Best way to reinstall entire system on a replacement HDD from TM backup?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by wlow3, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. wlow3, Dec 7, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

    wlow3 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    I've been trying to read up on this but it's still not clear to me the best way to go about this.

    My original iMac (24" early 2008) HDD is just about dead (now beyond Disk Recovery). I have a Time Machine Backup on an external FireWire 800 disk. I have a new HDD arriving tomorrow. I have the Recovery Disk Assistant on a USB drive, and I might even have the full install DVD one could make from the original Mac App Store downloaded install file, which would be version 10.7.0.

    I know the new HDD will have to be formatted, that Lion will have to be reinstalled and all my data will have to be transferred to the new HDD from the Time Machine backup.

    What is the best way to go about this?

    Do I run Disk Utility from the Recovery Disk Assistant and format the drive on the first boot up, then install Lion, then do a Restore from Time Machine backup?

    Do I just do the Restore option and it is smart enough to format the disk and move Lion back over in a less fragmented way than what might exist on the backup HDD, and make the Recovery partition? To ensure the least fragmentation should I install the latest version of Lion from the Internet first and then back the rest up from the Time Machine drive?

    Supposedly there is a Recovery Assistent on Time Machine backup disks after version 10.7.2, so do I skip the USB drive and do an Option key Restart and point to the Time Machine drive and go from there?


    Also, is it better to do a new install of lion and use Setup Assistant with TM backup or Restore from Backup from Lion Recovery?
  2. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    I just did this last week.

    1. Make a bootable lion install USB key from your lion app store download

    2. install new hard drive.

    2. Plug in the USB key and boot to it.

    3 go to disk utility and format the new hard drive.

    4. Install lion.

    5. At the end of the lion install it will offer you to restore from time machine backup. Plug in your drive with the time machine backup on it and let it restore.

    That's a summary of what I did.
  3. wlow3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Cool. That's actually the way I'm thinking too after looking at a bunch of stuff on the Internet.

    When you do the USB drive, does it pull down the latest version of lion (10.7.2) or is it 10.7 and I'll have to do a system update afterwards. If it's the latter I may use the install DVD i made which already had 10.7 on it.
  4. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007
    When i downloaded lion it was 10.7.2 so that's the one that was used to make the usb stick. When they do update lion i'll redownload it and make a new usb stick so it has the latest version.
  5. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2010
    This is what I did:

    1) backup mbp via time machine on powermac harddrive

    2) ensure firmware updates and recovery firmware update are present

    3) install SSD

    4) ctrl+r, install Lion from internet

    5a) modify macos to use unsupported network volumes
    5b) restore apps, settings, users, etc from Time Machine backup

    6) profit

    Works wonderfully. I have zero issues.
  6. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Is your USB drive from the Lion Recovery Assistant ... if so it will download the latest 10.7.2 from apple ... takes a while because of bandwidth.

    The steps the other posted listed look good. Get another backup eventually perhaps if possible on a different external hard drive just to not overwrite the one you used as your base restore if you can.

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