Time Machine, Time Machine Restore, Migration Assistant Best Practices

New Contributor

I am looking for input regarding everyone's best practice regarding the use of Time Machine as a backup and the restoration of the backup using Migration assistant to a new laptop(new model, upgraded RAM, SSD, newer release of OSX) for an enduser. In the past our K-12 staff have used Time Machine as a back up and TechServices Dept. would use Migration Assistant but be logged in under our management account. Tech Services here has now moved to a "Drag and Drop" restoration of backup because of problems with Migration Assistant in the past. How does everyone perform their Time Machine backups, how is everyone performing Migration Assistant, what problems has everyone encountered? Is Time Machine a trusted way of performing a backup so the Migration Assistant does NOT mess up the management? Thank you in advance for your shared practices!



Personally, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to migrate between Macs instead of Migration Assistant. I'm sure others have more robust processes.


Valued Contributor II

Our administrative users backup on CrashPlan ProE as well as TM backup. The rest of our faculty have TM backup and store all working files on our secured file server (which I'm sure always happens). In any event, IF we're ever stuck recovering from TM Backup, I prefer to completely restore from said backup. While this may leave any errors or issues the user was having prior to the drive failure (or other loss) it makes them immediately happy. I only say this because manually extracting the old user home directory (and certain select user Library files) into a completely fresh OS is TECHNICALLY the better solution, when done properly.

Valued Contributor

We've been working with Rusty's deploystudio script for data backup and restoring, via DeployStudio. While we haven't had major hardware changes, it works very well with replacement units.

New Contributor III

If you restore the applications of a Time Machine backup with Migration assistant, you will break:

  1. The current AD configuration. The machine thinks its bound to AD, but you can't communicate/authenticate with it.
  2. Machine check-in with the JSS. You will get device signature errors when anying to do anything with the JSS>

Restoring the applications restores the old computer's System Keychain. The only way to fix this is to unbind/rebind to AD and re-enroll the Mac in the JSS.