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Time Machine backup - doesn't store masters? Help!

2857 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2013 6:24 AM by afreisinger RSS
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Scorpion Sting Calculating status...
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Mar 28, 2011 7:52 AM
My Aperture library was exhibiting problems, and so I attempted to restore it from a Time Machine backup (presuming (it would seem incorrectly) that restoring the Aperture Library.aplibrary would bring everything back to how it was two weeks prior. That was my experience with iPhoto. I hit restore and then because there were two .aplibrary files, 'replace' and let it go.

However, now it seems all I have left are the preview images, no thumbnails nor the much larger masters. The masters were stored within the library (the default setting).

I've done a lot of searching, and read that Time Machine stores incremental backups for Aperture - so is there a way to collate all those incremental backups to get a full Aperture library restore? Someone mentioned a 'slow backup restore' but I can't find anything on this. The original library file was several gigabytes, but each of these restored library files is only around 200mb.

Any help would be extremely appreciated - would love to get the masters back. If Time Machine has only stored a database and not the masters contained within the library, then how can Apple call it a backup solution? Surely one of the most important things for it to back up IS someones photos!
Macbook Pro 15 i7, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Aperture 3.1.2
  • Jim Calderwood Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    Just to see what might be available let's look in your TimeMachine backup. Open your TimeMachine hard disk from the finder and select one of the backups near the time you are interested in. Navigate through the finder options until you come to Pictures. Now Show Package Apertue.aplibrary and navigate to Masters - anything there? Don't change anything in there, but you can copy stuff to the desktop if you want. I've looked and my whole set of masters can be seen there - including ones that I deleted recently.

    I'me sure someone will have a better idea for you soon, but this should provide useful information.
    2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac 4 GB Ram, 24in Screen: 15in MacBook Pro 4GB Ram, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone 3G 18 GB: iPad WiFi 16GB
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)
    Unfortunately I cannot help with insight into your specific problem. Sorry. However I do know that problems with the interaction of Time Machine and Aperture have been reported before; enough so that I recommend against using Time Machine for Aperture backup.

    • Try searching hard drives for individual image file names. If you find a single image file others may exist in the same location.

    • Also search for "Trash" and carefully inspect the contents of any folder so labeled.

    For the future I suggest:

    • Back up originals on external drives prior to import into Aperture or any other images app.

    • Frequently back up the Aperture Library using Aperture's Vaults, which are designed for that purpose.

    • Consider using a Referenced-Masters Library with the Library on an internal drive and the Masters referenced on external drives. The Library will no longer grow ridiculously large and Vaults will remain small enough to make backup easier. Whether backup Vaults or the Library itself, huge file sizes invariably tend to be more problematic than smaller ones.

    Good luck with finding your image files. Everyone here feels your pain.

    -Allen Wicks
    AP 3.1.1; 17" 2011 MBP; Nikon D2x, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Jim Calderwood Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    Not promissing, have you checked in a number of different backups, working backwards from the present?
    2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac 4 GB Ram, 24in Screen: 15in MacBook Pro 4GB Ram, Mac OS X (10.6.7), iPhone 3G 18 GB: iPad WiFi 16GB
  • CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)
    Are you restoring from inside the Time Machine interface?

    There have been reports of problems restoring to the containing folder if you leave the old library (the one you are having problems with) in place.

    Typically, you should be able to move you current library to an alternate location (say the desktop) and then from the original location in Finder > load Time Machine > navigate back in time to the date you want > click 'Restore'.

    If you have tried the process above, then something may have gone sideways during original backup (or something was deleted). Time Machine uses hard links to files that have not been changed. This means it will need the original (first) backup along with other subsequent parts as it tries to assemble the final state for the currently selected restore point.

