder).
    Then open a Terminal window.
    cd <directory you've created>
    scp<space>-l<space><username><space><IP of old computer or name of old computer>:<location of old files><space>.<enter>

    An example:
    mkdir test
    cd test
    scp 192.168.1.20:tmp/* . (Note the -l <user> is only required if the user names don't match on both computers)
    Password: <-- you will be prompted for your password.
    Here you will see a bunch of filename as they come across
    coin 100% 108 295.4KB/s 00:00
    dispatcher_stats 100% 33KB 31.5MB/s 00:00
    dvd2 100% 15KB 17.0MB/s 00:00
    email.errors 100% 2551 4.2MB/s 00:00
    gcore 100% 1258 2.7MB/s 00:00
    imap_files 100% 12KB 15.7MB/s 00:00
    inari.text 100% 61KB 47.1MB/s 00:00
    lg.warranty 100% 49 140.7KB/s 00:00
    mmp.restarts 100% 566 1.1MB/s 00:00
    out 100% 58 126.7KB/s 00:00
    url 100% 56 145.8KB/s 00:00

    The files are now on your new system.

    If you have lots of directories, and space on your old system, there are other ways. If both computers are connected though a local network, you won't need the crossover cable.
     
  6. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    jerry33--I am trying to keep it VERY simple for this OP/user. No need for Terminal or Target disk mode. Yes, a geek would probably follow this route. But I want to offer simple drag-and-drop of the OPs files which are apparently on the desktop. I am also encouraging 'safe computing' by offering a path to a full cloned backup disk.

    I assume that the OP does need any 'legacy' apps on the old iMac, and whatever comes with the new Mac is good for the OP.
     
  7. Nosken

    Nosken Member

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    You may want to bring all the files to the new iMac, and then just delete the ones you don't want. If you use migration assistant, it will bring your passwords, and other pertinent information.

    Yes, you can simply just put the files you want on the thumb drive, but, after the fact, you will probably find that you're missing things You want.

    Easiest way to do this, is buy an external hard drive, hook it up to your old Mac, and activate "Time Machine".
    Then, just simply plug it into the new iMac, and import the data using migration assistant. This is the easiest, not always the best, if you have legacy issues, but it just works. The hard drive does not have to be "Mac" compatible, since it will format the drive for time machine purposes. I do Macs for a living, and feel free to direct message you if I can help.
     
  8. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Target Disk Mode is pretty spiffy.
    Another good choice is to buy an external HD enclosure for the old iMac's HD. It becomes an archival storage and is easy to hook up to the new iMac to transfer over whatever you want. This is my preferred method when I buy a new 'puter.
     
  9. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Opening an iMac to extract the HD is a major PITA. The OP is looking for a simple solution.
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    #10 SageBrush, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
    If you are trying to preserve the screen without cracks. Just heat up the edges with a hair dryer and then the glass comes off without hassle.
     
  11. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    ..again, not to belabor the issue, if the OP is looking for an easy way to handle file transfer, recommending a service procedure (opening up an iMac, not the easiest 'user friendly' Mac to repair) that involves being careful to heat up the adhesive to avoid breaking the screen, then maybe you can go over and offer your technical services (...and a guarantee of your work). FWIW, I have been buying and using Macs (and Power Mac clones) since 1985 (...yeah, missed the first year) and have a fair amount of experience maintaining and repairing them. The OP just wants to move a few files to a new Mac. Lets keep it simple, folks. Nosken has offered expertise off-line....thanks.
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Then don't.
     
  13. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    I personally prefer the route of Migration Assistant, which should be used on the first boot of the new computer. If you don't want to do that.

    I'll restate the suggestion of getting the external hard drive as a good idea, especially if you don't already have an external hard drive to store a Time Machine backup of your Mac. Once you've transferred data across to the new iMac, you can reformat the drive and then use it as a Time Machine drive going forward.

    Two other options that don't require the purchase of hardware include:

    AirDrop: You didn't say how old your old iMac was, but if it's a 2009 or newer model that is running OS X Yosemite (10.10.x) or newer, you can use the AirDrop feature to transfer files between the computers if they are within 30' of each other. Apple has a brief document on using AirDrop at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203106.

    File Sharing: In addition to AirDrop on recent computers (and iOS devices), the other way to transfer files between OS X systems is with the File Sharing feature in OS X. Again, Apple has a document on using File Sharing located at https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204445. I would not have this feature active on any computer logged in on public Wi-Fi, but it's relatively safe to use on your home network. The biggest problem with security on File Sharing is that most people tend to have weak passwords for their local computer accounts.

    Our local Apple user group has a monthly "Fit-It" meeting (in addition to the regular meeting with software/hardware demos) where people can bring their computers and iOS devices for just this type of assistance. Unfortunately, there aren't many active user groups left.
     
  14. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Active Member

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    You need to use Migration Assistant. You can pick and choose what data you want to transfer to your new Mac. It was specifically designed to require no additional knowledge of things like scp, additional hardware, using a hair dryer, etc. Keep it simple.
     

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