Previous 1 2 Next 27 Replies Latest reply: Jan 28, 2013 3:22 AM by Hans-Fredrik MG
MoogNinja Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Answer me this; what is the point of a time machine backup, if after you're system is toast your new system won't recognize the old system's time machine backup?  Isn't that the whole point of time machine?

 

I've been dealing with Lion and Mountain Lion bugs for weeks.  I backuped up my system using TM.  I did a clean instal of Lion.  Now I want to add back one thing at a time so as not to confuse the delicate Lion.  This is not possible because:

 

1) the TM backs files on the left menu in finder are all greyed out.  The new computer won't associate with the old computer's backup.  I cannot click on Library or the Home folder.

2) if I got into the external hard drive folder where the backup is (forgot about silly TM) I still can't get into Library because Apple has frustratingly hidden it, and no attempts at unhidding it from a TM archive seem to work. 

 

They have managed to "simplify" everything such as to create a hopeless maze where you can't get to any of your stuff. 

 

Really frustrating. 


OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    MoogNinja wrote:

     

    Answer me this; what is the point of a time machine backup, if after you're system is toast your new system won't recognize the old system's time machine backup?  Isn't that the whole point of time machine?

    Under most circumstances, it will.  

     

    See my reply to your similar post in this thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3996156?tstart=0

     

    1) the TM backs files on the left menu in finder are all greyed out.

    Not sure what you mean by "the TM backs files on the left menu in finder."  Your other post sounds like you mean the "timeline" on the right of the Time Machine browser window, but here you're talking about the left side of the Finder.  Do you mean the Finder sidebar?  Please clarify -- a screenshot would be fine.

     

     

    The new computer won't associate with the old computer's backup.

     

    Above you said you'd erased and reinstalled OSX, but here you say you're on a different computer. Those are very different things.  Again, please clarify.

     

    I cannot click on Library or the Home folder.

    Do you mean, in the Time Machine browser or the Finder?  

     

     

    Combining both of your posts, and making some assumptions, here's what may be going on:

     

    You erased the internal HD.  That means it's treated as a different one for most purposes, including Time Machine, even if it has the same name as before. 

     

    You reinstalled OSX, but did not use Setup Assistant to transfer your stuff when your Mac first restarted afterwards.  That means OSX and Time Machine will continue to treat your backups as if they were made from a different disk.  To see those backups in the Time Machine browser, use the procedure in #E3 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting.

     

    You should be able to force TM to "associate" the old backups with the "new" drive, per the procedure in the pink box of #B6 in the above link. 

     

    Depending on how many user accounts you had before, and in what order they were created, it's possible some of the new account(s) you set up after the reinstall may not have permission to see or restore the files from the corresponding user account on the backups.  It's a slightly different cause, but the same situation as explained in the pink box of Problems after using Migration Assistant.  If so, try different user accounts (create one or more new ones if necessary) to access the backups.

  • The Wine Lover Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This was driving me crazy, too, until I figured a stupid easy way to do it.  Here's my method:

     

    1. Open Terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal)
    2. Copy & Paste this code into Terminal chflags nohidden /****Drag the actual user directory name you need to see the library of from here****/Library

     

    Your code should look something like this: (minus the name of your actual directory)

    kelleys-mbp:~ RWP$ chflags nohidden /Volumes/Time\ Machine/Backups.backupdb/Kelley’s\ MacBook\ Pro/2012-11-05-134903/MBP/Users/RWP/Library

     

    Good luck!

     

    PS - You can also use this method to unhide the /Library directory permanently on your local drive, too!  Just make sure to drag the correct user folder in there.

  • Craig Barnette Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Pondini - first off, thank you for your wealth of knowledge here. I've caught a few of your replies around here this evening while searching for an answer to my issue.

     

    I am trying to help my friend out here...she recently did a fresh install of Lion (10.7) onto a Macbook which was previously running Leopard (10.5.x) and now wishes to restore to a TM backup on the external drive which she used before. However, even during the initial setup assistant screen after installing Lion we are unable to select the TM drive when we select the "Restore from TM Backup". The drive is on and connected via USB, but not showing up as an option.

     

    I connected the drive to another Macbook and verified that it is intact, functioning properly and all of the files are there.

     

    So my questions are 1) how do we get Lion to recognize this drive and 2) can we point it at a specific backup file or is she stuck with the very last backup performed?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Craig

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Craig Barnette wrote:

    . . .

    we are unable to select the TM drive when we select that option. The drive is on and connected via USB, but not showing up as an option.

    Are you sure it doesn't appear?   It's a bit confusing to a lot of folks -- it shows the name of the drive that was backed-up (probably Macintosh HD), not the name of the drive the backups are on.   And it should have a yellow or green icon, as on the first line here:

     

    shapeimage_2.png

     

    I connected the drive to another Macbook and verified that it is intact, functioning properly and all of the files are there.

     

    So my questions are 1) how do we get Lion to recognize this drive

    If it really doesn't show up at all in Setup Assistant, the backups may be damaged.   Try repairing them, per #A5 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.


     

     

    and 2) can we point it at a specific backup file

    No.  Both Setup Assistant and Migration Assistant automatically use the last completed backup.  There's no selection option.   

     

    The only way you can select an earlier backup is with a full system restore, which will put you back on Leopard.   But if all else fails, that may not be such a bad idea  (assuming important things weren't excluded) -- restore to the backup you want, then upgrade to Lion.   See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #14 for the gory details.

     

     

    The only other alternative is to set up a new user account, then use the Time Machine browser (the "Star Wars" display) to restore selected items from the backups.  That's rather tedious and error-prone, so usually a last resort.

