How do you restore a non time machine backup?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by flyersman, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. flyersman macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Hey all,

    So my old macbook pro got damaged and I had a best buy extended warranty, they did a 100% backup of my hard drive, including system folders, and just gave me a new computer with the external hard drive. Now, they didn't do a Time Machine backup, so I just have an external harddrive with everything on it, Library, my home foler, etc. Is there any way I can 100% restore my new macbook from this? I opened migration assistant and selected restore from another disk but it isnt finding the external hard drive (but finder does find it.)

    Please let me know how I can do a 100% restore even though it isnt in time machine format.

  2. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    It sounds to me like they just copied the folders off your old MB so you will have to reinstall OSX, reinstall your apps, then copy your data off the external hard drive.
  3. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Yeah, they pretty much copied everything in Macintosh HD and put it on an external hard drive. Is it a bad idea to drag and drop everything from that backup to Macintosh HD on this new macbook? My username is the same and everything, and I'm trying to restore everything back to 100% normal, preferences and everything.
  4. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    If BB did a half decent job copying your hard drive, you could try to use the Migration Assistant option like "Copy From Another Mac" during installation of your new machine.
  5. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Problem is I dont have the other mac, and it needs to connect to another mac via firewire for that option to work.

    I selected from a time machine back up or disk, but migration assistant doesn't find another disc, the "thing" keeps spinning likes it's loading/looking for one.
  6. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    How do you connect your old disk? Perhaps you need to mount it before in Disk Utility. What version of OSX do you use?
  7. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    You could go back and ask BB what kind of a backup they did and how can you restore from it.
  8. flyersman, Jan 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011

    flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Well I have the external HD connected via a USB drive. I'm not sure what to do next, really. I don't want to just copy random files to the new computer, I want to do something liek a full backup, where my computer is like my old one, since I have all the old system files and stuff.

    EDIT: I have version 10.6.4
  9. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    It has been a while since I did that but I remember somehow the spinning disk problem. Before starting the Migration Assistant, you will need to go into Disk Utility and mount the USB disk. Then the MA will find it later. This worked for me at the time.

    Regarding having an exact copy of your old system, you also have another option. Just start-up from a Installer Disk and clone your USB drive to the internal drive. This is basically the reverse process of what BB probably did. Just one note, if your new MBP is a younger revision than the previous one, your old OSX might not work with the new MBP; of course, if you have the latest OSX anyway, it shouldn't be a problem (you still haven't told us what OSX was on the old computer and what is on the new already pre-installed).
  10. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    I currently have 10.6.4. How would I clone my USB drive to the Internal drive? Sorry, I'm just not sure how to go about that, although Im pretty sure thats exactly what I want to do.
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You do NOT need another mac for migration assistant. All you need to do is to mount the drive.
  12. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    I suggest to use the MA method instead (just mount the USB drive in DU!), but this is how you go about cloning it; but note, this is only ueseful if BB actually cloned your drive. If they manually copied stuff over it won't help you. Actually, you can test this by trying to boot from the external USB drive. If it boots into OSX, they cloned your old drive.

    Cloning (apprx):
    1. Boot from Installer DVD
    2. Start Disk Utility
    3. Make sure the USB is seen and mounted (mount it if not)
    4. Select the internal drive and choose the restore option
    5. select source and target disk and let it do its stuff
  13. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Yeah, but when I choose "Time machine or from a disk" all I see is this: [​IMG]

    And it keeps spinning, it never shows anything. I checked in disk utility, and the option for my external HD is to "unmount." So it's already mounted.
  14. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    Lets make it simple. Try too boot from your external drive:

    1. If it boots: you have a cloned backup and it should work with MA or cloning methods to restore your data
    2. If it doesn't boot: BB just copied a few folders from your old drive and there is nothing you can do it about it except calling them idiots and copy the folders manually
  15. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Will do. I just shut down the computer, and turned it while holding down the "option" key and the only option I had was to click "Macintosh HD."

    How would I go ahead and boot from the External USB HD. Sorry, just not sure how to go about booting from it.
  16. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    If the USB doesn't show up as a bootable drive, it isn't bootable. You might want to copy your personal data manually.
  17. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    Damn, alright. I noticed in Disk Utility I can create a DMG, and theres a restore option under Macintosh HD. If I created a DMG, and then restored Macintosh HD with that DMG, would that work?
  18. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    The restored DMG image wouldn't boot either as the original doesn't boot.

    However, thinking about it, you could actually give it a shot and try to restore your data in MA from the DMG, instead of trying to do the same from the disk. Perhaps MA just has a problem with the disk recognition. I give it a small chance though. I think MA actually looks for a OSX or TM blessed disk (even as a DMG image).
  19. flyersman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2011
    I guess I'll just manually copy everything over, looks like BB made the most idiotic backup ever =/. Thanks for all the help though man!
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I have some suggestions (please read CAREFULLY).

    Restoring the contents of your Home folder is not difficult. You need to do this (again, read CAREFULLY):
    1. The new MB should have an account that exists already (unless it is virtually "pristine" and no accounts have yet been created).
    2. Is there an account for you _already existing_ on the MB?
    3. If so, are you satisfied with the username and password?
    4. If you are satisfied, you can use this account. If you are NOT satisfied, you can create a new account with the username and password you like.
    4a. I suggest that if you do create a new account, that you make it an "administrator" account.

    Once you have the "account situation" resolved, it's time to move on:
    5. Hook up the external drive with the _old copy_ of your Home folder on it.
    6. Navigate to the "old" home folder.
    You CANNOT just copy the entire Home folder itself to the new account, that doesn't work. HOWEVER, you can copy the CONTENTS of the old Home folder without problems. So, do this:
    7. Double-click on the old Home folder to open it. You should now see the folder inside (such as "Documents", "Library", "Music", etc.)
    8. Open another finder window and navigate to the Home folder on your NEW Mac.
    9. Now (I suggest you do this "one-at-a-time", and keep HANDWRITTEN NOTES BY YOUR SIDE so you keep track of what you're doing), manually copy the various folders from the _old_ Home folder into the _new_ one. In each case, you will be asked if you want to replace the contents of the old with the new, YES, you want to do this.
    10. This may or may not work with the "Library" folder. If the Finder refuses to do a copy, you might be able to copy certain folders inside the Library folder over manually. However, the important thing at this point is to get your personal files over, such as music, pics, movies, documents, etc. These should copy without problems.

    This will also work on the applications in the old Applications folder. However, there really isn't reason to copy over apps such as iTunes, GarageBand, etc., if they already exist on the new drive. So long as you have your data files, you should be ok.

    Once you have this done, be sure to update the new Mac using Software Update.

    By the way, have you come to understand the truths behind the words "Back it up!" yet?

    And _DON'T_ use Time Machine to do the backup.

    Use CarbonCopyCloner instead.

    It would have saved you a lot of headaches.

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