11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2011 7:02 AM by Clintage3
David Perry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have had to rebuild my computer.
So I was going to use the migration assistant to recover all my data apps etc from my time machine backups.
However Migration assistant would not recognise my time machine disk.
I built a basic system and then used time machine to use the disk, which it did.
It also created a new backup for me.
Migration Assistant now sees the time machine disk, but not my previous backups which as clearly visible on the disk.
Is there a way to get the "latest" Alias to point the backup I want to recover from?

Intel 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • 1. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,845 points)
    A place to start:

    See User Tips for Time Machine for help with TM problems. Also you can select Mac Help from the Finder's Help menu and search for "time machine" to locate articles on how to use TM. See also Mac 101- Time Machine.
  • 2. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)
    David Perry wrote:
    Is there a way to get the "latest" Alias to point the backup I want to recover from?


    No, you don't want to muck around with Time Machine internals.

    Time Machine isn't perfect. You will have to reinstall your applications manually. If they are simple applications that reside only in the /Applications folder, you can manually copy them from the old backup. You can also copy everything from your old user account that way.
  • 3. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    David Perry wrote:
    I have had to rebuild my computer.
    So I was going to use the migration assistant to recover all my data apps etc from my time machine backups.
    However Migration assistant would not recognise my time machine disk.
    I built a basic system and then used time machine to use the disk, which it did.
    It also created a new backup for me.


    There's the rub: Migration Assistant (and Setup Assistant) use only the most recent backup; you don't get the choice to use an earlier one.

    Ordinarily, your best bet is to do a full system restore, per #14 in [Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions|http://web.me.com/pondini/Time_Machine/FAQ.html] (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum). There you do get a choice, but it starts by erasing your disk, so you lose everything you put on it.

    Without knowing why the disk wasn't recognized, it's hard to be sure, but I'd recommend Repairing the backup disk, per #A5 in [Time Machine - Troubleshooting|http://web.me.com/pondini/Time_Machine/Troubleshooting.html] (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum).

    If that either finds no problems, or fixes any it does find, starting over with a full restore might be best. If at first you don't see the backups you want in step (g) there, click the "pop-up" menu; there are probably two versions of your Startup drive shown there.

    Depending on why you had to "rebuild" your computer, whatever was wrong may have corrupted some things on your internal HD, and Time Machine may have backed-up the damage, so the restored system may not start, or may kernel panic, or not work well. If that happens, try again, but select an earlier backup, before the problems started.

    If there are things you put on your disk after the rebuild that you need to recover, you should be able to do selective restores from the later backups, via the "Star Wars" display. See #15 in the FAQ.

    One advantage to starting over is that the user accounts will be recognized as the same ones as on your backups. That may not be the case with Migration Assistant, and you may lose permission to files on other disks, including your backups.

    But if you can't or don't want to start over, you should be able to at least view the earlier backups, via the +*Browse ...+* option, per #17 in the FAQ. You may or may not have permission to restore from them.
  • 4. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    David Perry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Great, I saw all my time machine backups, however, Even when I went back to the first one it still failed after about 3 %. It suggested I try again, so I did, same problem. So I guess somewhere in the backups there is a corrupt file.
    I have run the drive using Disk Utility, but it found no errors to fix.
    Fortunately I did a CCloner backup, so I'll try that next.
  • 5. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    David Perry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    More info.
    On backing up my backup directory, after 28.55 Gbs the finder reported could not copy "thumbnail.tif" because is could neither be read or written to, or something like that.

    So why 'o' why can't Apple please have an option to ignore errors, but log them. and continue to do the copies / backups or restores.
    I have spent the best part of 3 hrs copying this disk, and now I have to identify where this file lies, and there are over 3066 of them, however I will not be able to delete or move it as the system will not let me., I can't even change the permissions through the finder interface to enable me to do that.

    So it looks like I am going to have to rely on by CCCloner backup.

    This also explains that when I do the time machine restore, its this file that causes it to fail is at around 3% and about 30 Gbs installed. It is one of the thumbnail files used by DVD Studio Pro. Its not even a system file.
    Please Apple make a fix for us, I have wasted approximately 3 working days on this, and still have another 2 working days to restore from the CCCloner (if it works) The archive is 871 Gbs in size, so I am hoping that it will fit my partition and not complain.
  • 6. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    David Perry wrote:
    . . .
    So it looks like I am going to have to rely on by CCCloner backup.


    Yup. That's one of the reasons many folks keep both: all hardware fails, sooner or later, and no backup app is perfect.

    If your clone is significantly older than your TM backups, you should be able to selectively restore things from recent backups, via the "Star Wars" display.

    Please Apple make a fix for us


    You're not talking to Apple here -- this is a user-to-user forum, and they do not monitor for problems or suggestions. That's what http://www.apple.com/feedback/timemachine.html is for.
  • 7. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    David Perry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, I will post my suggestion on the appropriate forum.
    My CCCloner is the last thing i did before rebuilding the machine (just in case) so hopefully it will restore.
  • 8. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    David Perry wrote:
    . . .
    My CCCloner is the last thing i did before rebuilding the machine (just in case)


    Excellent plan!

    Keep us posted.
  • 9. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    David Perry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Took around 11 hours to restore around 870 Gbs via FireWire 800.
    Booted first time, little slower than normal.
    Ran Disk utility and saw hundreds of ACL issues which have been repaired mainly in the System/Library directories.

    Restarted and running very nicely.
    Recommendation is to do a CCcloner just in case, do not rely on Time machine until it is modified to skip damaged files.!!!
  • 10. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    David Perry wrote:
    Took around 11 hours to restore around 870 Gbs via FireWire 800.


    Great! Glad it's sorted out.

    Recommendation is to do a CCcloner just in case,


    It's always a good idea to keep secondary backups: all hardware fails, sooner or later, and no backup app is perfect.

    do not rely on Time machine until it is modified to skip damaged files.!!!


    Very doubtful; and likely wouldn't have helped in this case anyway. It sounds like the damaged file(s) were system files.
  • 11. Re: Migration Assistant and Time Machine
    Clintage3 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So i'm answering this because every single forum I've looked at about this topic does not have the correct answer. This is why it would be great if Apple would participate in forums.

    If you google the problem: "Time machine backup not showing in migration assistant" or something to that effect, you will find lots of posts of people with this problem.
    -They've completely reformatted/reinstalled MacOSX from the disc, or are trying to migrate to a new Mac.
    -They have a Time Machine backup.
    -They plug in their hard drive that contains their TM backup.
    -They open Migration Assistant.
    -They choose "From Time Machine Back up or other disk".
    -It gives them a screen to choose the location of their Time Machine backup.
    -Even though their external drive containing TM backup is plugged in and mounted properly on the desktop, the only option MA gives them is a drive called: "Macintosh HD ("User's Hard drive") or something like that.
    -User assumes that this is the local hard drive on the computer and wonders why it is not showing the Time Machine external hard drive.

    This is the problem I had. It seems clear that it SHOULD show your TM drive. HERE IS THE ANSWER: THAT IS IN FACT YOUR TIME MACHINE DRIVE EVEN THOUGH IT SAYS MACINTOSH HD.

    No one on any forum that I have found has realized this. Everyone talks about a corrupt TM and having to restore their drive from a TM backup via the utility during the system setup with the OSX disk.
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