Help re-installing Lion with only Snow Leopard Disk on new HDD

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Dakbala, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Dakbala macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013
    Newbie with an old machine that I'm trying to eek out another year worth of life with. I have a 2006 24" iMac 2.16 ghz (EMC 2111) that was running an up to date version of Lion. HDD started failing, having to erase and restore from Time Machine on an almost daily basis. I ordered a new HDD and the day it arrived the machine would no longer boot into disk utility or anything else.

    So, I replaced the HDD and put in my Snow Leopard disk. I used the migration assistant and pulled all the files over from a TM backup. Of course, the backup versions of my most used applications (Aperture and iTunes) don't work with SL and require 10.7 or higher.

    So, I erased the new HDD and re-installed SL without migrating from TM. I've updated iTunes and everything else. I still can't seem to find a way to install Lion so that I can use all my backed up applications and files.

    I need help. Is there a copy of the OS Lion installer somewhere in the Time Machine backup? Shouldn't I be able to retrieve Lion from Apple somehow since I paid the $30 for it?

    Any guidance is appreciated.
  2. Dakbala thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2013
    Figured it out

    I guess using the migration assistant during installation of the SL OS on the new hard drive is not the same as Restore. After much Google gymnastics I found a thread with a basic answer. Make sure external with TM backup is plugged in, put in SL disk, double click to install, restart computer, on re-boot select language and click next arrow, do not continue with install windows but instead choose from Utilities drop down at top of screen, choose restore from Time Machine backup.

    Restore will re-install the Lion OS, but migration assistant does not.

    Now, with a new 1TB seagate hybrid drive it performs better than new (crossing fingers as we are only 12 hours in to functioning as hoped).

    Hope this will get us through until the next major update (retina display?) of iMac before we purchase a new computer.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It is even easier than that. If you made the TM backup to a USB drive with Lion 10.7.2 or better, you can just attach the USB disk and do an option key boot to the external. That will bring up the Lion recovery screen and from there you can format the disk and click restore.

    Sorry I missed your post yesterday. Could have saved you some effort.

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