Time Machine Backup on a smaller hard disk?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JensJ, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. JensJ macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2013
    I spilled water on my MacBook Air (512 GB hard disk) yesterday, and it is going be a while before I can get it back from the repair. I have the opportunity to borrow another MacBook in the meantime, but it is only 256 GB.

    Is it possible to load some of the content on the Time Machine Backup to the borrowed MacBook, which is only 256 GB, and then later (when my 512 GB MacBook arrives) load the backed up items from the 256 GB MacBook AND the stuff I left out on the Time Machine?

    I am not quite sure what exactly will happen if I do so, and I am afraid I will loose the data I leave out on the Time Machine when I back up to the 256 GB. I do not want to loose those data (especially because it is my iPhoto with photos and videos that cannot fit the smaller computer).

    I hope someone can help me.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    First. to get your data in the loaner, make a fake/temp account and login to that then start Migration Assistant. When you get to the screen where is asks what you want to move over, check your user account but below that UNcheck the big folder like Music and Pictures to get down to the size you need. Then go ahead and import. This will bring in your account and all its data except the categories you unchecked.

    Now logout of the temp account and into your account and make sure all is well. If things look good, go ahead and delete then temp account.

    Now I would set aside that TM backup and not touch it until you get your own machine back. I am concerned if you try to use that backup disk on the new machine it will prune off old data from the backup set and you will lose it.

    I would get another disk to use for backup of the loaner, then once you get your machine back you can use Migration Assistant off the old disk, then manually move over whatever is missing from the new backup disk. Make sense?

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