Complete System Restore – OS-X Timemachine Saves My Data, Again!

This is a screen I had hoped to NEVER see – the screen of doing a complete system restore on my MacBook after another Hitachi 160 GB Hard Drive died:

Completely Restoring my MacBook from an OS-X 10.5 TimeMachine Backup

Once the new drive was installed (5 minutes) it is only the matter of loading the OS-X 10.5 Disk, going just a few steps into an install until the upper menu bar shows, select “Utilities” and follow the prompts for a Restore from Backup.

The actual backup will be timed a few hours before the Macbook’s internal disk went out.  It looks like the actual full restore will take about 2 hours.

As the “Restore from Backup” option only offers Full Backup Images to restore from, I am hoping I can use the hourly incremental backups to later bring my system up to at most an hour off of when the failure occurred.

This is the fourth Hard Disk in this Macbook.  I’m going to write to Apple to see if they can offer a solution to what appears to be a non-enviornmental host machine problem.

It sure does seem that TimeMachine used with a decent external hard drive saved me from having the sort of significant data loss of the earlier disk failures.


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Previous TimeMachine Posts:

Deja Vu OS-X Style – Timemachine Revisited

First Use of TimeMachine – This Rules!

Going Back in Time – “Time Machine” on the Macbook

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5 thoughts on “Complete System Restore – OS-X Timemachine Saves My Data, Again!

  1. Jeff, KE9V says:

    Yikes…I’m sorry to hear of your hardware woes Steve but it’s good to know that the back-up works! I’ve been using Time Machine on the Powerbook since 10.5 and hope I retire the PB before I have to “test” the recovery process! ;-)

    73 de Jeff

  2. Jerry Brown says:

    Hi Steve,I have a soultion to the Mac problem,IBM laptop.Keep up the blog and enjoy reading every day. Sorry about the drives but had a mac and after the second drive went to an IBM R-51 and never looked back.
    73’s Jerry/K6JB

  3. k9zw says:

    Hi Jeff KE9V and Jerry K6JB

    This Hard Drive failure one fell in the annoying rather than a crisis.

    In all fairness this particular Laptop is a very early Macbook, and the trait to eat hard drives is isolated.

    They never came with more than a 80GB at the time, so the 160GB was my addition.

    Also have a Dell XP Laptop, which has had its own travel woes, mostly with batteries.

    The only items I have not yet found how to restore are a couple aliases (OS-X talk for Desktop Shortcuts) and one folder that was set up my my middle son Winston KC9FVR which appears to have been an aliased folder rather than a directory level folder.

    The other Aliases were on the toolbar as short stacks.

    Expect the data for those items is there, just not organized correctly.

    If I can’t sort out the Aliased items then Timemachine is 98% there.

    If I can it is all there.



  4. NORMAN VERBEL says:


    I was having problems with my browser SAFARI, so I did an update;
    after the update. SAFARI was no longer the default browser it was IE
    for MAC. For every page I opened.
    After that I used the installation CD’s to get everything back to
    normal. However I lost all my pictures over 3000, and also my music
    from iTunes over 4000 songs. Now I don’t know how to bring all of
    my old files and pictures?
    Can I do a restore on my iMac?
    Or how can I retrive what I had before? In regards to at least my PICS
    and Music?
    Please give me a hand…

  5. k9zw says:

    Hi Norman,

    You are in the scary sort of territory I had been finding myself before working out a my back-up plans.

    Very much going to suggest you take a run to your Apple Store or dealer and have them look at your machine to see if they can reclaim all the media you’ve lost.

    If the installation disk thing overwrote your whole operating system, you may not have very much luck.

    Someone with actual physical access to your machine may find your media still there.

    You didn’t mention having a Timemachine drive – if you had one set up and working it shouldn’t be much more than selective restoration to get them back.

    Good luck & hope it comes out right when they look at it.



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