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I have a powerbook G4 with macosx10.5.8 (as far as I know the latest possible OS with powerPC). Can I use Time Machine to restore my data on an Intel Macbook?

423 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2014 12:22 PM by K Shaffer RSS
Jacques Rodary Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 3, 2014 11:16 AM

I have a powerbook G4 with macosx10.5.8 (as far as I know the latest possible OS with powerPC). Can I use Time Machine to restore my data on an Intel Macbook?

Mac OS X (10.5)
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (8,570 points)

    Probably not. You may be able to migrate some data between the old and newer computers, on a setup basis. That'd use a migration assistant.


    The TimeMachine works with later OS X versions, and those do not run on older powerPC hardware. So it probably will not 'restore' to/from there.


    •Time Machine Support Page:


    •Mac Basics: Time Machine backs up your Mac...


    Do you have a different kind of backup, on a regular externally enclosed hard disk drive? You could see about copying certain items from one to the other, after the fact. But they may not work if drag & dropped in.


    If you were setting up a new MacBook, some data from the older PowerBook may be able to migrate over, but certain items made with older software may not have a suitable later version to use or open them. The older OS X had support to run PPC based coded applications, and if these were not Universal coded, or later intel coded, they would not work correctly or at all. Documents may require other software to convert or open them, then.


    So the mix of two topics in one question makes it hard to figure out what is really being asked, since the Timemachine can't work with a G4, and it can with a MacBook and suitable version of OS X in it.


    What is the main issue and what tools do you have (or think you have) to resolve it? And what is the newer MacBook specs, build model year, and OS...?


    More information on the situation may help.

    Good luck & happy computing!

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (8,570 points)

    Well the newer TimeMachine model as stated in current Support pages isn't directly compatible on OS X 10.5 now, as noted in above link provided.


    What OS X does your newer MacBook have running in it? (Not linux?)


    With the current setup you have there may be a way -among other details in the support page- to do the migration of data from Mac, including a subnote on Time Machine, in a section below the main article with triangle by it,  from links here:


    •OS X: How to migrate data from another Mac using Mavericks 10.9:


    •OS X: How to migrate data from another Mac using Mountain Lion 10.8 and Earlier:


    In the support articles there are various troubleshooting and help items about the technology, some data back some time and whatever still stands would be there. Some archives are no longer current and say so.


    Perhaps someoone still using older PPC Macs and Leopard 10.5, will say how to backup into a G4 PowerBook, from a Time Machine.


    Unless the TimeMachine backup from the older PPC G4 PowerBook is used in the migration process of transferring personal account files from there to a new MacBook running (?) OS X. This probably could be done. You may be able to access older libraries, such as iPhoto, iTunes, etc and import them from the archive, to a newer Intel-based MacBook.


    Sorry for any confusion.

    I'll more carefully reply in the future.


    Good luck & happy computing!


    PS: a different direction on archives, time machine, clones, and other devices:


    About Time Machine - Time Machine vs. Clones and Archives:


    Apple OS X and Time Machine Tips:


    {edited to add link details}

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (8,570 points)

    Thanks for the reply.


    I was doing some checking on other details and sometimes there is a little confusion in regard to 'time machine' verses the 'time capsule' or backup hardware that is often seen and used for a time machine backup. Some of the hardware has changed and may require various updated OS X and other software to use it.


    So I have no doubt you used 'time machine' in your Mac, to make some kind of backup of data into an external storage device or drive, I have 'time machine software' in my Macs running 10.5.x though I haven't used it and do not have a storage drive attached to a computer that way. The few things I'd like to save could fit on a USB flash thumbdrive, such as browser bookmarks, and a few copies of things located elsewhere, such as email contacts. I usually try to make full system/computer content clones to a device that supports booting the computer from that copy/clone.


    For incremental backups, the ability to to automatic backups to an external drive via wireless is good when you have and use a portable computer and don't have a desk area where you park it at home. This is where the newer hardware (for newer Mac) that handles the 'time machine' has better fit to purpose w/ new OS X.


    However you could still migrate data without waiting to set up a new Mac according to the information in the two links about 'OS X how to migrate...' toward the bottom, the information in color with disclosure triangles by them, opens additional information in that page.


    You could likely migrate that data into another external hard disk drive, in a manner of speaking or a newer OS X in a late model computer. But some files made by older applications may not perform as expected, and a newer software may or may not be able to open or use them Older applications made for use in powerPC pre-intel based Apple computer have their limitations and likely won't work unless they were 'universal' for both PPC and Intel based system hardware.


    Just thought I'd try to clarify the other issues somewhat, in that a minor confusion regarding name and purpose, in software product vs. hardware product, and changes in these that happen over time.


    Good luck & happy computing!


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