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Restoring from back up

310 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2012 11:18 AM by tug_slug RSS
tug_slug Calculating status...
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Aug 4, 2012 10:39 AM

Im a PC guy from when back in the 90's (dont hold that against me lol). I just started using an iMac and upgraded the software to Lion 10.7. I performed a back up using an external hard drive and on that back up theres a deleted user account that I would like to restore. Whenever I go into time machine I specify the screen name I would like to restore but it appears time machine wants to erase the entire hard drive just to reinstall the files from the deleted user account. How can I restore the deleted user account/files without wiping out the entire hard drive? Thanks, Tug

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 4, 2012 3:48 PM (in response to tug_slug)

    The full system restore is just that -- everything.   When your HD fails or gets hopelessly corrupted, that's what you want.


    Is the user account in question on the last backup?  If so, you can use Migration Assistant to restore it.  That automatically uses the most recent backup, but allows you to omit some broad categories of things; just uncheck the boxes for things you don't want to restore.  See Using Migration Assistant on Mountain Lion or Lion for details.


    If it wasn't on the last backup, roughly how many backups were done after the account was deleted?

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 4, 2012 6:16 PM (in response to tug_slug)

    Your problem is, you're basically trying to "merge" two user accounts, and that's not easily done.  One user, even an Admin user, doesn't normally have permission to see another user's data.


    You'll have to grant the new user permission to the files and folders inside the .dmg, then copy them.


    First, log on to the new user account.


    Assuming you backed the .dmg up with Time Machine, use the Time Machine browser (the "Star Wars" display) to restore it somewhere, such as the Desktop of the new user account.  To do that, select the .dmg, right-click it, and select the Restore <.dmg name> to... option, then specify the destination. 


    Then open the restored (or copied) .dmg by double-clicking it.


    For each folder (such as Music) whose contents you want, select and right-click the Music folder and choose Get Info.  At the bottom of the panel that brings up, in the Sharing & Permissions section, click the padlock and enter your Admin account and password.


    Then click the plus sign at the bottom, and select the new user account.  That will grant that user read rights to the folder.  Click the "gear" icon and select Apply to enclosed items.  You'll see a warning; then perhaps a delay of a few moments.  That should allow the specified user to copy the contents of the Music folder to that user's home folder.  

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2012 10:28 AM (in response to tug_slug)

    tug_slug wrote:

    . . .

    to my understanding dragging the .dmg file into the destination using the disk utility would format the entire hard drive and replace it with the ddb.dmg file.

    No.  That will just copy it onto the HD (if there's room) without disturbing everything else.  But you don't necessarily want to do that anyway, do you?   You want to copy some files/folders from it into a different user account, right?


    I'm assuming you did not back the .dmg up with Time Machine, but copied it separately, correct?



    ive already enabled access to all the files just putting getting them off the back up drive and onto the correct user account is the challange.

    Log on to the user account that you want to copy them to.  Then drag the file(s) / folder(s) from the old home folder in the .dmg to the appropriate places.  That will probably be the corresponding place -- if there are documents in the old user's Documents folder, drag them to the new user's Document folder, etc.


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