Restore from old Timemachine backup

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gr8pics, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. gr8pics macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2008
    Im getting a new imac tomorrow, and i want to restore some of the stuff from the old one.
    The thing is, that i dont want to do a full restore on the new one, and drag in all the old indexed files,and slow down the new one from day one, i want a clean install, but what i need, is the Mail, documents, and certain of the apps.
    Is this straight forward, just plug in the old TM disk and bring up the old folders and select the most recent backup?
    Or, will it not be compatible that way and do a selective restore on the new machine?
    Plan is to have 10.12.4 on both old and new.

    Any tips for this?

  2. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    When you run Migration Assistant (in Applications > Utilities, or during the first-time setup of your new Mac), you can choose which files you want to bring over from the Time Machine backup. It will bring over the latest backup of the files.
  3. Fishrrman, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    If you want the ability to pick-and-choose and then copy ANY file from a finder-based environment, it might be easier to do this:

    1. Download either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (both are free to download and use for the first 30 days).

    2. Create a cloned backup of the drive of the old iMac.

    3. Connect the backup to the new iMac. Then do this:
    a. Mount old drive on desktop
    b. Click ONE time on drive icon to select it, then type "command-i" (eye) to bring up the get info box
    c. Go to sharing and permissions, click the disclosure arrow if you can't see it
    d. Click lock and enter your password
    e. Put a checkmark into "ignore ownership on this volume"
    f. Close the get info box.
    This overcomes any permissions problems when copying files. All copied files will assume ownership of the new Imac account.

    Now you can copy ANYTHING you wish from the old drive to the new.
    (see below)

    You CANNOT copy the first sub-level folders in your home folder.
    That is to say you can't copy the "documents", "movies", "music", "pictures" folders.
    However -- you CAN copy files and folders that are inside these folders. Select one or more, whatever you wish, and copy them into their respective folders on the NEW iMac.
  4. gr8pics thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2008

    That wasnt a very smart solution, now i got two different users, and my "old" user account, now runs at half the read/write speeds, while the "new" runs at full speed.
    I got a fusion drive, and it seems to bottleneck that part.

    So, if i want to make it simpler, and just want a full restore of Mail accounts and its folders/mails, and same with Safari, how do i proceed with TM then?
    Which folders to restore from TM to get everything back from Mail and Safari?

    A weird thing i noticed, is when i tried to use the TM from scratch/clean install trough recovery mode, the latest backup was the night before, but when i choose migration, the latest is from the morning after, which is the most recent i want.
    Why is that, and how do i get the recent backup if i decide to do a full restore from scratch?

  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    I suggest you re-read my post #3 above.

    The solution you need is "there".
  6. gr8pics thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2008
    Already did once.
    Its great, if you know exactly which and were all folders involved with each different app are, im a photographer, not a developer or computer geek, so for me that would be impossible, and probably mess up allot of things that doesnt work later on..
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "im a photographer, not a developer or computer geek, so for me that would be impossible"

    There's nothing "impossible" here. I'm not a developer either, just an old guy who likes Macs.

    If you take pictures, I'm going to -guess- that you also use a photo editing/management app. Which one do you use?

    If it's iPhoto or Photos (or even Aperture), then your photos are either in the app's library (in your home folder), or in a place that YOU chose in which to store them.

    You asked how to do a "selective migration" in your original post.
    I replied how to do it.

    If you don't want to do that, do a FULL migration using Setup Assistant when you first boot up the new Mac. Connect your backup at the appropriate time and you should be ok.
  8. ATC macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    I don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a somewhat related question;

    My machine doesn't run Sierra (running El Capitan 10.11). New machine will of course be running Sierra. Can I do a full TM restore from 10.11 onto a new machine running 10.12?
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Yes no problem.

    I am with the fisho and avoid TM like the plague. CCC or SD are much easier to use to transfer over. And they are bootable if the internal plays up.
  10. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I depends on what you buy. You can still buy the 2015 rMBP from Apple and that will run El Capitan, so it would be okay to restore. But if you buy the new 2016 MBP models, those all require Sierra to run, so you cannot restore. What you could do though is use that El Capitan TM backup as the source for an import using Migration Assistant during system setup. That would leave you with Sierra and all your data.

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