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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion System 10.7
I recently upgraded to Lion and tried to migrate my Time Machine backup. Then I couldn't find my files.

I recently upgraded to Lion, then bought a new Mac which had Snow Leopard installed by default. I tried to migrate my Time Machine backup to the new Mac. First I had to upgrade the OS to Lion since the TM backup was created using Lion. Once the upgrade was complete and I tried to migrate my data from TM, I couldn't find my files.

I looked in System Profiler which said I had 95gigs of movies, 48gigs of music and so on. But none of these files could be found in my system. I discovered that when migrating TM data, Lion creates a new user account.

Then when you first log in, the account is fresh and clean with no data. If you go up to the menu bar and look for your mac account name on the right, click it. You'll notice another account along with the 'Guest' user account. Click on the other admin account and log in. There is your Mac just as you left it before upgrading.

[crarko adds: I don't have a setup to try this, but in the past I remember Time Machine prompting about what to do if an account with the same user shortname already exists on the target machine. Maybe that's why the new account is now created? Anyway, if someone else has had to do this please post how it worked for you in the comments.]
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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: everkleer80 on Oct 07, '11 08:33:32AM

I get the prompt when trying to import a user that already exists. Perhaps the OP had a different acount name on the new machine and either did not realize it or was expecting the acounts to merge together?

Also note that the username on the right side of the menubar, referred to in the post, will only be there if fast user switching is enabled in the Login Options section of the Users and Groups prefpane, and also it will only show the 'guest' account if you have enabled login as guest.

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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: BMarsh on Oct 07, '11 09:04:55AM

it is also possible to format the drive before restoring the Time Machine backup to the other computer (when some things like the name of the computer in Sharing would have to be changed)
Then it would be the same as it was originally for accounts.

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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: dwb45133 on Oct 07, '11 02:37:47PM

Apple actually has two different names for Migration Assistant depending upon where it is used. When the user installs or reinstalls the Mac OS, or when he buys a new computer, he has the opportunity to use the Setup Assistant - which is really the MA. This opportunity comes before the user is prompted to create a new account so the Setup Assistant creates the user account(s) available on the TimeMachine drive or other source drive. When the user runs MA after his user account has been created, if the computer account matches that of the account being migrated, the user will be prompted to create a new name for the account being migrated.

Apple clearly intends the user of a new or upgraded computer to use the Setup Assistant to migrate user account(s) while the Migration Assistant is more useful for adding a new user to an existing computer. It would be ideal for helping a significant other move his/her account from a notebook onto a shared desktop computer for example.

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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: LionTipsWanted on Oct 08, '11 05:17:25PM

Just installed Lion. Will I have trouble next time I use my external HD that I use to backup? Will Time Machine run just the same?
Also, I keep setting a picture from iPhoto as my desktop image, but every time I turn off my computer, or even make it go to sleep, then I wake it up or turn it back on, the image is gone and I'm back to Andromeda, if that's what it is. Can anybody help? Thanks.

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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: Genie arse on Nov 20, '11 01:51:11PM

It sounds like you have a permissions error in your home folder. It's not uncommon and is easily resolved.

Imagine you had the ability to open a Pages/Word document and edit it as you like, but then when you save it says you can't. The changes will be there as long as you keep the window open but as soon as you close it it will go back to the original. This is the same with your settings/preferences.

The best way to resolve this is to go to Macintosh HD/Users and ctrl+click (alternate click, two finger click, right click... whatever) on your home folder and choose "Get Info".

At the bottom of the new window you will see Sharing and Permissions. Click on the little arrow next to the heading (If it's not already pointing down) and make sure that YOU are the owner of the folder.

There is an action menu there (looks like a cog with an arrow pointing down). Click it and choose "Apply to enclosed items". This will then set every single file in your home folder to be written by you.


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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: maccam on Oct 09, '11 02:27:39PM

I migrated Time Machine and upgraded from and older MBPro (Snow Leopard) to a new MBPro (Lion) without a problem. Started up the new MBPro, migrated from the old MBPro. When that was finished, I plugged in the Time Machine disk and it took over on the new MBPro from where it left off on the old one. I can imagine that if account info is not the same before and after an upgrade there might be a problem.

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10.7: Migrating Time Machine data to Lion
Authored by: Genie arse on Nov 20, '11 01:41:30PM

This is expected behaviour. What you need to do is cool your boots a little bit when setting up your new mac and look at the options available; you have the option to migrate a time machine backup during the setup assistant. If you manage to have a user account on your machine before migrating then you have went too far.

Time Machine will migrate your data completely. This includes any user accounts that you had on that computer.

If you have already set up an account on your new mac then it will simply place the old user folder alongside your new one.

To be fair though... who can help but hammer through the setup assistant when you've got a new machine ^_^

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