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Question: Time Machine Restore after corrupt memory

Hi everyone, hope I've posted in the right place.


I have a 13" Macbook Pro early 2011: Running MacOS Sierra 10.12.4


I have a Time Machine backup but my hard disk may have silently failed (i.e. my backups might be corrupt as well but they seem to be in working order) so I might be buying a new macbook pro. My question is, if I use my external hard drive with my Time Machine backup to restore onto the new device, will I transfer any issues/problems?


If so, what are my options?


Thanks in advance

MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra (10.12.4)

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Mar 4, 2018 11:38 AM in response to Nosh21 In response to Nosh21

Based on my experience, you should be able to do that. As previously stated, I can access backups made on my last computer that are a year + older than my new computer. I just tested again and I am able to restore the old computer files.

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Mar 4, 2018 11:40 AM in response to Nosh21 In response to Nosh21

You can use your Time Machine disk with Migration Assistant:

How to move your content to a new Mac - Apple Support

This may transfer problems but if it does, you can always wipe the disk and start over. I think it's worth the shot.

Mar 4, 2018 11:40 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 5:39 AM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

My recollection is that Setup Assistant goes through a few screens of basic information, then goes to a screen asking you if you want to transfer your information. The Support Topics don't specify what process it's using (and to add to the confusion say you can use "Migration Assistant" later). But I believe they are one in the same. I don't know what other process it would be using. I'm going to look around to see if I can get more clarification on this.

Mar 3, 2018 5:39 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 6:00 AM in response to macjack In response to macjack

This is true, so in the case that I move my old macbook over to my new one as a complete restore/transfer, and then notice errors, I can wipe it clean and start over since I still have the back up - but will I be able to use my external hard drive time machine backup to access individual folders and files and move them over one by one (as needed)?

Mar 3, 2018 6:00 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 6:29 AM in response to Nosh21 In response to Nosh21

No, I don't think you can do it that way because the new Mac will not recognize the TM disk as from that computer. So you won't be able to enter the TM interface from that Mac. But you can run Migration Assistant again, it shouldn't migrate any files that have already been transferred.

Mar 3, 2018 6:29 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 12:49 AM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root


Why would your backup be lost? I posted links that cover how to inherit the backup to use with your new computer.

I worded that poorly, (thanks for those links by the way), what I meant was, if my Time Machine backup is indeed corrupt and any system restore/migration is also transferring those issues over to the new mac, I'd do a new wipe and install on the new mac but then (from what I understand) I wouldn't be able to use my Time Machine backup on my external harddrive as a separate hard drive and connect it to my new mac to just copy over the specific document files and photos etc (as if it were a flash drive). In such a case, I would have to open up Migration Assistant and move over all of my user profile, or applications, or 'other files and folders' etc - which again, would transfer over problems (where as if I transfer over only specific files and one of them is corrupt, I can pickup on that as soon as I open that file and delete or fix it there and then - it won't be a system level fault) - hence my comment about my backup being lost, in that I can't use it in a flash drive manner and a system wide migration is also causing issues. At least that's what I think is the situation, right?

Mar 4, 2018 12:49 AM

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Mar 4, 2018 12:54 AM in response to macjack In response to macjack

macjack wrote:


That's correct, you can only selectively transfer the groups it allows:


Clicking on the disclosure triangles gives you further choice, but that's it.

Ah thanks, I've read that it's advised against being too selective because you'd have documents without the correct applications and dependencies to run so a lot of maintenance would be required in the future - is that right? Wish it was more specific, so you could choose which files and applications etc.

Mar 4, 2018 12:54 AM

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Question: Time Machine Restore after corrupt memory