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Transferring Files from One Mac to Another

If you use Reunion on multiple computers, or if you just want to upgrade to a new Mac, and perhaps a newer version of Reunion, you may need to transfer your Reunion family file and other files from one Macintosh computer to another. In newer Macs, Apple includes the Migration Assistant (located in the Applications/Utilities folder) to ease the migration from one Mac to another. In fact, this application automatically offers to help you when you first use a new Mac. In other scenarios, the following suggestions may be helpful to you when you need to transfer files.

Please Note: If transferring to a new install of Reunion 9 (i.e. you've never used Reunion 9 on the Mac you're transferring to), you will need to authorize your installation. If you purchased Reunion 9 on CD, you will need to use the CD to authorize the installation as outlined here. If you purchased the download, and need your Username and License Code, you can request those details here

Keep in mind that some of these approaches are more suited to certain models of computers than others. Generally, more options are available when working with newer computers.

Methods:

For the purpose of explanation, the following refers to the computer you are transferring data from as "A" and the computer you are transferring data to as "B."

Moving Files
USB Pen or Flash Drives
With USB pen drives (or "flash" drives), the general approach is to copy your data from computer A to the pen drive, and from there to computer B.

There are several things to double-check when transferring data via USB pen drives. Be sure the largest single file you're moving will fit on the drive. Also, make sure that your pen drive is formatted for Mac OS X. Doing this can prevent the loss of file identification.

CDs
If computer A can burn (write/create) a CD, then computer B can read the CD. Be sure to format the CD in Macintosh format so that all Macintosh file identification information is properly preserved.

If computer A can't burn CDs, you may be able to get a professional computer technician to take the needed files from computer A's hard drive and burn them onto a CD for you. This CD can then be used to transfer the files to computer B. This approach is more expensive than some, but is occasionally helpful when computer A is too old a machine for other alternatives to be possible.

Ethernet Network
If both computers have a Ethernet ports, you should be able to connect the computers that way, set up file sharing on one or both computers, and transfer files across. If you have an Ethernet hub and a pair of ordinary Ethernet cables, you can plug both computers into the hub and link them that way. If you do not have an Ethernet hub, you can directly connect the Ethernet ports of the two computers with an Ethernet "crossover" cable. (Some newer Macintosh models can be directly connected with an ordinary Ethernet cable rather than a crossover cable. See this page for details.)

Once the computers are connected, then you'll have to set up file sharing on one of them and connect to the "shared" computer with the other, allowing you to transfer files back and forth. Instructions on setting up file sharing on Mac OS 8 or 9 are available in this page on Apple's site. Equivalent instructions for Mac OS X systems can be found here.

Note: You may have to enable Appletalk on both computers (particularly if one of the computers uses OS 8 or 9) for file sharing to work.

FireWire
If both computers are newer and have FireWire ports, you may be able to use FireWire target disk mode to make one computer (known as the target computer) available to the other (the host computer) as if it were an extra hard drive. Of course, at that point you can move files from one computer to another.

There are fairly specific limitations regarding what computers will work as "target" computers. Because of this, it would be a good idea to read the full instructions available at this page on Apple's web site before trying this.

E-Mail
Transferring files via E-mail is only viable if both computers have access to your e-mail account. If this is the case, you can send an e-mail to yourself from computer A with a file or several files attached. Then, go to computer B, check your e-mail, and download the attached file or files.

As with some other file transfer methods, you must be careful that the file identification information isn't lost. Sometimes adjusting the attachment "encoding" of your e-mail program will overcome this difficulty. Some e-mail programs work best with AppleDouble (MIME) encoding, while others are happier with BinHex, an older standard. Experimentation with the settings may be advisable here.

Alternatively, you could compress the files before sending them. Compressing the file has two benefits: It can help prevent loss of file identification information, and it reduces the file size so the e-mail can transfer more quickly and not exceed the limits of your mail server.

AirPort (Wireless) Network
If both computers are newer, you can connect them via Apple's new AirPort wireless networking. To do this, you will need to have an AirPort card in each computer. You will also need to have an AirPort base station, or have one of the computers set up as a base station. See Apple's web site for more information about setting up AirPort networks on Mac OS 9, Mac OS X (10.1), and Mac OS X (Current Versions). For additional assistance with AirPort, see this page.

Once you've got an AirPort network connecting the two computers, you can then set up file sharing on one computer and connect to the "shared" computer with the other, allowing you to transfer files back an forth. Instructions on setting up file sharing on Mac OS 8 or 9 are available in this page on Apple's site. Equivalent instructions for Mac OS X systems can be found here.

Note: You may have to enable Appletalk on both computers (particularly if one of the computers uses OS 8 or 9) for file sharing to work.

Related information:

Compressing Files
As mentioned in some of the above sections, compressing a file can reduce the file's size, and can also assist in preventing loss of the file identification information. The general approach is to compress the file on one computer, transfer it to the other using one of the methods above, and then decompress the file. Mac OS X 10.3 and newer have built-in compression which is utilized by selecting a file in the Finder and choosing File -> Create Archive. For older Macs, The StuffIt line of products can be used.