Clean Lion install, keeping Time Machine history?

I have a 2011 unibody MBP, and have been gathering kludge on it for some time, and on previous machines (2007 MBP, 2004 Powerbook) whose data I've migrated over using the Migration Assitant. I'd like to, at some point soon, do a fresh install of Lion, grab my data from backup (or a disk image clone), and reinstall my applications (only the ones I'm currently using, with no detritus from other apps I've installed, used, and since uninstalled).
However, I use a Time Capsule (1 TB) for backups, and wanted to know two things:
Is it possible, after doing the install, to have the previous history of my computer (on the Time Capsule) integrated with my current and future Time Machine backups? (I.e., the Time Capsule sees the new, clean machine as the same machine, and allows me to step into my file history and grab stuff, if need be.)
If the answer to the above question is yes, how would I do this?
Apologies in advance if this question has been answered elsewhere. A cursory perusal of the discussions here didn't turn up anything; but I know there's the chance I could have missed something.
Thanks,
Paul

Having no answer, I took the decision to experiment.
I renamed the new external USB HDD with the same name as the older (soon to be replaced) ones and copied via Finder all the files on it (Aperture libraries, videos, documents).
By using Time Machine while on the new drive (not backing up, but just looking at older backups), I was able to see the previous versions of the external USB HDD files. So I thought that was that easy.
So I decided to manually trigger a new TM backup. However, it computed something like close to 500 GB to backup. Thus eventhough in terms of history for now I can trick TM to think it is the same HDD, when it comes to create a new backup, it simply wants to rebackup everything.
Now I'm getting worried because:
I don't know if the history will be kept after the backup has run;
Because it will push 500GB of data to the TM storage, it might fill it up and TM will start to remove older backup whereas this would have been unnecessary.
Note: I don't rely solely on TM for backup, I use Crashplan as well. So if I lose TM, it is "OK" as I could always restore something from Crashplan, but then for the oldest backup (for the last 2 years) I would only have one copy instead of 2... It is not that critical as I do not think I deleted something I would like to restore from that time period. But our of curiosity I would like to still found out how to properly change an external HDD that was backed-up by Time Machine without losing the history.

Similar Messages

  • Replacing external disk but keeping Time Machine history

    Today I have a 500 GB USB3 HDD connected to the Mac and backed-up by Time Machine.
    This HDD has less than 30GB free space and I have a replacement one (a bigger size and faster HDD).
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    Having the same HDD name is enough?
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    Having no answer, I took the decision to experiment.
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    By using Time Machine while on the new drive (not backing up, but just looking at older backups), I was able to see the previous versions of the external USB HDD files. So I thought that was that easy.
    So I decided to manually trigger a new TM backup. However, it computed something like close to 500 GB to backup. Thus eventhough in terms of history for now I can trick TM to think it is the same HDD, when it comes to create a new backup, it simply wants to rebackup everything.
    Now I'm getting worried because:
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    Because it will push 500GB of data to the TM storage, it might fill it up and TM will start to remove older backup whereas this would have been unnecessary.
    Note: I don't rely solely on TM for backup, I use Crashplan as well. So if I lose TM, it is "OK" as I could always restore something from Crashplan, but then for the oldest backup (for the last 2 years) I would only have one copy instead of 2... It is not that critical as I do not think I deleted something I would like to restore from that time period. But our of curiosity I would like to still found out how to properly change an external HDD that was backed-up by Time Machine without losing the history.

  • Inherit Time Machine History on Reformatted External Hard Drive?

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    Check item #18 of Time Machine FAQ, particularly the material in #3 of the "How to" section.
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    The two drives are handled as separate drives, even if they have the same name.
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    Having never seen a setup like that, I'm not sure how it will work.
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  • Cannot clean install- Only time machine works

    Hello!
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    You may have a hardware fault. Make a "Genius" appointment at an Apple Store to have the machine tested.

  • Clean Install VS Time Machine for "out of the box" performance

    Hi all ^^
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    Thankyou for your answer
    Im quite a clean freak when it comes to my PC, I keep my desktop bare, things I dont use remain unloaded.etc
    I think as I am without a Defrag or Disk Clean up tool I feel abit helpless to maintain optimal standards. I not very experianced with the in's and out's of computers but all I really want on my Mac are my Files, Applications and the OS, nothing more.
    I appreciate your time and experiance, so ild ask instead: In your experiance is it worth performing a clean install? I have hadly any junk on my Mac, and from the tone of your post you beleive a program such as MacKeeper would be sufficent?
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  • Hard Drive Erase, Clean Install and Time Machine

    I am currently running OS X 10.10.3 and I want to do a clean install. All my content is backed up with Time Machine via external drive.
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    Hello Jacob,
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  • Clean install, migration, time machine

    I am not a MAC OSX specialist in any way, but I would like to share what I have found out the hard way about the clean install.
    1) Never do this unless you are absolutely sure that you have complete back up. Time machine cannot restore to the latest backup status, it can only go back to full backups and those are not made very often. In my case it was July 29, 2012. What a surprise! . Do the vital backups by hand. I propose copying your home folder to an external disc or usb pen drive. Copy Application folder as well. Why? If you are fond of iWorks'09 and hate new versions and you do clean install your favourite software is gone. You may just as well erase your Time Machine disc and start backup from clean drive. I didn't do it.
    2) Make copies of your mails.
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    At the end of the day I managed to recover my mail. Data from other programs and my old MBP is up runnning again and faster. It takes however, a lot of work to make it.
    The biggest pitty is that I lost my Pages v4.3 and now don't have an option to recover it.

    Are you sure its not shown?  It should have a yellow or green icon, and list the name of the system and HD that was backed-up, not the one it's on.
    If not, try to repair the backups, per #A5 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.

  • Clean install and time machine

    I'd like to reformat my hard drive and do a clean install of leopard. I've backed up my drive with time machine and I'm wondering if it is possible to recover all my third party applications etc etc including passwords and settings without having to reinstall them all from the original discs?

    Hello Jacob,
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    OS X Yosemite: Recover your entire system
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  • I'd like to use iPhoto '09 with Lion. Tried to install from time machine back-up no go. Tried to install from iLife '09 DVD no go.

    I'd like to run iPhoto '09 on Lion. Tried to install on Lion from Time Machine backup. Got message iPhoto won't work because of a missing Library file. Tried to install iPhoto '09 from iLife '09 DVD. Got message that it cannot be installed on my system. iMovie runs previous versions and iTunes runs previous versions.
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