13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2009 8:08 AM by Pondini
Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
Everything I've read about using TM to restore things has either involved doing a complete restore, or restoring specific files you already knew you wanted to restore.

What if I just want to go back to a previous point in time - the time of a specific backup? In other words, I want to restore files I deleted since that time, remove new files I've created since then, and restore previous versions of files I've modified. I don't want to specify which files - I may not even know which files.

Is there a way to do this?

Also, is there a way to have it tell you which files have been added/deleted/modified since a specific backup?

Thanks.

Dan

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 2 MakBooks actually, and various Windows machines
  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (40,330 points)
    I would assume you'd either select the Hard Drive or a particular user's folder and then go back to where you want.

    There is a program called Time Tracker (I think) that will show what was backed up and when.
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    Everything I've read about using TM to restore things has either involved doing a complete restore, or restoring specific files you already knew you wanted to restore.

    What if I just want to go back to a previous point in time - the time of a specific backup? In other words, I want to restore files I deleted since that time, remove new files I've created since then, and restore previous versions of files I've modified. I don't want to specify which files - I may not even know which files.

    Is there a way to do this?

    the way to do this is to perform a full system restore to that previous time point. doing it by hand is totally unfeasible even with the help of Time Tracker which Barney mentioned.

    Also, is there a way to have it tell you which files have been added/deleted/modified since a specific backup?

    Thanks.

    Dan
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    What if I just want to go back to a previous point in time - the time of a specific backup? In other words, I want to restore files I deleted since that time, remove new files I've created since then, and restore previous versions of files I've modified. I don't want to specify which files - I may not even know which files.


    As V.K. says, the restore option lets you pick which backup you want to restore from. (See +Recovering your entire system+ in Mac Help). And it restores everything exactly as it appeared as of that backup.

    Also, is there a way to have it tell you which files have been added/deleted/modified since a specific backup?


    Sort of. The TimeTracker app mentioned by Barney (from www.charlessoft.com).
    It shows most of the files saved by TM for each backup (excluding some hidden/system files, etc.).

    But it doesn't distinguish between new and updated files/folders, and does not show what's been deleted, either from your HD or what TM's deleted from it's backup copies.
  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    OK, that's what I thought.

    Just one comment on this, to nobody in particular: It seems to me if something's called "Time Machine", wouldn't you think you could open it, select a point in time, and go there? Isn't that what time machines are supposed to do? I understand that this can be accomplished in, what to me is a rather round-about way, but I kind of figured it worked differently by the name. But then again, I just switched from the Windows world, so what do I know? ;p

    Thanks for the help!

    Dan
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    Just one comment on this, to nobody in particular: It seems to me if something's called "Time Machine", wouldn't you think you could open it, select a point in time, and go there?

    Yes. Just +Enter TIme Machine+. You'll see a timeline on the right, and a "cascade" of Finder-like folders in the center, with "Now" being frontmost.

    Here's some more scoop: http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#tutorial=leopardtimemachine

    Also: http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2007/10/mac-os-x-10-5.ars/14
  • V.K. Level 9 Level 9 (56,130 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    OK, that's what I thought.

    Just one comment on this, to nobody in particular: It seems to me if something's called "Time Machine", wouldn't you think you could open it, select a point in time, and go there?

    this is exactly how Time Machine works. start TM and scroll back to a time you need and you'll see what was on your computer at that time.

    you can restore individual files and folders from there but you were asking about restoring the whole system.
  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (40,330 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:

    Just one comment on this, to nobody in particular: It seems to me if something's called "Time Machine", wouldn't you think you could open it, select a point in time, and go there?

    There are many files open on the machine running all the processes that make everything happen. Since you can't replace a file that is open, there would be no way to get the system files back to some particular time unless you booted from another disk.
  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    I think you've all missed my point (or perhaps I wasn't clear). I have no problem if the computer has to be rebooted in order to go back in time. My point is, when you're inside of Time Machine, where's the button or menu item for going back to this point in time? It doesn't exist. In fact, you have to figure out how to do this on your own. That's what I'm complaining about.

    How hard would it have been for them to put a button or menu item that, when clicked, tells you to insert the system install disc, then starts the process for you? I mean, come on, it's a TIME MACHINE. Give me a "go back to here" button. Don't make me search the help or Internet. Don't make me have to learn that I have to get it up to 88 MPH. ;p Just do it.

    That's all I'm saying.

    Dan
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    I think you've all missed my point (or perhaps I wasn't clear). I have no problem if the computer has to be rebooted in order to go back in time. My point is, when you're inside of Time Machine, where's the button or menu item for going back to this point in time?

    I don't suppose you went to Mac Help and searched for Recover, or +Time Machine.+
    The simple, step-by-step instructions are in the section titled +Recovering your entire system+.

    If you still think it's insufficient, tell Apple all about it: http://www.apple.com/feedback/
  • Jeremy P Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    I think you've all missed my point


    I think perhaps you have missed the point here. If you want to +look at+ the system at a previous point in time you can do that within the Time Machine browser. If you want to replace your entire existing system with the system as it was at a previous point in time then clearly you can't do that with the present system running and so the first step is necessarily to boot from the instal disk. After that it is basically as you want it to be.

    Your original post talked about files. It may be worth noting that if all you want to do is replace your user data with what existed at a previous point in time, you don't need to do a system restore, just go into the Time Machine browser, navigate to your user folder at the date you want, and click Restore.
  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Pondini wrote:
    Dan Thomas (DAGWare) wrote:
    I think you've all missed my point (or perhaps I wasn't clear). I have no problem if the computer has to be rebooted in order to go back in time. My point is, when you're inside of Time Machine, where's the button or menu item for going back to this point in time?

    I don't suppose you went to Mac Help and searched for Recover, or +Time Machine.+
    The simple, step-by-step instructions are in the section titled +Recovering your entire system+.


    How does that answer my question, which you quoted? All I'm saying is, the way to do this should be more obvious that having to search help.

    And yes, you're correct that complaining about it here is probably not as valuable as telling Apple directly. But this is more fun! ;p

    Dan

    PS: I didn't respond sooner, because I had to return my new MacBook Pro to Apple because of a faulty display.
  • Dan Thomas (DAGWare) Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Jeremy P wrote:

    Your original post talked about files. It may be worth noting that if all you want to do is replace your user data with what existed at a previous point in time, you don't need to do a system restore, just go into the Time Machine browser, navigate to your user folder at the date you want, and click Restore.


    Thank you! This is actually the answer to my original question. I appreciate it very much.

    Dan
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    This is what misled us all, from your first post:

    I don't want to specify which files - I may not even know which files.


    Thus we all assumed you wanted to restore your entire system.