How to transfer data from your old computer to a new Yosemite Mac

Reader Walt Pinkston has an impatient friend who was a little too anxious to put old data on a new Mac. He writes:

A friend decided to remove the internal hard drive from an old Mac, put the drive into an external enclosure, and hook that up to his new Mac. But now the new Mac doesn’t recognize the drive and is asking him if he wants to reformat it. What’s the best and safest way for him to move that data over to his new Mac?

With the idea of saving your relationship, let me start by saying that your friend’s idea wasn’t entirely boneheaded. There are indeed conditions under which you can jerk a hard drive out of an old Mac, shove it into an enclosure, and boot another Mac from it. Those conditions include having an operating system compatible with the new Mac and a drive formatted in a compatible way. In cases where the OS is quite old and the computer quite new, there can be problems as new Macs often demand an operating system no older than the one that shipped with them.

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Bugs & Fixes: Solving a Yosemite post-install disaster

Updating to a major new version of OS X can seem akin to walking through a mine field, albeit one with relatively few mines. In most instances, you’ll be fine. But you never know when disaster may strike.

In my case, the OS X Yosemite upgrade went as smooth as silk for my 2012 MacBook Pro. I’ve been happily running it via beta versions for months. I waited until the release version of Yosemite before upgrading my 2009 Mac Pro. I expected things to go just as smoothly. Instead, I hit a mine.

The installation itself was a success. However, as soon as I attempted to use the Mac, all hell broke loose. The most serious symptom was that almost every action now proceeded at a snail’s pace. Several apps—notably Safari, Tweetbot, Outlook, and even the Finder—often became entirely unresponsive. I had to repeatedly Force Quit these apps just to maintain a minimum level of response.

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How to capture audio with a new Mac Pro

Reader H. Landreth is one lucky (or, at least, well-heeled) Mac Pro owner. He writes:

I recently purchased a Mac Pro to replace the old cheese-grater Mac Pro I’ve had since 2009. When moving cables from my old Mac to the new one I was stumped when it came to plugging in a Toslink audio cable that I’d used in the past to capture high resolution audio from a device in my office. In fact, I don’t see any audio input jack at all, much less a Toslink connection. How am I supposed to do this now?

You’re correct that the Mac Pro has no audio input. When designing the smaller Mac Pro I suspect that Apple looked at the old Pro models and considered which ports were used by the fewest number of people. Clearly the optical audio in and out ports were prime candidates for cutting.

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iCloud two-step verification just added another step: app-specific passwords

Reader Darlene Brian is having issues with her iCloud account. She writes:

I use Outlook for Mac for my email and today it’s been telling me that my iCloud account isn’t authorized. I’ve entered it multiple times and it still won’t work. I’ve tried other third-party apps that use iCloud and am having similar difficulties. Any idea what’s going on?

If I had to guess I’d say that you have implemented two-step verification for your Apple ID. As of October 9, 2014, Apple requires that you generate app specific passwords for third-party apps that use your iCloud data. This includes apps such as Outlook and BusyCal.

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How to transfer camera images to an iPad with an old adapter

Reader Joan Morton has an old adapter but is considering a new one. She writes:

When I purchased my original iPad I also bought Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit—the two adapters that let you import pictures via USB or an SD card. I now have an iPad Air and wondered if there was some way I could continue using them.

The unspoken elipsis in your question is “These things have a 30-pin connector and my iPad Air has a Lightning connector so….”

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How to use your iPhone as a removable hard drive

Reader Dale Caywood seeks something a bit more from his iPhone. He writes:

I sometimes need to carry files with me and transfer them from one computer to another. To do that I copy them to a flash drive. But then I leave that drive behind or lose it. Is there some way that I can use my iPhone for that kind of storage?

You can, though your iPhone won’t appear as a mounted USB drive as a normal flash drive does.

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