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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Time Machine doesn't see my newest backups

Time Machine doesn't see my newest backups
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Jun 13, 2013, 09:53 AM
 
My computer took a dump so I did a fresh install of OS X and I'm trying to restore from my Time Machine backup.

When booting from the Apple USB stick, if I try and do a full restore, the last "full backup" it sees is from March and includes 10.8.1. If I run the first-time setup assistant or Migration Assistant, it doesn't see my original volume at all.

If I look at the Time Machine directory, I see a folder dated 5/28/13 (the last day the computer was running) that contains items.

What are my options for restoring my old system? I have 11 years of iPhoto in there and 13 years of iTunes, among a few hundred gigs of other things. I really can't lose this stuff. Thoughts?
     
P
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Jun 13, 2013, 10:45 AM
 
I would try making a fresh install, updating it all the way to 10.8.4 or whatever you had on the old install, and then use Migration Assistant to recover your backups from the Time Machine. IME, that way is less finicky.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Laminar  (op)
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Jun 13, 2013, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I would try making a fresh install, updating it all the way to 10.8.4 or whatever you had on the old install, and then use Migration Assistant to recover your backups from the Time Machine. IME, that way is less finicky.
That's what I did - fresh install, upgraded to 10.8.4. Ran Migration Assistant, and it doesn't see my Time Machine volume, the only drive it suggests I restore from is my spare OS X test partition.

So booting from the USB stick, it recognizes my Time Machine volume but I can't restore from anything recent. If I run Migration Assistant within a fresh 10.8.4 install, it doesn't see my Time Machine volume at all.
     
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Jun 13, 2013, 06:31 PM
 
Here's what I see:

On my Time Machine volume, the latest back is 5/28. There is clearly lots there:


In Migration Assistant, Mountain Lion is nowhere to be found, only the Test partition and its backup.


Can I just do something like rsync from the backup folder to my user folder?
     
P
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Jun 14, 2013, 04:50 AM
 
Hm. Not sure what's up here. If you restore from the March backup, does that work?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 09:13 AM
 
I might have to give that a shot next week. A lot has changed between then and May and I'd hate to lose it all.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 10:16 AM
 
Another alternative: CharlesS has a pre-release piece of software called TimeTracker which aims to show you what is in what backup. That might help you figure out what is failing.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 14, 2013, 01:13 PM
 
You could of course manually through Finder go into the TM volume and copy the files you need to retrieve.

It's still just a disk. You don't have to use Migration Assistant or other tools to manually copy stuff. Just make sure you put everything in the correct location(s).

Steve
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Jun 14, 2013, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
You could of course manually through Finder go into the TM volume and copy the files you need to retrieve.
That was one of my questions - can I just rsync the TM directory with my ~/ folder so that all of my music, photos, and settings are transferred over? Does each dated backup folder contain a complete version of every file?
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 10:06 AM
 
Looks like my post yesterday didn't go through.

I restored my full system from the February 10.8.1 backup and it worked. I'm back to 10.8.4 and my iPhoto and iTunes libraries are current as of February, but I'm missing a lot of important stuff from the past few months.

Running Migration Assistant now shows me the same options as before, I can't restore from the latest backups. Back to my previous question, how does Time Machine store files? Can I sync from a backup folder straight to my home folder?

I tried CharlesS's software but as it was loading the backups the computer locked up. Maybe I'll try it again once everything is updated and looking good.
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 11:01 AM
 
Well I was able to go into Time Machine and restore some sections of my user folder from the May backup. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I excluded the Desktop from Time Machine backups and stored some really important stuff there. It's gone now.
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
And after restoring my Music and Photos folders, I didn't have permissions to view them. Had to change those, and my iPhoto library still wasn't working right - everything added after the restore had a blank thumbnail and appeared as a black screen. Rebuilding iPhoto library now.
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 03:46 PM
 
It sounds like your backups got quietly corrupted back in February. Disturbing that there were no signs of it.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 04:35 PM
 
I redid my partitioning scheme at the end of January, but I can't think of anything that changed in March. I know that Time Machine can be configured to ignore system files, in which case a full restore isn't possible, but I didn't make any changes to Time Machine's settings. I'll have to double check everything and make sure it's good. Hopefully that iPhoto library rebuild works, it may contain the videos from the desktop that got deleted.
     
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Jun 19, 2013, 08:58 PM
 
Well, the iPhoto library rebuild didn't work. Everything I imported after February is gone, including all of the full-quality pictures I pulled off of my iPhone. I still have the resized images saved on my Dropbox so that's okay.



If I double-click any of those "thumbnails," the picture that comes up is all black. If I right-click and "Show Original File," it just opens up the root directory of my computer.
     
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Jun 20, 2013, 08:42 AM
 
Well, hope I got everything I needed from my Time Machine directory because Time Machine just ran again and wiped all of my old backups out.
     
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Jun 25, 2013, 10:40 AM
 
that is not what time machine is supposed to do!
     
   
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