We're getting some positive feedback from the first testers of the new FireWire target disk mode-based System Migration feature, currently only available on newly shipping Power Mac G5 systems but likely to make its way to the rest of Apple's product line.
MacFixIt reader Ryan writes "I was very impressed with this feature. It transferred over all my settings, passwords, documents folder, iTunes library, applications folder, email, addresses pretty much anything in my home directory. It took about 3-4 hours to transfer over approx. 43 GB of data."
Ryan also brings up an interesting point for users who only have one monitor for both systems, new and old: "Since I had only one monitor, I had to juggle plugging the monitor from one machine to another to see what I was doing. My G4 wouldn't start up at all if there was no monitor attached to it. But I was able to unplug the monitor after it started up in firewire mode."
Re-entering serial numbers, other information Several readers have noted that they have to re-enter serial numbers for some programs, and re-install some third-party add-ons after performing a system migration.
Problems transferring data from SCSI drives As noted in Knowledge Base article #58583, FireWire target disk mode (on which the System Migration feature relies) only connects to the master ATA drive on the Ultra ATA bus. It will not connect to Slave ATA, ATAPI or SCSI drives.
Readers are using other solutions, including Ethernet transfer, to get the job done. One reader writes:
"(System migration) did not work. Why? Well, Target disk mode is limited. For example on my G4 tower the boot drive is a SCSI drive. I happen to have an IDE drive in it as well for some extra storage, so the Target disk mode only showed the IDE drive and not the SCSI drive(s).
"Frustrating. I ended up copying things over ethernet instead (100 base T is still plenty fast for that)."