Mac Migration Assistant from Time Machine Backup
13 October, 2010
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I just upgraded to a new MacBook Pro. I spent *hours* trying to get Migration Assistant to do the network transfer from the old one to the new one. All I could deduce was that it wasn’t working because NFS couldn’t connect to the old one – most likely because I’d changed something that prevented it from working. (I was playing with NFS a few months ago).
Next choice: migrate from the latest time machine backup of the old one. I made sure that the old one had just finished a successful backup and then turned Time Machine off (because I didn’t want the old one writing to the backup while the new one was restoring…)
Next, Migration Assistant: select from Time Machine backup. Empty window. What?
My Time Machine drive is on a network machine (actually running OpenIndiana for ZFS mirror redundancy and netatalk for Apple File Sharing). If I try to set up Time Machine on the new machine, it sees my Time Machine drive. Why doesn’t Migration Assistant see it?
The answer is simple, but not obvious. You need to manually mount the backup’s .sparsebundle image file, so that you have both the Time Machine network drive and the Time Machine disk image mounted. Then Migration Assistant will see it.
Select the drive, select what users/settings to migrate. Go. Took a few hours to do the 200ish GB – done by the time I woke the next morning.
At the end of the day, a very smooth transition, with all my settings, icons, etc. ready to roll on the new one – although there were a few hurdles along the way…