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How to Migrate Data from Old Mac system to OS X Lion

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Old 15-05-2012
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Join Date: May 2011
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How to Migrate Data from Old Mac system to OS X Lion
  

There are times when you have to shift to a new operating system version from old. It happens when there are sudden updates available or when you try to change your operating system. At that time what matters the most is your settings and data. Data can be backup on a usb or cd/dvd but what about your system settings. Your internet preferences, your bookmarks, history, and other important settings done on different applications. I usually store my password in Safari and it is becomes easier for me to login instantly. But if I shift to new version or change my operating system, it becomes a pain to keep a track of all and record them one by one. There are chances of password leak if the file is distributed wrongly from my system. Another thing I cannot rely online service to keep a track of my password like Firefox Sync. So that most you can rely on are your web browser settings.

They store website history and passwords. This are locked behind your user account and no one can access that unless you allow any to use your laptop. Now if you plan to upgrade your operating system you must know that the new upgrade might wipe out everything. There will be nothing left. At that time with easy migration steps you can get all your system preference back with some click. These tips are based on migration your system content from old to new pc. So that you does not require to being all from scratch. The tools that are used for this is Time Machine, a Clone tool like CarbonCopy or Super Duper, etc. Also if you have purchased a new Mac OS X Lion system and want your old systems preferences in this you can follow the steps mentioned in this article.

I will provide you manual methods which are done by inbuilt utilities of OS X and with third party tools. You can go for any one of those options which is easier. Below are some of the best tools that can be used for Mac system migration.

Time Machine: First, Mac system provides you a powerful backup tool called as Time Machine. This software helps you to take backup of your system. Time Machine provides you more options in comparison to regular backup software. With this tool you can plan regular, incremental or scheduled backup. You can customize the choices of backup you want. With the help of this single tool you can copy several things. This software not only restores files, but also applications. Other than this if you have a large backup you can choose the file which you would like to restore. Time Machine stores data on the basis of date and time. So the files are archived in your local system. You can copy that to any place you want. Or leave it on Time Machine to overwrite that file to get the latest data.

Carbon Copy Cloner: This is another nice tool which can use in place of Time Machine if you need some additional features. It can run an automated backup process. This is a fast and easy option for backup solution and even for migrate support. You can generate a bootable back disk from this tool. With that you can restore your entire operating system on your existing system in case of failure. You can also create a bootable volume inside your existing hard drive. It is a very light weight tool and can be used easily by anyone. It includes Time Machine feature of schedule backup.

SuperDuper: This can be choice for those who do not want to use Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner. The latest version of this tool is compatible with Mac OS X Lion. This is one of the most trusted backup tools for Mac operating system. You can run a schedule backup or simply transfer files between two operating system. It has a very simple interface to work on.

Using Migration Assistant

Mac Setup Assistance helps you to fix your Mac on first setup. Then you can use Migration Assistant later to restore your files. It is much better if you have a clone of your older system. The restoration process here becomes more faster. Anyhow if you are directly upgrading your operating system from older to new version then you have an option to keep your existing settings. You can check that and then move on. One the other hand Time Machine backups help you to restore files one by one manually. Turn on your Mac system and run Migration Assistant. This is an app. You can then choose the category of things, which you want to restore. You will need to setup that properly. Anyhow the issue that most people face is related to file permission. So if you are having multiple user accounts in your Mac try to be in the admin or the account which as full rights. Below are some tips to use the same on OS X Lion.
  • Go in Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant. Enter your admin password.
  • Choose the first Option from another Mac, PC, Time Machine, etc. If the system is on same network you can choose another option To > to install or move the files to another existing system.
  • Click on Next. If you had selected the first option then the assistant will ask you for the file and if second it scans for the system o the network.
  • One found choose the option which you want to restore. Like User Accounts, Applications, Settings, etc. Click on Continue. You can also edit the existing account in system. Click on Continue.
The above is the basic method that can be used with any mac system. Below I am providing you some more methods which can make Migration easier. Like for example you can migration files in Mac system via wifi and firewire.

