Time Machine recovery question

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 5, 2014
640
607
I do not have any issues and hopefully never will.
But, I was wondering, if I have a time machine backup on an external drive of mine and something happens to my Mac. It blows up, whatever.
Do I need the same or similar model of Mac to perform the recovery or any would do?
For example say I have a Mac Mini or a Macbook, **** hits the fan and the computer is no more. I buy a new Mac, can it be say an iMac or whatever else and still use the saved time machine to restore it to the new system?
 

chscag

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,705
1,274
Fort Worth, Texas
I do not have any issues and hopefully never will.
But, I was wondering, if I have a time machine backup on an external drive of mine and something happens to my Mac. It blows up, whatever.
Do I need the same or similar model of Mac to perform the recovery or any would do?
For example say I have a Mac Mini or a Macbook, **** hits the fan and the computer is no more. I buy a new Mac, can it be say an iMac or whatever else and still use the saved time machine to restore it to the new system?
You do not need a similar model in order to use your latest Time Machine backup to migrate everything to the new Mac. However, the key to doing that without a problem is NOT to create an account on the new Mac first. Just attach the Time Machine backup drive to the new Mac and let the Migration Assistant do the work. I've done that for years when moving from an older to a newer Mac. And I have done it from a MacBook to an iMac without a hitch.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,339
10,103
California
However, the key to doing that without a problem is NOT to create an account on the new Mac first.
Exactly! OP this part is important. Make sure you do the import as part of the initial system setup and NOT after you have already setup an account on the new Mac. Importing with an account already on there can cause all sorts of permissions issues.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trusteft and chscag

The Hammer

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2008
413
58
Toronto, Canada
Are SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner better for what the original poster needs and if so why. Sorry. I don't mean to hijack the thread but I think my question is along the same vane as the OP.
 

Longkeg

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2014
403
165
S. Florida
The advantage of cloning a hard drive is that you end up with.... wait for it.... a clone of your hard drive. It is perfect to replace a failed hard drive in the machine from which it originated. It may not be so perfect in other machines that require model specific drivers or software that may not be present on the clone. Time Machine will completely restore an empty hard drive in the original machine that created the backup. If you try to do that in a different machine things get complicated.

At this point you’re not really “restoring” the new machine. You’re “migrating” all your files, settings, apps, etc. to a new machine. The new computer will need a clean Mac OS installed from the App Store before Time Machine can do it’s thing. Once the new machine boots into the new OS you’ll be prompted to set it up from a TM backup. As previously mentioned, DO NOT set up the new computer with a user account. TM will push all accounts from the old machine to the new one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Trusteft

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 5, 2014
640
607
So in such a case I plug in the external drive to the new mac, boot for the first time and then I get asked if I want to migrate to the new machine?
 

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 5, 2014
640
607
Thank you all for your input.
I hope I never have to use it. :)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.