Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Technical : Restoring the Fusion drive from a Drobo5N Time Machine image


My iMac now has the replacement Fusion drive.

It provided an opportunity to run a huge Time Machine restore of the system. Some would say 'Gulp'.

This is a bit technical, but useful if I have to do anything like this again

I notice the TimeMachine image would restore about 1 Terabyte of data, backed up to the networked Drobo5N RAID-style system, in a TimeMachine partition which I'd set up about two years ago. Gulp 2.

The repaired machine was returned with an initialised El Capitan image, so I set up the basic empty machine and then used Migration Assistant to find the Drobo5N and identify the relevant sparseimage. The sparseimage didn't come up automatically because it wasn't an actual Time Capsule, so I had to manually select it. Gulp 3.

Once I'd selected the image to restore, the iMac spent around 20 minutes parsing it before it was ready of the restore operation. I didn't initially realise that the sparseimage would then mount as a separate TimeMachine image, which I needed to separately select to do the restore.

Once I'd selected the correct one 'iMac27' not my other 'iMac24', it asked whether I wanted everything copied across. Short answer was 'Yes'.

It took around 6 hours across the network at between 40-80Mb per second and the machine then gave me two logons - the temporary one I'd used to get the machine running and my proper one, which had been restored from the backup. I could delete the temporary id, but decided to keep it because is quite useful to have a second admin account for unforeseen circumstances.

After a restart, my original signon screen appeared and then my desktop and all of the applications although I had to adjust the Documents name to match the original one manually. I did that from the separate userid.

Once up and running, I had to reinitialise Adobe CS2016 suite, by supplying credentials and also the Microsoft Office 365 logon.

Mail asked to rebuild its database and there's a few of the utilities that need to be reset with their serial numbers, but compared with a fresh install and all the soul-searching about which things to apply, this was a relatively trouble free restore.

Most of the machine's real data is stored on a separate Drobo5D, although I had to make sure it found the relevant index files such as the one for Lightroom and iTunes, which all worked fine. My iTunes is about 3Tb and Lightroom is about 1Tb, so it was important to get these functioning.

The rest of the Document and similar libraries were straightforward, so I'm back in business.

Phew.

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