Thursday, December 4, 2014

Apple Migration Assistant - Days to Minutes

I had a frustrating time using Apple's Migration Assistant. After some Google searching and the help of local vendor, Capitol Macintosh the process was quick. After the migration I was amazed at how seamless it was. I've checked all the apps I thought would be difficult like Inkscape and Gimp, but they transferred seamlessly.

The process worked so well that on my first login after migration all my windows were open just like I'd left them. It was just like using my old system.

Quickly Migrating Data
Quickly Migrating Data


Context

I recently purchased a new Macbook Air since my previous one had a bad screen.

I was excited to upgrade from 4 GB RAM To 8 GB RAM, but not looking forward to installing my apps and getting the system configured like my old one.

Updating in Minutes instead of Days

I found out during the migration both computers are unusable. This is a problem when the process takes many hours or even days over WiFi.

Following these steps would have migrated me in under an hour instead of days:
  1. Get a Thunderbolt Cable
  2. Update both systems to the latest version of OS X.
  3. Turn off sleep mode (Energy Saver)
  4. Turn off WiFi on the new system (to ensure the process is using the Thunderbolt cable)
  5. Plug in the Thunderbolt Cable to both systems.
  6. Restart the old system and hold the T key on the keyboard.
  7. Launch the Migration Assistant from the new computer.
  8. Follow the prompts.
Other Tips
  1. If you need to stop the migration assistant press Command Q.
  2. If you need to restart the migration assistant and it keeps continuing where it left off restart the system.
  3. While migrating the computer goes into a special mode and can't be used for anything else.
Rant
Why oh why did Apple make this process so difficult? After I put in a couple hours of trial, error, and Googling it worked great. But why hide this information? Computers are great at sequencing tasks and knowing not to go to sleep in the middle of important operations. 

There are no prompts are hints to discover how to massively speed up this process. It is frustrating I had to learn everything by trial, error, and the help of local Apple Authorized Servicer Capitol Macintosh to understand the best way to transfer the data. How hard would it have been to put the 8 steps above into software to walk users through the process?

I won't go deep into the usability issues, but for starters putting total estimated time up front via various methods (WiFi, Thunderbolt, etc.) would have helped loads.

7 comments:

Warren Mannell said...

Dave - thank you! thank you! I was looking at 6 days to transfer everything (Yosemite). I also noticed that an ethernet cable is ignored in spite of the blurb on the MA screen. It was well worth bopping down to Staples and getting a thunderbolt cable. Now I'm looking at about 2 hours; a huge improvement. Thanks!!!

notepad publishing said...

Fully agree.

I just did a migration from an Air to a Powerbook pro through Time Machine and it was a fantastic experience

Can only recommend!

Apple saved my day:
http://apple-critic.com/?p=53

rasorfishsl said...

It is a crock of shit
And just wait till you see then new abortion by ives.

A single port Mack book WTF.....
could you not put two ports on ?

No and then you have to wait 6 weeks to get a cable.

Design Geniuses DON'T have a single port and tehn need masses of 'dongles' to connect HDMI/USB sticks/network cables/ thunderbolt cables..

What a COMPLETE tosser, 8 hours to ransfer 100gb from a mac air to the 'new mac book'

Tiraj Adikari said...

Thank you. Wifi was taking days and Thunderbolt cable method was kinda hidden. Shame on apple !!!!

D- Rbrtsn said...

I see most of these posts are over a year old but none the less I am in the same boat. Trying to migrate from a PC (Win10) to a new MacBook Air. Doing this over WIFI is excruciatingly s l o w. Is there such a thing as a Thunderbolt/USB cable? If so, would this even work?

D- Rbrtsn said...

I see most of these posts are over a year old but none the less I am in the same boat. Trying to migrate from a PC (Win10) to a new MacBook Air. Doing this over WIFI is excruciatingly s l o w. Is there such a thing as a Thunderbolt/USB cable? If so, would this even work?

David Smith said...

D-Rbrtsn I'm not sure. I was migrating from a Mac to a Mac.

This might help: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/136143/what-thunderbolt-to-usb-3-0-cables-adapters-exist-for-os-x-and-mac-hardware