Using Time Machine to migrate to new mac

Discussion in 'macOS' started by redsteven, May 31, 2011.

  1. redsteven macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    I'm sure that this information is already somewhere here in the forums (but I was unable to find it), so my apologies in advance.

    Can my Time Machine backup be used to restore to a NEWER computer? I had a core 2 duo macbook pro, but I'll be moving to one of the new i7's..... will my old OS from Time machine be able to run on that, or am I just asking for trouble? (old computer still had 10.6.7 though)

    Also, since I knew I was going to be giving up my old macbook pro (long story), I cloned the hard drive to another external that I had... and I've just been working from that external hard drive (with another computer). Again, if I now clone that external drive (which was used for my old core 2 duo macbook pro) to the new i7 MBP, will everything run fine?

    I know that it's usually best to take a clean install and migrate things over by hand, but I really, really don't have time for that right now.

    thanks for your responses,
  2. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Yup, its fine to do that. You shouldn't have any trouble.
  3. redsteven thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
  4. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    I just did this last week, using TM to transfer over from a G4 powerbook running 10.5. No problems at all. All the programs installed on the PB were installed flawlessly on my new iMac.
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I used Time Machine to migrate from a 160 gig 5400 drive to a 500 gig SSD hybrid drive. So far the only problem I've noticed is got all lost and confused trying to import 120,000 old emails. I had to delete library/mail and library/preferences/ to get working again. No big deal really. My mail lives on MobileMe and Gmail. The copy on my Mac is merely a convenience for the many many times Comcast internet is down but I need to find something.

    In the past, I used a firewire cable to migrate from one Mac to another.

    Here is a quick rundown of the ways I've migrated (or tinkered with) in the past:
    Windows to OS X:
    1 - Use syncback to copy everything in my documents to a network drive
    2 - Copy from the network drive to my new mac and toss the PC out on big trash day

    OS X to OS X:
    1 - Use a firewire cable to migrate everything over. Totally seamless.


    1 - Use Time Machine to create a fresh backup on a USB or Firewire disk that hasn't been used for Time Machine before.
    2 - Install OS X on the new hard drive
    3 - After the welcome movie, pick migrate from time machine backup


    (I've used CCC to create a dmg file but I've never tried restoring it)

    1 - Use Carbon Copy Cloner (donationware) to create a dmg of Macintosh HD on some external drive
    2 - Use CCC to restore that dmg to the new drive you want to boot from
  6. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    The Time Machine restore works really well. I did it a couple of weeks ago when moving to an SSD. The only issue I had was with Aperture which lost all the image previews, but they were rebuildable anyway. Apart from that it was flawless.
  7. redsteven thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    Thanks for the all the tips.

    What I think I'm actually going to do is use Disk Utility's "restore" feature.

    Since I knew I was going to be giving up the old MBP, I cloned it's hard drive to a partition on my external drive using Disk Utility.
    Now, I'm carrying around the loaner macbook that my school's IT department let me borrow, and just bringing my external drive around with me so that I can boot from the cloned partition.

    In the meantime, I don't want to use time machine while I'm using the macbook because Time Machine thinks my next backup should be about 200 gigabytes (since I cloned the hard drive).
    I understand then when I finally get the new macbook pro I'll have to do a huge time machine backup, but I'd rather do it once than twice (once with the loaner macbook and once with the new macbook pro).

    So I'll probably just take the external bootable partition I'm using and clone that on to the new macbook pro.

    If that doesn't work, I guess I can always go back to the old time machine backup and then manually restore anything from the cloned drive that's changed since I made the last time machine backup with the original machine.

    Sorry that was so long-winded.

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