Need to Transfer Old Files without Bootable External HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mistershark, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Mistershark macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2007
    Hello all,

    I purchased Snow Leopard yesterday hoping to install it without any kinks. I normally use Time Machine with a 100 GB Seagate external hard drive, though, because of the lack of USB ports on a MacBook Pro (and my lazy self), I haven't done that in somewhere close to 100 days. So (wanting that extra HD space Snow Leopard gives) I attempted to once again back everything up so I could format my Mac's hard drive before the 10.6 installation. Time Machine wouldn't let me. It told me there was not enough space on the drive, though simple subtraction told me there clearly was. So after many restarts and failed attempts, I decided to format the Seagate and drag and drop my Mac's drive onto the Seagate. Success.

    After the copy had finished, I went ahead and installed Snow Leopard. I chose the option to format the Mac's hard drive and install it as if on a new computer. After the installation finished, I opened up Migration Assistant to load all my old files. However, Migration Assistant would not recognize the external hard drive as a valid transfer disk.

    After doing my research with Google, and trying to manually transfer everything (which left me trying to discern which applications were different between 10.5 and 10.6, and frustrated in general) I've learned that my problem was failing to make the Seagate bootable (which would've required a shareware app, since Time Machine repeatedly was letting me down).

    So, I come to you all for help.

    Much gratitude in advance,
  2. ian.maffett macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    I might be wrong (and hopefully, I am) but at this point, I feel that your only option is going to be to copy back whatever you want manually to the new file system. Migration Assistant won't work now because it views it as an external 'bulk' storage drive rather than another system drive.
    Not that it helps now but what I would have done in your situation was format the TM drive and reset it as the current TM drive and allow it to do its initial full backup - then build off that when installing Snow Leopard.

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