Help! Can’t restore iMac via external hard drive


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2018
Hello, I just put in a new hard drive in my IMac 8,1 (old I know but money is tight) and am trying to restore it via my backups on an external hard drive . I am still using snow leopard and followed the instructions to partition in disk Utility and then select restore from external hard drive but it stops part way through saying there is an error and provides a long log (none of it I understand). Can anyone offer some suggestions. Thanks.


macrumors member
Jun 14, 2017
Hi I have the same machine , did the upgrade 2 with no problems it did take like for ever .... USB2.0
I know that using importing new versions to a older OS can cause trouble .
Hmm have you tryed just installing OSX do not import your data .
just get to the desktop then upgrading to highest version snow. reboot
After that , then go to apps -> Utils -> migration assistant and import via that way?
I do recommend upgrading your OS to a later version so you can use newer soft ware
i'm running version 10.9 and that's outdated but past this version 10.10 for example you will need 6 GB of ram to make the machine run oke. i dont want to invest in that . only Firefox delivers a up to date browser for this OS...


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
Here's how I'd get around the OP's problem:

1. Get an external hard drive (USB2 or USB3)
2. Install a clean copy of the OS onto the EXTERNAL drive (NOT onto the internal one).
3. See if that copy will boot, if it does, set it up with a new account
4. Download CarbonCopyCloner (CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days)
5. Open Disk Utility and ERASE the internal drive to MacOS extended with journaling enabled.
6. Run DU's "repair disk" function on the new drive, just to make sure it gives "a good report".
7. Open CCC and clone the (newly-created) external drive to the INTERNAL drive.
8. When done, go to startup disk and select internal drive to become the boot drive
9. Power down and disconnect the external drive
10. Press power-on button and see what happens next (hopefully, a "good boot").

Do you know that if you can't boot and run the old iMac from the internal drive, you can still boot and run it from an EXTERNAL drive? It may boot a little slower, but once booted and into the finder, things will go ok.
The Mac doesn't particularly care from which drive it boots. Internal, external, no matter. All it wants to find is a good, bootable copy of the OS to run.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 17, 2018
Thanks for the replies. I managed to figure it out. I just erased the hard drive via disk Utility and then did a clean install. Then managed to transfer over everything without issue.

Thanks again
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