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In the Utilities Folder (inside the Applications Folder) you'll find the Migration Assistant, an application that connects to another Mac through a Firewire connection to synchronize documents and applications to the new system. Using this utility will save virtually all reinstalling of applications you might need to do with a new system, requiring only that you be prepared to enter the serial numbers of applications to have them run legally on a new copy of Mac OS X.
The first page presented after clicking the Migration Assistant explains what you can do with the application.
Before you can select what you want to migrate to the new system, you must enter the password for the Administrator on the new computer.
The Migration Assistant will step you through how to connect to your old system and boot it as a hard drive on the new system. Using a FireWire cable, it will examine that drive and guide you through selecting which volumes and other data you want to move from that system.
Next, the Migration Assistant explains how to restart your computer as a hard drive connected to your new system. First, connect the FireWire between the two systems, then hold down the "T" while restarting the old system.
You may need to be patient with this. Wait until you see the icon that indicates your old system has booted as a drive....
At this step, you may be presented a choice to migrate hard drive volumes and other disc images from your old system. It's not necessary to do so.
The Mac Migration Assistant will assemble the files for moving, giving a status report along the way. This and the next image illustrate the importance of feedback when conducting a process that could take hours.
Once the files are ready to go, the Migration Assistant will tell you the actual transfer has begun. Along the way, it will calculate estimated time remaining. Depending upon how much data you are moving, this process could take from a half hour to five hours (if you are moving hundreds of Gigabytes of files).
The Migration Assistant monitors the installation of applications during the move, alerting you to applications that may need to be reinstalled manually. In this case, two applications relating to the Missing Synch for Windows Mobile application appear to be a problem. I also found that Parallels Desktop needed repairs because of the way drivers are configured during its initial installation. Everything else worked fine.