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Setting up a new Mac


Topic starter

The new MacBook Air we ordered for my wife (to replace her 2010 MBP) on tax free weekend arrived today, so I tried to set it up for her.  To say it was an abysmal failure would be a bit of an understatement:

1.  I attempted to use Migration Assistance to migrate everything from her old to new laptops via WiFi.  After over an hour, the MBA was still sitting there saying it was calculating sizes.  Quit that.

2.  I attempted to update her apps via the Mac App Store.  It said I had to allow this in her account in the Mac App Store, so I did.  It still won't let me update her apps because I need to allow this in the Mac App Store.  Gave up on that.

3.  We set up login via Touch ID, but she can only log in via password.

4.  We tried to set up login via her Apple Watch, but it can't be found even though it's on her wrist 3 feet from her laptop with Bluetooth on on both (and her iPhone nearby as well).

5.  We tried to set up her Gmail, but Safari is saying her password isn't her password, even though Keychain on her old Mac says it's her password.

Tim Cook / Craig Federighi ... I know you read these forums (<grin>).  I would be disappointed if I had this poor of an experience with a Microsoft product during the Steve Ballmer era.  Oh, and Tim - come ask me what my "customer sat" score for you is right now.

Anybody reading this have any ideas how to solve any of the above issue which should have never happened in the first place?!?!

Old UNIX Guy


Migration assistant take awhile. Leave it alone overnight.

I personally make a clone of the old Mac, and point migration assistant at the direct attached clone. And that takes awhile. Start it, leave it, and forget it until it finishes.

6 Answers

I only have one suggestion, for problem #1... migration assistant probably would work better with the disk from the old MBP directly connected to the new computer, rather than over wifi.  Unfortunately the Venn diagram of Target Disk Mode connection technologies on the old MBP (Firewire) and the new MBA (Thunderbolt) doesn't look like there is any simple overlap.  You might get by with a Thunderbolt to Firewire dongle, and then put the old MBP in Target Disk Mode over Firewire... might work.  Best bet would be to remove the hard disk from the old MBP, put it in a cheap USB enclosure, and access it that way on the MBA.

  1. I recommend using a direct Ethernet connection if you must migrate direct from Mac to Mac. Generally, I prefer migrating via a Time Machine backup or one of the aforementioned directly connected disk options.
  2. I've seen that message in the Mac App Store recently. Of course if you'd migrated in step 1, you probably wouldn't get that. But did you try restarting the app or the Mac?
  3. Are you referring to logging in at startup or after waking from sleep? The former always requires a password, just like an iPhone requires a passcode after restart.
  4. I'm not a watch expert.
  5. Is this at or using Mail?
Topic starter

An update on this:


1.  I appreciate the suggestions to use Migration Assistant with a locally attached (backup) disk rather than over WiFi.  Unfortunately, I didn't think about the fact that I was entering USB-C only world and didn't have a USB-A -> USB-C dongle to use, leaving WiFi as my only choice yesterday.  Last night, however, I redid the Migration Assistant and it worked this time for some unknown reason.

2.  This is still an issue that I'm working with Apple Support on.

3.  Since Migration Assistant ran, she has a "new" account so we're going to try setting up Touch ID again and see what happens.

4.  Ditto for the Apple Watch.

5.  After Migration Assistant ran, the password that didn't work before worked now.  Another mystery since yesterday I had gone to her old laptop, looked up her password in Keychain Access, and used that.  Didn't work, but after Migration Assistance copied it over it did.

Thanks for the suggestions...


Old UNIX Guy


My last system, I setup while on vacation (lots of free time between walks on the beach, museum visits, etc...), so I tried different ways to move my stuff over.

After I would give up on an attempt, I used the Recovery Partition to install a clean copy of macOS (as the new system did not have anything I needed), then I would try the next thing from a clean slate.

I settled on letting the new system setup (after a recovery partition re-image), start the migration assistant, so that I did NOT get a new account, I got my account where I expected my account to be.

But I did experiment with nuke & pave, drag over just what I needed, post migration assistant, etc... until I went for the migration assistant as part of new system setup after a clean macOS install.

And even with a direct attached USB3 disk via a USB-C to USB3 dongle, it still took a long time to complete. That is when I would either go to bed, or take that wake on the beach or visit somewhere fun (well except for the year when my Wife had me painting the condo 🙁



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