My 2014 MacBook Air was recently stolen, but I have a full backup available via Time Machine saved to an Airport Extreme base station. For now I'm using an old MacBook 5,1 with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB RAM. After using the Air for so long I kind of like the feel of this machine better and don't mind of the bit of extra weight. I am inspired by all the info available about upgrading this model, and I think it's a better solution for me than buying a new MacBook. There seems to be plenty of info available about the process, but before I dive in I'd like some input from the folks that know a helluva a lot more than I do about this kind of thing:

My plan is to upgrade the 2012 MB with an internal SSD drive and enhance the memory, but once that is done, can I then use the Time Machine backup from my 2014 MBA to populate this computer, or will the format switch from MBA to this MB wreak havoc? If it is a problem, can I just upgrade and do a clean Yosemite install and then just move over key files and applications from time machine to the 2012 MB? As mentioned, the backup is saved on a Airport Extreme base station, and I have a memory stick startup disk from a clean re-install that I did on my MBA about a month ago. Obviously I can't recreate that without my 2014 MBA, so can I use that or will it also cause issues? In the AppStore I still have the option to download Yosemite, so if I can't use that start up disk what are my options? I'm only as good as the last YouTube video I watched about this stuff, which is dangerous.

  • possible plan of action. New Yosemite install, then treat the backup as a Migration. support.apple.com/en-us/HT204350 [from time machine is well down the page]
    – Tetsujin
    May 14, 2015 at 18:34
  • So would I make a startup disk from the 2012 MB and then just load yosemite? May 14, 2015 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


No, your Time Machine backup should restore to a supported Mac just fine. I do it all the time to save time installing multiple machines from scratch.

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