3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2009 11:58 AM by rebby575
rebby575 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Background:

I'm a fanatic about backups. I have a Time Machine at home (Time Capsule), and a Time Machine at the work (external USB drive). Both backup my MacBook Pro.

I just got a new MacBook Pro. I plan to migrate my data from my old MacBook Pro (or a clone on a Firewire drive) rather than from one of the Time Machine backups. It's faster than a wireless transfer, and doesn't require all the mucking around with switching to ethernet and back again with Time Capsule.

The question:

How can I make sure both Time Machine backups recognize the new MacBook Pro as a continuation of the previous data? I could start all over again with two fresh backups, but I would prefer not to.

Is it automatic that both Time Machines will recognize a familiar face with a new hat? Is there some trick to making it work, or, at worst, some trick to fixing it? I've read about changing the expected MAC address in Time Machine, but I don't think that's the best answer.

Thanks for your help.

MacBook Pro 17" 3.06ghz, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,110 points)
    rebby575 wrote:
    Background:

    I'm a fanatic about backups. I have a Time Machine at home (Time Capsule), and a Time Machine at the work (external USB drive). Both backup my MacBook Pro.

    I just got a new MacBook Pro. I plan to migrate my data from my old MacBook Pro (or a clone on a Firewire drive) rather than from one of the Time Machine backups. It's faster than a wireless transfer, and doesn't require all the mucking around with switching to ethernet and back again with Time Capsule.

    The question:

    How can I make sure both Time Machine backups recognize the new MacBook Pro as a continuation of the previous data?

    You can't and they won't. a new computer will start a new backup sequence and there is no way around that.
    I could start all over again with two fresh backups, but I would prefer not to.

    Is it automatic that both Time Machines will recognize a familiar face with a new hat? Is there some trick to making it work, or, at worst, some trick to fixing it? I've read about changing the expected MAC address in Time Machine, but I don't think that's the best answer.

    there is no better answer than that but even if you do change the recorded MAC address in TM backups, TM will still make a complete full backup of the new computer the first time it backs up.

    Thanks for your help.
  • deh2k Level 4 Level 4 (1,765 points)
    I think that what you read is correct. Time Machine uses the MAC address of your computer's ethernet card to distinguish it from other computers that are using that backup drive. So the normal behavior would be for Time Machine to start a new backup sequence for your new computer.

    You might be able to fool Time Machine by changing the file that contains the MAC address on your backup. I don't know. But Time Machine seems to have a mind of its own about a lot of things.
  • rebby575 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The question:

    How can I make sure both Time Machine backups recognize the new MacBook Pro as a continuation of the previous data? I could start all over again with two fresh backups, but I would prefer not to.

    The answer is:

    Yes, for at least one, and it's automatic. Time Machine is smart enough to figure out what's going on and offer to continue using the previous backup file.

    After using Migration Assistant with a bootable clone on a Firewire drive, I selected my Time Capsule in Time Machine prefs.

    A dialog popped up and asked if I wanted to continue using the previous Time Machine backup. It offered the warning that if I did, it would not be possible to use that backup with the other computer.

    Cool.

    It's backing up the whole drive, which makes sense, but that's okay. The main thing was that I wanted to be able to continue to access old backups if I needed them (to replace old tossed or corrupt files).

    I haven't tried it on the offsite Time Machine backup on the attached USB drive, but it will probably do the same thing.

    Message was edited by: rebby575