I love my new MacBook Pro, running the new operating system, Mavericks! But when I started to migrate my files and applications from my old Mac laptop, which was running Mountain Lion, I made some really big mistakes. So, in the fine tradition of “Do as I say, not as I do”, here is the wrong way to do it and the right. I hope this helps make your migration seamless!
First of all, wrong way… Full of enthusiasm, I turned on my old laptop and my new one. Migration Assistant was easy to find on the new one, and I rashly decided that I didn’t need to connect the two with anything as old fashioned as a cable. I chose our home network and let ‘er rip… A timer with the amount of time required appeared on the screen… over 15 hours. Hmmm… Then, I noticed that my old laptop seemed inclined to go to sleep. Three hours later, we were still at about 15 hours on that countdown!
Now… right way. This requires a little work, but it’s easy and fast! If you have found this post because you’re stuck in the middle of a slow migration, don’t despair. You can stop it and start all over. That’s the good news!!! To stop it, press Command + Q on both computers. Now, you can jump right into the following instructions.
On your old computer, be sure your computer is plugged in and not on battery. Go to System Preferences in the Apple Menu. Click on Energy Saver. Select Power Adapter and then drag the Computer Sleep slider all the way to the right, to Never. That will keep your computer from taking a nap during the migration. Next, to be sure you don’t choose to use the network for your migration, click the Wi-Fi button in the Menu Bar and chose Turn Wi-Fi Off.
Now it’s time to connect the computers. If your old computer has a Thunderbolt port, connect the two computers to each other using a Thunderbolt cable. If your old computer doesn’t, use a firewire cable. You’ll quickly notice that your new laptop doesn’t have a firewire port… Don’t despair. Apple has already thought of that and you can buy a Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter, either on their website or at the Apple Store. There is also an Ethernet Adapter available, in case your old computer is really old… Or in case you prefer to use ethernet to connect to the internet when you travel. Once your computers are connected, you will need to restart the old computer in Target Disk Mode. You do that by restarting it while you hold down the T key. After that, it’s just a matter of following the instructions on your new computer. And waiting for the migration to complete. In my case, it took less than four hours. If you have trouble turning off the old computer and restarting it, after the migration is done, just hold down the power button for about 6 seconds.
Apple has detailed instructions on using Migration Assistant on its website here.
Finally, if you Google “Migration Assistant”, you will find lots of people who suggest not using it. Instead, they advocate manually moving and installing your data from one computer to another. Honestly, for the average computer user, Migration Assistant is a tremendous help! It saves time and is much easier. I’d use it.
Have you loaded Mavericks yet? Do you like it? Let me know what you think in the Comments.