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midmarchsnow 12-01-2011 12:10 AM

Restoring from a Lion Time Machine backup onto a MacBook running Leopard
So, this seems like the type of question that gets answered with lurking and good google-fu, but I can't find an answer and it's been getting late...

The Full Story: This morning I marinated my 2008 MacBook in coffee. After a 12 hr dis- assemble dry the screen and the HDD were borked. I need a computer but I was perfectly happy with late Bush era technology and had no money so I bought a used 2008 MacBook from Microcenter.

I had regular TimeMachine backups.

I had recently upgraded to Lion, and my last dozen or so back-ups were while I was running Lion.

The Microcenter MacBook runs OSX 10.5 Leopard.

THE QUESTION: Should I reinstall snow leopard and lion first? Should I try and restore from the Time Machine first? Can I used my old Snow Leopard disc to install, or is it going to try and tell my I already used my individual liscence?

Jaygray 12-01-2011 06:18 AM

You can try to use Migration Assistant on whatever OS X discs you have to restore, but I don't think it's going to work. It won't hurt to try though.

You're probably going to need to get ahold of a copy of Lion. There are an abundance of tutorials online showing how to create a bootable Lion USB drive or a bootable Lion CD. With a bit of Googling, I believe you can figure out how to skip the Snow Leopard step in your upgrade.

midmarchsnow 12-02-2011 12:00 AM

yeah, Migration Assistant cannot restore from a backup made from a newer operating system, e.g. my new Leopard 2008 MacBook cannot access the backup from my dead Lion 2008 MacBook.

I already reinstalled Snow Leopard and updated it to the current version [10.6.8] and tried the internet recovery. No dice, my Mac (I guess since it's never had Lion on it) didn't respond to my command-R hold. I didn't have the foresight to create a bootable USB from my old MacBook, so I'm not sure what my options are now, as I found no online tutorials telling how to do this without buying a copy of lion as the first step.

So... am I stuck buying a new copy of Lion?

If so, that sucks, seeing as how I just bought it like, 4 weeks ago, for the exact same machine.

Jaygray 12-02-2011 07:53 AM

Re-Download Mac OS X Lion from the App Store

midmarchsnow 12-06-2011 04:36 PM

Thanks Jaygray,

I thought I had logged into the Appstore already and was having difficulty finding the re-download option and was scared by all the buttons saying it would cost me $30 USD to download it.

Problem solved. In summary, yes, you have to upgrade to OSX 10.6.8 (made easy for me as I still had the disk from my previous upgrade) then login to the Mac App Store, then re-install OSX 10.7.1, then update, and then, and only then, was I able to restore my old files from my Time Machine backup.

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