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David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
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Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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Need to migrate iphoto 9, version 8.1.2, running on PPC G5,

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Need to migrate iphoto 9, version 8.1.2, running on PPC G5, OS 10.5.8 to
2012 Intel iMac Lion, running iphoto 11, ver 9.4.2

After running Migration Assistant, opening iphoto on iMac shows all albums, but all photos and thumbnails are blank. Message "updating thumbnails" runs, does not fix.

Help appreciated.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions.

As migration assistant has transferred an incomplete library, it is better to remove what it has transferred and transfer the iPhoto Library folder without using Migration Assistant.

On the 2012 iMac, open the users Pictures folder, and move the iPhoto folder to the Trash. Empty the Trash.

On the PPC G5, go to the users Pictures folder, and locate the iPhoto library to be transferred.

We need to transfer that item from there, to the new iMac Pictures folder.

Do you have an external hard drive with space enough to transfer? If not, how are the two Macs connected at the moment?

Thanks for your patience..

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I migrated using an external drive running Time Machine. I unplugged it from PPC and plugged it into Thunderbolt port on iMac using an adapter,with power off on both machines.


I believe I understand what you want me to do, but I need a hard copy of your instructions.


Can I link the two machines together via ethernet for this transfer ? I have cables to plug both machines into my router at same time.


I have copied what you said.

Hi Thomas,

No it's easier if you copy the iPhoto Library item from the original Mac to the external drive.

1. Connect the drive to the original Mac.
2. Transfer the iPhoto Library to it with Finder.
3. Eject it, and connect it to the new Mac.
4. Using Finder transfer the iPhoto Library to the Pictures folder.
5. Launch iPhoto.

iPhoto will prompt to update the library, agree to this and wait until it opens the library. This is the safest way of doing it, network transfer can introduce failures.

How long this will take obviously depends on the size of the library.

If there are any issues with the transfer we can still try other things to rebuild the library on the new Mac. If that happens please get back to me to continue on those lines.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have moved iPhoto folder within Pictures folder to trash on iMac and emptied the trash. It was about 200 GB is size. I will do the other steps you have listed.


I will give you a favorable rating now, but

If I have more problems on this issue, can I contact you again as part of my $58 payment? Can I get you, David, again ?


Hi Thomas,

Yes, absolutely. I am locked on, and not going anywhere.

It can happen that you have follow up questions, or something unexpected happens. Don't worry if that happens, the questions does not close if you rate now.

Kind regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My concern is that it is not just the migration that is the problem. I understand why you suspect it, but I have seen reports that iPhoto versions are not compatible. I understand that iPhoto 11 does not run on the PPC, and that I already have the last version that does run on the PPC.


I saw one report that I needed to upgrade to iPhoto 9.1, and so on, but 9.1 is part of iLive 11 (confusing version numbers).


Are you confident moving the files as you suggest will work ? Thanks.

Hi Thomas,

Yes I'm very confident about it. I have seen it so often that Migration Assistant does something like this.

When you use Migration Assistant, and iPhoto to upgrade, there are more points of failure. This way removes Migration Assistant from the transfer, and it's just iPhoto that does the upgrade on the library.

In a worst case scenario we can work with the iPhoto Library that has been transferred to recreate it. It will have been transferred manually so will be an exact copy of what is on the original Mac. This means there is nothing more we could do on the original Mac or with transfer to help.

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