Moaning Hard Drive / Time Machine

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PatientWaiter, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. PatientWaiter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2013
    TL;DR - Have old computer and it's dying. Will buy new computer, but old computer may die before then. How can I use my Time Machine backup?

    Extended version
    I've been saving up for a new rMBP and was planning on getting something after the holidays when I can bank another round of Apple gift cards to apply to my purchase. I've been saving gift cards for four years. I'm far beyond upgrading, fixing, or putting any more money in my current system.

    My current machine is an Intel Core Duo MBP that has lasted over seven years (mid 2006). In recent months, she's getting slower to the point where simple web-browsing is a challenge and YouTube is practically off-limits. Even typing up this note in Firefox has generated a few spinning pinwheels. The fans have made constant noise for quite a few years now, but this last weekend a new sound popped up. It is a sort of a load moaning with a grinding & clicking sound, as if a moving part is stuck, and it is accompanied by a pretty severe vibration. Problem is solved by smacking the left-top side of the computer where the noise seems to be generating - this occurs every 10-15 minutes, but more frequently every few minutes if there are more demands put on the system (more windows open, downloading, etc.) I'm not sure if it is the hard drive or the fans -- but I can tell you that the system won't sleep or shutdown if the noise is occurring, which leads me to believe that perhaps some of the mechanics of the hard drive are failing. Noise from the fans shouldn't affect the shutdown process by my estimation. I've never had a hard drive fail, so I'm not sure how to know.

    My question is... if my hard drive does indeed fail and my current machine is rendered useless, will I be able to access my files directly from my Time Machine backup? As in, can I peer into a folder and just grab the backup file as needed? Or do I need to restore the new computer (and new operating system) to the same everything (system settings, all file directories, etc.)? Current OS is 10.6.8. As I have collected seven years worth of garbage, I would really like to start fresh but still have access to my important documents. Granted, this is worst case scenario, but it's not looking good for my seven year old friend.

    Thanks much,
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes... you can either use Migration Assistant during the new machine setup to import your account and data from the old TM backup. Or you can setup a fresh/new account on the new machine then drag data over from the TM backup. Either way.

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