Some questions about empty drive reinstallation and Time Machine

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by photogineer, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. photogineer macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2013
    I have a few questions for everyone, I have a Mac Mini 2012 with 10.9.2 running on it and I'm pretty happy. I am assuming however at some point in the future I'm going to need to reinstall the OS for some reason or another. I also know I don't want to have my hard drive crash and be frantically trying to recover from that without being prepared.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. In the case of a HD failure, if I have to put a brand new blank drive in to the Mac (meaning no recovery partition of any kind) what will I need available to be able to load the OS? Is there a flash drive I should have premade or something?

    2. In the case of a reinstall by whatever means, what do I need to do to make sure my Time Machine backup is available? Do I need to make sure it has the same computer name or anything? I'm not sure how TM identifies 'unique' machines, so I don't want it to not recognize a new HD and cause a problem.

  2. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    You CAN pre-make a USB drive using DiskMaker X, but it isn't absolutely necessary. To pre-make the USB drive, go to your Purchases in the MAS, click to download Mavericks (but DON'T let it install). Run DiskMaker X and it will detect the installer and guide you through creating the stick. However, if you're up to date with your firmware updates you SHOULD be able to enter Internet Recovery to restore that way. Hold CMD+Option+R to launch Internet Recovery, which will download and install the OS on your bare drive.

    After the OS is reinstalled, during the setup, it will ask you if you want to copy data from one of several locations. Select a TM backup, point to your TM drive and it should restore your data including your user account with the same password as you had before. The system will be like it was before.

    I did a bare-drive install when I upgraded to an SSD, changed my drive name and when I pointed to my old drive (not my TM drive but my OS drive) for data/settings/app restoration, EVERYTHING copied back. I only needed to re-install or re-register 3 apps. I did my bare-drive install off a USB drive I made.

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