Skip navigation

How do I see all users in migration assistant?

459 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2012 9:59 PM by Pondini RSS
Wolfki Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 28, 2012 1:47 PM

I am installing a new user from a time machine backup using migration assistant. The problem is, the user that contains most of the info is missing from the migration list.


When I look in the latest backup file from time machine the user is there and I can see all of the data, it just doesn't show up in migration assistant and doesn't seem to migrate over if I just go ahead anyways. Does it just pick first two? Is this common and more importnantly, is there a way to fix this?

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 4 Gb ram
  • CMCSK Level 6 Level 6 (10,230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 4:03 PM (in response to Wolfki)

    Try the suggestions mentioned in the Mac 101: Time Machine article and the related links within.









    Image Hosting by

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 5:07 PM (in response to Wolfki)

    Do you mean they're not all shown here:




    If not, the backups may be damaged.  Try to repair them, per #A5 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 6:19 PM (in response to Wolfki)

    That's very strange.    I don't recall this being posted before.


    Having more than 2 user accounts isn't common, but I've tested with more, and seen some posts here with other problems where there were 10 or 12, as I recall.


    Can you see the user home folders in the backups via the Time Machine browser ("Star Wars" display)?  These backups are from a different Mac, right?  If so, you'll need the Browse... option, per Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #17.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 8:15 PM (in response to Wolfki)

    Wolfki wrote:


    Hmmm, it's never a good sign when your problem is new.



    When I go into star wars mode I can see the folder I want in the user folders. THat should mean it would show up when trying to migrate them in, but something weird is happening.

    Yup, again.  But at least they're visible on the backups, and Repair Disk said they're ok.


    What kind of Mac was the old one, and how old?  Was it running Snow Leopard?  What kind is the new one?  If it's not new, is it running Snow Leopard or Lion? I assume the old one either isn't available, or no longer has your data on it?


    Do you have access to an external HD with at least the amount of space as was used on the old Mac?  If so, depending on the setup of the old Mac, it's possible you can do a full system restore from those backups to an empty drive, then migrate the missing account(s) from that. 


    The other workaround will be quite tedious.  You'll have to create 3 user accounts to correspond to the ones on the backups, then use the "Star Wars" display to selectively restore things from their home folders.  You can't restore an entire home folder, or even the default sub-folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, etc.) that way, as they're protected.  You'd have to restore the contents of each sub-folder, and the ~/Library folder is even harder, as some of the contents are in use while doing the restore.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 9:59 PM (in response to Wolfki)

    Wolfki wrote:


    The old mac was a white macbook about 3 years old running the most recent version of snow leopard (and yes, it is no longer available). The one I am trying to migrate to is mac mini about 1 year old

    Rats.  I doubt OSX will let you restore those backups to the Mini (we may try it anyway, if all else fails).




    If I used another external, would i have to install a bootable mac os onto it first in order to do a full system restore?

    No, to do a full system restore, you start the Mac from a Snow Leopard Install disc (either the one that came with it, if it was Snow Leopard), or a Retail (white) Snow Leopard disc.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #14 for instructions. 


    Even if it installs, your Mac probably won't start, or will kernel panic, or work very badly with the version of OSX from the old Mac.  But that's ok, as you can then install a fresh copy of OSX from the disc without disturbing everything else you restored, and it should run.


    Sorry, but it's late here, and I'm off to bed, but will be back tomorrow.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (1)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.