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Feb 28 2009

My New MacBook Pro – How I Migrated

I have been quiet this week due to being very busy with work and also receiving my new 17″ MacBook Pro on Wednesday evening.

MacBook Pro

I am just about done with the migration and though I would share some of my findings for anybody wlse who is moving from an old Mac to a new one.

I could have used the Migration Assistant and sucked my old laptop to my new one. I used this when I rebuilt my old laptop and upgraded the hard drive and it worked amazingly. As my old laptop was three years old, and had been used to test a lot of software I decided to opt for the manual approach.

Being an organized person, my data was all organized under my Documents folder. This made it pretty easy to move my Documents to my NAS, and then to my new Mac preserving the same structure as I had before.

I did a bit of pruning before the copy and got rid of old information that I no longer needed. I also archived some of it off to DVDs to go into the Someday/Maybe drawer that I use to good effect.

The data was the easy part. I then had to migrate Mail and all my media such as my iPhoto Library, Aperture Library, and my iTunes Library.

Let’s start with the media. I did expect problems when moving my media due to the customizations that I have done to my media including tagging etc. Well, to my surpirse, I copied my Aperture and iPhoto libraries to my new machine and they all worked fine. I then deauthorized my old laptop from within iTunes, copied the iTunes folder to my new laptop and all went smooth.

I was using iLife ’09 on both my old and new Mac’s so everything was very easy to migrate. iPhoto and Aperture both use a Library. These are package files that contain all the other files and represent themselves as a single file within the Operating System. Sure does make copying easier!

Now onto Email migration. I have a few mailboxes that I use on the client built into the Mac Operating System. My main mailboxes are IMAP through Google Apps so these were as easy as setting up the new mail accounts on the new laptop.

I have a few old POP accounts and for these I created the POP account on the new laptop and archived the old mail onto one of my USB disks for storage and the ability to search through this at a later date if needed.

All smooth so far. Now to re-install some of the applications I use. There are a few killer applications that I use and could not live without. These are my core apps that I installed and I decided that if I need any of ther other apps on my old laptop then I would install them as required.

My core apps are:

I downloaded the latest version of each app and used my serial numbers where applicable that I always store in Evernote. This is a great use of Evernote and I have been storing my software licenses in it since I got it.

So, all migrated and working good. The new laptop is amazing. So much faster than the old one and I cannot wait for the dual link DVI connector to arrive so I can hook it up to my 30″ Display.

Had a real busy week this week and my head has been all over the place. I have been doing some testing for customers and my home office currently looks like a junkyard from PC World. I hate it when my office is cluttered and I am finishing this post to go and declutter!

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

  • 12 Comments... What do you think?
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  1. ikd69 said on February 28th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Excellent. Hope it works well for you. Now, is this going to be your main workhorse or do you have something else for office?


  2. Andrew Mason said on February 28th, 2009 at 6:55 pm


    Hi, it is my main machine. I work between my home office and work office 50/50 so I need something portable but powerful. That is why I go for the 17″. I also have a MacBook Air that I use as my portable laptop. Awesome setup!

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Dach Williams said on February 28th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    GTD is a great concept. I’ve started downloading software like Outlook Track-It (look up the site, there’s a download on it), its a small toolbar for outlook that reminds you to follow up to emails.

    In general, David Allen knows his stuff.

  4. Webkinz said on March 1st, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I wanted to upgrade my old mac book pro for this model too but decided to wait Apple’s next big thing.

  5. Oli from the-iBlog said on March 1st, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    We’ve covered this before Andrew, but I still think the 17in is too big. I want a portable to be portable, and then when I’m using it at home I can plug it into an external monitor for more screen space. Still, I get that I might not be the kind of guy it’s aimed at.

    Still contemplating chopping in my MacBook and getting an Air ! :)

  6. Andrew Mason said on March 1st, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    @Oli from the-iBlog:

    I would have agreed with you before I got the 17″ MacBook Pro originally.

    My profile is that I use a machine in my home office and my work office 50/50 each. I have a 30″ monitor at home and I use the laptop monitor at work although I have a stand and I use the new Apple keyboard and my Bluetooth mouse.

    The new resolution on the 17″ MacBook Pro is awesome, as is the better specification than the 15″. A small price to pay for the difference in weight.

    However, I do travel quite a bit and had to lug the old 17″ MacBook across the world. Using it on a train or airplane is quite hard and just popping it out whilst on a conference seemed like using a mobile phone in the 1990s!

    That is where my MacBook Air now comes in. I use my Air for when I travel and do conferences etc and my Pro is my main machine.

    I think I have an amazing, yet expensive combination of technology. This is what I do so I suppose £3k investment on my tools is not that much compared with the startup costs of some businesses.

    If Apple brought out an even smaller laptop, I am sure I would buy that too, I just love my gadgets!



  7. Joshua Parker said on March 4th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Awesome, I also manually migrated my data from my old 13″ to my new 15″ as well as placing my old folder structure onto an external hard drive. Still contemplating the Air or the new mac mini as a desktop. It is so hard not to buy everything Apple has to offer.

  8. Andrew Mason said on March 5th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    @Joshua Parker:

    I know, I love to buy new gadgets but the new MBP is so much faster than the old one!

  9. web design miami said on April 6th, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Moving from an old mac to a new one is nothing. Try moving from pc to mac. Everything is so different. Some stuff is better (more intuitive) some is worse (less options) but it’s all completely different. It’s hard to get used to it at first.

  10. Web Design Dallas said on August 15th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    I guess im just so use to the PC that when I get on a MAC i just can not seem to do anything. They are they same but different in many many ways…

  11. Patrick Ng said on October 6th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Hi Andrew, thanx for sharing the tips. Just bought my new MBP today (was gonna stretch my old one – 4.5 years and counting! – but decided to buy it today as a tribute to the man himself).

    Quick question. When i transfer iTunes does it also automatically takes care of my iPhone back-up info? i.e. if I sync my iPhone with my new MBP after the transfer, it shouldn’t wipe things out on my iPhone right?

  12. [...] The main event of this week was the arrival of my new shiny 17″ MacBook Pro. [...]

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