How to transfer backups of a stolen laptop to a MacbookAir via USB external HD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by smackbook, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. smackbook macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #1
    My Macbook Pro was stolen recently. Luckily before that I backed up all of my files onto a USB external hard drive with Time Machine, and I also recently bought a new Macbook Air. How do I restore all of my old Macbook Pro settings from the USB hard drive onto my new Macbook Air? I tried using Migration Assistant but the Migration Assistant won't detect my external hard drive as a time machine backup. I've tried right clicking on Time Machine in the dock and clicking "Browse other time machine disks" but it still won't detect my external hard drive as a time machine backup. I can see my old username and folders (ex. desktop, applications, downloads, library, etc.) but they all have a red thing next to them and when I click them it says "you don't have permission to access this content". My old macbook was stolen so I don't know how to grant permisions for me to access it. What is the best way to load all my old settings from my USB hard drive onto my new Macbook Air?
     
  2. Shuntros macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Northern England
    #2
    Most likely the files need their permissions changing; is your old username different to your new one per chance? Being a Unix hax0r by trade my option would be something like this:

    sudo chown -R $USER /Volumes/NameOfYourUSBDevice

    from Terminal then all should be good. You can probably just also just Get Info from Finder and change the permissions from there aswell.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #3
    Are the users you created the same on the old MB and new MBA?
     
  4. smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #4
    Wait, just to make things clear, my username is whatever came up on the login screen above your password entry right? Or is it the one on the sidebar in Finder?

    Either way my username for the login screen was my first and last name, with a space in between, and the one in the sidebar is also my first and last name just with no space in between. They're the same on both laptops though, so yes I'm pretty sure they're the same user name. Could that be a problem?

    They're the same name but I don't know what you might mean by same user. My 13 inch Macbook Pro was stolen, before that I backed it up on Time Machine, then about a week later I bought a new Macbook Air and named the username the same as my MBP.

    Sorry if I'm so clueless I just want to know how to fix this without so many problems.
     
  5. antonis macrumors 68000

    antonis

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #5
    Just a thought: Is the user you are logging in an administrator ? You will not be able to perform migration assistant restores without being one.

    A second check, open the drive's properties (cmd-i) and check that you have the permissions to read from this disk and folders. If not, just change it from the same window.

    Still, make sure you are doing all of the above with an administrative account. Migration Assistant should work without problems, I've used it countless times with TM backups.
     
  6. smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #6
    Yes, my login username is an Administrator account, there are no other usernames on the computer.

    If I press Get Info on one of the red-marked (locked) folders (External HD>Backups.backupdb>My Username's Macbook Pro>Latest>Macintosh HD> Users>My Username) on the bottom it says "Fetching..." I've waited while it said that for quite a while and nothing happens, just stays at "Fetching..."

    But for the disk itself, when I click Get Info, every name is set to Read and Write. I don't understand this problem.

    Am I not able to use Migration Assistant? Will I/is it even possible to get all my settings back from the red marked folders in Backups.backupdb?

    It still doesn't detect my external HD in Migration Assistant, I've searched on google and plenty of people have this problem of their USB HD being unrecognizable by Migration Assistant...
     
  7. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    Do you have the "ignore ownership on external volume" option set?
     
  8. smackbook, Jan 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

    smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #8
    I don't know, there is no "Ignore ownership of this volume" option on the Permissions section of Get Info. How do I uncheck that if there's no option for it? I've tried searching around for how to find and uncheck it but there are too many people with this same issue as well. I found a youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR3_Z2GXyJ8) should I just follow these steps? The only problem is I don't know whether my external HD has been properly formatted yet. And if it has, I don't know if doing it again might mess anything up.

    edit: Actually, I think this video is meant for people who still HAVE their previous computer.

    In my situation, all I have is a new Macbook Air with OS X Lion 10.7.2, and an external USB hard drive with backups from my stolen Macbook Pro (also with Lion 10.7.2). I just can't seem to find that "Ignore ownership" option anywhere...
     
  9. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Plug in the time machine drive and boot up from that drive by either going to system prefs - startup disk, or hold opt at startup and boot from the time machine or from the restore disk (boot from time machine if you are on a pre-lion machine) and restore from time machine...it couldn't be easier!!

    I just replaced the HDD on my Mac Mini with an SSD...all I had to do was boot up with the time machine drive plugged in, format the new drive and restore....its super easy!
     
  10. smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #10
    Alright I just tried that for the first time, and when I was finally about to click restore it said my system doesn't have enough space to restore my back ups. I know my Macbook Pro had a lot more room on it but is there a way for me to make it all fit? And how do I just make the backups and settings replace everything on my current hard drive?

    It said I have 112 GB available on my new Macbook but when I look in About this Mac I have a 120 GB Hard Drive with 55 GB free...

    I'm pretty sure my backups have way more stuff on it than my new computer can fit but how do I select what I want and don't want to put onto my new computer? Can I still save whatever I can't fit on the external drive?
     
  11. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    I remember the first time I restored my OSX going from a 500GB HDD to a 256GB SSD there was an option to just restore settings and preferences and not apps. I'm sure its still there somewhere.
     
  12. smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #12
    Well what about all my apps? Will I be able to get them back? I'll try again, I really appreciate your advice, thank you very much.
     
  13. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Unfortunately you will have to reinstall them. I did all the settings and prefs so my comp came back, minus my apps...then I went to the app store and restored any apps I had purchased there.....and any others I restored from backups/disks. Then did another Time Machine to backup the new setup.

    Don't forget tho, All you apps and such are saved on the time machine disk. So if you have any apps you don't have still, you can just go into your time machine disk and restore them that way by plugging it in once in the OS, going to the Applications folder and activating time machine. You will have your current setup on the left and your time machine apps on the right, just select the apps you want to restore that way. Most Mac apps just need to be in the applications folder to be installed...they setup the important stuff when you run it the first time.
     
  14. smackbook thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    #14
    Well I'm not too bummed about that, what I mostly care about is my settings, music files, Logic Music files too.. which take up a huge amount of space. Like you said though, I can reinstall it and probably recover all the project files too.

    But when I tried restarting to the external disk, it only gives me a few options. The top one is Restore with Time Machine, then under that are some more like Disk Utility, Search internet for help with your Mac, Restart to disk, and some other options too. But the only one relevant to Time Machine is the top option, I choose it and it gives me info like "if you want to restore individual files, use Time Machine in OS X" and "to restore settings, use Migration Assistant". But it doesn't give me any options to only import settings, or anything individually for that matter. After that info page when I click continue, it brings me straight to the selection of hard drives, my external one is the only one that shows up, I can select that and only that, then I click continue and it says there's not enough space for my backups. There's no way I can open Migration Assistant or Time Machine, while logged in to the bootable disk, I can only choose from the options I stated above. I don't know why this won't work...
     
  15. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    I wonder if they changed it since Lion. You used to be able to choose what you restored. Well I guess your best bet would be to install lion (if its a new mac it will already be installed so go into it.) open up migration assistant select the first option and migrate from your time machine disk....it will transfer all your settings and prefs. Then you can manually restore anything you are in need of thats backed up on the disk.
     

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