Hey gents! So I know there are a lot of Mac users over here now so I figured I'd throw this out there and see what the best plan of attack would be. Right now I have a MacBook from 2008 that has OSX 10.5 (Leopard, it was right before Snow Leopard came out IIRC?) and I have a Time Capsule at home that I use to back up all my files. I just purchased a new 2011 MacBook Pro that should be coming with Lion pre-installed but if not I was told there was a free update to Lion available from the Apple website. I ordered it bare bones because it's cheaper to swap the HDD and RAM myself so I grabbed a 1TB drive and an 8GB kit that I can toss in there as soon as I get it.
I know that if my current macbook were the same OS I could use Time Machine to just load all my files onto the new system but since the OS is different, what's the best way to get all my old files onto the new machine with the BLANK hard drive? I've never had to use Time Machine to restore stuff, would it be possible to install the 1TB drive and load everything from my Time Capsule onto the new machine and still get it to upgrade to Lion for free? I might stop by the Apple store tonight since my new laptop isn't here yet but I would like to have a plan of attack ready so I'm not just sitting there staring at the hardware wishing I could get everything running right off the bat! Since there is a ton of data (over 200GB) that needs to be transferred, I'd rather not have to take both laptops and leave them at the Apple store as I'm sure they would offer that since I believe the file transfer is covered on the new purchase so what's the best option for what I'd like to do here? Someone also mentioned that with Lion since they're pushing for everything to be pulled from the Apple servers that there should be a way to install the OS straight onto the blank HDD but then I'd still run into the issue of how do I get my applications and data off the old machine onto the new one. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'd love to avoid having to take a trip to the Apple stores since the closest one is hard to find parking and the 2nd closest one is like 30+ minutes away!
you can hook up your old computer and use migration assistant to pull over your accounts/fonts/applications/mail/and files
It doesn't work with every program under the sun tho (Adobe hates it as does final cut) So you might have to reinstall a program or two.
check out this link How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac