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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1
Big-G
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OS X and Time Machine

Hi - I have a new iMac with OS X, which has no installation disc or CD/DVD drive.

As I type I am in the process of doing an initial TM backup to an external harddrive. If my iMac disc totally failed and I had installed a new blank drive into the iMac, how would I restore from the TM backup? Would the Command+R option work in that instance?

I am new to this, so apologies if this is a stupid question. I have heard of the need for a clone, but was wondering if the TM backup would be enough in the above situation.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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if it came with Mountain Lion (or Lion), you have internet recovery you can use Command-R (command option r for direct internet recovery)
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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if it came with Mountain Lion (or Lion), you have internet recovery you can use Command-R (command option r for direct internet recovery)
Thanks. It came with Mountain Lion (it's a late 2012 model - shipped in December). Do I need to turn anything on to enable the Internet Recovery?

Is there anyway to test that it works before I actually need it, or do I just assume it works if/when the worst was to happen?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
Hi - I have a new iMac with OS X, which has no installation disc or CD/DVD drive.

As I type I am in the process of doing an initial TM backup to an external harddrive. If my iMac disc totally failed and I had installed a new blank drive into the iMac, how would I restore from the TM backup? Would the Command+R option work in that instance?

I am new to this, so apologies if this is a stupid question. I have heard of the need for a clone, but was wondering if the TM backup would be enough in the above situation.
You can do a complete restore to a new, blank drive with your Time Machine backup you are making. Here is what you would do:

1. Install new blank drive
2. Plug in USB drive Time Machine (TM) backup and hold option key as you boot
3. Select the TM drive as the boot source when the boot selection screen comes up. This will start recovery from the TM disk.
4. Run Disk Utility and format the blank drive as Mac OS Extended
5. Click restore and wait while TM reinstalls the OS and all your data

You can also command-r boot to recovery to reinstall the OS, then import your data from Time Machine... but this requires you to redownload the entire 4.7GB OS. There is no need to do this as you already have the OS ready to restore from your TM backup using the process I explained above. Much faster.

----------

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Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
Thanks. It came with Mountain Lion (it's a late 2012 model - shipped in December). Do I need to turn anything on to enable the Internet Recovery?

Is there anyway to test that it works before I actually need it, or do I just assume it works if/when the worst was to happen?
You can do a command-r boot to make sure the Recovery HD partition works. You don't need to enable it.

Also, you can option key boot to the TM drive to make sure that works.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 04:15 PM   #5
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Hi - thanks a lot for the info.

Quote:
1. Install new blank drive
2. Plug in USB drive Time Machine (TM) backup and hold option key as you boot
3. Select the TM drive as the boot source when the boot selection screen comes up. This will start recovery from the TM disk.
4. Run Disk Utility and format the blank drive as Mac OS Extended
5. Click restore and wait while TM reinstalls the OS and all your data
I have tried using the option key a couple of times (with the TM disc connected) and I haven't managed to get the TM backup to be displayed as an option. The machine just shows the "Macintosh HD" icon, and there is no Western Digital or "My Book" icon available. Any ideas?


Quote:
You can do a command-r boot to make sure the Recovery HD partition works. You don't need to enable it.
Holding command-r did allow me to start the process of restoring from the TM disc in that it did show me the disc as an option. I didn't go through with this process, but I did get to see the option. Presumably though this will not work if the disc in the iMac itself is beyond repair?
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
I have tried using the option key a couple of times (with the TM disc connected) and I haven't managed to get the TM backup to be displayed as an option. The machine just shows the "Macintosh HD" icon, and there is no Western Digital or "My Book" icon available. Any ideas?
It won't say My Book... it will just show the bootable recovery partition on the Time Machine disk. It should look like the one with the green arrow on the right side of the example at the top of this page. Just to confirm, you completed the full backup with Time Machine before doing this?


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Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
Holding command-r did allow me to start the process of restoring from the TM disc in that it did show me the disc as an option. I didn't go through with this process, but I did get to see the option. Presumably though this will not work if the disc in the iMac itself is beyond repair?
It will work, just a little differently. If there is no recovery partition available (like with a dead drive), the machine will drop back to Internet recovery and ask what network to join. After you enter your wifi info it will DL a new 650MB recovery partition into RAM from Apple's servers, and after that it will look just like the recovery screen you saw earlier.

So essentially, there is a bit of code in the firmware that allows the machine to grab a new recovery startup image from Apple over the Internet.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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It won't say My Book... it will just show the bootable recovery partition on the Time Machine disk. It should look like the one with the green arrow on the right side of the example at the top of this page. Just to confirm, you completed the full backup with Time Machine before doing this?
The backup itself has been completed (TM looks like it has successfully completed a few hourly backups), but the encryption process is still going on. Could that be the issue with the TM recovery partition not appearing when I boot with the option key pressed? I'll leave it overnight and try again in the morning when hopefully the encryption process will have finished.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
The backup itself has been completed (TM looks like it has successfully completed a few hourly backups), but the encryption process is still going on. Could that be the issue with the TM recovery partition not appearing when I boot with the option key pressed? I'll leave it overnight and try again in the morning when hopefully the encryption process will have finished.
Yes. I think that is the issue.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:13 AM   #9
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After about the 15 hours, the encryption is still going....it's currently at 54%

It's a 3TB drive, but is this usual?
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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After about the 15 hours, the encryption is still going....it's currently at 54%

It's a 3TB drive, but is this usual?
Yep... the first time takes forever.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Hi - thanks for the help so far.

The TM backups are working and the encryption has has now finished. However, I still do not see the TM drive (which is a Western Digital My Book, 3TB, USB3.0) as an option when I boot with the option key selected. Any ideas on this one? I've tried it several times, but I've had no joy.

As a side issue, when I press the Option key and it shows the "Macintosh HD", at the point where it asks me to select my network, my wifi network doesn't appear in the list (my neighbours does). Again, if there is anything I should be doing here please let me know. For info, the wifi is definitely turned on and working as I have other devices that are using it. Also, when I boot the iMac up, it connects to be network straight away with no issue.
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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Did you encrypt the Time Machine drive? That would be why it doesnt show up on startup/boot options
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Old Jan 23, 2013, 03:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
Hi - thanks for the help so far.

The TM backups are working and the encryption has has now finished. However, I still do not see the TM drive (which is a Western Digital My Book, 3TB, USB3.0) as an option when I boot with the option key selected. Any ideas on this one? I've tried it several times, but I've had no joy.
Try this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-G View Post
As a side issue, when I press the Option key and it shows the "Macintosh HD", at the point where it asks me to select my network, my wifi network doesn't appear in the list (my neighbours does). Again, if there is anything I should be doing here please let me know. For info, the wifi is definitely turned on and working as I have other devices that are using it. Also, when I boot the iMac up, it connects to be network straight away with no issue.
Is your router setup to show the SSID?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 05:42 PM   #14
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Wow. That is odd. Never heard of that before. Glad you figured it out because I was stumped.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 05:51 PM   #15
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I didn't see anyone mention this alternative -- get another hard drive and clone your internal drive to it (this can be done with Disk Utility, but CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! will do fast repeated cloning by looking for differences and making the clone the same as the original drive).

Now if your internal fails, just clone the external back to the original internal. As a bonus, you can run off the the external drive while waiting for a replacement internal -- useful if you can't get your system fixed right away.

I've had two drive failures on my Macs since I "switched" and have yet to do an OS install.
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