baltwo, I might have to do just that. Finding the time where I'm at home and not running around with kids and while applecare is open can be challenging.
I was hoping someone knows how to get into some other mode as this is built on UNIX or some more fundamental coding and then guide through how to treat the bootup as a new one so as to allow me to become an Adminstrator--->provide AppleID, then download Mt. Lion, then viola...too much to hope for, maybe.
Follow these instructions for reinstall 10.6, you will need to erase the ENTIRE drive by selecting the drive makers name and size on the left while booted from the 10.6 disk that came with your machine as this is the machine specific version with your free iLife included.
If you use the white 10.6 disk, (it's 10.6.3) then that doesn't have the free iLife, but if you later purchased it from AppStore it can be redownloaded when you get to 10.8 again.
(ideally that older machine should stick with 10.6.8, but you have your files already in 10.8 on the TM drive, so...)
Make sure you erase the entire drive with the Security Erase Zero All Data option, this will "pre-map" off any potentially failing sectors on the drive before they fail with your data on it, it makes your machine a lot more reliable.
Once that's all done, log in and setup with your same user name as before (important) and Software Update to 10.6.8, log into AppStore and hold the option key down and click on Purchases, redownload 10.8 and install.
Revisit and redownload other software like iLife etc.
Use the TM drive to bring back copies of your files into their respective folders.
Reboot the Mac holding the command and r keys down, use Terminal and enter resetpassword, a window appears, select your boot volume and user, then reset ACL's, should fix your user permissions issue.
Note: What the AppleStore should have done is installed the 10.8 Recovery HD on your new drive, then you could have just reinstalled 10.8 from that.
OK, I'm off and running witht he install off the white disk. Let me ask you this..you instruct that once 10.6.3 is loaded that I Software Update to 10.6.8 before going direct to Mt Lion. WHY? Must it be at 10.6.8 before moving up? or, might 10.6.3 do? AppleStore customer service called as I was reading your instructions to thank me for my feedback (lol). I told them of what you suggested and they thought that was fine but that I could go direct from 10.6.3 to 10.8. I'm trusting you but just want to check it. Thoughts?
Thanks, this was the solution.
I want to make a couple of notes for anyone who tries to go through this process but does it somewhat in a foggy state. In "following" these instructions I made a couple mistakes...
I got hung up once or twice. Then after installing I still couldn't get in. The reason was I just kept installing SL onto SL but my MtLion TM restore was still there and I couldn't get in.
SUMMARY of WHAT WORKED for ME:
So, when booting from the SL install disk, make sure you go to the Utilities menu choice to bring up Disk Utility so as to ERASE the HD before trying to install again. THAT ALLOWED ME TO MOVE FORWARD. After booting up. I created another (e.g., first, since the HD had been erased) "dummy" Admin account just in case. Next, upt to Software Update to get the highest level of SL, finally bring in Mt. Lion (I didn't download since I had it on a disk I copied onto the desktop - given that I had the disk I wonder if I could have skipped the upgrade of the SL step). FINALLY, I used Migration Assistant to restore the TM backup!