Planning on hard resetting my MPB, can I access files on my time capsule like normal?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Gianmarco, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Gianmarco, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013

    Gianmarco macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    I currently back up my MBP hard drive contents to an external hard drive via time machine.

    If I reformat (i have too much crap on it and its slowing the computer down), can I access the hard drive contents and "restore" just certain parts?

    I have never had to use time machine to restore anything, so I am a tad unfamiliar with the process.

    The main thing I would want restored are my itunes content, among other things.


    Edit: Changed "hard reset" to "reformat".
  2. negativzero macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2011
    Don't think you can selectively restore. It's all or nothing.
  3. iWaiting macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2012
  4. justperry macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Yes you can select certain things


    Reinstall from scratch, at least that's what I understand of it.
  5. dontpannic macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2011
    Orpington, Kent, UK
    So a reformat? Say reformat, you don't hard reset a computer.
  6. Gianmarco thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010

    How would my MBP go about detecting the external as a previously used time capsule? Would it recognize it as something it cna "go back in time" to since the hard drive would be reformated?

    dontpannic: I edited my original post to say "reformated."
  7. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    I think some terminology here has confused things.

    You can plug in your USB Time Machine drive and option key boot, then select the TM drive to boot from. That will give you a recovery screen much like the normal Recovery HD screen. From there you can use Disk Utility to erase the drive then click restore to put everything back. However, that does you absolutely no good, as it puts everything right back where it was (junk and all) and you will have accomplished nothing.

    Doing a "restore" like I just described you cannot pick and choose what to restore. It restores everything.

    Next option is to command-r boot to Recovery HD then erase Macintosh HD and reinstall the OS. This gives you the "clean" system it sounds like you are after. Once you have done that you have two options.

    Option one... at the end of the install run Migration Assistant and point it to the Time Machine backup. This does allow you some control over what to put back on the machine. You can see your options in the screen below. Arguably, using this method again puts much of the "junk" back and accomplishes little.


    Option two... at the end of the install setup an admin account for yourself then manually reinstall all apps and manually copy data (documents, music etc) back over from the Time Machine drive. If you have a lot of apps and custom settings this can be very time consuming. Also, if you are not particularly familiar with how OS X works, you can screw things up.

    This last option (two) I described is what you will see users referring to as a "clean install."
  8. Gianmarco thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010
    Yes, what I am planning to do is basically get my MBP back to the state of rhwn I first got it out of the box two years ago.

    In regards to option 2, I do not think I am familiar enough with OSX to do this properly.

    Since the main things I need are my music, documents and pictures, I think I will just manually back those up to an external and move them to the HDD when the clean install is finished.

    On that note, my external tha tI use for Time Machine is 640GB and my MBP's internal HDD is 320, do you know if it is possible to treat the extra space on my external as a second HDD, or is the whole thing set to use as time machine?
  9. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes, you can just use Disk Utility to make a second partition on the drive. One for TM and the other for your personal use however you want. Just follow this to shrink down the first partition, then add the second one.
  10. Gianmarco thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2010

    Just to make sure though. This partition can be made evne though the external is already being used for time machine correct?

    If so, should i make the partition big enough so that the size of the time machine partition does not go bellow my internals capcity?
  11. Weaselboy macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes... if you follow the instructions in the link it will do a non-destructive shrink of the main partition with your Time Machine data on there. Then you just add the new partition at the end.

    It really is related to how much data you have or plan to have, plus a cushion for some document versioning. So if you are now using say 100GB, and wanted to allow maybe another 30GB for things you may add along the way.... for a total 130GB... then plus 50% or so to allow some versions of files to be saved... that would be about 195GB. Just for example. Never hurts to make it a little bigger than you think you might need.

    But just because say you have a 1TB drive, does not mean you need that much time machine space if the 1TB is not all being used. What is being used or what you think you may use is what matters.

Share This Page