Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MacBook Pro and MacBook Air restore

I have been configuring a lot of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops for people in the office so I finally decided to make my life easier by creating an image of a baseline install from which I could image the new machines and save myself a lot of time and effort.

So the concept is simple:

- Go through the setup process
- Create a generic account like 'administrator'
- Install any system updates
- Install baseline software (Office, Firefox, Dropbox, Printer/Scanner Drivers, etc)
- Attach a USB drive
- Reboot into the Lion Install Partition
- Go into Disc Utility
- 'Restore' the system partition to a partition on the USB drive

Now any time I need to re-install a laptop I can boot into Disk Utility and 'restore' from the USB partition to the laptop.

Now the question is whether I can take a 'restore' from a MacBook Pro and use it to install a MacBook Air.  And the verdict is... Yes.  This seems to work.  Oddly though the restore 'failed' at the end, but verifying the partition showed that it was clean, so I booted into it and everything appears to work properly.

I have not tried restoring to a MacBook Pro yet, so I do not know if the error is specific to the Air.  I'll update the post when I know.

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