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Question about migrating macs
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Join Date: Jan 2005
2009-02-25, 10:36

I gave my sister my old iMac a while back. Once i get my tax return, I'm thinking of buying a new iMac, and upgrading my sister the the iMac I have now.

So here's the question:

I want to format the imac I have now, and reinstall the latest OSX and iLife on it. But, I also want my sister to be able to do that thing where she can migrate all her settings/files over firewire.

Not sure the best way to do this. Do I just reinstall OSX, and leave it at that point (without doing setup)? Then when I bring it to her house, have her finish up setup, and install iLife? (she has no internet, so she can't do any updates)

Or, can I do setup here, install iLife here, along with any updates, and then do the user migration afterwards? Is there an option for that?

I guess the thing I'm worried about, is that if she does the migration, which would happen before installing iLife, what happens to her old iLife stuff on the old iMac? Would it get transferred too?
Antimatter Man
Join Date: May 2004
Location: that interweb thing
2009-02-25, 10:52

Migration Assistant is pretty smart... and the Assistant part will walk you through most steps. Take a look at it first.

Old support page here

One caveat may be if your 'old iMac' is PPC. There are some apps that don't migrate to intel (you'll need to update to the Universal Binary).

Note also that newer iApps may rewrite the library format and thereafter not be usable with older software. iTunes and iPhoto, for example, update the old libraries to support new features. The data will survive, but if you're worried about reversing the upgrade path in the worst case, you should back up your data first.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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