Install OSX from Time Machine? Help?!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hnatowich, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. hnatowich macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2012
    I am about to replace the Hard Drive in my Macbook Pro, as my current hard drive is making crazy noises and I was told it could crash at any moment...

    I have an external hard drive that I have been using time machine on to keep all of my files backed up.

    What I'm wondering is if it is possible to use that external drive and time machine to install OSX on my new internal hard drive? I recently moved out and I realize now that I forgot my original installation disk that came with the computer.

    I currently have OSX 10.6.8 (I don't think this is the newer lion or mountain lion version?)

    If I install the new drive and boot my computer with the external plugged in while holding the option key, will it give me the option of installing from the external? Or do I need to make a bootable drive.. I'm very confused.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Time Machine is not bootable and you cannot restore from it without some installation medium, which is not included on the Time Machine backup.
    You have Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, thus have the Mac App Store (MAS), which gives you the opportunity to buy OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion for 19 USD and make a bootable installer out of the downloaded file (before actually installing the downloaded OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion).

    Thus you can use that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion installer and restore from your Time Machine backup.

    Or you could try cloning the old HDD to the new HDD, thus making a 1:1 copy of its contents and having a bootable system. That requires a USB enclosure for 2.5" S-ATA HDDs, which cost around 10 USD or more.
    Use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to make a 1:1 copy.

    Time Machine FAQ

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