Part tech support part rant...
I got my wife a new Macbook for Christmas, because her Macbook Air 11" is getting too small for older eyes. I started setting it up this weekend, going through all the initial stuff, everything but copying over files and settings from her old Mac because she was using that one at the time. When I got access to her old Mac later, I started the Migration Assistant, but ran into a dialog asking if I wanted to overwrite the new account on her new Mac or change the name of the account I was copying over. I didn't want to lose the setup I'd done and I know that having all her files under a different name, I punted until I could read more about the choice.
After reading some, I tried again last night. First, I hit difficulties because the Migration Assistant repeatedly told me it could reach the old Mac, even though it listed it right in the tool so that I could select it! Several restarts and retries later, I got through that and back the account choice. Fuck. The Replace Account option I was going to choose is disabled. Can't choose it. The only option is to change the name of the old account - which is her name - to something else. That would confuse the hell out of my wife.
What the fuck, Apple? You create the accounts with the user's name! When you set up a new Mac, it's ALWAYS going to have an account with the same name, because people's names don't change.
From Googling, it seems the two options are to change the new Mac's account name or reinstall the OS (!!). So, I went with the name change thing.
They don't make that easy, but I thought I got it right, adding a "2" to the end of the account name, with the plan to just delete that account after I was done. When I saved that screen, it immediately showed me that the new account name was something like "-2" with no username. Fuck. I rebooted and it came back up with her name as the account again (good, I guess?), but now that account was no longer an Admin account. And nothing I entered for an admin account worked. So, now her Mac has no admin account.
So I went with option two and rebooted with the command-R option to reinstall the OS. 45 minutes later, it boots up and the accounts are EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE. No admin accounts.
So, this time, I rebooted into single user mode and removed the file that specifies that the computer has already been through setup. When I rebooted, it properly went into setup and asked me for a name. I gave my wife's name with "new" on the end. That worked, and now I had an admin account with that name and still her old account with her name and non-admin rights. Fine.
I ran the Migration Assistant again (trying several times to get it to connect again) and this time got further. It never asked me about the redundant user accounts, so I thought that was a win. But then. It popped up a new dialog with a very long message that started with "In order to add new users to this system we need to collect a password..." and a prompt for something like the Volume Password. No user account, just a password. Of course, none of the passwords I used to set up the box worked (and no, I didn't turn on drive encryption).
So, I'm still stuck with a very expensive computer that I can't fucking use. Macs, easy to use, right?! Any suggestions before I give up and take the damn thing back to the Apple Store to get completely fucking reset?
(my thoughts are to go back to the terminal and remove the user accounts, and maybe then reinstall the OS AGAIN. Reasonable?)