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stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My Imac bit the dust after a month and I'm left with a couple of files I'd like to keep working on using an older computer running Leopard. But when I start Time Machine from the Leopard computer, it can't see my files. My user name is different, but that's not supposed to matter. Shouldn't I be able to find the file somehow? It's not happening.

 

The program is about as confusing as this website.

 

Help appreciated


Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • 1. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Time Machine normally only shows the backups for the Mac it's running on.

     

    To see the backups for a different Mac, you'll need the Browse... option, per Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #17.

  • 2. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply. You've just admitted that Time Machine is useless if your computer breaks, which is the reason people keep backups in the first place.

     

    Lucky for me I found a way around it. After at least an hour reading Mac stuff and your website, I finally just decided to ignore Time Machine and poke around all those aliases. It was right where I left it, even though a search at the Finder level and in Spotlight failed to turn it up. The only thing I had to do was change permission on the most recent file, which was no problem since I already knew my own username and password.

  • 3. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    stufromhalifax wrote:

     

    Thanks for your reply. You've just admitted that Time Machine is useless if your computer breaks, which is the reason people keep backups in the first place.

    Baloney. It is not "useless" for Time Machine to default to only showing the backups for the Mac it's running on; it makes sense, especially if you're backing-up multiple Macs to the same Time Capsule, for example.

     

    That's what the Browse... option is for  (but I'd be the first to agree that Apple should make that more obvious).

  • 4. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, if the browse option was more obvious, that does make sense. Where is this browse option? I've spend ages with this program and haven't found it yet.

  • 5. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    To see the backups for a different Mac, you'll need the Browse... option, per Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #17.

  • 6. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Fantastic! If only I'd known.

     

    Since you already have this terrific website, why not highlight that as a tip for users like me who can't stand reading for more than 15 seconds especially when the title of the discussion doesn't seem to apply to me.

  • 7. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    You couldn't find "How can I see my backups, or the backups for a different Mac?" in 15 seconds?

  • 8. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found that right away, but read the text in the yellow box. It seemed like none of the three cases applied to me so I didn't read any further. You obviously know a lot about Time Machine, but with the greatest respect, your website is not well designed or written in a manner that makes information readily accessible. A little thought about how to present your material would go a long way. I'm sure you find this criticism offensive but it's not meant that way. You may disagree and wish to argue but I won't reply.

  • 9. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Odd -- I get lots of compliments about how clear it is.

     

    What would you suggest?

  • 10. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    stufromhalifax Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, I take it back. It ain't pretty, but it's pretty well organized. The long swaths of type in your explanations are a bit offputting as are your occasional hyperlinks to information elsewhere.

     

    The Mac help files are as well designed as any and with their short paragraphs and detailed breakdowns into topics and subtopics, you ge the feeling you can find answers in a hurry.

     

    I'd suggest a column of links on the left which brings up topics on the right. The links could contain major categories with sub categories and sub-sub categories. This would reveal the organization of your whole website and make it easy for people to read the material they want, not just the answer, but the topic area as well.

     

    Your website isn't searchable, which is one of the first things I look for when I'm trying to get help for something.

     

    And you could break up your type more. Take a tip from the For Dummies books. You can't read three words without some kind of graphic. I read a lot of books but three paragraphs on a computer screen is unbearable.

  • 11. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    stufromhalifax wrote:

    . . .

    The Mac help files are as well designed as any and with their short paragraphs and detailed breakdowns into topics and subtopics, you ge the feeling you can find answers in a hurry.

    But you didn't find what you wanted there, did you? 

     

     

    I'd suggest a column of links on the left which brings up topics on the right. The links could contain major categories with sub categories and sub-sub categories. This would reveal the organization of your whole website and make it easy for people to read the material they want, not just the answer, but the topic area as well.

    They do.  The main index ("Home" in the nav bar at the top and bottom of each page):  http://pondini.org/OSX/Home.html

     

    Several of those are links to sub-indexes, such as Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions

      (basically a list of links) and Time Machine - Troubleshooting (a list of categories and links).

     

     

    Your website isn't searchable, which is one of the first things I look for when I'm trying to get help for something.

    iWeb doesn't support a search feature. 

     

     

    And you could break up your type more. Take a tip from the For Dummies books. You can't read three words without some kind of graphic. I read a lot of books but three paragraphs on a computer screen is unbearable.

    But you like the Mac help files?  Isn't that what they are?

     

    Not to mention your last post.  Five paragraphs all in the same typeface, no emphasis, no graphics. 

     

    On most of my pages, there are lots of graphics and colored boxes. FAQ #17, the one you were complaining about, doesn't have more than 3 paragraphs without a colored box, colored paragraph, or screenshot until the green and blue boxes.  And the blue one has things set off with bullet points and/or boldface type, where appropriate.

     

    Forgive me, but I suspect your 15-second attention span is the larger problem.

  • 12. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    gianni2009 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Can I retrieve files from a PC that were backed up on an external drive with Time Machine? For example, my Mac crashes, but I have a PC in the house and I need to quickly retrieve a doc. Can I access the files from a regular folder structure like I would with any normal external drive that was not used in a Time Machine backup fashion?

  • 13. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    gianni2009 wrote:

     

    Can I retrieve files from a PC that were backed up on an external drive with Time Machine? For example, my Mac crashes, but I have a PC in the house and I need to quickly retrieve a doc. Can I access the files from a regular folder structure like I would with any normal external drive that was not used in a Time Machine backup fashion?

    No.  PCs can't read Time Machine backups properly, even if you install an app that will let it read a "normal" OSX volume.  The reason is, the OSX file system supports "hard links" (sort of like extra-fancy aliases) at both the file and directory level.  That's what TM uses to make small incremental backups look like full ones without taking up massive amounts of space.  Essentially, the backups of files or folders that don't change between backups actually "belong" to two or more backup folders at the same time.

     

    PCs can only deal with the ones at the file level, so they're mystified by the backups.

     

    You'll need to borrow a Mac. 

     

     

    EDIT: However, since it's always prudent to keep "secondary" backups, if you make them with one of the "cloning" apps, they can be read by PCs.  They may not have any history like TM, unless you use the "archive" feature some allow.  Even if you do, it won't be easy to find the older versions.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #27 for details and some suggestions.

     

    Message was edited by: Pondini

  • 14. Re: Retrieve time machine file on another computer
    gianni2009 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick reply. I figured as much. Too bad Time Machine doesn't create a parallel folder structure for user defined folders for user files as opposed to system files that wouldn't make any sense to try and retrieve from a PC anyway. This would also be useful for someone moving files back and forth between a work PC and home Mac (because they prefer creating visuals on the Mac, for example) and didn't want to invest in a second hard drive. In case anybody is listening out there...

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