Crashed HD, Time Machine Restore on SMALLER HD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by SPinc33, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. SPinc33 macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2005
    My 250GB HD in my 2009 MBP decided to crap out.

    I've got a Time Machine back-up. Whew.

    Here's my problem: I was thinking about getting an Intel 320 SSD (160GB) and later swapping out my optical drive for an OptiBay with a standard (bigger) HD.

    Before I buy the SSD, will a Time Machine restore work on a smaller HD? Or do I have to buy both HDs now, restore to bigger HD, then do a fresh Lion install on the SSD?
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    You can restore to the smaller hard drive as long as the data will fit. You'll get the chance to selectively restore folders from your user folder and applications, so you'll get to prune it some if necessary.

  3. SPinc33 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2005
    if only it were so easy...

    Well, I got my SSD. But I'm still stuck!

    I've got my (nearly) dead internal HD with Lion installed that boots into recovery mode. I've got a Time Machine backup on an external. But I can't seem to create a bootable external drive so I can put in the new unformatted SSD...

    I've used Disk Utility in recovery mode to reformat a second external USD HD. I tried to Restore the 650MB OS X Base System Image to the empty external, but it won't allow me use the Base System as the source. It says to restart and try again. Apparently this is a know bug/restriction by Apple.

    Next I ran Lion Installation through recovery mode to install the full OS onto the external drive. It began downloading and said it would restart on its own when finished. I came back a few hours later to a grey screen. After forced restarts with and without USBs connected, I finally got back into recovery mode, but it starts directly back into the installer. For the last hour it says "Installing" with the blue/white striped progress bar going nonstop.

    Is there any way to get out of this? Or maybe an easier way to create a bootable external? If I had another computer running lion, I think it would be easier, but I'm stuck with a half-dead lion and another Macbook running Leopard (so no upgrade easily possible).


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