Luckily, this hasn't happened yet, but I would like to make sure that I have a recovery option after my iMac would be stolen or lost in fire, etc.

I have an iMac 27-inch, Late 2009, running OS X 10.9. File Vault is turned ON. Time Machine is set up, with encryption ON, on an external hard drive.

Suppose I lose the iMac, but retain de external hard drive, what are my recovery options and how would I go about that?

  1. Can I access individual files on the Time Machine from a different Mac?
  2. Can I buy a new iMac and migrate "everything" on the Time Machine to that new iMac? (Will "everything" include settings, software, keychain, etc.?)

As far as I know, both can be answered with yes. Of course, you'll need the password you used encrypting the backup.

Accessing individual files would work by clicking the Time Machine symbol in the menubar while holding alt and selecting something like "Search other backup volumes" (I'm from Germany so I don't know what it says exactly). Then you should search the backup like any other after you've entered the password.

When you use migration on another Mac, everything should be copied (except for some machine specific files maybe).

  • Thank you. I'll give the first one a try, just for comfort. :) – Řídící Nov 10 '13 at 13:58
  • Let me know if it worked out ;) – TooAToB Nov 10 '13 at 14:01
  • 1
    Yes, it seems to work (accessing the files from another computer). – Řídící Nov 11 '13 at 13:24

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