Reinstalling Lion

mac restoring time capsule data

mac restoring time capsule data

Reinstalling Lion on my Mid-2009 MacBook Pro. This is not as straight forward as if you buy a Mac today, but it’s actually not that bad – well, so far.

First of all, if you have an older Mac, it is work setting up a USB stick with the Lion Recovery Disk software.

This is Apple’s official answer to re-installing a Mac if you change the hard drive. What you will get is a Bootable USB Stick with a copy of the hidden recovery partition from the Lion install. With this you will be able to restore a computer from time machine, access the Disk Utility, Reinstall Lion or get help online.

As with most things Apple, internet access is a must have. This tool will only work properly if you have access to an internet connection.

Using this USB key, I have just installed Lion onto my new SSD. This was accomplished by using the re-install Mac OSX option. What happened was that the software used my internet connection to download OSX Lion directly from the Mac App store (it required my Apple ID to allow this). At this point, I should point out that I set this going, and then went and had my dinner (took about 30 mins), when I returned to my MacBook Pro, the download had completed (I have a 50Mb internet connection) and was waiting at a prompt for the language to use. I selected English (go figure), then chose the british keyboard.

At this point things got interesting, it asked if I would like to migrate an existing machine. The tool allowed me to choose the existing backups of my hard drive. I was given a chance to review and decide what to bring across. (I just chose everything) Then it started. This is taking a while to run, but in fairness my old Hard drive had about 250GB of DATA so it is bound to take some time.

There has been no other prompts at this point, I suggest that you go do something else, like watch a film, bake a cake, or go out for a meal. This part of the restore will take up to four hours to complete, even on a Gigabit network. (more on a slower network)

Nothing to do but wait and see what happens…

Update: After a couple of hours of restoring with no information, suddenly an estimate appeared. 1038 hours remaining. Fortunatly, after a few mins that dropped to a more respectable 1 hour 28. It’s still going, but looks to be on track.

Update 1: well looks like the estimate is badly programmed. It’s up to 2 hours and 8 mins remaining. Seems like Apple minutes are worse than Microsoft minutes.

Update 2: after about 4 hours the transfer completed. The Mac next asked for my Apple ID, I then had to confirm my Registration information.

Last page of the Lion install wizard

Last page of the Lion install wizard

And finally it looks just like when you first install lion.


immidiatly, I needed to install a couple of updates.  One for iTunes and one for Safari. Apart from that everything installed.  Adobe complained there wasn’t a Java Virtual Machine, and I needed to repair my iPhoto library.  Other than that.  Everything fell back into place perfectly.


As for the SSD, is it better?  Well, too early to tell.  I just put my machine into a backup cycle, so that it’s backed up if this drive fails. (it can happen)    I’ll find out tomorrow. But my first impression, is YES.

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