Clean install on a MBP with SL... can I restore ALL my mail from my time machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MythicFrost, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hey we had our MBP fixed (it was having a kernel panic due to bad RAM stick which was under warranty :) at the store we got it from).
    In the process I practically wiped the computer of all critical data, including mail, and backed it up in time machine. I also removed the e-mail accounts.

    If I do a clean install with SL, can I simply add one of the accounts back in, and then go into time machine and restore the mail (backed up on leopard) back onto the computer?

    Kind Regards
     
  2. darkpaw macrumors 6502

    darkpaw

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    When you install SL the installer will ask if you want to restore from a Time Machine backup. Do so. This will restore your computer to the state it was in before, i.e. all your files will be where they were before.

    However, if you had chosen not to backup some parts of your computer, they will obviously not be there after the restore.

    Since this is a simple operation, you've nothing to lose. Try the Time Machine restore and check to see if your email is there (it should restore both the email accounts and the emails).
     
  3. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Thanks, just wondering, does that defeat the purpose of doing a clean install, if all your files are just back there, or is it not your files that can make SL buggy, but other files that aren't upgraded properly or removed?

    And TBH I don't want to restore from TM because it was a mess, and I cleaned the computer off, I'd like to just restore what I want, so it would be good if I could just restore the mail.

    Do you know if that's possible also?

    Kind Regards
     
  4. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #4
    You can restore what you want, but you'll have to do it manually. The fact that TM puts the files back, does not mean they are exactly in the same position in the hard drive or it's just making an exact copy of the previous HD.
    I did exactly this (clean install and recovery through TM) on my MBP and so far is working perfectly.
     
  5. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #5
    It does defeat the purpose of a clean install because it produces a copy of your Mac at the time of the backup - bloat and all. The only way to do a clean install is to manually move your data over after the install. If you have a backed up copy of your mailboxes - dropping them in your library will restore your mail.
     
  6. darkpaw macrumors 6502

    darkpaw

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    It copies your files back, but leaves anything that the OS installed, i.e. OS X itself. It will copy your User folder and your preferences etc. (which can sometimes be a cause of some issues). This is why you can restore a 10.5 backup onto a 10.6 machine and not reboot to find you've downgraded to 10.5 - you are restoring only your own files, i.e. the ones important to you.

    As others have said, it is possible to copy your stuff across manually, if you have the time to do it.

    To copy just your mail, you should grab the <Time Machine volume>/<computer name>/<boot drive>/Users/<your username>/Library/Mail and Mail Downloads folders and drop them into the same location on your clean install. Also grab the com.apple.mail.plist file from the Preferences folder (and anything that remotely seems like it's Mail.app related from that Preferences folder).

    I have both a Mac Pro and an MBP, and though I like to keep all my email on the Mac Pro, I regularly zip the Mail directory up and drop it onto the MBP if I'm out on the road. Saves me time, and means I can still have all my email with me. So yes, this should work for you.
     

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