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Transfer data/apps to newer Mac

Hi Experts,

I'm not too familiar with Mac's and their inner workings but I need to transfer data and programs from one to another.  
One is an older 800mhz G5 running OSX 10.4 - the newer one I will transfer data to is a mac mini core duo 1.66ghz running 10.4.
I have a few things I hope a Mac enlightened individual can clarify for me

Should I upgrade the mac mini to snow leopard?  I want to if it's a good idea based on what else I want to do here

The newer system is a donation and this is being done for a non-profit, so I've created a new user, deleted the old on the mac mini - should I do anything else for cleanup to get it ready/cleaned up for use?

I've read a bit about using the migration assistant to transfer data/apps but I've read people have problems when doing it from PowerPC based -> Intel based?    I looked at my options for doing this and with 10.4 it looks like I'm limited to using a firewire cable for this?  
And if I do the migration assistant, apps are supposed to move over as well?  There is photo shop on the old mac that we would like to see moved over if possible.

Trying to figure out what the best course of action is and in what order - upgrade to Snow Leopard first, then do transfer, or vice versa?
Also, I would like to be able to do this remotely utilizing Logmein for remote connectivity and transferring across Ethernet if possible.

Let me know if you need any more information please.
Thanks!
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thecomputerplace
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thecomputerplace
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
This article http://9to5mac.com/2011/02/26/10-7-lion-drops-support-for-powerpc-applications/ says that Snow Leopard requires Rosetta to run PowerPC apps.  Lion 10.7 won't run them at all.
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
1. Should I upgrade the mac mini to snow leopard?

Probably not ... 10.4 is a good version of OSX .. 10.5 was a step backwards and 10.6 is the last that supports older PPC apps which I'll bet the old Mac is using.  There's no major advantage in upgrading.



2. The newer system is a donation and this is being done for a non-profit, so I've created a new user, deleted the old on the mac mini - should I do anything else for cleanup to get it ready/cleaned up for use?

I'd recommend you login as new user, check it is setup as an administrator, run the Disk Utility app and repair permissions and erase free space with secure overwrite to remove all evidence of old user account.

3. I've read a bit about using the migration assistant to transfer data/apps but I've read people have problems when doing it from PowerPC based -> Intel based?    I looked at my options for doing this and with 10.4 it looks like I'm limited to using a firewire cable for this?   And if I do the migration assistant, apps are supposed to move over as well?  There is photo shop on the old mac that we would like to see moved over if possible.

Migration assistant is a good tool.  Although it will work over a network or Ethernet cable I'd recommend FireWire for speed and stability .. check both macs have the same type of FireWire ports as they may differ.
Migration assistant will copy ALL applications as well as the user account and all settings, prefs, email etc.  ENSURE that there is NOT a user on the new Mac with the same username as the old Mac as this will make it easier for Migration Assistant to recreate the user account from the old to the new Mac.



4. Trying to figure out what the best course of action is and in what order - upgrade to Snow Leopard first, then do transfer, or vice versa?  Also, I would like to be able to do this remotely utilizing Logmein for remote connectivity and transferring across Ethernet if possible.

You cannot run Migration Assistant remotely as the program quits ALL other applications including LogMeIn type programs.  You'll have to do the transfer in person.
You can upgrade the new Mac to Snow Leopard afterwards if you want but I'd not do it in advance if both are on 10.4.



NOTE: Another option is to use the free program Carbon Copy Cloner to create a disk image (sparseimage file) on an external USB or FireWire drive.  You can then plug the drive into the new Mac, mount the disk image as a drive on the Desktop and run the Migration Assistant on this disk image.  It works perfectly and means you don't have to have a firewire to firewire cable.
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thecomputerplaceAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info - thats good to know regarding Snow Leopard.

eoinosullivan - great answers, thanks a lot.  I'm going to try the Carbon Copy Cloner, but won't be able to until Feb 4th - 5th, so I'll give you an update then on how that works.

Is this the "secure overwrite" that you reference: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3680  ?

I did know about disk utility and have done both the verify and permission check - they both came out ok.

I know it will depend on how many apps/how much data they have but do you have enough experience with Carbon Copy Cloner to give me a rough idea of how long it takes based on amount of data?
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thecomputerplaceAuthor Commented:
Cancel that last question - should have read the faqs first :)

Any thoughts on cleanup/tuneup post migration?  Do disk utility and permissions again?
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
Post migration you can re-run a permission repair but all should be OK.  It'll do no harm!!

On the secure erase .. yes that article explains ,..  if you've time the 7 pass erase is fine for most circumstances and will take several hours ... it'd take forensic tools to recover even partial data after that.


On CCC make sure to get a PPC compatible version to run on the older Mac as the latest versions won't work.  They are available on the same website.
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thecomputerplaceAuthor Commented:
great - will let you know once I've run this
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thecomputerplaceAuthor Commented:
This worked great!   Thank you.

Only blip was photoshop didn't move over successfully, kept getting error upon opening...
Not a big deal though, they could work without it.
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