Using Migration Assistant on Wi-Fi Network

It is possible to migrate your system content via wifi. This is one of the best methods to get your existing files on a new mac system without need of a network configuration or cable connection. The important part here is paring the systems together so the data can be exchange. If paring fails then method cannot be used.
  • Try to run the migration on updated version of Mac OS X. You will need to bring both the system on a wifi network. It is important that both the system can be seen on the network.
  • Run Migration Assistant from Applications > Utilities. Enter your admin information and click on OK.
  • Choose the first option From another Mac > Continue > Use Network.
  • Again now on the mac system on which the files are stored run Migration Assistant. Follow the above two step.
  • You will need to the enter the pass code shown in source system in the targeted system.
  • Once done run the Migration. Choose the items you want to Migrate and then click next. Your system files will be stored within some time depends on the size of file you have.
Using Migration Assistant on Firewire

FireWire is a faster way when you can simply connect two mac systems and transfer files among them.
  • Connect both the systems with Firewire. Then reboot the Mac system from which you need the files and Keep holding the T key.
  • On the new Mac system go in Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant. Provide your admin password and click on OK.
  • When done choose option From another Mac and hit continue. Now choose the option Use Firewire.
  • The app will find the connected system. Choose Continue > Now you can also customize the files which you want to restore. Once done click on Continue.
This are some of the options that can be used to restore a Mac system. Restoration in the sense you can transfer your files, photos, etc from one pc to another without copy pasting them one by one. Also you do not need to have a look on the location where it was stored before. I use this to transfer my iphone photos and this is very helpful. It is not easy to remember all those hundreds of photos. This tool simply moves and copies those files in the same location as it was in the old systems. I had tested this tool a number of time and found positive feedback. Comparison to that you can go with the third party tool also. The benefit of using this third party software is that you get option to restore some of your favorite app also. Cloning simply means keeping a copy of your entire operating system. But this will overwrite the existing version of your operating system. You can use that to open and migrate documents one by one. Keeping an image backup from Time Machine can be helpful to some extent. I keep a separate partition always for my backup because that is much easier to access. In case of sudden failure I can restore that or access the system via LiveCD. So I am on the safer side.

There are very rare tools which are made for Mac. But if we go for the same in Windows you can see ample of tools. The reason can be wide availability this operating system around the world. The Migration Assistant in Mac also helps you to migrate files from a Windows system. So there is no need to worry if you are going to purchase a Mac system and replacing Windows.

Using Migration Assistant on Windows

This is another nice benefit of using Migration Assistant. If you own a Windows system you can use this to transfer the files from Windows and move them in your Mac OS. Anyhow mac also supports different types of files that are used in various other operating systems. Like it is possible to transfer your Office files in Mac and use them in iWorks. The same is applicable for videos, images, contacts, etc. I will provide a short list the things that you can benefit from using Migration Assistant.
  • Your contacts will be available on Address Book
  • Your emails and accounts will be configured to Mail
  • Your desktop background will also be taken in Mac System.
  • All your bookmarks, homepage settings and other preferences will be copied to Safari.
  • Your Calendar and events information will be configured to iCal.
  • Any music purchased from iTunes in Windows will also be available in Mac.
  • All files in Windows My Documents will be sync to Mac Profile folders.
Connect both the system and run Migration Assistant on same network. It is required that both the systems are on the same network and can be seen. Then download and install Windows Migration Assistant on your Windows PC.
  • Run Migration Assistant on your Windows PC and click on continue.
  • Now go in your Mac system and do the same thing. Run Migration Assistant from Applications > Utilities.
  • Choose the first option From another Mac....etc > Continue. Enter admin id and password > Continue.
  • Choose the PC from the message box and enter the passcode show on Mac system in Windows. Click on Continue.
  • Choose all those files which you want to transfer. Hit continue.

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  #2  
Old 15-05-2012
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 343
Re: How to Migrate Data from Old Mac system to OS X Lion

That was nice tips to migrate. But I had notice that if your file lacks integrity the backup usually fails. It is recommended that you must keep a regular backup and replace the existing files as and when needed. Do not rely on old backup files. Mac Migration Assistant is a nice tool which can be used to get files like photos, videos and music as per it is stored in older system.
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