Older Mac doesn't recognise newer Mac Time Machine backup

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Duncanreally, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Duncanreally macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2010
    I got a new MBP (running Snow Leopard). I used Migration Assistant to migrate the data and setting from my old MBP (running Leopard) from my Time Capsule backup onto the new MBP.

    All went smoothly, and I used the new computer for a day to check all was well. This included testing Time Machine on the existing Time Capsule - all the old backups were there and it worked perfectly. the new computer also successfully added to these backups.

    So I wanted to refresh the old mac, so I booted from the old Leopard install disk, wiped the drive with Disk Utility, and did a clean install of Leopard. All was fine.

    Now I connected to the Time Capsule and attempted to use Migration Assistant to put a my stuff back onto the old computer. It wouldn't do this (couldn't see any backups).

    Does Migration Assistant only allow transfers from old systems onto new, not the other way round? This is a major bummer, if so. How can I get my stuff from my new computer back onto my old? Do I have to upgrade the old one to Snow Leopard in order to do this?

  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Have you updated your old Mac to the newest Leopard version (10.5.8) yet? Is the Time Machine backup from a Leopard installation or from a Snow Leopard installation?
  3. Duncanreally thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2010
    The old Mac is now updated to 10.5.8, but it wasn't when I first tried it. The time Machine backup was originally from a Leopard installation (my old Mac), but my new Mac (Snow Leopard) also added to it.

    However, since trying to get my old mac to see the backup, my new mac now didn't like it, and asked to make a new backup, removing all the history. I allowed this.

    The new backup just completed, so I again tried Migration Assistant on the old mac with the new backup. This time it appears to be working.

    EDIT. It didn't work. the migrated accounts contain 0kb of data. It lets you log into them, but they are just the default, fresh install of the OS. This sucks.

  4. Duncanreally thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2010
    The solution was to give up on TM, and just transfer the accounts using an ethernet cable directly from the new Mac back to the old Mac, using Migration Assistant. This appears to have worked.

    Annoying that TM can't also do this.

  5. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    Time Machine is linked to the MAC address of the computer. It can't be accessed from a different one. I had to change the logic board on my computer once and of course the MAC address was different then and it didn't recognize it. I tried to figure out a way but the online hints I checked were all over the place and it would have been easier to just redo it all from scratch.

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