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Why did Snow Leopard delete ALL of my leopard time machine backups?

10348 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2009 3:37 AM by Phil Purviance RSS
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mac hopeful Calculating status...
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Aug 29, 2009 10:07 PM
I received my copy of snow leopard on Friday. I verified my time machine backups were functioning and current. At the time my backups went back to April of 2009. I performed the upgrade from leopard (10.5.8) to snow leopard (an actual upgrade not a re-install). There were no issues with the upgrade. Today (one day after the upgrade) I noticed time machine running. When looked at what time
Machine was doing it said it was "deleting backups". After that finished it performed a backup. When I went into time machine after that my backups only go back to yesterday. It appears time machine has wiped out all of my leopard based backups. Are
y leopard based backups still there? This appears to mean I can't rollback to leopard or even get files pre snow leopard. It would have been nice to have confirmation from time machine before it did this....
Imac 24in intel, Mac OS X (10.6), 4gb ram,750gb HDD
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    TM normally does not do that. But it will delete your oldest backups when it needs to make room for new ones.

    It sounds like that first backup was an extra-large one; it should have been a few gb (the new version of OSX).

    What, exactly, do you see in Time Machine? Does the timeline on the right show the old backups?

    Click here to download the +Time Machine Buddy+ widget. It shows the messages from your logs for one TM backup run at a time, in a small window. Navigate to the backup in question, and copy and post the beginning of the log here (it will be a big one; Just copy as far as the first deletion).
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • justjimmy Calculating status...
    Same thing happened to me. 6 months of backups deleted! needless to say i am not happy. would not have cared if it deleted one of the first backups to make room if needed, BUT EVERY SINGLE BACKUP?

    i am quite annoyed.
    MacBook Pro 2.53 Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs Ram, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    justjimmy wrote:
    Same thing happened to me. 6 months of backups deleted! needless to say i am not happy. would not have cared if it deleted one of the first backups to make room if needed, BUT EVERY SINGLE BACKUP?


    Are you sure it deleted all of them? That would be a first. Perhaps it's just not showing them to you -- there are times when TM starts a new "sequence" of backups, as if you'd gotten a new Mac, and won't show the old sequence via the normal +Enter Time Machine+ option.

    Follow the instructions in my previous post.
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • justjimmy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    have had the time machine widget for quite some time... already did what you suggested before stumbling upon this post. after install it deleted all backups since march, only thing showing is the backup from today after installing SL.
    MacBook Pro 2.53 Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs Ram, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    justjimmy wrote:
    have had the time machine widget for quite some time... already did what you suggested before stumbling upon this post. after install it deleted all backups since march, only thing showing is the backup from today after installing SL.


    TM may have started a new "sequence" of backups. Try the +*Browse Other Time Machine Disks+* option. See item #17 per the Frequently Asked Questions *User Tip.*
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Rick Prather Level 3 Level 3 (720 points)
    Did you happen to rename your HD in preparation for the upgrade?
    iMac 24" 2.8 (Penryn) + 2.0 MacBook + 1.66 mini, Mac OS X (10.6), 16 GB iPhone 3G
  • justjimmy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    ok, very odd... did a reboot, and all of my backups reappeared. BUT, the backup i did after installation of SL seems to have been done somewhere else as it is not on the external drive i normally back up to.

    (and i cant seem to find where it did the first backup after install) odd. but i am glad that the older backups did reappear. now if i can just find where that last backup went i will be happy.
    MacBook Pro 2.53 Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs Ram, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    justjimmy wrote:
    ok, very odd... did a reboot, and all of my backups reappeared. BUT, the backup i did after installation of SL seems to have been done somewhere else as it is not on the external drive i normally back up to.

    (and i cant seem to find where it did the first backup after install) odd. but i am glad that the older backups did reappear. now if i can just find where that last backup went i will be happy.


    TM may have started a new "sequence" of backups. Try the Browse Other Time Machine Disks option. See item #17 per the Frequently Asked Questions User Tip.
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • justjimmy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i am thinking it may have partitioned part of my HD and did the backup there. what i am afraid of is switching back to the wireless drive and doing the backup and having it delete the old backups as i initially thought happened since they were not showing up until i did the reboot.

    Message was edited by: justjimmy
    MacBook Pro 2.53 Core 2 Duo 4 Gigs Ram, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    justjimmy wrote:
    i am thinking it may have partitioned part of my HD and did the backup there.


    No. Snow Leopard will not partition a drive (unless you go to Disk Utility and do it). Neither will Time Machine (although TM will reformat one that doesn't have the correct Partition Map scheme.)

    what i am afraid of is switching back to the wireless drive and doing the backup and having it delete the old backups as i initially thought happened since they were not showing up until i did the reboot.


    Now you've got me confused. What "wireless drive"? Do you have two separate TM backups, one on a Time Capsule or external disk connected to an Airport Extreme, and one on an external drive connected to your Mac? You really need to be specific and give us the whole story.

    Did the +*Browse . . .+* option show the new backup?
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    mac hopeful wrote:
    Time Machine shows the oldest backup is Friday, August 28, 2009. I downloaded Time Machine Buddy widget and it works but froze on me twice. I followed the advice in this article (http://www.macworld.com/article/131534/2008/01/tmeye.html) and used the console utility searching for the backupd process. The system logs only go back to 8-29-09 so maybe the logs got purged.


    If you don't see a sidebar in Console, click +Show Log List+ in the toolbar to open it. Open the disclosure triangles to expose your previous system logs, named system.log.0.bz2 etc.

    The logs do show however that Time Machine deleted the old backups so it could make a 147gb backup. It did this a couple of times....I'm beginning to think though that it has to do with my updating to ilife 09 as well. I updated to ilife09 on Saturday 8/29/09. I have a 140gb photo library (the downside of owning a nikon d80). Updating iphoto 09 tweaks your photo library several times . . .


    Yes, you're not the first to see that, unfortunately, although I don't recall hearing of it updating more than once. Adding insult to injury, I guess.

    But glad it's sorted out, if not exactly what you'd hoped for.
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • prwb79 Calculating status...
    I've experienced the same issue with all of my backups from 2008 onwards being deleted and replaced by a backup from SL following the installation.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6)
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