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Apple Migration Assistant

New iMac = happy.  That’s just the way it is.  Getting the new system setup from the old system… well, that’s another story.

Apple has this handy utility called “Migration Assistant”.   The idea is that you connect the old computer to the new one, run “MA” on both systems and everything copies over to the new system with all the magic and child like wonder we’ve come to expect from Apple.

Except when it doesn’t.

You can probably tell that I’ve spent a fair amount of time around computers.  I sorta know my way around.  Imagine my dismay when I couldn’t get the two systems to run MA.  I had both systems connected via Ethernet and both could transfer files manually.  MA, nothing.  It would get as far as saying “Preparing Information” and then quit.  The old system reported an error like “The network connection failed” or some such thing.

I decided to make use of technical support.  Apple just got rated #3 for customer service, so I thought “How bad could it be”?

It wasn’t bad at all.  As a matter of fact, I was up and running in short order.  The first gentleman wasn’t able to help me, but he was friendly and tried his best.  Ultimately, he brought in a second level tech who WAS able to help.

Here’s a summary of the working configuration.

First, the old iMac and the new iMac are directly connected to each other via Ethernet.  They have a self-assigned IP address.  There’s no bridge, router or any other networking hardware between the two.  It’s Ethernet out of one system and into the other.

Second, we went into Network Preferences and had to change the service order.  Strangely, Bluetooth was first in line.  I changed it so that Ethernet was at the top of the list.

After that, we went into Sharing Preferences.  There, we made sure that only File Sharing, Remote Management and Remote Login were checked.  Under Remote Management, there are a bunch of options.  None of those were checked.

After getting the system setup with this configuration, Migration Assistant ran just fine and just as expected.  I don’t know which one or what combination of the three things we changed did the trick.  I really don’t care though.  All I know is it works now.

Thanks Apple Support!!

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