6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 7, 2010 8:10 AM by Pondini
SnakeDog Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
So I'm wondering if anyone else came up with this issue:
My computer crashed and so I restored my MacBook from Time machine. I've never done this before, but figured it would put everything back to how it was.

It did on my hard drive, but my Time machine external drive's backups all got wiped! I had about 1.5 years of backups and they are all gone!

I realize that hopefully the backup that I restored to should have everything I need, but I never thought to backup my backup drive before using it to restore.


Seems like a really dumb glitch in the software.

Apple Macbook - Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Also Windows 7 32bit installed via bootcamp
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    SnakeDog wrote:
    . . .
    It did on my hard drive, but my Time machine external drive's backups all got wiped! I had about 1.5 years of backups and they are all gone!


    Doubtful. There's at least one left; Time Machine will never delete your only remaining backup.

    As noted at the bottom of #14 of Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), everything you restored is considered as changed, so must be backed-up again: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1338

    That, of course, requires a lot of space (the amount of data on the drive plus 20% for workspace).

    See #A1 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum). Navigate in the widget to the backup in question, and it will document what happened in detail.
  • SnakeDog Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, that's true, there is one left. It's just that the rest are gone.

    And yes, I know about the full backup required.
  • sgginc Level 3 Level 3 (665 points)
    I plugged a new HD in once and Time Machine proceeded to wipe all my old backups leaving only a few to back it up.

    I was not warned of the impending deletions as the option in the TM Pref pane is to notify AFTER the deletions … Too late.

    Should be notified BEFORE.

    Thanks ... Ken
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    sgginc wrote:
    I plugged a new HD in once and Time Machine proceeded to wipe all my old backups leaving only a few to back it up.

    I was not warned of the impending deletions as the option in the TM Pref pane is to notify AFTER the deletions … Too late.

    Should be notified BEFORE.


    That's how it works in Leopard, but not Snow Leopard.

    Many folks didn't understand the Leopard notification, and thought they had to erase all their backups or buy a new disk, or just didn't do anything. Many ended up with no backups, or very old ones. Presumably, that's why Apple changed it.

    If you disagree with that, tell Apple about it here: http://www.apple.com/feedback/timemachine.html
  • harryhewitt Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Exactly what happened with me. I was using Snow Leopard, my macbook pro died, I bought a new one and restored from my HD which I had used with TimeMachine to back up to for the past 18 months. it restored brilliantly and I was impressed - passwords etc were all there.
    However, I now see that I have no backups other than the last one before my old mac died. As has been said, that is a serious glitch in the software. At the very least there should be a warning that it is going to do that. And why does it need to do that?
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    harryhewitt wrote:
    Exactly what happened with me. I was using Snow Leopard, my macbook pro died, I bought a new one and restored from my HD which I had used with TimeMachine to back up to for the past 18 months. it restored brilliantly and I was impressed - passwords etc were all there.
    However, I now see that I have no backups other than the last one before my old mac died. As has been said, that is a serious glitch in the software. At the very least there should be a warning that it is going to do that. And why does it need to do that?


    It's a different Mac. Time Machine backs up each Mac (and each drive) separately (all other full system backup apps I've ever seen do, too); if it didn't, those who back up 2 or more to the same place would have a complete and unreliable mess.

    I'd agree that the "Would you like to reuse the backup" prompt you saw on the first backup of the new Mac could be worded better, but it is explained in #B5 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum).