Install From Time Machine

I got my new iMac in late last week – the 24″ 3.06 Ghz aluminum one with 4GB RAM – and it *is* sweet.  I’ve set up a Mac fresh, I’ve set up a machine using the Migration Assistant, and I’ve used target disk mode, but I’ve not yet had the chance to rebuild from a time machine backup.  Did it work?

Suffice it to say it was incredible.  Using just my external hard drive, it read my backup, asked me what I wanted to restore (it found 4 things: Users, Network Settings, Applications, and “Files and Folders”).  I checked them all.  After a few simple questions, it told me that it would take just shy of 4 hours to complete.   Surprisingly, it was done a scant 150 minutes later.  When I booted up, I was amazed. Not only did everything come over, it was almost as if it was my exact machine.  Barely a noticeable difference, save speed and size.  

A few things slipped by, for example, I had changed /System/Library/CoreServices/DefaultDesktop.jpg to a custom image, which it did not preserve.  I had changed some system icons, and those new icons did not preseve, but, for example, my external time machine drive had a custom icon, and it did remain.  The new install also required many updates I had already applied to my old OS X installation. 


Time Machine Restore: Incroyable!
Time Machine Restore: Incroyable!

All in all, though, I’ve never seen a smoother or faster migration.  The power of UNIX – everything living in predictable directories and segregated into “Library” folders, means that both backing up and restoring have a power that the Windows Registry simply can’t match.  In fact, in wading through all of this, it has a severe handicap when it comes to system migration due to the fact that data is mashed into so many inconsistent places.  

Apple has pissed me off quite a bit recently.  But – oh boy! – did they re-energize me with this one!

Update: worth noting, here is a great article on restoring from a time machine backup.

One Reply to “Install From Time Machine”

  1. Although time machine is a good tool for Mac backup but it doesn’t provide bootable backups like Stellar Drive Clone software of Mac. It is a cloning and imaging software that supports SSD and many file formats like ExFat, FAT32, MBR partition scheme etc.

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