Backup And Restore User Accounts And Files


The title of this post doesnt described everything I plan on doing within this post. I am going to show you how you can backup your disk images a disk image from Disk Utilities, then with this disk image migrate it over to a new computer. I effect your are transferring user accounts to a new computer and creating a back up. I have used to to back up disk images of peoples old Macs and then used this disk image to transfer there accounts onto a new computer. It has the added bonus of allowing you to use it on many new computers. So if you have a fleet of new Macs you can transfer the same user account and files onto the new Macs.

The steps I am going to show you are a general guide and have worked for myself. You may need to adjust the steps (or ask a question below) if you are going to do this yourself, as every Mac and circumstance is different.

The first step is to back up your current, old, Mac. Although you can use Time Machine, which I recommend, this may not be suitable for everyone. I am going to use Disk Utility, to create a Disk Image. To do this open Application Utilities Disk Utilities from Finder. From the application select New Image from the toolbar or go to File New Blank Disk Image, or if the option is available select Disk Image From [your disk name]. Save this file out, you can add compressing and encryption if necessary, remembering that it will add to the compressing and decompression time. Compression is useful if you are short of space.

Let the application run. Depending on the size of your disk this can take a number of hours. Sit back and relax and watch the progress bar slowly increase. Its probably best to let this process run over night.

You are now ready to restore your accounts and files. On your new Mac open up and select Migration Assistant from Utilities. Run through the options selecting the disk image you have just created (or previously created) as your source image. You will have to move the disk image you have created onto your new Mac or onto an External Hard Drive.

From Migration assistant run through the options. There are various methods relating to how you can control the different accounts. Just remember that if you have to accounts with the same name (ie yourself from your old Mac and you have created the same account name on your new Mac), you will have to create a temporary account with a different name to transfer the files across. This is best explained in Migration Assistant.

Let the app run and it will slowly transfer all of your files across. When it has finished, check that the files are correctly transferred and all of your files are present. If any are missing or some folders have been moved, you can do them manually by using the disk image as the source.

Hopefully by the end of this session. Your new Mac will have all of the files and folder of your old Mac. It takes a little doing but is very useful. If you have any questions or comments please leave one below.

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