Can Time Machine restore my MBA on a different MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by watermelonbook, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. watermelonbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    #1
    I use Time Machine to do full back-ups of my MBA 2013 with 256GB SSD. (to a WD 1TB USB portable hard drive)

    If my MBA dies and has to be replaced with another MBA(identical year with identical specs), can the Time Machine back-up restore everything that was on the old MBA?

    THanks!
     
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    Yes. That's one of the main reasons to have the backup.
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    I have been using the Migration Assistant with my Time Machine backup disk each time I upgrade to a new machine. The beauty of this approach is that it knows which files not to copy (incompatible system files from the old machine).

    If you are really moving to an identical machine, then Time Machine by itself should do the job. But would a new machine really be completely identical? If it is, then you could also use a clone of the old machine with software like Carbon Copy. I have three levels of backup myself - continuous with an Airport Time Capsule, weekly with Time Machine on an external drive, and weekly clones with Carbon Copy. The nice thing about the clone is that I can actually boot off the external disk if needed.
     
  4. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    I've done this with my last four Apple laptops (Macbook, MBP, MBA, MBP) without a single issue.
     
  5. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    #5
    As long, as you don't install an older version os OSX than the Timemachine backup. I don't think there is a difference. First OSX is installed and then Migration Assistant is run. Running it directly at installation time saves the the extra step of setting up a temporary user account.
     
  6. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Good point. Make sure OSX on your new laptop has all the system updates applied before restoring from the time machine backup.

    Side question, can I physically plug the Time Capsule drive into my laptop to speed up a Time Machine restore?
     
  7. Significant1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2014
    #7
    I think modern OSX will check for latest OSX during installation, if connected to internet. So you always install an up to date version.

    Physical connection, can only be done by ethernet. So you need to have an ethernet adapter (1Gbps to get any speed advantage). Turn off wifi before starting restore, to make sure the cable is used. On my previous generation Time Capsule I am maxing out at 50MB/s, which is well below the physical limitation of disk and 1Gbps ethernet. Computer to Computer with cable and TimeCapsule is switch is 100+MB/s, so the Time Capsule disk logic must be the limiting factor.
     
  8. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    I've bought new Macs which needed system updates, and restoring from the recovery partition will also require updates. Doing an internet OSX install will give you the latest, but that can be slower than installing from recovery and updating.

    Thanks for the Time Machine info.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Don't expect any improvement from the new model. I have the current generation Time Capsule, and it also maxes out about 50MB/s.

    [​IMG]


    FWIW, I get around 30MB/s accessing the Time Capsule internal disk over 802.11ac wifi

    [​IMG]
     
  10. dkl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #10
    Not sure about the having to have the latest OS and all system updates applied. The last 2 times I had to do it, I boot my MBA into recovery (which seem to be stored in ROM) and restored from my Time Machine backup. Of which, once was because I upgraded my SSD from the stock 128GB to the Transcend 960GB stick (which contained nothing - not even a recovery partition), and just restored from my Time Machine. Worked brilliantly.

    EDIT: That was OS X's Internet Recovery feature. The MBA automatically uses this feature when the Recovery System on the startup drive isn't available. More details on Apple's website - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314. You'll need a wifi / internet connection for this to work.
     
  11. FuNGi macrumors 65816

    FuNGi

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I've used Migration Assistant from a TimeMachine backup when moving to new machines numerous times. I even swapped a HDD from one machine to another awhile back. Just swapped, nothing else, and it worked in the new different MBP.
     

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