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TM has files but they are not listed on entering Time Machine

414 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2013 2:25 PM by Linc Davis RSS
David Gordon Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 13, 2013 3:27 AM

I have a Mac backing up to Time Machine on OS X Server (not that I think that's relevant).


I needed to restore some files from January but on entereing TM it only had backups for the last couple of days. The TM volume on the server was nearly full so perhaps that wasn't unexpected. However I have been able to recove the 'lost' files by mounting the sparseimage within which are files going back over a much longer period.


Why was TM on my Mac not 'seeing' all the backed up files more than a couple of days?


I have now moved the TM backup files to a new, larger, volume. TM appears to want to create a new backup and shows "none" under "oldest backup" in the Preferences. How can I force TM to see my original and older backups? I am pointing TM at the correct shared volume and all permissions are set corectly on the server as far as I can tell.



  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    On the server, stop and restart the Time Machine service. Delete the backup destination from the list in the Time Machine preference pane on the client, then add it back.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    Can you mount the disk image on the client?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.


    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.


    Click the Clear Display icon in the toolbar. Then try the action that you're having trouble with again. Select any messages that appear in the Console window. Copy them to the Clipboard (command-C). Paste into a reply to this message (command-V).

    When posting a log extract, be selective. In most cases, a few dozen lines are more than enough.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

    Important: Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    I can only see files as far back as yesterday.


    Does the timeline in the time-travel view show grayed-out snapshots older than that?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    It sounds like the backup is damaged, but hold down the option key and select Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu. Select the backup. Any difference?


    If not, try repairing the disk image in Disk Utility. Do this only if you have at least one other backup of all your data that is in perfect working order. If you don't have such a backup, make one.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,375 points)

    It appears that I wasn't properly connected in some way to the backup drive.


    That means you were only seeing local snapshots.


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