Upgrading your portable Mac? Normally, as with al things Apple, this is a simple task, but user migration via Migration Assistant is one very difficult task these days, thanks to the absence of FireWire 400 in the Late 2008 portable Macs. With FireWire, placing the source Mac into Target Disk Mode, Migration Assistant would typically take less than an hour. Without Target Disk Mode, it's anywhere from twice that time to quadruple. Migration Assistant automatically launches during the first time a brand new Mac is started (Do You Already Own a Mac?), but it can also be launched from the Applications/Utilities folder from a Mac that has been initially setup with a user account. Here is a list of different ways to use Migration Assistant. If migrating to a late-2008 MacBook Pro: Use Migration Assistant with a FireWire cable. This is the simplest and fastest solution. If migrating from models with FireWire 400 to the new MacBook Pros, which have a FW800 port, a simple 6-to-9 pin FireWire cable is all that's needed. If migrating FW800 to FW800, then buy make sure you to have a 9-to-9 pin FW cable. Migration Assistant will instruct you on how to get the source computer into Target Disk Mode and all you need to do is follow the onscreen instructions. if Migrating to a late 2008 MacBook (which doesn't have a FW port) 1. Migration Assistant via USB. This one is a bit tricky, because Target Disk Mode is not possible over USB. Meaning, you cannot connect two computers via a USB cable. To achieve this, an External USB HD Enclosure is needed, along with some basic screwdrivers - remove the Hard Drive from the older Mac (instructions can be found at http://www.ifixit.com/) - temporarily place that HD into a USB enclosure - connect to the new Mac via USB cable - run Migration Assistant, either through the one offered at first boot up, or by launching it (in a temporary Admin account) from the Application/Utilities folder. - if in the firt boot option 'Do You Already Own a Mac?', select 'from another volume on this Mac'. - if via Applications/Utilities folder, choose the "From a Time Machine backup or other disk" option (in this case, it's an 'other disk') - select your old drive from the list and the items you wish to transfer as these are all options - follow the on screen instructions - wait - when done, place the drive back into the old Mac. if migrating from the previous model MBP to the unibody MacBook (no FireWire connection), it's easier to remove the new drive from the unibody, place that drive in an enclosure, and then boot into that external drive by holding the option key at startup. Migration Assistant can be launched from there. *with the methods listed below, it's best to NOT wait for the migration to complete. Leave the house, go to a Starbucks, or do it before you sleep. 2. via Ethernet cable. This is a simple setup, but will take typically a few hours to complete. This setup will take probably 2-3x the time it takes to migrate compared to a USB method. - connect an Ethernet cable to both Macs - on both Macs, launch Migration Assistant - on the source Mac, select "To another Mac" - on the new Mac, select "to another Mac" - follow the onscreen instructions and wait 3. Restore from a Time Machine backup. If you've been using Time Machine to backup your data regularly, this is your opportunity to put that backup into good use. Just make sure to manually initiate a backup from the old Mac before proceeding. There are two sources of Time Machine backups: a. in a USB Drive (external) - this is the fastest of the three methods b. in a TimeCapsule, in which you can connect two ways: - via Wi-Fi, which is the slowest way to go! - via Ehthernet cable, which is faster than Wi-Fi, but not as fast as USB If you're like me and you exclude the System, Library and Applications folders from your Time Machine backups, Migration Assistant upon startup of a new Mac will not detect the backup volume. You'll need to proceed to create a temporary Admin account and launch Migration Assistant from the Applications/Utilities folder. 4. via a Wireless Network - This is the slowest of any method. If you choose this method, I suggest you leave it running and go to Subic for the weekend. Maybe when you get back, it'll be complete. So, in conclusion, the easiest way to user migrate is to ask an Authorized Service Provider to do it for you. This may not be the best way, because you are not in control, and the privacy of your data is compromised (Edison Chen anyone?). The best way, IMO, is to extract your old HD and place it in an enclosure for a USB-connected Migration Assistant.