I am planning to upgrade my late 2009 MacBook Pro (running Snow Leopard) by replacing the 250GB hard drive with a new 1TB drive. I have been maintaining Time Machine backups.

I plan to install the new drive and do a fresh install of Snow Leopard and then restore using the Migration Assistant. This is my first time with Time Machine 'Restore' so two simple questions:

  1. Will restore, restore my OSX patches and installed applications?
  2. Does Time Machine care if the new Drive is bigger than the original drive?
  • Thomas, I'd assume that the issue with using the same account name is running into the problem of not knowing if you are transferring from the backup or the new system user. Eg. "Do you wish to transfer files from 'User' to 'User'?" You can see how that would get confusing. If you make your new account name "User2" or something, just until you finish the transfer, then you can rename it to "User" when all is said and done.
    – user41333
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 5:56

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes - if you haven't excluded the /Applications folder from the Time Machine backups.

    As for system patches - you're installing a new OS. Once you finish, load up the Software Update and it'll pull down the most recent Combo Update for you. Actually, it's better to use the combo update than a collection of patches you would have otherwise.

    For more on this go to System Preferences → Time Machine → Options. It'll tell you what, if anything, you've excluded.

  2. No. As long as you have sufficient space, you'll be fine. It doesn't need to be an identical drive.

  • 1
    Thank you. Looks like the only thing I have excluded are the external drives. So I should have everything backed up. The patches suggestion should just work fine too. Will circle back on how the upgrade went :-). Thanks again.
    – sumitkm
    Commented Mar 18, 2012 at 7:48
  • 1
    Just to confirm! Things worked out well with my upgrade. The only thing that was missed are the shortcuts in dock. Minor thing! Note for others doing a fresh OSX install and restore from Time Machine: Be sure to use a temporary account name or an account name different from the one that was used to do the backup. Makes it easier to restore completely.
    – sumitkm
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 5:36
  • 1
    sumitkm : what's the issue with the same account name ? Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 19:55
  • Thomas, apologies, just saw your question. I don't remember exactly, but I think when restoring it tries to restore the User profile and fails to restore completely because you are essentially trying to overwrite the profile that you are logged in. In my case after replacing the HDD, I moved from OSX Snow Leopard to Lion and then did the restore! So could be a unique case too.
    – sumitkm
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 4:19

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