11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 22, 2011 5:18 PM by asiliram
Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

Hi there,


I have an iMac that was running Snow Leopard with a Time Machine backup on a 1TB Iomega USB2 Ext HDD.


I just Erased and Installed Lion onto the iMac, expecting to use Migration Assistant to restore my files. However, Migration Assistant does not recognise my Time Machine Ext HDD, only the iMac's HDD, and it keeps searching for other computers.


The Ext HDD is there in Finder, and I can copy files to and from it... it just won't appear in Migration Assistant. I've patched Lion to 10.7.1, but that doesn't help.


I've read elsewhere about a Snow Leopard patch, but that doesn't seem to apply for Ext HDDs, only for backups from other computers.


I can copy things over manually, but was hoping to avoid it. Besdies taking a while, I'm not entirely sure how to restore all my iPhone data to iTunes and the like.


Any one got any advice?



21.5" 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 4 GB 1067MHz DDR3
  • Pagaille Level 1 (5 points)

    Any error message in the Console ? Was your TM disk directly connected to your iMac while running SL or was it hooked as a NAS ?

  • Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Pagaille,


    No error messages. At least, not in Finder. I wasn't running Console. Time Machine Ext HDD connected directly to my iMac via one of the rear USB ports.


    Below is a screenshot of Migration Assistant. It just keeps looking for other computers. If I click Continue it only finds the iMac's HDD. The Time Machine Ext HDD is DEFINITELY connected and turned on. I've checked. Many times.

    Screen Shot 2011-08-28 at 10.05.47 PM.png

  • Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

    Not sure if this is significant, but the Time Machine Ext HDD icon is yellow with the USB symbol on it, not green with the Time Machine symbol. It *was* green when I was using it in Snow Leopard, so I'm not sure why it no longer is. Possibly this explains why the system doesn't recognise the drive as a Time Machine—it sees it only as a generic USB Ext HDD.


    So then the question becomes, why does Lion not recognise a previously functioning Time Machine Backup as a Time Machine Backup?

  • Pagaille Level 1 (5 points)

    It seems that


    in order for Mac OS X to realize that it's a Time Machine drive, there should be an invisible "flag file" (0 bytes in size) at the root of the drive, called com.apple.timemachine.supported - if this file is missing for some reason, Migration Assistant won't pick it up.


    not sure that it's true but worth trying.

  • Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

    Hmm, ok. Any idea on where to get that file or how to create it?



  • Pagaille Level 1 (5 points)

    You could simpy create an empty text file (textedit > format convert to text file) and save it as .com.apple.timemachine.supported (don't forget the leading dot, it makes the file being hidden). or use Terminal and enter the following command : sudo touch /Volumes/Name_of_your_drive/.com.apple.timemachine.supported

  • Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

    No joy, unfortunately. Time Machine disk still not showing up. Is there no one else having this issue?

  • ben2k11 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having exactly the same problem as you, neither at start up of my new macbook pro or in migration assistant is my external HDD, which is my Time Machine drive, visible.

  • DButdorf Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same problem. I was using the older version of firewire to connect my Time Machine drive to my 10.6 mac.  I don't have a new version of the cord or converter plug, so I'm trying to connect the Time Machine drive via USB to the new machine.  Plain old not showing up.  Really, nothing is showing up in the window, even though I have lots of drives all over the place on the network.  Oof...

  • Apostropher Royal Level 1 (0 points)

    Hmm, unfortunately I'm not in a position to help any more. I gave up on trying to find an answer and just copied over everything manually. Mystifying.

  • asiliram Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also having the same issue. External HDD via USB port with a Time Machine backup on it. It is not recognized in Migration Assistant. Really anoying!


    Hope somebody finds the answer to this. I have tried anything I could think of.