I backed it up, now to get it back
May 8, 2014 7:36 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to restore my backup to a new(er) iMac? Can you restore from Time Machine that has a slightly newer OS version than the new(er) computer? Or if you restore from a different backup that is a few days older but that would restore the matching OS, will Time Machine still work properly and let me update the missing recent work?

The old non-functioning iMac (2006) was running Lion (10.7.5) and I had a Time Machine backup on a firewire 400 drive and a SuperDuper backup (once a week) on a USB drive. I brought home a newer used iMac today running 10.6.8, thinking I would go to the App store and update from my former purchase of Lion and then connect my Time Machine backup and be back to normal.

First, Apple no longer had Lion available and second, I don't have a firewire 400 to 800 adapter to connect to the Time Machine drive. I could restore the SuperDuper backup, which I've booted from successfully, but I would be missing a few files from the past four days. I've never done a full restore from Time Machine before and don't know if the OS on the backup and the computer need to match.

My other option would be to restore from SuperDuper, which would give the new computer 10.7.5 and then connect the Time Machine drive after I get an adapter, hoping that I could restore the files missing from the past few days that SuperDuper didn't backup. Time Machine would be more current than the computer, so would that cause any problems?
posted by perhapses to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think your safest option is to fire up Migration Assistant (in the Utilities) folder, and use that to migrate over your applications, settings, and files from your non-functioning Mac. That will extract just those bits from your Time Machine backup drive, so you don't need to worry about OS problems.
posted by waldo at 8:20 PM on May 8, 2014

I should have noted the non-functioning iMac is completely non-functional (won't turn on).
posted by perhapses at 8:23 PM on May 8, 2014

To answer my own question, I've decided to upgrade the new(er) computer to Mavericks and use Migration Assistant to transfer files from the Time Machine backup (from the machine that ran Lion).
posted by perhapses at 9:36 AM on May 9, 2014

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