I have a copy of GarageBand 4 (I think it's branded as "iLife 08" in the retail box) on an old Mac. I bought a new Mac, and want to transfer the app to it. (By my reading of the license, this is perfectly legal, as long as I don't continue to use it on the old computer.)

I copied GarageBand.app over, and then it complained about missing "Application Support" and "Apple Loops Index". I've started copying these files, but my network isn't the fastest (the set of Loops is pretty big).

Is there an easier way to go about this? Am I missing something here?

I don't think the older Mac came with physical media for iLife -- only OS X. I see some .pkg bundles in /Library/Recepits/ with "GarageBand" in the name -- is there an automatic way to copy or repackage these?

  • GarageBand comes with every new Mac. Do you specifically need the old one? – robmathers Nov 5 '12 at 3:47
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    Er, when I said "new Mac", I meant "new to me". It's a used machine, and has been reformatted since it's had iLife. – Ken Nov 5 '12 at 5:31
  • Sorry, I misunderstood. – robmathers Nov 5 '12 at 15:48

If iLife came pre-installed on your computer back in 2008, your computer came with one or two install discs. If there were two, iLife installers exist on the second disc.

You didn't specify what kind of computer your old or new computers are, but if they both have FireWire ports, you could use Target Disk Mode and a FireWire cable to transfer files faster than via your slow network.

A third method to transfer GarageBand (and other applications) from your old computer to your new would be to use the Migration Assistant application. You can't select individual applications to copy, but you can fairly seamlessly transfer applications from one computer to another, then delete what you don't want.

Without knowing any specifics about hardware or OS version, it's difficult to give you better advice, but your three best bets to more seamlessly copy the application are 1) the install disc, 2) copy the files using Target Disk Mode, or 3) use Migration Assistant.

  • It's a plain Macbook from 2007 (apparently "iLife 2008" was actually released in 2007). I double-checked all the boxes just now, and there is no second apps disc. – Ken Nov 5 '12 at 5:34

If your Mac has a Firewire port, @Daniel's Target Disk method will work. However, if you don't want to have to shut down one of the computers, you can actually set up a Firewire network. Just connect both computers with a Firewire cable, and go to System Preferences > Network, then check to see that Firewire is the top service. If it isn't, but it has a green dot, just click the gear icon at the bottom, and select Set Service Order. Then drag Firewire to the top.

Now you can copy files across using Firewire speeds, without shutting down either computer.

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