13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2014 9:34 AM by babowa
Phalx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi everyone,

 

I'm setting up Time Machine to back up my MBA.  I just have a quick question:

 

In the event that I have to ever use a back-up to do a full restore, will this include all the software that is currently on my Mac?  If I am switching to a new laptop and wish to move everything to the new one, is it possible to do this with a Time Machine back-up?  If I delete everything from my old laptop, will I be able to re-install all the software without repurchasing another product key? 

 

Specifically, the software I purchased are: Parallels, Microsoft Office 2011 and Windows 8 (to use on Parallels).

 

If you know the answer to this question or have tips on the process for doing this, I would be very grateful.

 

Thank you!


MacBook Air
  • tbirdvet Level 4 Level 4 (2,805 points)

    TM will backup everything on your main drive and can be used to restore all to a new drive.  Your product keys should be OK as long as you are only changing the hard drive.  I recenly changed out my HDD to an SSD and used TM to restore all and had no issues.  I also had Parallels, Office and Windows.  I also got a new Mac and used my old TM backup to restore all.  I did have to put in the MS office key again but had no issue.

  • the0pticnerve Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)

    In the event that I have to ever use a back-up to do a full restore, will this include all the software that is currently on my Mac? - Yes

     

    If I am switching to a new laptop and wish to move everything to the new one, is it possible to do this with a Time Machine back-up? - Yes. Via Migration Assistant (in the Utilities folder)

     

    If I delete everything from my old laptop, will I be able to re-install all the software without repurchasing another product key? Not if it is serialized.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)

    Be aware that you can restore from Time Machine, but it is not bootable, so you would need to install your OS first and then port over your files, etc. Here is a great resource:

     

    http://pondini.org/OSX/Home.html

  • Phalx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for the replies.  That is good news!

     

    I have a few more questions:

     

    1) the0pticnerve - What do you mean by: 'not if it's not serialized' ?

     

    2) babowa - Thank you for the link.  By install the OS first and then port over my files, do you mean by using the 'migration assistant' as opposed to the 'install with a disk' option?  There is nothing I would like to 'exclude' or change so would just starting the process with the disk to begin with, as opposed to using the 'migration assistant', be the better option?

     

    Also,  can you clarify what you mean by 'it is not bootable'?

     

    Would this be a good procedure to follow?

     

    1) One last TM back-up onto my external hard drive.

    2) Clear my old laptop with these instructions : http://www.mactip.net/how-to-securely-wipe-your-mac-hard-drive-before-selling-it /

    2) Start new laptop and use the 'install with a disk' option'. 

    3) Everything should (hopefully) be the same as my old laptop.  I also have the old product keys handy in case it is required.

     

    I don't have to 'de-activate' anything on my old laptop, right?

     

    Thank you again.  Really grateful for the help

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    babowa wrote:

     

    Be aware that you can restore from Time Machine, but it is not bootable, so you would need to install your OS first and then port over your files, etc.

    While not a clone that will boot directly into your backup, Time Machine does include a bootable recovery volume to easily restore an entire system.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)

    Time Machine does include a bootable recovery volume to easily restore an entire system.

     

    Well, yes, so I've read, but - personally - I wouldn't necessarily consider it 100% dependable. It's also curious why Apple would give these instructions:

     

    Choose Apple menu > Restart. Once your Mac restarts (and the gray screen appears), hold down the Command (⌘) and R keys.

     

    from this:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14185

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)

    Also,  can you clarify what you mean by 'it is not bootable'?

     

    It means that you cannot use it to boot up your computer.

     

    With a bootable clone, you can - you start up and hold the Option key and the Startup Manager will show you which disks are available for booting - your clone should show, so you choose that and boot up.

     

     

    By install the OS first and then port over my files, do you mean by using the 'migration assistant' as opposed to the 'install with a disk' option?  There is nothing I would like to 'exclude' or change so would just starting the process with the disk to begin with, as opposed to using the 'migration assistant', be the better option?

     

    Not sure what you mean with the "disk"? I am referring to your external drive which has your backup. You can actually also use your old Mac and connect them using target disk mode (that is what I've always used):

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH13842

     

    Personally, I've found that the easiest way.

