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One way to migrate data from a non-FireWire Mac
Authored by: schaps on Jan 18, '07 06:52:23AM
There are two different things goals you can have, and several different ways to accomplish each. If you don't have need to actually clone a user account, doing the process here is overly time consuming, as you get a whole bunch of unneeded stuff, cache files, preferences for programs you don't need, etc. Possibly corrupt stuff, too.

I run into those 350 Mhz blue iMacs all the time which came without Firewire, and I curse Apple and the buyer (to myself) for cheaping out-- Apple for skipping Firewire, the buyer for saving a miniscule amount of money (when amortized over the years they've had the computer) to get the non-DV iMac in the first place.

If just the data needs to be copied over, I prefer ethernet networking as fast and easy. If the intent is to import/clone the client I use the process below:
If the iMac is going to be continued to be used, I recommend the client get a 40-100 GB hard drive to upgrade it (such as this Seagate 80GB for $37.50-, because the stock 6-10 GB (or 13 in the case of a DV) drives are just too small to run OS X for more than a few months if you're using iPhoto and iTunes. It's then quite easy to pop the case off and get to the hard drive, plug it into a firewire external drive case (no need to put the whole case together or put in any screws, just plug the drive into the power and IDE cable), and import the data easily. I also pack along a USB 2.0--> IDE adapter cable, which can often be connected to drives while they're still mounted in the old Mac and then into the new Mac.
This is a good discussion to go over, as there are several ways to accomplish the task. I am continually amazed at how well those old iMacs will run Tiger if the memory is boosted and a larger hard drive is installed. Good enough and fast enough for many people, especially kids and oldsters.

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