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Ask Max: Migration assistant refuses to see my newer hard drive.

Asked on 06/08/2009:


After owning a new iMac for almost a year, I am finally getting a bit frustrated with not having my iTunes library on it. It still exists on our old G4 tower. We have moved the Comcast 'net cable connection to the new Mac.

The new iMac is a 24" screen 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 Gig of ram. OS is current, 10.5.5. Big screen, bright, fast. it's all good... almost.

The older Mac is a G4/466 tower with upgraded cpu @ 800 MHz, 896 MB of ram. OS is 10.3.9. The old Mac has the orig. 30 GB hard drive, but all current apps are running on an added 120 GB internal hard drive. That newer HD does not have a model name like the smaller factory '"IBM" , but is called a HDS722512VLAT20 in the System Profiler. (An independent consultant installed it and he has closed his business.)

I have tried using the new Mac's migration assistant app to retrieve iTunes and other data, and it refuses to "see" the larger drive running OSX on the old Mac. The old Mac's 30 GB drive has the OS9 system on it and is still sometimes useful because this is a "dual boot" Mac.

There is a lot of advice around about how to "move" an iTunes library and none of it exactly tells me how to get this done. I need specifics.

Both the new and old Mac have DVD burners, and I have used some DVD's to move large quantities of files over to the new Mac. I have had to recreate the stuff in the address book, FWIW.

I would really like to move all those songs over. I have a lot of ripped songs from my CD collection and a lot of purchased music from the Apple store.

Thanks for any help.



Apple has some nice tips on moving your iTunes library off an old computer or relocating the library to another drive.

For your needs you just want to be able to transfer your files over to the new computer. Perhaps the simplest way would be to use Target Disk mode. It sounds as if just the original hard drive is showing up in Target Disk mode. You may have to set up your 120 GB hard drive as the master drive. You can do this by moving the plug on the ribbon cable, attached the original drive, over to the larger drive. Then you will need to change the pinning on the drive to "master" from "slave." Here is a link to the pinning instructions for your drive.

Once you have the big drive set as master, you can now boot the G4 computer into Target Disk mode (boot the G4 with the [T] key held down). The 120 GB hard drive will now appear on the iMac's desktop when you connect the two computers with a firewire cable.

You can then use the Add to Library feature to import your old iTunes library or one of the suggestions from the Apple page above.

Hope that helps,


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