     

    When you first turn on your new Mac, you can use the Setup Assistant which is by far the easiest way to port over files - you need to follow the onscreen instructions and connect the two machines. If you wait until later, it will be Migration Assistant and it will create a second user account for the transfers because you've already created one. You will then need to deal with getting rid of duplicates.

     

    I don't have to 'de-activate' anything on my old laptop, right?

    Yes, you do. You need to de-authorize it in iTunes and you need to wipe it and reinstall the original system before selling it as anything you've obtained at the app store is tied to your Apple ID and not transferable.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5189

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    babowa wrote:


    Well, yes, so I've read, but - personally - I wouldn't necessarily consider it 100% dependable.

     

    I don't know why it would be any less dependable than any other boot drive. It isn't a one-shot deal. If for some reason you couldn't boot from your Time Machine recovery volume, you could use Internet Recovery. If that didn't work then you could somehow track down a boot drive and reinstall Mavericks and then use Migration Assistant to restore from backup.


    It's also curious why Apple would give these instructions:

     

    Choose Apple menu > Restart. Once your Mac restarts (and the gray screen appears), hold down the Command (⌘) and R keys.

     

    from this:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14185

     

    Because that is how you recover the system?

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)

    I don't know why it would be any less dependable than any other boot drive. It isn't a one-shot deal. If for some reason you couldn't boot from your Time Machine recovery volume, you could use Internet Recovery.

     

    Well, having to re-download an entire OS - +/- 5 GB - is not a dependable solution unless you have lightning fast and never failing connection. In my case it takes 3+ hours. As for TM containing a recovery partition: it appears you still have to invoke recovery and download the OS from Apple's servers since recovery only contains the utilities.

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427

     

    Because that is how you recover the system?

     

    But you have to download it - correct?

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    babowa wrote:


    Well, having to re-download an entire OS - +/- 5 GB - is not a dependable solution unless you have lightning fast and never failing connection. In my case it takes 3+ hours. As for TM containing a recovery partition: it appears you still have to invoke recovery and download the OS from Apple's servers since recovery only contains the utilities.

    There are two side to this issue.

     

    On one hand, you are probably correct. I haven't tried to do a restore from backup but it probably would likely require downloading the official OS installer from Apple. Apple's promotional material for its offline USB recovery tool even brags that it will do everything "including reinstalling OS X from Apple servers ". That doesn't sound very offline to me. But of course, Apple never calls it "offline". Apple promotes this tool for older Macs that don't support Internet recovery.

     

    On the other hand, how often do you need to restore? It might take 3 hours to download the installer but it isn't like the actual Time Machine restore is going to take 10 minutes. This isn't a "get a cup of coffee" process. It is a "go out to dinner, movie, and sleep overnight" process.

     

    Ultimately, Apple sells computer to people wealthy enough to have fast download speeds and new computers that rarely have catastrohpic failures. If you don't fall into that category, but still want a Mac, then you are going to have to wait for the restore for a few hours.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)

    Ultimately, Apple sells computer to people wealthy enough to have fast download speeds and new computers that rarely have catastrohpic failures. If you don't fall into that category, but still want a Mac, then you are going to have to wait for the restore for a few hours

     

    LOL - that is why I prefer my bootable clones (which is what I used during my recent testing re. restoring a mid 2010 Mac to the original OS for the purpose of selling it). Without my clones, I would not have been able to do everything I did and it would have taken days instead of hours.

     

    I haven't tried to do a restore from backup but it probably would likely require downloading the official OS installer from Apple.

     

    I have before I decided to forego TM and I'm glad I had a clone then as well. And yes, you download the entire OS.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    babowa wrote:

     

    LOL - that is why I prefer my bootable clones (which is what I used during my recent testing re. restoring a mid 2010 Mac to the original OS for the purpose of selling it). Without my clones, I would not have been able to do everything I did and it would have taken days instead of hours.

    Time Machine is a backup tool. It is not appropriate for something like what you describe. I would not have used a bootable clone for that. I would have archived the startup disk into a compressed disk image. That would be faster, more convenient, and more portable than a bootable clone.

     

    But why would you need to sell an old machine? Just wipe the hard drive and dispose of the machine in an environmentally friendly manner. After all, you only paid maybe $3000 for it. What is that? A month's rent? It's just money.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (27,960 points)