time machine backup on new hard drive questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by airtas, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. airtas macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #1
    I did a time machine backup to a usb drive.
    I am going to install a new hard drive today.

    Can I boot using that time machine backup?
    Or do I need to be able to use the recovery partition to select time machine backup?
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    The TM backup isn't bootable so your "or" plan is the way to go.

    Alternately, and probably much faster, would be to clone the existing drive to the new one, then swap.
     
  3. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #3
    I agree with Brian. Cloning to the new drive and swapping is the way to go.

    However, this will result in the new drive not having a recovery partition. That problem is easily solved though. Go the App store and download and install a fresh copy of El Capitan. During the install process, the installer will automatically create a recovery partition.
     
  4. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #4
    Wouldn't I lose all my data then and defeat the purpose cloning?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    Is this article wrong?

    "If you've had to replace it with a stock drive that has nothing on it—not even OS X—you won't be able to boot from the OS X Recovery Partition. But fear not, you can get the recovery rolling from the Time Machine backup disk itself: Just hold down the Option key when you start your Mac; you'll be able to select the Time Machine backup disk as your startup drive, and go from there."

    http://www.imore.com/how-set-and-restore-time-machine-backup
     
  5. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #5
    The article is correct for newer Mac operating systems. Older versions of Time Machine did not have a recovery partition.
     
  6. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #6
    so if my time machine backup came from el capitan I can hold option down (select timemachine) and we will be good?
    Or will I need access to disk utility to select restore from time machine backup?
     
  7. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #7
    Yes. If your computer finds a restore partition on the time machine backup when you boot holding down the option key, you can then format the new drive (as Apple Extended Format (Journalled)) using Disk Utility and then restore from the time machine to the new drive.

    That should work. I have never tried it. I have always preferred to clone the drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 8, 2016 ---
    There also may be a problem booting from the Time Capsule recovery partition if you are running El Capitan. See: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/installing-os-x-on-a-new-hard-drive.1979553/#post-23058360
     
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #8
    If you have a recovery partition Carbon Copy Cloner will add it to the clone...at least it has for the last few that I have done. Comes up as an option when you start setting up the clone.
     
  9. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #9
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Like CoastalOR mentioned, in previous OS X versions (starting with Lion 10.7.2) there was a recovery partition placed on the TM backup disk you could boot to, but El Capitan broke it.

    Just download this Apple utility and run it on your Mac now with a 1GB or larger USB key. The utility will make a USB recovery key.

    Then swap in your new drive and option key boot to the USB key. That will get you a recovery screen where you can use Disk Utility to erase the new drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Then quit Disk Util and click restore and point to the TM drive as the source.
     
  11. airtas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    #11
    Thanks guys,
    So I had to use disk utility to format the new HD but luckily I had a bootable USB.
    I then did restore from time machine and we are all good.
    Couple questions:
    1. When cloning - do you need to have higher storage on the cloned device? For example my original HD was 128 gigs.
    My thumb drive was 64 gigs.
    I was only cloning 40 gigs but I couldn't clone because it said destination not large enough.

    2. My thumb drive is no longer bootable once I put a time machine backup on it.
    Is this normal and how can I make it bootable again?
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #12
    1. What did you use to clone? CCC should let you clone 40GB of data from a 128GB drive to a 64GB drive just fine. Disk Utility will not though.

    2. Now with El Capitan, that is normal. El Capitan broke the boot feature of Time Machine backups. You should make a separate boot key with that utility I linked.
     
  13. dmk1974 macrumors 68000

    dmk1974

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    #13
    I've never used CCC to clone a drive before (just individual file/folder redundancy to an external USB). But I am looking to replace my Mac Mini HDD with a SSD today. It's also a transfer from another machine.

    1.) Can I run CCC on my original machine (which is a MacBook Air) to clone the entire drive (including the recovery partition)? Then, restore that drive to the new SSD (having the new SSD connected to the original machine via USB adapter). I would then "simply" shut down, disconnect the SSD, and install it into the new Mac Mini.

    2.) Time Machine backup/restore is easiest, but if I do what I proposed with #1 above, I would not need to also run TM, correct?

    My original machine has the latest 10.11.5 El Capitan, so I'd imagine it will port over just fine to the new drive/Mac Mini.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Yes... that will work just fine.
     

Share This Page