I have copied the complete internal disk (using Disk Utility) from a 2008 MacBook Pro, running 10.11.6, to a Late 2013 MacBook Pro (I wanted to avoid using the Migration Assistant because that leads to so many more issues such as broken Aliases, unregistered apps, missing some custom system settings and tools, etc.).
Everything worked fine on the new MacBook after that, with two exceptions:
iCloud asked to re-login with the password, but even though it was accepted, next time the Mac was restarted, iCloud asked again for the password. Solution here was to turn off iCloud entirely (with preserving all local data), then enable it again.
Some external USB disks do not work on the new MacBook, while other USB devices do work. The USB devices are recognized (e.g. in the System Profiler), but the drives do not spin up or fail in other ways to get mounted. For example, the external Apple DVD SuperDrive does not even inject a DVD.
After installing Sierra freshly on a second partition and performing a SMC reset, the Apple DVD SuperDrive worked again. However, when rebooting back into the 10.11.6 system, the DVD drive still would not work. Upgrading that system to 10.12.1 did not help, either.
I suspect that there are some persistent hardware related settings in the OSX system from the 2008 MacBook Pro that got carried over to the new MacBook, instead of having those reset for the new hardware.
So, my question is: Are there ways to cause an installed OSX system to reconfigure itself for the new hardware it's now running on? E.g, are there some plists I could delete and then OSX recreates them at the new startup?
I'd guess this should not even be necessary. After all, one could install an OSX system on an external disk and then use that to boot various Mac models, right? For that to work properly, the OSX must not retain any Mac model related settings. So I am surprised that I now have a system that behaves like it isn't aware of the newer model, even though this is 10.11, which came out after the model it's running on.