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Dave Huber
Dave Huber, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  Mac user since 1984, Mac Support Specialist since 1999. In charge of over 700 Macs at current job.
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No, your advice did not work. Transferring data from old imac

Customer Question

No, your advice did not work. Transferring data from old imac OS X 3.9.4 to new imac did not work as you suggested it would. Apple store assistance said it would only work with OS X 4.0 or later, but I trusted you over the apple store gal and went ahead and tried to transfer using a 400 to 800 connector. I'm stymied now. Short of schlepping both computers back to the apple store, I don't know what to do. Please advise. [email protected]
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Bob Cook replied 8 years ago.
Yes you can transfer your 10.3 files to a newer Mac with a Firewire cable.
This document from Apple will give you all the instructions you need;
Expert:  Dave Huber replied 8 years ago.
I actually sent this to the wrong customer. It is more detailed than the KB article that Bob Cook sent you. Thank you, Bob.

I made the mistake of assuming that the Migration Assistant on the host was all that was needed. Oh well, there's always more than one way to do this. Dust off your reading glasses and let's go!

Here's what to do. You'll need the same firewire cable to do the job.

1) Start your old computer while holding the T key like the earlier instructions say.

2) connect the old machine to the new machine with a firewire cable

3) the old machine's hard drive should appear on the new computer's desktop.

This method will work, but there may be files with special permissions that it yells at you about. If needed, you'll have to supply your name and password XXXXX it asks. Read about both methods before you proceed.

"Drag and Drop"
Note: This will not work if you have identically named users on both machines. For example, when you set up your new machine, you may have created and account called "dad." You also have an account on your old machine named "dad" This means that in the same place on both machines you'll have a folder called "dad." If you try to drag and drop one to the other, you'll either write over the "dad" folder on the new machine, or, more likely, the computer will yell at you.

• Double-click the hard drive of the new copmputer

• Double-click the hard drive of the "Users" folder

• From the Desktop, double-click the hard drive of the old computer

• Double-click the hard drive of the "Users" folder

• Arrange the two windows so you can see the contents of both, making sure you know which is the old one and which is the new one.

• If you have any folders inside "Users" that is the same on both machines, you'll need to change the name of the folder(s) on the old machine. In the example above, I could change the name of the folder from "dad" to "dave" or from "dad" to "dad2" - pick something you like, though, because later I am going to have you create an account on the new computer that matches the name of the folder(s) you dragged from the old "Users" folder to the new one.

NOTE: You'll also have a "Shared" folder in the "Users" folder on both machines. We'll deal with that right now.

• On the old computer, open the "Shared" folder in the "Users" folder. If there is anything in there, press command-a (for "select all." All of your items in the shared folder are now highlighted. Press command-c to copy it all.

• On the old computer, open the "Shared" folder in the "Users" folder. Press command-v to paste the items from the old to the new.

• drag any user folders from "Users" on the old machine to "Users" on the new machine. An alternative is to do what we did above...highlight them, press command-c, to to the new Users folder and press command-v

If it warns you that there's already an item with that name in the new folder, press "don't replace." You need to rename the offending folder on the old machine.

Put in your name and password XXXXX necessary and let it copy.


• When it's all finished copying, you may eject the old computer (drag the icon from the desktop to the trash or click on the icon of the old computer and press command-e ("eject")

• Go to the Apple in the top left corner and choose "System Preferences"

• Click on the "Account" tab

• Click the lock icon and type an your password.

• Click the Add (+) button, located below the list of accounts, to create a new account.

• Select "admin" as the type of account from the New Account pop-up menu.

• Enter a name for the account. The "short name" for this account needs to be identical to the name of the folder you dragged from the old machine to the new one.

• Type a password XXXXX this account in the Password XXXXX Verify fields. Add a hint if you like, especially if this is going to be a rarely used account (maybe just for troubleshooting like we are doing now)

• Click Create Account

• At some point, probably right here in this step, the computer will tell you that there is already a folder with that name in the Users folder, and do you want to use it as the home folder for this new user you are setting up. YES you do.

• repeat this process for any other users you've copied over from the old machine.

When finished, you should be able to log out and log in as the new user(s) you've created. When you do, all of your stuff from the old computer will be there waiting for you.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU and let me know how it goes.

Take care,

Expert:  Dave Huber replied 8 years ago.
Do you have an update for me on the Mac to Mac transfer?

Thank you,


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