3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2009 2:59 PM by micp
Charles Cole Level 1 (45 points)
can't find a clear procedure for this, so I'm hoping for some help. If I've backed up all of my data, with the exception of my system and application, onto Time Capsule with Time Machine, how to a restore the data to a new iMac. The new iMac will have a different identity and so I don't understand how Time Machine deals with restoring data from one iMac to a new iMac without some sort of security breach. Easy restoration is one of the reasons I bought TC to start with and now a new iMac is on the horizon and I don't see instructions to overcome the security situation.

Maybe you just name the computers (old and new) the same? That seems a bit lame in the security department, however.

Can someone give me some help here? I posted this also on the Time Capsule forum - sorry for the redundancy, but I wasn't sure where it best fit.

iMac intel, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)
    Unless the new and old Macs are virtually identical, you can't do a full system restore from your TM backups, as the new one won't run from an earlier version of OSX, or one with different hardware.

    But when you first start up the new Mac, you'll be asked if you already have a Mac, and want to transfer your settings, users, apps, and data, either directly from it or it's TM backups. Usually, that's the best, most reliable way to do it.

    If you're coming from a PPC Mac, there can be problems with 3rd-party apps, but otherwise most everything should come over without a hitch.

    Exceptions may be some 3rd-party apps that used installers (rather than just dragged into your Applications folder), as those often put other files in other places, often in system folders. So they may need to be reinstalled.

    You may also need to re-enter some 3rd-party software purchase keys.
  • micp Level 3 (650 points)
    I agree with Pondini. You should not have a problem.

    I migraged from a PPC mac to intel about a year ago. Having a backup is excellent anytime, whether it is used to migrate or not.

    You can use Migration Assistant to connect the machines via firewire and
    import accounts and apps:


    You don't need to name both machines the same, but in my case I used the Migration Assistant to move accounts to the new system from my Time Machine volume.

    From: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1177

    Restoring an existing Time Capsule backup to a new Mac

    When your new Mac starts up for the first time, you are asked if you want to transfer information from another Mac or volume (in the "Do You Already Own a Mac?" window).

    Click "From a Time Machine backup or other disk."

    Click Continue.

    If you are connected to your Time Capsule via an Ethernet cable instead of wirelessly, skip to step 9.

    Under Select a Backup Volume click the Join button to join your wireless (Time Capsule) network.

    In the next sheet, enter your network name or click the Show Networks button to see a list of detected networks.

    Click your wireless network and type the password.

    Click Join.

    Time Capsule appears as a Backup Volume. Select it, then click Continue to proceed.

    Enter the password for your Time Capsule.

    Click Connect to proceed.

    Your Mac will check the Time Machine backup for a period of time.

    The "Transfer Your Information" window appears. Select the desired accounts, network and other settings, Applications folders, Files, and folders that you want to restore.
    Click Transfer. You can monitor the progress of the transfer in the Transferring Information window.
  • micp Level 3 (650 points)
    you should review this if you are going ppc to intel.


    A Basic Guide for Migrating to Intel-Macs

    If you are migrating a PowerPC system (G3, G4, or G5) to an Intel-Mac be careful what you migrate. Keep in mind that some items that may get transferred will not work on Intel machines and may end up causing your computer's operating system to malfunction.

    Rosetta supports "software that runs on the PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor that are built for Mac OS X". This excludes the items that are not universal binaries or simply will not work in Rosetta:

    Classic Environment, and subsequently any Mac OS 9 or earlier applications
    Screensavers written for the PowerPC
    System Preference add-ons
    All Unsanity Haxies
    Browser and other plug-ins
    Contextual Menu Items
    Applications which specifically require the PowerPC G5
    Kernel extensions
    Java applications with JNI (PowerPC) libraries
    See also What Can Be Translated by Rosetta.

    In addition to the above you could also have problems with migrated cache files and/or cache files containing code that is incompatible.

    If you migrate a user folder that contains any of these items, you may find that your Intel-Mac is malfunctioning. It would be wise to take care when migrating your systems from a PowerPC platform to an Intel-Mac platform to assure that you do not migrate these incompatible items.

