Restore from iMac to Air

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Qonix, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Qonix macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #1
    So.. I have to sell my iMac.
    Using TimeMachine I have a backup of everything.
    I have also an Air. Can I restore the iMac backup on the Air? Or there are incompatibilities?
    THX
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    If you use Setup or Migration Assistant, you will be fine, except for storage capacity overflow, if you have more data than there is storage on the MacBook Air, but then again, you get to choose, what to restore, and what not to restore.

    Migration Assistant / Setup Assistant information:
     
  3. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #3
    never heard about "setup". about migration assistant should i first delete everything from air and then use it?
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
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    #4
    Not really, as Migration Assistant will, depending on what you select, copy whatever account you have backed up to your MBA. But if the MBA and iMac account have the same short name, you probably also should back up your MBA before migrating, as that might introduce permission issues.

    As I only used Migration Assistant once or twice, I am not experienced with it that much, due to me copying stuff manually or restoring from a clone.

    Have a look at the guide I linked you to, it is very well explained and extensive and should answer all your questions.
     
  5. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #5
    hum i didn't really get it..
    so..
    -i have iMac which i use more and with a lot of stuff
    -i have Air which i use rarely
    -i would "merge" the things of my iMac with the ones of the air
    -i have a backup on Time Machine of iMac stuff

    should i Just make a clean install on Air and copying what I need?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Let me make sure I understand the desired end result here. Confirm there is no data on the Air you need to keep? You want all data from the iMac on the Air and the iMac will be sold/gone? Assuming this is what you want, here is what I would do.

    Migration Assistant is they way to go here. Make sure the iMac TM backup is up to date first. Now login to the Air and in Users & Groups in System Prefs make a new admin account called "temp" (we will delete this later). Logout of your account and into the temp account. Go back to Users & Groups and delete your other account. So now you have only the temp admin account and no others on the Air.

    Now while still in the temp account run Migration Assistant from the /Applications/Utilities folder. Point it to the TM backup disk from your iMac. Once it connects and the selection box comes up, make sure you check all categories on the list. Then click to migrate and wait...

    Once it is done reboot and login to your old iMac account which will now be present on the Air. Poke around in the account to make sure everything is there and working. Now go back to Users & Groups and delete the temp account. Done.
     
  7. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #7
    There are datas on the Air, but I can move them on a HDD or even on the iMac before and then move all back on the air.

    so basically i just have to restore from backup everything from time machine right?
    will be any incompatibility of filesystems or other between imac and air?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #8
    There won't be any incompatibility between the machines, but you want to use Migration Assistant... not restore... which is different.
     
  9. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 6, 2012
    #9
    So do I have first to clear everything from MBA?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    The big issue is you want to make sure you don't have the same account name on the Air as you do on the iMac, as Migration Assistant will then try to import the user account into itself and make a mess.

    If it is not too much trouble, you will be safer and better off to get everything on the iMac then do a backup and use that Time Machine backup with Migration Assistant on the Air starting clean.

    Short answer... you don't have to, but the odds of a clean transfer with no problems are better if you do.
     
  11. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #11
    So the best bet more than migration assistant that brings everything is to use time machine and restore just what I need from the other mac right?
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #12
    I would not really say that is any better, but you can sure do it that way. Also in the Migration Assist screen you can check or uncheck what you want to move over. So you bring over music and pictures, but not documents for example.
     
  13. Qonix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #13
    what if i try to restore from a Time Machine backup the same app? for example itunes?
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #14
    I assume you mean just copy over say iTunes from a TM backup. That may work with some apps and won't work with others. Some app are completely self contained in the app itself, and others have support files that are put in other folders as part of the install script. I know iTunes for example has support files in other folders, so just copying it over won't work. Unless you really know what you are doing, Migration Assistant is the easiest IMO.
     

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