Photo by Shripal Daphtary on Unsplash

Using Migration Assistant with a one USB-C port MacBook

So you know that process where you use migration assistant to move an account from one Mac to a new one? With the MacBook, the customer can do this via one of the following methods.

  • Connect both computers to the same local WiFior Ethernet network.
  • Or connect both computers directly using a Thunderbolt, FireWire, or Ethernet cable.
  • Or connect the new Mac to a Time Capsule or external drive with a Time Machine backup of your old Mac.

Except for WWiFinone of the options works well when you need the USB-C port to connect the external hard drive or Ethernet cable (via an adapter) or USB-C to USB-C, but the MacBook battery needs to be charged. I planned to use Migration Assitant to transfer my son’s account from the family iMac to his new MacBook. The MacBook only has one USB-C port. The 2013 iMac has USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports. It seemed to be the most practical migration path was to use a USB-C to Ethernet adapter. I picked one up at the Apple Store in the Quaker Bridge Mall. When I explained what it was for, the Apple genius tried to convince me that I did not need an adapter. He told me to use a backup from Time Machine. I tried to explain that I still needed an adapter since my 2013 iMac did not have USB-C. Apple doesn’t sell USB Type-B to USB Type-C adapters.

I didn’t have any problems connecting the two Macs via the Ethernet cable, but the MacBook complained that the battery was low before I could start. I needed to charge it before Migration Assistant could continue. That meant that I could no longer use the USB-C to Ethernet adapter. I could either wait to migrate until after I charged the battery or use the ONLY USB-C port to charge the MacBook and do the migration over WiFi.

I decided to use WiFWiFido for the migration while the MacBook charged. I didn’t know how long that would take, but I had no choice but to migrate my son’s account info using WiFiWiFi almost as soon as I started, I had to stop. The new MacBook has an older version of macOS than the iMac. Migration Assistant could not continue until after I updated the macOS on the MacBook. Downloading and installing macOS to the MacBook took over 45 minutes on WiFi.WiFie the macOS update was complete, I was finally able to start migrating the account. According to the Migration Assistant, the process would take fours hours over WiFi. WiFiMacs will be tied up during the process.

This experience has me thinking about how my son will back up his MacBook during the school year. Apple would most likely suggest backing up over WiFi toWiFime Capsule. But the campus has its WiFi, and residents are not allowed to set up their access points. A Time Capsule for WiFi backup over WiFi would be useless.

I think the only option is to buy a $150 USB-C dock so that my son can charge the MacBook while he connects an external hard drive for use with Time Machine backup. Backing up to an external hard drive is the practical thing to do.

In case you think this is a case of sour grapes, consider this. Apple is offering back-to-school bundles that include a MacBook and Beats headphones. The Beats uses a USB Type-B to USB-mini cable. You can’t charge your Beats via a MacBook. The iPhone is offered with a USB to Lightning cable. You can’t charge your iPhone via a MacBook. What the f**k is Jonny Ive thinking!

One comment

  1. Yes, they should rename their company dongle!… but seriously as an investor can we get the clowns in charge thrown out for incompetence?

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