    If you have problems with applications not working, then completely uninstall said application and reinstall it from scratch. Take great care with Java applications and Java-based Peer-to-Peer applications. Many Java apps will not work on Intel-Macs as they are currently compiled. As of this time Limewire, Cabos, and Acquisition are available as universal binaries. Do not install browser plug-ins such as Flash or Shockwave from downloaded installers unless they are universal binaries. The version of OS X installed on your Intel-Mac comes with special compatible versions of Flash and Shockwave plug-ins for use with your browser.

    The same problem will exist for any hardware drivers such as mouse software unless the drivers have been compiled as universal binaries. For third-party mice the current choices are USB Overdrive or SteerMouse. Contact the developer or manufacturer of your third-party mouse software to find out when a universal binary version will be available.

    Also be careful with some backup utilities and third-party disk repair utilities. Disk Warrior 4.1, TechTool Pro 4.6.1, SuperDuper 2.5, and Drive Genius 2.0.2 work properly on Intel-Macs with Leopard. The same caution may apply to the many "maintenance" utilities that have not yet been converted to universal binaries. Leopard Cache Cleaner, Onyx, TinkerTool System, and Cocktail are now compatible with Leopard.

    Before migrating or installing software on your Intel-Mac check MacFixit's Rosetta Compatibility Index.

    Additional links that will be helpful to new Intel-Mac users:

    Intel In Macs
    Apple Guide to Universal Applications
    MacInTouch List of Compatible Universal Binaries
    MacInTouch List of Rosetta Compatible Applications
    MacUpdate List of Intel-Compatible Software
    Transferring data with Setup Assistant - Migration Assistant FAQ

    Because Migration Assistant isn't the ideal way to migrate from PowerPC to Intel Macs, using Target Disk Mode, copying the critical contents to CD and DVD, an external hard drive, or networking
    will work better when moving from PowerPC to Intel Macs. The initial section below discusses Target Disk Mode. It is then followed by a section which discusses networking with Macs that lack Firewire.

    If both computers support the use of Firewire then you can use the following instructions:

    1. Repair the hard drive and permissions using Disk Utility.

    2. Backup your data. This is vitally important in case you make a mistake or there's some other problem.

    3. Connect a Firewire cable between your old Mac and your new Intel Mac.

    4. Startup your old Mac in Target Disk Mode.

    5. Startup your new Mac for the first time, go through the setup and registration screens, but do NOT migrate data over. Get to your desktop on the new Mac without migrating any new data over.

    If you are not able to use a Firewire connection (for example you have a Late 2008 MacBook that only supports USB:)

    1. Set up a local home network: Creating a small Ethernet Network.

    2. If you have a MacBook Air or Late 2008 MacBook see the following:

    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- Migration Tips and Tricks;
    MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)- What to do if migration is unsuccessful;
    MacBook Air- Migration Tips and Tricks;
    MacBook Air- Remote Disc, Migration, or Remote Install Mac OS X and wireless 802.11n networks.
    Copy the following items from your old Mac to the new Mac:

    In your /Home/ folder: Documents, Movies, Music, Pictures, and Sites folders.

    In your /Home/Library/ folder:
    /Home/Library/Application Support/AddressBook (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Application Support/iCal (copy the whole folder)
    Also in /Home/Library/Application Support (copy whatever else you need including folders for any third-party applications)

    /Home/Library/Keychains (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Mail (copy the whole folder)
    /Home/Library/Preferences/ (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/Calendars (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/iTunes (copy the whole folder)
    /Home /Library/Safari (copy the whole folder)

    /Home/Library/Syndication (Tiger) or /Home/Library/PubSub (Leopard) <<< RSS
    /Home/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
    Credit goes to iBod for this information.
    If you want cookies:

    /Home/Library/Application Support/WebFoundation/HTTPCookies.plist

    For Entourage users:

    Entourage is in /Home/Documents/Microsoft User Data
    Also in /Home/Library/Preferences/Microsoft

    Credit goes to Macjack for this information.
    If you need to transfer data for other applications please ask the vendor or ask in the Discussions where specific applications store their data.

    5. Once you have transferred what you need restart the new Mac and test to make sure the contents are there for each of the applications.

    Written by Kappy with additional contributions from a brody.
    Revised 1/6/2009