8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 27, 2012 8:43 AM by wheresdavid
wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)

I was experieincing the spinning beach ball of death so I replaced my hard drive with a new one.  I am running mountain lion (10.8.2) and the new Hard drive has two partions - one for "start up" which I was able to use migration assisant to move over my applications from my time machine.  The problem I am having is that I can't figure out how to get my user account data transferred to my the data partition (journal extended) on my new hard drive.


When I enter time machine I can't "see" my last back updates before I changed hard drives. 


I put my old hard drive in a case and it "isn't working" so I can't just copy data from my old hard drive.  It did work initially but now it doesn't mount and I can't see it in disk utility.


Any Ideas on how I can get my user data off my time machine back up?


I forgot to mention that when I go into my external hard drive containing my time machine via finder and click on the folder with my user data I'm not able to open the various files - they have a red "-" and it says, The folder “Desktop” can’t be opened because you don’t have permission to see its contents.  In disk utility I can't run repair disk permision on my time machine drive because it is grayed out.



Thanks - Dave

  • wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)


  • John Galt Level 8 (45,943 points)

    It seems you are overthinking this. Why don't you simply boot OS X Recovery (OS X Internet Recovery to be precise, given an empty volume) and restore from your Time Machine backup?


    From what I understand, you installed OS X on the new HD and are now trying to restore using "Enter Time Machine". It may not recognize your existing backups as valid since the new HD would want to use a new Time Machine backup, which does not exist.


    If your computer does not have the EFI firmware permitting it to boot OS X Recovery, or if it was too old for that firmware upgrade, you should also be able to boot from the Time Machine backup volume. It was not always possible to boot a Time Machine volume; I don't know when Apple added that ability. Try it anyway.

  • wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)

    I did boot from internet recovery but I was only able to load os x 10.8 and nothing else - I think this was because my old hard drive only had one partion and my new hard drive has two partions.

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,943 points)

    I see. Don't do that. I do not believe using Migration Assistant is a valid method of accomplishing what you intend.


    Furthermore, unless you are using the "Enter Time Machine" feature, you really shouldn't pick and choose what you want to copy from a Time Machine backup... "no user serviceable parts inside". You can certainly find and individual files and folders in the Finder, but you will run into the permissions problems you describle. I would not attempt to circumvent those protections.


    As I understand Time Machine, you must either restore a volume from a Time Machine backup, thereby erasing the volume first, or restore individual files and folders by using "Enter Time Machine" when the backup has already been properly designated for the source.


    Since your replacement hard disk - the source, now - is technically new, the latter is not an option. It's as if you were trying to restore to a different computer. This can't be done.

  • wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)

    are you saying that I can't "move" my files from my time machine back up to the data partition on my new hard drive?

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,943 points)

    You may do that only by restoring the entire TM backup, or by choosing files / folders you want to restore in Time Machine's interface. Moving files as you are accustomed to in the Finder may result in something I cannot predict.


    This does not apply to files you manually copy to or from a Time Machine's volume by using the Finder, exclusive of Time Machine's normal backup folders. You can do that.


    For graduate level research into Time Machine's inner workings, you need to avail yourself of Apple Support Communities contributor Pondini's Time Machine FAQ.


    I know enough to be able to use Time Machine, but not enough to describe why you're supposed to use it that way. I'm sure he can.

  • wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the link to the TM "tutorial" - I'll check it out and see if there is something in there that tells me how to access the files that are in/on time machine.


    I'm able to get my old hard drive to mount, I can see that it is mounted but I can't see any folders. When I use finder and get info I see that the "data" is still on the drive, I just can't access it because I can't see the folders.

  • wheresdavid Level 1 (0 points)

    I was finally able to get my "old" hard drive to work (the cable that came with the case was bad) and I was then able to copy the data from it to my the partition on my new hard drive.  My problem has been resolved.