Can I Restore a Snow Leopard backup to Lion?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Invasion11, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Invasion11 macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2011
    I'm planning on whipping my HD and doing a clean install of Lion. I've a Time Machine backup from Snow Leopard. Can I restore my Snow Leopard User Account from Time Machine backup to Lion? Also, is iLife 11 Included in Lion? Should I not backup my default mac apps?
  2. Patrick J macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Mar 12, 2009
    Oporto, Portugal
    Your default Mac apps will all be installed fresh, with the exception of apps like Frontrow and Sync, which aren’t included with Lion. A backup of the has been uploaded, and works fine with Lion.

    iLife isn’t included, you will have to either buy it on the App Store or use the software CD that came with your new Mac.

    You can use Time Machine to restore Documents and Settings.

    Good luck.
  3. mac1984user macrumors 6502a


    Dec 10, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Hey there. Good luck with your transition. My friend and I just did this yesterday, so I can confirm it works. We did a clean install of Lion on his MBP and then migrated all of his settings and files using Time Machine and his latest Snow Leopard (10.6.8, rev 2) backup. Things transferred over just fine and his user folder was intact. However, he had been having some slow-down issues in SL and some quirky problems and those all resurfaced in Lion after he migrated over. A NEW user account did not have the same issues. So, I encouraged him to do another clean re-install and then to manually drag files and programs over that he wanted. When possible, we used discs and DMGs to reinstall software. That is my only complaint with doing a full restore, but then it's kind of impossible NOT to get the good with the bad when you go that route. Hope that helps!
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Since you have the backup, why not just go for it? The Lion install without all the "clean" install stuff goes pretty quickly. Give it a try, and if it caused all kinds of headaches then just wipe the drive (and flagellate as necessary) and proceed as you planned. Odds are you will be happy with the regular install. I have a massively tweaked system and it went fine for me. I frankly think that a migration may cause as many problems as the regular install, and it takes much longer.

  5. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I am trying to go from a Snow Leopard backup to a new Lion machine and I am having some problems I am trying to figure out.

    With a Time Machine restore, I thought everything would appear to be exactly the same as the old machine: files and folders in the same place, user settings, preferences, dock icons, etc. Also, thing like iPhoto and iTunes were empty on the new machine. I did some digging around within the file directory and imported some media, but they're all bunched together in one big group. None of the albums, events, etc are there, and it is not organized at all.

    I read a few articles saying that maybe this is a Snow Leopard to Lion issue. Is there any way to get the new machine to look exactly like the old one? Would Migration Assistant with an ethernet cable be better, or would I need to use some sort of disk cloning software?
  6. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I used Migration Assistant with an ethernet cable, and it worked like a charm.

    Only one minor issue. The iPhoto app on the new machine is iPhoto '09, not the newest one: '11. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but this machine would need the Photo Stream, so I need to update it. All of the other iLife products are current, just not iPhoto. It looks like I'll need to reinstall iPhoto, but I'm hoping that doesn't mess up my events/albums.
  7. jent macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2010
    Did you do it successfully? This is a great question. I don't back up very often, and since I just upgraded to Lion I want to know if I'm safe with my Snow Leopard Time Machine backup.
  8. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    Yes, with Migration Assistant it worked seamlessly, which was how I thought the Time Machine restore was supposed to work. But if it's because they were both different operating systems, then I guess that's understandable.

    When I first got the machine I booted it up, told it to backup from a Time Machine drive, hooked up the external HD, and let it run for a couple of hours. When it was finished, the desktop looked like default, none of my personal settings were there, and it seemed like I had to do even more digging around in Finder to locate my files.

    So rather than attempting another restore, I went into Disk Utility and erased the HD, then reinstalled Lion to start over again. I chose to use Migration Assistant and connected the two machines via ethernet cable. This time it worked great.

    Everything is right where it should be, all my settings are intact, and my dock looks like the way it was (with the addition of Launchpad, etc).
  9. jent macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2010
    Trauma1, so it didn't work with the Time Machine backup? You had to use your old Mac with its contents still intact?
  10. macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2010

    I think I have the same question Jent does:

    Can you use Migration Assistant to move your data and preferences to your new Mac from the Time Machine backup, or will this still cause the same problems you described(losing settings and preferences, etc.) when doing it via the Time Machine alone?


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