6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2012 1:28 PM by ladines
llirik K Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

So I've been using TIme Machine for ages, and usually the restore are fine, but one thing has always bugged me:

 

When I restore (say for a new hard drive) or bought a new machine (in this case i got the Retina MBP)... and i turn on Time Machine again... I haven't been able to find a way to use the old backup disk on my Time Capsule.

 

Looking into the support info, I found this:

 

Message: Time Machine starts a new, full backup instead of a smaller incremental backup

There are three reasons why this may occur:

  • You performed a full restore.
  • Your Computer Name (in Sharing preferences) was changed--when this happens, Time Machine will perform a full backup on its next scheduled backup time.
  • If you have had a hardware repair recently, contact the Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store that performed your repair. In the meantime, you can still browse and recover previous backups by right-clicking or Control-clicking the Time Machine Dock icon, and choosing "Browse Other Time Machine disks" from the contextual menu.

 

 

Reading that, I'm led to assume that's just one of the quirks and I can't do anything, and deleting Time Machine backups is quite a hassle as it is.

 

Is there really no way for my new Retina Macbook to use my old MBP time machine backup and just keep adding incremental data to it? It seems redundant then as say a week ago I deleted something... I actually have no way of getting to it now if I deleted the backup and started again. At the moment, my Time Capsule doesn't have enough space for a complete new one, so i'd HAVE to delete the old one.

 

Is there a way around this?

 

Thanks.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • 1. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    llirik K Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    so is there no way to do this? seems rather weird to lose all the info just because you restored...

  • 2. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    Chameleon2012 Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)

    Seems like Time Machine must have an exact match for hardware components+ComputerName+LastBackup State check-point to continue/inherit backups from a different machine.

     

    There might be something in the commandline : tmutil command but never really thought about this in context you mention.

     

    You could connect an external USB drive to the TimeCapsule and set that one as backup destination in Timemachine.

  • 3. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    llirik K wrote:

    . . .

    • • You performed a full restore.
    • • Your Computer Name (in Sharing preferences) was changed--when this happens, Time Machine will perform a full backup on its next scheduled backup time.
    • • If you have had a hardware repair recently, contact the Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store that performed your repair. In the meantime, you can still browse and recover previous backups by right-clicking or Control-clicking the Time Machine Dock icon, and choosing "Browse Other Time Machine disks" from the contextual menu.

    That's a Leopard article.  Time Machine has been changed since then, and some of those don't apply.

     

    If you set up the new Mac from an old one (or it's backups), via Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant, when the first backup of the new Mac starts, you should get the prompt in #B5 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting.  That will allow you to reuse (or "inherit") the old Mac's backups.

     

    However, in some cases that doesn't work.  But effective with Lion, you may be able to do it manually.  See #B6 in the same link.

     

    If you didn't set it up that way, you won't get the prompt, but you may also be able to do it manually, per #B6.

  • 4. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    ladines Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I installed a new hard drive in my late 2008 Macbook and (because I was having some issues with my system) chose to do a clean install of Mountain Lion (downloaded and installed all apps, tweaked settings, and manually brought over all my documents, photos, music etc from a CCC clone of my system). I did however want to keep all my TM backups so I followed the steps you outlined in the pink box of B6. "Reconnecting to your backups". All seems to have gone well but when I try to access those backups I get the following error:

     

    "The folder XXX can't be opened because you don't have permission to see its contents"

     

    Is there a way to correct this? I also get this error if I try to view the files via the Finder. My account name is the same in both systems.

     

    Using Montain Lion 10.8.2

     

    PS: Keep us the great work on Pondini.org, it has been very useful for me on more than one occasion. Thanks for all help it has provided me.

  • 5. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    ladines wrote:

    . . .

    My account name is the same in both systems.

    The account name isn't what controls the permissions;  it's the automatically-assigned and mostly-invisible User ID number, also called a UID.  The first user account you create is number 501, the next 502, etc.  So if you ever had more than one user account, the one(s) you have now may be different.  See the pink box in Problems after using Migration Assistant for a detailed explanation.

     

    You really can't change the permissions on Time Machine backups (that would kinda defeat the purpose).

     

    Try creating another account, and see if it has permission to the backups.  If it does, you have a couple of options:

     

    * Copy everything now on your system to the new User Account you created above.  That's tedious and error-prone, but can be done.  See Transferring files from one User Account to another.

     

    * Your existing user account should be able to see and restore from new backups (done from the new drive).  When you need to view or restore things from the old backups, use the new account.  Eventually, as the older backups are deleted, the problem will fade away.

  • 6. Re: Reuse Time Machine Backup after moving to new Machine
    ladines Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Read the pink box in "Problems after using Migration Assistant", great stuff. Turns out I was able to access the all my previous backups (three years worth!!) using my Administrator Account. As a security measure I use a standard account for almost everything but great to know I can access the old backups should I ever need them. Thanks for your prompt reply and all the help.