The Good and the Ugly – Migrating a Mac

The good and not so good part about getting a new Apple MBP (Macbook Pro) 16”

  • Awesome hardware and got the I-9  1 Tb SSD. Big upgrade from my aging MBP. That was the good part.
  • The bad (but ultimately not disastrous) part is that Migration Assistant borked my machine. I attached the external drive with my Time Machine to one of the USB C ports and began the process. It got about 5% of the way through and stopped, I presumed, for large files. Ok. Let it run. Hours later, still at the same place. Hmmm. Let it run overnight. Next morning — same place.

No choice but to cancel, knowing the result is going to be bad. It was. When I rebooted, it came up with the 2 user accounts I was trying to migrate. Well, maybe it worked!

Nope, login to either and it loads and immediately goes to a black screen. Reload MacOS thru recovery mode. Ok, all is fine until it actually finished installing, at which point I get a black screen with a pretty blue outline of an arrow pointer in the middle of the screen that won’t move. Repeated that a couple of times.

Chatted online with Apple before taking the final step of erasing the “data” drive and reinstalling Catalina, again (4th or fifth time?). This brought me back to the point of the original setup. Whew!

So this time I’ll try the Mac to Mac Migration Assistant. Start Migration Assistant on the old Mac, new Mac identified the old machine as the source. Both machines sat there “preparing”. I gave up after an hour, expecting to have to wipe the drive yet again, but no, didn’t bork it this time.

It looks like I’ll be installing all the apps fresh! I knew I wanted something to do this weekend. Now I get to inventory my apps and decide which to reinstall, and order new monitor cables, a new larger Time Machine. Ultimately, I’ll end up with a Mac without all the cruft I’d built up over the years so I can start anew.

This too shall pass.

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