Whenever I spend three hours on something technical that should have taken 30 minutes I need to blog about it. This blog’s inspiration came when a student said her mac book blew up and she sent it away to the great people of Mac and they shipped her back a computer that worked but it was a total stranger to the computer that she used for three years. Her username was gone and replaced with the seemingly narcissistic ‘apple’ username. I guess when the mac geniuses wipe a machine they need a standard username to set it to.
So my student shows me her computer and tells me about this cool sounding technology called ‘Time Machine’. She had an external hard drive filled with all her macbook’s past lives. She wasn’t happy because she had to re-install all her programs. She asked for my help. She thought she restored her latest time machine backup but she couldn’t see it. So she re-installed the backup two more times. When she tried to download a folder or file from that time machine backup it wouldn’t let her. It appeared the backup was on her machine but where was it and why couldn’t we see it?
After two hours of trying everything and searching for everything on the web we found the answer.
This article explains how it works. Without boring you to tears, let me briefly explain our problem and our solution. The problem is the user that Apple created when they wiped the old macbook’s hard drive. Time Machine is based on the old user name and we needed to get that back. That is what Migration Assistant does. At first it wouldn’t let us install it because it said we didn’t have enough room. We then just check the essentials for the migration and that did the trick. Now we had the old user back and my student smiled because it felt like she found and old friend she hadn’t seen in a while.
I hope this post saves you the two hours I lost trying to find this answer.