Will Time Machine Restore Everything?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by powerbook911, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. powerbook911 macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #1
    I think my iMac disk may be a bit defragmented after three years of use including large video files. I did a test by installing a new copy of OS on external drive, and it was noticeably faster.

    This makes me want to try reinstalling Snow Leopard as a clean install.

    Can I then just use Time Machine to bring back everything *exactly* as it was? Will it do that? Emails and everything will be exactly as before?

    Many thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
  3. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    There's little point to doing that, but whatever keeps your mind at ease.

    BTW, it's "fragmented" and you're trying to "defragment" it.
     
  4. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

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    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #4
    Why isn't the time machine drive bootable? I find that it would be a lot more convenient if you simply boot off of it right away if your HDD dies, instead of waiting for the HDD to be replaced and then moving all the files back on...
     
  5. shinystarlet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    Time machine/capsule is awesome. My computer was the victim of my clumsiness and I loved telling the folks at tekserve (ny repair shop) that everything was backed up. They were surprised. Anyway...


    Yes time machine will turn your computer into the exact same condition. After you wipe and return the factory settings and turn it back on, it will ask you if you want to use a back up. You will need your password and it will take a good 24-36 hours to do.(mine was about 100GB when I performed this install) When you are restarting from the time capsule you wont be able to use the computer. Go on a vacation. Another option, if you don't want to render your computer un-useable for that time is restart as a new install and use migration assistant. That will transfer all of your user folder from the time machine. 150 GB took about 3 days, but I was able to use the computer during that time. I had migration assistant minimized in the background. However, if you use migration method, I am not sure about the emails, because I use web email. (if would back up the emails in a folder before you do the wipe if you plan the migration method.)

    Hope this helps. I am an intermediate user and this is what worked for me.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #6
    Because of the way it saves information. What would it boot off? day 1? day 32? Month 7?
     
  7. peterdevries macrumors 68040

    peterdevries

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    #7
    I actually want to do something similar as the T.S., but I DON'T want to get everything back after the backup.

    Is it possible to do a clean install, connect to Time Machine and select which programs etc I want to have back? I also want my emails etc. back.

    Can it do this, and if so how? Or is it all or nothing?
     
  8. AndyMulhearn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    #8
    I did a full restore a while back but I don't recall any options to select what you restore. As an alternative you can tell TS what not to backup - you can use the Options in the System Preferences pane to exclude applications or whole directories - and that content won't be there when the restore happens. I don't know if that affects the TS backup retrospectively, i.e. if you exclude applications after the first backup whether they get pruned from the previously taken backup.

    I recently rebuilt my MBA but used rsync to copy my home directory to a directory on my TS disk and reinstalled all of my apps manually. I did it that way because I wanted to clear all of the cruft I had on my effectively two year backup.
     
  9. powerbook911 thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #9
    Thanks, a typo, sorry.

    I know there is little point, but I do think the machine is a tiny tad slower after all these GBs of video files being on it, deleting them, adding new ones, deleting them, etc.

    All the help was very clear. Thanks everyone. I might do it or wait, until my new iMac comes in, when I'm starting clean anyway.

    Many thanks.

    Also - to the user that says it takes like 3 days for 100 GB I think that must be if you're using Time Capsule? I'm pretty sure a Firewire 800 drive won't take that long, at least I hope! :)
     
  10. powerbook911 thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #10
    I just wanted to thank everyone for telling me to trust Time Machine.

    I quick erased my hard drive, and restored it using Time Machine.

    Everything (seems so far) to be back exactly where I left it.

    Did it speed up the system? I tiny bit I'm pretty sure. Applications seem to open that bit faster after 2.5 years of fragmentation with those large videos files and whatnot.

    However, it's not dramatic, so it's not something I'd recommend people do as maintenance.

    The bummer now is Time Machine wants to backup the entire drive on top of the old data, I guess it doesn't match up to it, so I'm just going to delete old TIme machine backups and start new.

    And 150 GB took just shy of 3 hours with Firewire. Most of my content lives on other externals.
     
  11. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Placebo effect and cache purging is a wonderful thing. ;)
     
  12. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #12
    I did this several weeks ago when I couldn't partition my hd using bootcamp because some of the files couldn't be moved. I did a restore from my time machine backup and that gave me the contiguous space on the hd to use bootcamp to make that partition the size I wanted.

    PS... Safari was snappier...
     
  13. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #13
    Doing what you did did not defrag the drive. Try out programs like iDefrag .. the demo version can show you how much of the disk is already defragmented...another program is Tech Tool Pro..
     
  14. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #14
    Did you try migration assistant? I think this will allow you to selectively restore stuff from your TM backup..But this might not help in recovering the OS.
     
  15. powerbook911 thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #15
    Why wouldn't it defrag it, in that all the information would be put back on it, in order wouldn't it? Instead of being spread out.
     
  16. powerbook911 thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #16
    I know it sounds crazy, but I had seen the machine slow slightly, and I use multiple Macs with similar configurations.

    Apple does say in support documents dealing with huge files can cause the drive to become fragmented.
     
  17. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    Yes it did. Not that it was in any way necessary. Do you not know what fragmentation even is?
     
  18. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

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    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    #18
    Is that a serious question? You'd obviously want to boot off from the last time you backed up so everything is exactly or really close to where you last left it?
     
  19. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
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    #19
    Yeah, except that might have been a bad back up, or something that crashed your system, thus you'd want the day before or the day before that.
     
  20. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #20
    If fragmentation is your concern then it would be easier to just use a defrag application such as iDefrag. Such applications will also show you if and how much your hard drive is fragmented.
     
  21. powerbook911 thread starter macrumors 68040

    powerbook911

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    #21
    Thanks. I will consider this, but for 3 hours this was 100 percent free. I should do as you suggest someday though, I'm just a bit cheap right now. :)
     
  22. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    I've heard horror stories of those OS X defragmentation programs corrupting disks to the point that a reinstall is necessary.
     
  23. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

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    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #23
    If you restore your system to what it was before your reinstall; why even reinstall?
     

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