Using Time Machine Back Up to Set Up New Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mac Skeleton, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Mac Skeleton macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    Hey guys,

    New here and I had a couple of questions. I did try searching quite a few sections and didn't really find anything solid, so my apologies if there is already a post on this.

    I want to transfer my files from a MacBook Pro 2010 model to a new MacBook Air 2011 model. The 2010 MBP sustained some liquid damage but I actually have a Time Machine back up of the HD from the day before, so Im happy about that. But, what I do NOT seem to understand is, what are the cons of using a time machine back up to set up a new machine or are there any??? What makes using a set up assistant any different? And when you start a new mac, there is nothing called "setup assistant".

    It gives 4 options: Transfer from another Mac, Transfer from another Drive, Time Machine Back Up, or New.

    If I do indeed use the time machine backup from the MBP, are there any potential issues I could face or should look out for?

    Any input would be great, much appreciated and thanks in advance.
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    You my have to re-enter the old software serial number, but apart from that you shouldnt have any problems or side effects.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Restoring from a TM backup usually presents no issues.
  4. Mac Skeleton thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    Thanks much!!

    Another thing I am a little hazy on is the difference between using a time machine back up to set up a new device. And using a cloned copy to set up a new computer via SuperDuper or Carbon Copy.

    What is the difference?

    And if I wanted to start fresh with the new Mac, would I still be able to do that using the time machine backup? Wouldn't I have problems with the drivers and hardware differences?

    Thanks again, I guess Im just a little confused as to how these work exactly.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I recommend using Migration Assistant to set up a new machine, either from Time Machine or the old machine.

    You can't necessarily clone one machine to another; the new machine is different and requires different software, unless it's the identical model. Presumably you're upgrading.

    The beauty of Migration Assistant is that it does the thinking for you; it knows what to copy and what to ignore, whether using the old computer or TM as its source. It might copy over some old software that doesn't work, third party stuff that you may have to upgrade manually. But once you get the new machine up and running Software Update via the prefs pane will get you lots of fresh printer drivers and such.

    The only issues I've had with it are that some software required that I reenter registration info, since it was tied to the old hardware. And I have a very heavily tweaked system with lots of applications. It's amazingly painless.



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