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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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I want to reverse migration assistant if possible. I moved

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I want to reverse migration assistant if possible. I moved all the material on my first generation intel iMac (fall 2006) to my 13.3 inch new Macbook Air. Unfortunately, it replicated the entire iMac data, including my old user id separate from my new air book user name and files. The iMac data has pretty much filled up my hard drive. I would like get a fresh start with the new air book and only migrate individual selected data to avoid filling my new mac airbook with unneeded data.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

That is both easy and hard at the same time.
How did you set the MBA up? I mean was it a migration before setting up a new user account or duplicating the iMac account?
Reversing is not what you want, there really isn't one but the result you want is possible, time consuming but possible.

I can help with this having done what you are attempting. It may require starting over with a fresh slate.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was a migration before setting up a new user account. When the migration was complete their was a new user account that had the bare air book data and dock, as my old account and data, including the desktop screen, and the non-functioning desktop function. Identical to old machine.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think I may have been unclear in my last reply. When the migration was complete, I had a new user account (bare bone, no migrated data, AND my old account duplicating the data on my old machine, right don to the desktop picture and the broken dashboard and download to dsktop functions. There appears to be a complete wall between the data in the two accounts. Hope this helps.

Yes, that does help clear it up.

Ok, this is what I suggest.

Erase the MBA and install Mountain Lion again to start like new. Then create the user account to match the iMac.
Do not migrate, just browse and recover what you want.


If you would rather not do that then there is another way. Does much the same thing but has twists and turns.

Create a new user account (with different info, it can be true or just a temp) as admin, delete the user account that is now installed.
Once that is done you can either use the new user account or create a new one using the same name, password XXXXX info that is on the iMac (this makes browsing the Time Machine easier).
Then bring what you want, when you want it to the MBA.
This has the effect of getting what you want without the stuff you don't.
It allows for hoeing out so to speak.
I have done this so I know it works, it is time consuming but sure.

That is the best way I know to winnow out what is not desired from the backup.

Is that helpful?

Daniel and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll try the first method (simpler).


But just to make things clear, the MBA means the Macbook Account? And deleting that will wipe out the Macbook Air data that came pre-installed as part of Mountain lion. Then I reinstall Mountain lion and create a new user account identical to the iMac account, which will merge the iMac data into new air book account with the Mountain lion format.


In other words, the information from the iMac will be merged into one account that uses the Mountain lion set up, but makes the iMac data available to select for use as desired. And I can trash any documents or other data that I migrated from the iMac, giving me back some badly needed hard drive space,


Have I got that right? Thanks for your patience.

MBA=MacBook Air.

You have it right. All the normal apps that came with Mountain Lion will still be there, any other apps you will install.
Such as iMovie, or Pages or PhotoShop, etc.

By erasing the drive it makes it blank, you then install ML (Mountain Lion), this allows the creation of a new user account (like you id) but choose not to migrate at this time.
Set it up using the same account info (makes it much easier switching from using the iMac to the MBA.

Then you can 'restore or bring forward' data as you like from Time Machine.
That make sense?