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James Meister Level 1 (0 points)
My daughter's iBook went down and is in the shop for repair and we want to access her Time Machine back up from another computer. Does anyone know if there is any way to do that?

MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, PowerBook G4, iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.4), Also running Adobe CS3 and Microsoft Office 2008
  • Steve Holton Level 4 (1,025 points)
    Time Machine won't do it as far as I can tell.

    However, you can access the backups through Finder.
    Warning - you *do not* want to do anything but copy out files - no deletes, moves, renames, no nuttin... Doing so will screw up the backups for any future Time Machine use!

    If the backups are on an external disk, then just navigate to the folder Backups.backupdb/yourMachineName there you will find each backup by date/time with the contents of the system at that time.

    If the backups are to a Time Capsule you need to mount the backups - the sparsebundle file - first then examine the folder Backups.backupdb/yourMachineName.

    Time Machine does have a 'Browse Other Time Machine Disks' option, but as far a I can exercise it it only looks at other disks with backups for the same machine.

    Again _only copy_ out files. Normally one should only use Time Machine, but here you can't - so be cautious.
  • V.K. Level 9 (56,110 points)
    yes, you can do it using TM interface. plug in the drive in the other computer, control-click on TM in the dock and select "browse other TM disks". This will let you browse that TM disk as you usually would when using TM normally and restore what you want where you want to. If you try to restore something you'll be prompted for a restore location. there could be some permissions issues and TM might not let you look in some directories.
  • Steve Holton Level 4 (1,025 points)
    I stand corrected. I was sure I had tried it and it didn't work, but I just did and it does......sorry about that.
  • James Meister Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks...that looks like it will do it.
  • cirr Level 1 (0 points)
    I've gotten this far, but I would like to retrieve my contacts from my Backed up address book from a new computer. Any idea of how i might do this?

    I tried having address book open as my top window then ctrl clicking Time Machine and selecting 'browse other TM disks.' I selected the TM disk, but there were no address books behind the 'Now' address book.

    Any ideas? Thanks so much!
  • nap05 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi I read your answer on accessing time machine from another computer. I transfered all my data from my old computer to new computer using migration assist from time machine as it would not work from fire wire or wireless for some reason. trouble now is i can't see back up info anywhere nor can i find it on time machine from new computer?
    PLEASEEEEE Any help???
  • Lupolux Level 1 (0 points)
    I had a similar problem to the last user: after adding new MacBook and copying all info over from old Powerbook, the backup via Time Machine onto the Time Capsule disk does not work anymore.

    I get the following error message: "Time Machine Error: The backup disk image could not be created."

    Any ideas ?
  • hjnelson13 Level 1 (0 points)
    I read your instructions and tried them unsuccessfully. I purchased new macbook and used data migration to transfer all data. I then restored my old macbook and sold to family member. I realized that migration did transfer all data except not all my photos. Do I have to have the old computer or should I not be able to access via time machine somehow and copy the file/photos to my new macbook. Please help if you can.
  • VA2020 Level 4 (3,450 points)
    Connect the backup drive and ctrl-click on the TM icon on the Dock. Select +Browse Other Time Machine Disks+. Select your old backup to view and restore as needed.
  • DrBigWillie Level 1 (0 points)
    Time Capsule can be used to back up more than one computer right??? It worked for me new iMac, but when I went to back my MacBook Pro up, it says, "backup disk image was not created." what's up with that??? Please help!
  • bayres Level 1 (5 points)
    I've just solved this problem on mu Time Capsule. See this thread, it might help:
  • David Theriault Level 1 (5 points)

    just a small correction or to cater for different UI setups: instead of control-click it is Alt-click to get the 'browse other Time Machine disks' prompt.

  • robbo™ Level 1 (0 points)

    It was defintely ctrl+click for me (using OSX 10.7.1)

  • Mista2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Brilliant! I just needed to restore iTunes and iPhoto databases on my new mac, I wanted to start everything else from scratch to eliminate years of crud from my home drive. TimeMachine rocks!!

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