7 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2012 11:45 AM by Richard E. Cooke
stevenfromyokohama Level 1 Level 1



I reinstalled Lion then my data from a Time Machine backup yesterday.


When I reinstalled lion I erased the disk along with the one partion I had, so the HD is 1TB now. (It had been a 800/200GB split.)


After I reinstalled from TM, the disk size was 650GB. The data that had been on the partion had not been copied.


I entered TM, selected the file that had been on the partion and TM copied the 90GB file onto the 1TB drive. Now I can't find this data.


Under both USERS and UNTITLED I can see my home folder is 650GB with small amounts taken up for Aplication and the like; however, under the computer as a whole (Steven's iMac, in my case, underwhich all the files are stored) I see 760GB used. Even when I show the hidden files I can not find the folder that was copied but the space is being used.


Is there a way to show the file which had been on the partition before I reinstalled my computer? Is there a way to delete it? Is it too late to put the partion back so TM can put it where it belongs? Do I need to put the partion back in order for TM to put the files on my HD where I can see them?


Thank you,


All of my software is up to date.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    I don't think you did the re-install right. 


    Unplug the external drive with your TM backup on it - and it has to be external.


    You want to boot from an OSX Lion install DVD.  Or the Recovery partition.  I prefer making an install DVD myself - doing the next step from a "hidden" partition on the drive I'm about to wipe clean makes my skin crawl. 


    Then you re-partion your "Macintosh HD" to 1 partition of type "MAC OS Extended (journaled)" as shown in the photo below.



    Re-install Lion.  When you get to the "Welcome" screen add a new user DIFFERENT from what you used when you made the TM backup - this is VERY important.  Lets say you use "BOB"


    After you log in as "BOB" check for updates.  Reboot.  Check for updates AGAIN.  Reboot.  Repeat until there are no more updates.


    NOW connect your TM drive.  Don't let TM use it for backup!.


    In the Utilities folder run "Migration Assistant".  Tell it you want to bring in everyting on the TM backup. (user, data, programs).


    This will restore your original user name et al. 


    When its done, log-off "Bob" and back in as yourself.  Make sure everything is OK.


    Delete "bob".


    Re-enable TM.




    Note: I have found occaisional problems when I let the system import "everything".  I have sometimes had to start over, and when I get to the import stage, un-check one item and try again.  Usually "programs" or "other data"

  • stevenfromyokohama Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you for the response.


    You see, I'd rather NOT have a partition. I'd rather just put the file that had been on the previous partion on the desktop.


    At present, the data is somewhere on my system taking up space. My question is where? How do I find it? I'd rather not re-instal again if I can help it.

  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    A properly configured OS X Lion drive will always have two partitions.  One is your "Macintosh HD", the other (not very large) one is hidden and contains OS X Lion recovery and management utilities.  In your post you mentioned TWO partitons, I assumed the second one was something you created - since the hidden one is not 200G.


    According to this:



    TM puts recovered deleted files back where they were deleted from.


    If the file was recovered and you did not note the location it went to, you can use Spotlight to search for it.

  • stevenfromyokohama Level 1 Level 1



    I've done a thourough search using Spotlight and by opeing the home folders and looking inside, even at the hidden folders. The data is there but not visible and not searchable by Spotlight.


    If TM put it back in the same place, it's a mystery where that can be as the partition that held it is long gone.

  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    I need more details if you want help:

    - WHERE was it origianlly?

    - How big was it?

    - Was it a special or system file?  Or someting you created?

    - What was its original path?

    - You can do a more detailed search from terminal app using the "find" command ( use "man find" to get the manual)


    Well, hang on, even with these answers I don't know if i can help you.  You need Apple support for TM - or post in the TM support group.  This is a tricky questions since the partition it used to be in is now gone.  I don't know how TM will deal with that. 


    It might have just ignored your recovery request when it could not find the partition to restore it to.

  • stevenfromyokohama Level 1 Level 1

    The main HD was dividied -- by me -- into two units: 800GB and 200GB.

    The files were on the 200GB partition.

    It was just a downloads file (which accumulated 90GB of stuff).


    The path was (name of that directory) (downloads)


    I just looked at the Terminal, maybe it's because it's nearing 3am here, but it looks daunting. A good idea, though.


    TM forum, eh. Hadn't thought about that either.



  • Richard E. Cooke Level 2 Level 2

    Heh.  Terminal is kinda like DOS - only a whole lot more powerful!  (and older).


    The FIND command is very powerful.  You do case-sensitive searches by default and you have to tell it where to start the search.


    For example, I have a CPU speed calculating utility in my home folder named "pystone.py".  To search for that, knowing its in my home foder I open a Terminal window and enter:


    find ~ -name "pystone.py"


    If I forgot what I called it, I might try listing everything that ends ".py":


    find ~ -name "*.py"


    If I wasn't sure if one or more letters were capitals, then I would use:


    find ~ -iname "*.py"


    And if I wasn't sure where it was on my hard drive I would tell find to start in the root (top-most) folder:


    find / -iname "*.py"