Question about restoring from a Time Capsule backup

tomdkat

Registered
We've been using a 2TB Time Capsule to backup a handful of Macs running Leopard for close to a year now and it's been working flawlessly. One of the Macs backing up to it was a 17" G5-based iMac, which has died. So, we're going to replace it with a 20" Intel based iMac running Snow Leopard.

My question is: should I be able to restore the old user account data that was on the now dead iMac running Leopard to the NEW iMac running Snow Leopard as long as I create the user account on the new system first?

I'm thinking it would work like this:
  1. Install the new iMac
  2. Create a user account with the same name as the account on the old iMac
  3. Use Time Machine on the NEW iMac to restore the account data from the old iMac
Does that sound reasonable? Also, we use Apple Mail for e-mail management. Would the Apple Mail server settings from the old iMac be properly restored to the account on the new iMac through the Time Capsule restore ok?

Thanks in advance!

Peace...
 

blue&whiteman

PowerPC Fanatic
Since 10.5 and 10.6 are so close you should have little to no issues with your plan. Once running your apps on 10.6 check for updates on everything you use but even your PowerPC apps will run fine.

I would say that 10.5 - 10.6 was about the easiest OS transition Apple ever had even though 10.6 left PowerPC behind. 10.6 is really just an optimized 10.5. For the average user there is no transition time.

Once you get everything setup well on the Intel iMac any future restores will only require booting from the DVD with your Time Machine drive connected. Once booted to the DVD you simply go to the utilities menu and select "Restore from Time Machine". No need to install the OS first then. If the TM drive is on a fast connection like FW400+ or even another internal like I use then a restore only takes 30-40 min. Your best bet with a Time Capsule is to use USB or Ethernet. Wifi will take forever.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
In order to minimize permission/account conflicts, I recommend setting up the new Mac with an identical user account to the one you want to restore.

So, if you've got an account in Time Machine with name "Tom Kat" and username "tkat" then I would set up the new Mac identically -- usually, this will ensure that the permissions on the items you restore match the new user account, and no further permissions fiddling will need to take place.
 

tomdkat

Registered
In order to minimize permission/account conflicts, I recommend setting up the new Mac with an identical user account to the one you want to restore.

So, if you've got an account in Time Machine with name "Tom Kat" and username "tkat" then I would set up the new Mac identically -- usually, this will ensure that the permissions on the items you restore match the new user account, and no further permissions fiddling will need to take place.
Thanks. This is what I'm planning on doing but since you mention this, a new question has come to mind. I know what the target user name is, we'll use "tkat" for now, but I'm not sure what the exact "real name" of the user would be (e.g. "Tom Kat" in this case).
  1. Would not knowing the exact "real name" of the user matter, in this case?
  2. Could I somehow find that out from the Time Capsule, itself?
Thanks!

Peace...
 

tomdkat

Registered
Ok, I've got another question about this. I used the "Migration Assistant" to restore the data from the old iMac to the new one. I found the backup of the old iMac and was able to restore user accounts, applications, and settings. While doing this, "Migration Assistant" told me it detected a user account with the same name as the one I was trying to restore and offered me the options of renaming the account I was restoring, replacing the same named account on the new iMac, or not restoring the account at all.

I chose to replace the same named account option and the restore completed in about 15 minutes. I then logged in to that account and found many files in a folder on the desktop and some applications I needed were restored ok. However, the Apple Mail e-mail accounts I had defined didn't make it and an obsolete e-mail account some how did get restored.

So, I tried doing the restore again and "Migration Assistant" was no longer able to reconnect to the Time Capsule. "Migration Assistant" could see the Time Capsule, prompt me for the login password, and go into a "Connecting..." state that seemed to run indefinitely. I'm wondering if some of the settings that got restored broke something in Snow Leopard, causing "Migration Assistant" to not be able to reconnect to the Time Capsule.

So, my question is: should I have NOT restored the system settings and only the user account data/files and applications?

Thanks!

Peace...
 

tomdkat

Registered
Ok, I've confirmed the "Connecting..." status issue wasn't caused by anything I restored because I re-installed Snow Leopard on the new iMac and STILL can't get reliably connected to the Time Capsule from within "Migration Assistant".

