4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 3, 2010 3:57 AM by thomas_r.
stephanieagr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Want to use Time Machine to restore but it warns that if I go for restore, whole HD will be erased and tells me to backup what I want to keep. I can't backup because the computer can't start and open and I use backup disk to boot it. Also such complete deletion of files I've created since last backup is just not good...

The big question :
Is there any way to to get from files saved in my backup (on external drive) only files and folders I need without erasing the while Mac HD? If yes, how to do this?

Any help please?

I have MacBookPro OSX 10.6

Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Graham K. Rogers Level 5 Level 5 (5,430 points)
    If I understand your situation properly, you need to start up your computer in Target mode (start with the T key pressed) when connected to another Mac using a Firewire connector.

    If you can start with the external disk, however, that should allow you access to the accounts/folders/files that you need on the computer. If there are duplicates on the HD, create a spare folder then sort out what you want when you finally restore the disk.
  • stephanieagr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No, I have no any Macs around.

    External disk - I have only the system backup disk that came with the laptop but I was told that when boot from it, I don't have access to the HD of the laptop except using command line with Terminal and I'm not competent in this area...

    What else you may suggest, please?
  • Graham K. Rogers Level 5 Level 5 (5,430 points)
    OK. I think we have picked this up in the other thread now.

    The information you have is right. The installation disk will not allow access for examining data. The only other way would be via single-user mode and if you are not happy with Terminal, stay away from that.

    From what you now write, I guess you do not have a Time Machine backup: if you did you would have a hard disk.

    The only other thing I can suggest, is to try and find a tame Mac user in your area. I see form your information that you are a student, is there no one you know (even though it is summer there) who has a Mac?Best to cover these points in that other thread now.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,540 points)
    Unfortunately, if you can't boot from that computer anymore and don't have other machines around to assist, you're in a bit of a bind. If you know Unix, you could boot from the Mac OS X install disk, choose Terminal from the Utilities menu after the language screen, and then use the command line to copy files from the damaged internal drive to an external drive. I'm guessing, though, that this isn't an option for you.

    First, have you tried [repairing the hard drive with Disk Utility|http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1417]? If not, try that, and maybe you'll be able to get booted long enough to make a backup of those vital files and then reinstall the system.

    If repairs don't work, I'd advise you to go buy another external hard drive. Boot from the install disk and install the system on that hard drive. Then boot from there (hold down the option key at startup to select which hard drive to boot from) and try to copy the files you need. Then get the internal erased and back into operation.