Speedy Time Machine restore to macbook air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ~CyPha~, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. ~CyPha~ macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    Just though i would share with you some of my recent findings on doing a time machine restore to a MBA.

    Cut a long story short had to restore a macbook air from a time machine backup. When i hooked up the 'Powered' DVD drive and a non power SATA caddie up to the machine and pressed options key at startup, it told me it was going to take 8+ hours to restore 17gb's of data.

    Hmm not happy i searched and searched on the internet, but found no way of speeding it up, except for some mentioning that if USB is detected at 'Startup' it defaults to USB 1.1. This cant be it i thought.

    So i whilst chewing my pens and wondering if i would leave the clients site before i lost another evening with the family, i noticed something that might help anyone else in this situation.

    I had both devices connected via a Non-Powered 4 way USB hub, due to the fact the MBA has only 1 USB connector.
    The thought struck me about the 5v being shared over both items and the idea was born.
    Off to the shops i ran and purchased a Powered USB hub hooked it up and it went from 8+ hours to 40 mins.

    Here are the steps i took incase anyone was wondering:

    Leave all USB disconnected from MBA.
    Hold options key and power up.
    When disk options appear, connect the USB DVD (with Snow Leopard inside) to the hub and connect to MBA.
    Let it boot into leopard installer.
    Click all the option up to the install stage and STOP.
    Using utilities select restore from time machine backup, then STOP
    Connect USB 2.0 SATA caddie (with time machine backup)
    Then continue and select disk to restore from, the backup to restore from and finally where to put it.
    Kick back and pat yourself on the back.

    Dont be worried that when it restarts that it take a while....it will work (as long as you do not have a corrupted backup).

    Anyways hope this helps someone, i know there was nothing on google anywhere about this, but remember use a POWERED USB hub, thats the key.

    ~CyPha~ :D
  2. jimboutilier macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    While TimeMachine can be very good for some things, I found that a combination of a weekly image backup via SuperDuper! and an ongoing incremental backup like Carbonate works better for me.

    The smart SuperDuper backup only takes 10-20 minutes a week and the ongoing Carbonite backup is invisible to me. All I need is the one SuperDuper disk to do a complete restore to "last weeks" state, then Carbonite to restore any individual files that changed since.

    I spend most of my time traveling and am not near my time capsule very often. Even when I am I use virtual machines a lot and the TM backup does not handle those large files changing frequently very well (unless you enjoy taking a break when your machine slows to a crawl each hour).

    One other thing you can do is keep a usb flash drive loaded with your SL Boot DVD image to use in a pinch - much lower power than an external optical drive (not to mention cheaper).

    Great catch on the powered hub though!

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