From Ed's Mediawiki

I got this imac for Andrea in 2007 and it has been her computer since then. With several OS upgrades over time, Apple no longer supporting upgrades to the machine beyond Mavericks, and the old Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB max memory just not hacking it, I replaced it in 2013 with a new iMac with a quad core Intel Core i5 processor 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.
    • Note: Cloud backup for this computer is now done by iDrive as part of my multiple computer account. No more crashplan.
  • 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.

Converting to SSD

SSDs are getting pretty cheap, so I converted all of our machines, including this one. As new operating systems have been released, the machine has been slowing down. The biggest challenge was opening it, because it is basically glued together with foam double sided tape. But iFixit came to the rescue. They have kits for opening lots of machines and re-closing them, and this is one they support. There is a little plastic wheel like a tiny pizza cutter that cuts through the foam tape, and they include new replacement tape cut to the right shape for putting it back together. The other tricky part is removing the display, which is in front of the motherboard. Just small connectors and flat cables that have to be carefully disconnected. Cloning the drive to the SSD is pretty straightforward with an external USB to SATA bridge and bootable cloning software.

Cloud backup

Crashplan discontinued their home backup product and I moved to the small business version, but only on my main desktop. Recently, after problems with the Crashplan local backup, I moved to iDrive for cloud backup, which is a better match, and they charge by the terabyte, not by the device. So AIBDESK is now regularly backup up to the iDrive cloud along with the time machine backup.


The old machine was repurposed as ejbimac, my Mac to play with. I also upgraded that one to a quarter terabyte SSD, which made a big difference.