Time Machine vs. "Manual" restore

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macboy4, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. macboy4 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #1
    Earlier I was thinking I would manually backup all of my data, do a "clean" install of Snow Leopard, and reinstall all of my apps.

    I'm now wondering if just doing a clean install and restoring from Time Machine is the way to go. I want to clear out as much "junk" as I can... will this do the trick?

    Also, I've deleted a bootcamp partition, will the Time Machine method effectively defrag my HD?
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    If I were you I'd go for a hybrid approach: Restore user data only from Time Machine, reinstall all apps. This is what I plan to do, gets rid of the junk apps that I no longer use. As for your second question, assuming you erase the drive, yes, it will defragment it.
     
  3. macboy4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #3
    Does installing Snow Leopard with "erase and install" not do this for me... or is there something else I need to do first?
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    Like wrldwzrd89, I'll reformat, install SL, then restore my iTunes stuff and reinstall my apps. There's a few benefits for this imo and so I prefer having a clean slate when installing a new OS.

    I know a lot of people espouse archive and install and that does work well, but it preserves you home directory and there's a lot of crap in the ~/Library folder that gets accumulated over the years. Starting from scratch is something that hasn't failed me yet.
     
  5. macboy4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #5
    Can the crap not just be deleted? Would that not be less time consuming than re-installing/updating all your apps?
     
  6. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #6
    the problem with "crap" is that you never know if it used by something or not. So for each crap you find you would have to check if you can delete it manually. If you want something clean, I'd do a fresh install. Though, I'm a ex Windows user and I actually never had to reinstall OSX so maybe Apple handles crap much better :)

    I will personally make a fresh install with a manual backup of what I want to keep.

    Tex
     
  7. teiresias macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #7
    I have a question along these lines for when I install Snow Leopard.

    Currently Time Machine is set to back up pretty much everything on my machine other than the external drives.

    I have done one TM restore after an install, but i don't particularly remember the options so did it give me an option of NOT restoring the application folder/data?

    If the only thing I'll want to restore is user data should I just set Time Machine to not backup the Applications folder or will it give me the explicit option to not restore applications when I get to the "Would you like to use Time Machine to restore this machine" option in the SL install? Thanks.
     
  8. macboy4 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2009
    #8
    Yes, it will give you the option to restore applications.
     
  9. teiresias macrumors regular

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    Oct 15, 2007
    #9
    I'm assuming this means it will give me the option to NOT restore applications?
     
  10. macboy4 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2009
    #10
    "Option" implies that you will be able to choose, so yes it will give the option to restore or not restore your apps.
     
  11. mbsaeger macrumors 6502

    mbsaeger

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #11
    Is it possible for me to do a fresh install, and then just "browse" my time machine and selectively drag files back??? (ex. iTunes Music Folder)
     
  12. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #12
    this is what I want to know - I think I am going to take this root for SL....

    MobileMe will pretty much pick up everything aside from my media and documents - I don't use any other apps that I just can't DL again.
     
  13. mbsaeger macrumors 6502

    mbsaeger

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    #13
    I have mobileme also. I have the TimeCapsule for TimeMachine. I might back up my music to my 750gb external drive just to be sure...

     
  14. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #14
    You can always just browse through your TM volume directly instead of using the restore interface, should it come to that. I can't think of why you wouldn't be able to just restore files as normal though.
     
  15. lukin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #15
    I found this thread and I believe it's what I want to do for my SL install. I will backup all to my Time Machine external drive, do a clean install, then I would like to bring back my user data and a couple other miscellaneous files but avoid bringing back all the other stuff that I probably don't even use any more.

    I've been googling around but don't see much about actually walking through this process of selectively restoring only the user data and choosing other files. Can anyone provide me some details as how to do this so I have an idea before I clean/erase/install and then find out I don't know what the heck I'm doing!

    Thanks
     
  16. donster28 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Great White North
    #16
    I will be more concerned about Time Machine doing another intial back-up if I'm installing a fresh Snow Leopard rather than upgrading...And we all know how long that initial back-up will take.

    In my case I choose to do an upgrade cause I just did a clean install of Leopard last week. I have not installed any "crap" since so i should be OK. And yes, I had to do an initial Time Capsule back-up which took a few hours.
     
  17. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #17
    I think I might can the TM approach, use my TC as an external HDD and back up my files manually.

    Do a fresh install, copy the media/docs back over and be up and running... The user data and misc. will be copied back over by MM.
     
  18. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #18
    Hi,
    I've just made a backup using Time Machine for the 1st time and I realizes that the whole file system is just copied on the disk and the files are accessible via Finder. So actually it is not so different from a "manual" backup.
     
  19. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #19
    Yes.

    I did all this today, using parts of Time Machine backup and parts of manual backups. Had some permission issues copying files from the Time Machine directories — some things refused to copy even though I should have had full read access, and it was somewhat random. Would have done a more complete manual backup had I known it was going to be a PITA. Didn't do a restore because I wanted to start fresh (Erase & Install + freshly downloading apps and ignoring some that I no longer want — all in all saved about 30GB space).
     
  20. brn2ski00 macrumors 68020

    brn2ski00

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #20
    ended up just doing an upgrade, got about 10GBs back and everything is incredibly snappy

    i am glad i did the upgrade and didn't waste time manually installing SL
     
  21. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020

    Tex-Twil

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Europe
    #21
    Hi again,
    I have another question. I made my TM backup without the Application folder because it takes a lot of space + I can reinstall them again. In such a case, can I do a system restore as described here:
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/15638.html

    For example if I want to switch from SL to Leopard again.
     
  22. audio_inside macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder CO
    #22
    It may look that way for the initial backup it is very different than a manual backup over time. Time Machine goes to great lengths to make it appear like your files are simply copied over to the backup.
     
  23. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Balham, London
    #23
    Once you've installed you can use Migration Assistant to selectively copy over Settings, Users or Applications.
     
  24. miamialley macrumors 68030

    miamialley

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    I've had my MBP for 2 years and think it's time to start fresh. I had the same question of "TM vs Manual."

    I think I will go manual to clean out everything. The whole point is I want a clean slate. I will download apps, but keep my documents, photos, music on my external HD.
     

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