Assistance on setting up my Time Machine backup on my friend's MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jdocdp, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. jdocdp macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2017

    I'm soon going on vacation and I'm planning to take an external hard drive, which contains my MacBook's Time Machine backup in it, but I won't take the MacBook itself with me. I will leave it back home so my brother (and business partner) can use it.

    For the next couple of months I will be staying with a friend who has a spare MacBook and offered me to use it.

    I need some guidance on how I can set an entirely separate partition on my friend's MacBook, then install my Time Machine backup from my hard drive in it and then, when it's time for me to return home, I want to know the steps I need to follow to remove it from my friend's MacBook, so I can basically return their MacBook the exact way I got it.

    Please, note that, I do not wish to make a separate account on their already existing partition, in case you're thinking of suggesting that, as (I imagine) might be quicker, but it's not an actual solution for me.

    Also, a possibly silly question: will my brother be able to use our MacBook back home, while I use my friend's MacBook after I set it up with my Time Machine's backup as desribed above? Or is it that only one of us will be able to use it at a time? If we actually can't, would it make any difference, if only one of us is connected on the internet, at a time?

    By the way, my friend's MacBook runs '10.6 Snow Leopard' and my Time Machine's backup is '10.7 Lion' but since I'm setting an entirely separate partition, I guess that doesn't make any difference, does it? Both MacBooks are 4,1 so we know for fact that my friend's MacBook can also run '10.7 Lion'. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Thank you in-advance for your help, guys.
  2. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2016
    The Time Machine backup is a "backup". It is not your "account".

    It is certainly possible to extract documents out of the backup. However, it will be much easier if you prepare by copying everything you'll need onto a portable drive. This could be a USB stick. It could be a new drive. And it can even be your Time Capsule drive used as just a regular drive. (The backup can remain - you'd just copy files to the drive's root level and into any folders you create for them.)

    It is quite simple to create a new login for you to use. When you're done, then you'd just delete the login and all the files will go away.

    If for whatever reason you wish to co-mingle browser bookmarks and history, email, preferences settings, and documents, then you'll have to copy individual files.

    No problem - the machine will simply not be performing backups because of the missing drive.
  3. jdocdp thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2017
    Thank you for your response.

    If I understand correctly you're suggesting that I take with me the files that I need with an external HD, and transfer them to a newly created account on my friend's already existing partition.

    If that is the case, that's definitely not a solution for me. My friend's MacBook runs '10.6 Snow Leopard' and only has a few third party apps installed. Mine runs '10.7 Lion' and I have a ton of third party apps that I rely on.

    If I did what you suggested I'm afraid I'd have to even bring the Lion install DVD, and then upgrade my friend's MacBook to Lion and then install all of the apps I need and settings and files etc. That's just waaay too time consuming, when I can simply just plug my Time Machine HD and let it mirror my MacBook on my friend's MacBook on a new partition.

    Am I missing something?
  4. jdocdp thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2017

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