Old files, new Mac

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Hit the target

It’s easiest to transfer files using Target Disk Mode, which makes your old Mac act like an external hard drive. Here’s how to proceed:

1. If your old Mac is running a pre-Tiger version of OS X, restart it. When you hear the startup chime, hold down the T key. A FireWire icon will dance across the screen; this means that the Mac is in Target Disk Mode. If the old Mac is running Tiger, go to the Startup Disk preference pane and select Startup Disk. Click on Target Disk Mode. In the window that appears, click on Restart. The Mac will start up in Target Disk Mode.

2. Connect your Target Disk Mode Mac to your new Mac via a FireWire cable. After a brief delay, the old Mac will mount on the new Mac as if it were an external hard drive. (You’ll see an icon for it on your desktop.)

Migration Assistant Mojo If you’re using Migration Assistant, you don’t need to worry about these steps—just follow the on-screen instructions. If you’ve already gotten rid of your old Mac but were wise enough to clone its hard drive, Migration Assistant will be able to transfer data from the clone. After you mount the external hard drive where the clone is located, click on the Continue button. Migration Assistant will simply proceed to the next step without asking you to restart your Mac.

Remember your tunes

If you buy music from the iTunes Music Store, remember that Apple allows you to play it on only five computers. To avoid annoying problems when you’re trying to get purchased songs to play on your new Mac, make sure to deauthorize your old computer in iTunes (Advanced: Deauthorize Computer). You’ll need to have Internet access for this. iTunes will ask you to authorize the new computer the first time you try to play a protected song.

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