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I recently purchased a new iMac. I used the Migration Assistant to migrate users and applications from my previous iMac to this one.

Both are x86 based, and both running Snow Leopard, so as close as possible from that perspective.

While most things came across cleanly, it seems that programs that have lower-level driver like things did not.

My ScanSnap for example did not work, and had to be reinstalled from DVD.

My PL2303-based serial port seems to need a reinstall, and I have not yet tried the blackberry software.

Is the assistant supposed to migrate kext and low-level stuff like that? If not, is there an easy way to find out what is missing? Should I do something different in the future with respect to migration?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If it was easy to find all of the system items associated with an application, Migration Assistant would've done it for you; generally, if it can't figure it out, the easiest solution is to reinstall the software that didn't come over cleanly.

There is an alternative, however: clone the entire volume with something like Carbon Copy Cloner. This'll get all of the add-on software fine (except things like hardware-tied license keys and such), but may run into compatibility problems with the new computer. For example, if you clone from an older system to a new one that requires a special build of the latest OS version (with new drivers & such for the new hardware config), you may have to reinstall the OS (from the disc that came with the new computer) to get that to work. Pick your poison...

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So would that speak to installing apps by hand, and perhaps only using Migration for users? –  sdg Dec 9 '10 at 19:30
    
I'd generally say to give Migration Assistant a try, then reinstall anything that gives you trouble afterward. While MA doesn't work for everything, it generally works well enough to be easier than just reinstalling everything. –  Gordon Davisson Dec 9 '10 at 21:55
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