    Moving the current (troubled) library prevents issues with Time Machine trying to restore all files to the end location (since it won't see the old library and think some files are already there).
     Mac Pro (Early 2008) QC 2.8 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,830 points)
    Scorpion Sting wrote:

    Allen, I fear you may be right. Simply have no idea what Apple were thinking when they decided to omit Time Machine for internally stored Aperture photos.


    And of course Apple did no such thing. I have Aperture libraries backed up by Time Machine (though it's not my primary backup strategy) and they all contain the masters from the original Aperture library.

    You've never given us much information to work with regarding your situation. You profile says you have a MBP running 10.5.8. Given that you must have at least one external drive that the TM is running on. If you could supply your hardware and software setup we might be able to give better guidance.

    Also you never said what you're original issues with Aperture were. You said it exhibited problems and then you went to the TM backup. Most users wouldn't turn to there backup at the first hint of trouble so again if we had more info we might come up with something else you might try.

    One thing to keep in mind going forward is that TM _will not_ backup the current active Aperture library if Aperture is running. So if you're in Aperture a lot during the day or you simply open Aperture and leave it open, and then whne you're done for the day you immediately shutdown the system (or put it to sleep) there's a good chance that TM will never get around to backing it up.

    regards
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.7), Aperture 3.1.2
  • CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)
    This is particularly strange, it is not only missing in the first, large backup, but also each time a new photo was taken, added to the library, it's master should also be in that folder (in a subsequent backup), but it isn't.

    Tried going through the normal Time Machine program, with the Aperture Library completely deleted from the present, and it only restores the database and half size jpeg previews, no thumbnails, no masters



    Sorry to hear that.

    Obviously, without those Masters in the first, large backup (or subsequent import dates) it's no go. I have no other suggestions (other than to manually save out the JPEG previews so you at least have those).
     Mac Pro (Early 2008) QC 2.8 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Jim Calderwood Level 4 Level 4 (3,215 points)
    Scorpion Sting wrote:
    My Aperture library was exhibiting problems,

    Are we shure that this problem is unrelated to your present difficult.

    Are you also shure that you had a managed library as opposed to a referenced one?
    2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac 4 GB Ram, 24in Screen: 15in MacBook Pro 4GB Ram, Mac OS X (10.6.7), iPhone 3G 18 GB: iPad WiFi 16GB
  • CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)
    Jim brings up a great question (managed vs. referenced).

    If you came from iPhoto to Aperture and imported as Referenced, then your masters (at that time) would still reside in the iPhoto library package.
     Mac Pro (Early 2008) QC 2.8 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,830 points)
    Scorpion Sting wrote:
    It's running 10.6.6, haven't installed the latest OS version just yet.
    Aperture is on 3.1.2. It was soon after updating Aperture (tho not immediately), that the Browser behaved strangely, with the photos going in one row off to the right, yet with no scroll bar at the bottom. I'd been used to using iPhoto, and thought that the Time Machine backup would be a non-issue and just revert it back to before I updated, avoiding this bug (this: http://discussions.info.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11737525). Seems to have solved that problem (I also trashed the preferences file), but instead all the photos are just grey empty boxes. I'd also kept my iPhoto and Aperture libraries completely separate - iPhoto for point and shoot + phone, Aperture for DSLR.


    What version of Aperture did you upgrade from? What version of Aperture is the library in TM? What is the size and type of the external drive? How is it formatted?

    With regard to the backup, I've had Aperture since September 2010, so my computer has completed many backups with the program closed. The furthest back I can go is to November 2010.


    So even if you go back to the TM BU of November 2010 the masters are missing from the Aperture library?
    iMac Intel 3.06 GHz 8GB Mem; Macbook5.1 2.4ghz 4GB Mem, Mac OS X (10.6.7), Aperture 3.1.2
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)
    Jim Calderwood wrote:
    Are you also shure that you had a managed library as opposed to a referenced one?


    If the Library was Referenced the earlier suggestion of searching on individual file names would quickly find files.
    AP 3.1.1; 17" 2011 MBP; Nikon D2x, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
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