Restoring backup from Time Machine or installing MacOS brand new on new drive

vpujols

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2020
18
3
I'm almost set in getting the Sabrent Rocket NVMe to replace the SSD on my daughter's MacBook Air (early 2015 model), very good contender based on the charts posted in this forum for performance and power consumption among other benefits.

Coming from the Windows world, I always prefer installing the OS as brand new and then copy files needed from the older driver. I always think about incompatibilities when placing a backup onto a new drive, but that's just me.

I've been reading and understand what to do when to install the OS on the new drive but wondering if anyone has encountered issues restoring a backup from time machine onto the new drive. I'd like to know in case my daughter wants to keep everything she already has installed and configured.
 

barbu

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2013
512
560
wpg.mb.ca
In the case that your daughter want everything exactly the same, I recommend Carbon Copy Cloner for the task. This gets a bit complicated with the blade SSD (unless you have an enclosure for it), but certainly nothing insurmountable.

I would do it like this (requirements: a second Mac and an blank intermediate external drive connected that is big enough to hold the total size of the MBA drive):

- boot MBA into target disk mode (boot and press T at the chime)
- connect MBA to other Mac with the fastest possible connection (i.e. if you can use Thunderbolt, that's gonna be faster / better than USB - but USB is ok too)
- the MBA drive will mount on the Mac's desktop.
- Open CCC, drop the MBA drive onto the source area and the "intermediate" drive as the destination (all data on the destination will be destroyed!! make sure the drive is safe to use this way!!!)
- hit Clone and get a tasty beverage.
- Once this is complete, install the SSD into the MBA
- Now the MBA has a blank SSD. Once again, boot it in target mode
- Re-run CCC. Choose the intermediate drive as the source and the MBA SSD as the destination.
- hit Clone and get a tasty beverage.
- upon completion, reboot MBA and see how it looks. It should be identical to the old system.
- If successful, bask in the adulation of your family and make sure to play up how difficult this was for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vpujols

niteflyr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2011
936
147
Southern Cal
If you already have a time machine backup, restore from time machine. Much simpler. When the new OS is going thru the setup assistant phase, point it at the time machine backup drive and let it do it's thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vpujols

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,505
1,139
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I also recommend using time machine to restore an image from an original Apple SSD to a nvme drive. I've done this procedure many times and it has always worked for me.
 

vpujols

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 6, 2020
18
3
I also recommend using time machine to restore an image from an original Apple SSD to a nvme drive. I've done this procedure many times and it has always worked for me.
I am seeing people saying something about how the original drive is formatted and that whether the drive is 512k or something like it?

At least I think I know that the new drive must be formatted with the same exact file system as the original drive in order for the time machine cloning to work...
 
  • Like
Reactions: niteflyr

Audit13

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2017
4,505
1,139
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I am seeing people saying something about how the original drive is formatted and that whether the drive is 512k or something like it?

At least I think I know that the new drive must be formatted with the same exact file system as the original drive in order for the time machine cloning to work...
The 512 and 4k refer to cluster size and will not affect the restore from time machine. Before restoring the image, time machine will erase the drive too.