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I have an old MacBook Pro that I am replacing with a slightly less old MBP. Both are running Lion 10.7.2. (The older MBP has some hardware issues.)

The first MBP has a lot of music, video, application preferences, and symbolic links that I need to make sure get over to the second MBP, so that I can just swap the machines and, for the most part, be done with the swap.

The catch is that second MBP has a much smaller hard drive, so I can't simply copy over the Users folder, let alone run Carbon Copy Cloner, etc.

What is the best way to clone selected folders, which ensures that hidden files, symbolic links, files with special permissions, etc. are recursively included?

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The easiest way should be with Migration Assistant (included with OS X). Just plug an Ethernet cable into both MacBooks, open Migration Assistant on both, and you'll be able to select what folders/applications you want to move over.

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