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I got this imac for Andrea in 2007 and it has been her computer since then. With several OS upgrades over time, the old Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB max memory just was not hacking it, so I replaced it with a new iMac with a quad core Core i5 and 8GB of memory.

Transferring the old system

Pretty easy. I put both machines side by side on the same wifi network and started the Migration Assistant app on the old one. Meanwhile the new one is looking for a source to migrate from. It turned out that it could not migrate directly from the old computer because the OS was not up to date. Bad choice, Apple. Fortunately, I kept a Time Machine backup running all the time on the old machine, so all I had to do is unplug the time machine backup drive from the old one and plug it into the new one. It took an hour or so to "recover" into the new machine.


Of course, not everything was perfect.

  • The new iPhoto was not compatible with the old one's database, so I actually had to download and install a program to fix it. Another bad Apple decision. This should have been built into the new iPhoto.
  • Something is still wrong with Google Drive. It says it can't sync because it can't find the drive folder. Not a big deal and I will just reinstall it later.
  • Mail had to do some stuff before it was ready to use, but this was built into the tool, so not a big deal, except it seems to have created at least new versions of a lot of files.
  • CrashPlan backup was really confused because it did not know the difference between the two computers. I tried renaming the old one to ejbmac, but that had the effect of renaming both of them. Literally, from the point of view of CrashPlan, they were the same machine. After fiddling with it for a while, I decided to go to the source for information, and a google search quickly revealed the solution. Each computer registered with CrashPlan has a unique identifier that is automatically assigned when the software is installed. Since the new installation came from backups, it was not really an installation, so it did not get a new ID. Fortunately, there is an easy, though arcane, solution. Within the CrashPlan application, if you double click the CrashPlan house icon in the upper right corner of the window, a command line interface comes up. There is a command "guid" that changes the "global unique identifier" for the current computer. Without arguments, it shows the current identifier. If you type "guid new" then a new id is generated. I did this with the old machine, and it gave me the option of adopting an existing machine, which I did not want to do, so I specified that it should be treated as a new computer, ejbimac. I did the "guid new" thing with the new machine, and it just assigned a new id and let me identify it as Andrea Burdick's Computer, which was already registered with the system. I changed the backup set to only back up Andrea's account and then change the new one to only back up my account. By the next morning, all of the backups were up to date.
  • The new iMac came with a cute wireless keyboard with the right third cut off. No numeric keypad and no home, page up, page down and end keys. Also the arrow keys are stuffed in the lower right corner and the right side control key is gone. Andrea did not like this because she uses some of those keys a lot with LibreOffice Writer. So the old keyboard goes back to the new machine. No problem. Just plug it in. But the wireless keyboard had to be paired the the old machine. It turns out this is not really hard.
    • Turn off the wireless keyboard.
    • On the new machine, using system preferences->bluetooth, delete the wireless keyboard from paired devices and turn off bluetooth.
      • Now the old machine has no keyboard and the new machine has no mouse.
    • Using the mouse on the old machine, go to system preferences->bluetooth and turn on the wireless keyboard. A box pops up asking for a specific sequence to get typed, followed by return. This pairs the keyboard with that machine.
    • Now it is time to turn on bluetooth on the new machine so it can talk to its wireless mouse. It was off so it would not grab the wireless keyboard when I turned it on. So I plugged the old mouse into the usb port on the new machine and turned bluetooth back on, whereupon it immediately found the wireless mouse.
    • Plugging the mouse back into the old machine, everything works and Andrea is happy with her full keyboard.


The old machine is now repurposed as ejbimac, my Mac to play with.