During one of the attempts to view the backups from within "Migration Assistant", I was able to see 3 of the 4 backups on the Time Capsule, with the backup I need access to NOT being in the list. *sigh*

I can view the Time Capsule sparse bundles just fine from within Finder on the new iMac but I just can't access the backups from within "Migration Assistant".

Any ideas on how I can get access to the backups on Time Capsule?

Thanks!

Peace...
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
One thing I can't stress load enough. When using Migration assistant do NOT transfer Network settings, especially going from PPC to Intel.

So if you have some weird wireless issues. The wireless chipset code was re-written for the newer chips. So to fix this go to System Preferences->Network panel and look at the top of the Network pane and there should be 'Location' drop down. Use that 'Location' drop down to make a new custom named Location. Do worry it will act exactly like the Automatic Location. Then join you wireless network and once connected in main Network pane click on the 'Apply' button to save your new Location settings.

So IMHO changing the Network Location can solve a lot of wireless issues.
 

djackmac

ACMT
Ok, I've got another question about this. I used the "Migration Assistant" to restore the data from the old iMac to the new one. I found the backup of the old iMac and was able to restore user accounts, applications, and settings. While doing this, "Migration Assistant" told me it detected a user account with the same name as the one I was trying to restore and offered me the options of renaming the account I was restoring, replacing the same named account on the new iMac, or not restoring the account at all.

I chose to replace the same named account option and the restore completed in about 15 minutes. I then logged in to that account and found many files in a folder on the desktop and some applications I needed were restored ok. However, the Apple Mail e-mail accounts I had defined didn't make it and an obsolete e-mail account some how did get restored.

So, I tried doing the restore again and "Migration Assistant" was no longer able to reconnect to the Time Capsule. "Migration Assistant" could see the Time Capsule, prompt me for the login password, and go into a "Connecting..." state that seemed to run indefinitely. I'm wondering if some of the settings that got restored broke something in Snow Leopard, causing "Migration Assistant" to not be able to reconnect to the Time Capsule.

So, my question is: should I have NOT restored the system settings and only the user account data/files and applications?
First, you really should have never created an account with the same name as the account you were transferring. Its okay to create a dummy account with a different name, but when you consolidate accounts like you did, it overwrites the other account and creates a variety of other weird issues. The best route would've been creating a dummy admin account, log into that account, and then deleting the same name account with the option of "save the home folder in a disk image" before using migration assistant. This would have given you the option after transfer to get back into the same name account you created and bring across any missing pieces without any permissions issues. But essentially now the damage is done.
 

tomdkat

Registered
First, you really should have never created an account with the same name as the account you were transferring. Its okay to create a dummy account with a different name, but when you consolidate accounts like you did, it overwrites the other account and creates a variety of other weird issues. The best route would've been creating a dummy admin account, log into that account, and then deleting the same name account with the option of "save the home folder in a disk image" before using migration assistant. This would have given you the option after transfer to get back into the same name account you created and bring across any missing pieces without any permissions issues. But essentially now the damage is done.
Thanks for the info. I did do a re-install of Snow Leopard on the new iMac and during that process, I was actually prompted to restore an account from the Time Machine. I tried doing that, but got stuck with the "Connecting..." issue I mentioned previously.

Something I forgot to mention is everything is connected via Ethernet. The Time Capsule, all of the Macs in the network, everything.

At this point, I think I somehow managed to damage the one backup on the Time Capsule I'm most interested in restoring. I can access the sparse bundle on the Time Capsule via Finder. Can I copy that file to the local hard drive, repair it using Disk Utility (maybe), and then use Time Machine to restore the user account from that file?

Thanks!

Peace...
 

djackmac

ACMT
At this point, I think I somehow managed to damage the one backup on the Time Capsule I'm most interested in restoring. I can access the sparse bundle on the Time Capsule via Finder. Can I copy that file to the local hard drive, repair it using Disk Utility (maybe), and then use Time Machine to restore the user account from that file?
If the backup your most interested in was created on that machine or a similar spec machine, then you can boot to the 10.6 installer, go to utilities and select 'restore from backup'. This should bring up a list of backups you can choose to restore from. But, you originally said the Time Machine backup was from an iMac G5. This type of restoral is going to restrore the system also, and obviously the system architecture is vastly different. So this may not be an option.

The other option is once the restore has been done, you will or will not have the option of using the 'enter time machine' function to browse previous backups. But again, since the backups were not from this particular machine, you may only see backups that were created on that machine.
 
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