Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Experience Using TimeMachine

I sold me iMac 27 last weekend. Now I am using my daughter's MBP. I have the same account on this MBP as in my previous iMac 27. However, since I have not used this MBP for very long time (3 years?), all the local settings such as apps, Safari bookmarks and other system settings are very old. I miss my iMac 27 environment very much. I know this one is just a temporary one just for about 2 weeks(my new iMac 27 is on its way to my house as I received a notice from Apple), but I feel that I am a kind of lost: missing all the settings, bookmarks and my podcasts.

Restoration of User Account from TM

Today I had a thought during the day. Can I use my TM to restore my iMac 27 account to my MBP? I gave it a try about half hour ago. It works great!

Step 1. Plug in my TM USB cable to my MBP
Step 2. Start Migration Assistance
Step 3. Go through its wizard with selection from TM. I only select my account and Applications since I don't have enough space in MBP.

In less than 10 minutes, I got my iMac 27 account back to my current MBP. Now I am using my account will almost all the settings. For example, I get my Safari bookmark back. Now I can see my RSS feeds.

New Findings of Restoration

One thing about TM restoration is that I don't have enough space on the current MBP so I have to deselect some big size items such as Movies, Documents, and Public.  This makes the size of restoration much smaller, to fit my MBP. After the restoration, my account is back.

Almost everything I need are back! In my iTunes, I find that all my podcasts are there. Some items actually are not available. I think those are videos, which were not migrated. My keychain is also back. Now I can use it for my Safari visiting all my personal web services.

Another very interesting thing is that I did select Applications in TM migration because I want to use some tools. All the tools I want are back. However, ones already in my MBP are not updated. TM seems smart enough to avoid overwriting apps. For example, Skype on MBP is an old vernon, while Skype on my TM is a new vernon.  Skype was not updated or not migrated over. I think that TM does not overwrite any apps even apps on TM is newer.  This explains that why iLife on my iMac 21 are all 2011 ones. I did complete migration when I got iMac 21. Another reason may be for not sealing apps, but not sure. For example, you can delete existing old ones to get new one from TM. Not sure it is possible for Apple apps.

Encryption of TM

I notice that I did not enable encryption for my TM. This may not safe. Anyone may take TM to get account restored. It will require password to log in to account, but theft may have enough time to try out after migration. I think it is recommend to encrypt TM.


I really like this smart and convenient migration feature of Apple computer. It saves tones of time.  I am able to get back to my normal life in just minutes.

Since this restoration is just for temporary usage, I'll delete this restored account when I get my iMac 27. I have no important files saved here during the transition time.

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