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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2011
    Posts
    4
    Image an external HD w/latest Time Machine backup?
    Hi all,

    My MBP HD is fritzy, and needs to be replaced. I use Time Machine to keep a whole system image (i.e. I only exclude ~/Downloads and ~/Movies)

    Since I have a compatible HD off an old MacBook, I was thinking of mounting it externally, and using Disk Utility to image it with the latest backup contained in my Time Machine sparsebundle, located on our Time Capsule.

    However, I obviously can't just image it w/the entire sparsebundle, and Migration Assistant only works if this new HD already has OS X installed on it. Finally, I WOULD simply replace my soon-to-die HD with this working one, boot off my OS X install CD, and take it from there, but my optical drive doesn't work. =/

    Thoughts? You'd think this would be easy, logically it's a piece of cake, yet lo & behold...

  2. #2

    Buzzard2010's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location
    Bretforton, Worcestershire
    Posts
    2,571
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 15" 2014, 2.2GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD, OSX 10.9.5 - iPhone 5s 16gb
    Plug the new hdd into your MBP using an external USB enclosure, then go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility, next click the "restore" tab, drag either your internal HDD from the left pane into the source box or navigate to the backup you made in Time Machine, then drag your external drive into the destination box, click Restore, let it do it's thing, and hey presto your done, you can now swap out the drives.

    You'd think it would be easy and it is

    - Simon

    If you have been helped, don't forget to use the Reputation system at the top right of their post.
    May 2011
    Nominated: March 2011 & April 2011

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2011
    Posts
    4
    You describe two methods. I will try using my current HD as the source, but it's 100 gigs larger than the destination HD, so we'll see if Time Machine can deal with that.

    Your other method doesn't create a bootable OS X image; it creates a file system with a single folder, Backups.backupdb, the database Time Machine uses to restore your files to any point in time.

    In other words, the sparsebundle is not usable as a source image, being, as it is, merely a database that only Time Machine understands. Instead, I need a way to mount ONLY the latest file system Time Machine has backed up.

  4. #4

    Buzzard2010's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Location
    Bretforton, Worcestershire
    Posts
    2,571
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 15" 2014, 2.2GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD, OSX 10.9.5 - iPhone 5s 16gb
    In that case the way to do it is to replace your HDD with the new, boot into your OSX disc and start to install like normal, you should get an option to restore from a backuop about half way through the process!

    - Simon

    If you have been helped, don't forget to use the Reputation system at the top right of their post.
    May 2011
    Nominated: March 2011 & April 2011

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Mar 28, 2011
    Posts
    4
    From my first post: "Finally, I WOULD simply replace my soon-to-die HD with this working one, boot off my OS X install CD, and take it from there, but my optical drive doesn't work."

    Apple's Migration Assistant provides three (and only three) environments from which you can pull any bootable image off the sparsebundle. It would be unfortunate if those three were the only ones available.

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