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My wife has a mid 2006 macbook that has been upgraded to snow leopard. I have a mid 2008 macbook pro that has been upgraded to Yosemite. I now want to give my macbook pro to my wife, and thought I could just swap in the drive from her macbook into the MBP (and then subsequently upgrade her to Yosemite). Swapping results in a kernel panic on the MBP; having done some reading, I suspect the problem is that somewhere along the way the MBP's firmware was upgraded such that it can no longer run snow leopard.

Since I can't (apparently) swap the drive in, what is the best way to move my wife's entire drive contents (i.e. apps, data, settings, whatever else) over to the MBP under Yosemite with as little fuss as possible? I have a cloned version of her macbook snow leopard drive available if that helps matters...

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Thanks to those who responded to my question, but here's what I ended up doing:

  • Installed my wife's macbook/Snow Leopard drive in a caddy and attached it to another mac machine as an external drive
  • Downloaded the OS X Yosemite installer from the App Store and ran it with the external drive as the target
  • Attached the newly updated external drive to my Macbook Pro as an external drive and booted up off of it (booted up into startup manger mode - press and hold the option key after the powerup tone - and then selected the external drive as the bootup disk
  • removed the drive from the caddy and installed into the MBP

I'm not sure the third step is really necessary.

This all resulted in a Macbook Pro running Yosemite with all my wife's data/apps/etc in place with little fuss - my original goal :-)

(If anyone else is following this procedure, a reminder to effectively backup your data before starting! In my case that meant using Carbon Copy Cloner to an external drive.)

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You will be able to transfer the data from one mac to another use Migration Assistant. Target disk mode isn't the best solution for a full migration like this. If you can back up the drive with your content, wipe it, reinstall the OS and start Migration Assistant to transfer over her data, that would be one approach. You could also buy a cheap drive to swap your drive out with, reinstall the OS and migrate the data over the same way. Either way, Migration Assistant is going to be your friend through this process. Follow the on-screen instructions, and it should be a painless process. Make sure everything is backed up first though!

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There is a method called Target Disk mode. Probably the best for your case, and you only need to move her home folder that contains all her info. Keep in mind that when moving apps they have to be Yosemite compatible.

This way you can just leave the original Yosemite drive in your MacBook pro and only move files of interest to you.

Apple article how to do that: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH10725?locale=en_US

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