  • Craig Barnette Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    All we get is the screen in your image above however there are no disks appearing at all. It just hangs on the little spinning "thinking" wheel underneath the "Select the Source" text.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Be sure the connections are snug and secure -- try a different port and cable if you can.  If you only have one cable, swap ends.  And be sure you selected the right option (not From Another Mac).

     

    But if that doesn't work, try repairing the backups from the other Mac, per my earlier post.

     

    If still no help, consider doing a full system restore.

     

    (It's late here, and I'll be going to bed soon, but will be back online tomorrow.)

  • Craig Barnette Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Yeah I tried using both USB ports on her Macbook and got the same result, but then when I used the same cable into a different Macbook I had no issues accessing the drive thru a finder window and navigating around within the drive. Just not being picked up with the Setup Assitant on her machine for some reason.

     

    I am now home and will not have access to her machine until tomorrow so I will try some of the other suggestions you made. Thanks for the help.

     

    Craig

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Craig Barnette wrote:

     

    Yeah I tried using both USB ports on her Macbook and got the same result, but then when I used the same cable into a different Macbook I had no issues accessing the drive thru a finder window and navigating around within the drive

    It's a long shot, but a plug that works fine in one port may not make good contact in another, so try swapping ends and/or using a different cable.

     

     

    I am now home and will not have access to her machine until tomorrow so I will try some of the other suggestions you made. Thanks for the help.

    Cool.  Keep us posted.

  • verso2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a similar problem with a migration from Snow Leopard on a previous iMac to Mountain Lion on a new iMac.

     

    During the proces I clicked the option in Migration Assistant for Time Machine to Inherit Previous Backups (or whatever the exact wording is). Today, I needed to check a backup from a year ago to find a possibly deleted email.

     

    The FireWire drive the Time Machine backups are on does have all the backups from the previous iMac.

     

    However, when I go the Mail.app and then click Time Machine, all I can access are the backups made from the new iMac. The timeline on the right indicates backups to the old iMac, but TM cannot get at them.

     

    Someone at Apple seems to have completely lost track of what the option Inherit Backups should mean: they need to be usable.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    verso2 wrote:

    . . .

    The FireWire drive the Time Machine backups are on does have all the backups from the previous iMac.

    When you Enter Time Machine from the Finder, can you go back and see other files from the previous backups?   If so, the special handling for Mail and Time Machine isn't working properly.  Several of us have seen and reported that as a bug - - there's been no response yet.  It may be possible to locate and recover the email, but it's quite tedious.

     

    But if you can't see files in the old backups by Entering Time Machine via the Finder , the situation may be different.  It may be a complication of just how you did the migration. Your current user account may not be recognized as being the same as the old one.  Again, there may be a tedious workaround.

     

    Let us know which situation you have, and, if you can recall, whether you transferred your data immediately when your new Mac started up, via the first or third option on this window, or selected "Not Now" and did it later:

     

    shapeimage_4.png

  • verso2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I think it's the special handling for Mail bug.

     

    If I enter Time Machine from the Finder window, I can see and access all TM backups, including those done from my old iMac.

     

    If I enter Time Machine from the Mail window, I can see backups listed in the timeline on the right, but TM will only allow access to those made from the new iMac.

     

    I transfered info "From Another Mac" at the same time as I did the migration from the old iMac, and clicked on the Inherit option.

     

    Thanks for your quick response!

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    verso2 wrote:

     

    I think it's the special handling for Mail bug.

    Yeah, must be.    (The other situation is probably easier to deal with).

     

    You can use Time Machine via the Finder to recover mail, but the problem is, the way it's stored makes it extremely hard to tell what's what.

     

    Messages are stored in the <your home folder>/Library/Mail folder.  Unfortunately, Apple hides the <your home folder>/Library folder by default.  From a Finder window's menubar, hold the Alt/Option key while selecting Go in the menubar, then select the Library entry.  Once that's displayed, the Mail folder is inside it. 

     

    Inside the Mail folder is a series of folders, including several for mailboxes; inside those is another series of folders which, eventually, contain a series of files named <number>.emlx.  There's no easy way to tell what's in each of those messages, or who sent it, when, etc.

     

    If you have the Finder set in List View, you can have it show (via Finder > View > Show View Options), among other things, the Created, Last Modified, and Last Opened dates.  Hopefully, those dates will allow you to at least narrow-down likely suspects.

     

    Select the Mail folder, then Enter Time Machine.  Navigate to a backup that ought to have the message(s) you're looking for, and open the folders in the mailbox you expect to contain them.  Select a suspect and either double-click it or right-click and select Quick Look.  You'll get something like this:

     

    Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 4.30.40 PM.png

     

    If you find the message(s) you want do not use the Restore button to restore it/them to the original mailbox, as that won't update the indexes and they won't appear in the Mail display.

     

    Instead, right-click it/them and select the Restore <items> to.. option, and select a temporary location such as your desktop as the destination.  Once they're placed there, you can Import them into Mail.

     

    To do that, select File > Import Mailboxes from the Mail menubar, select Apple Mail, click Continue, then select the message(s).  That will import them into an Import mailbox, where you can then move them at will.

     

    (Told you it was tedious )

     

     

    EDIT:  if you can't see that screenshot very well, either click it to display it inline, or right-click and select Open Link in another window.

     

    Message was edited by: Pondini

  • Hans-Fredrik MG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi,

    I have a different take on this problem.

    I'm trying to inherit a back up from an external disk. It didn't work with the migration assistant so I tried using tmutil in Terminal. It seems to have worked to some extent as it renamed the the name of the back up (from the old computer to the new one).

    However, Time Michine still couldn't find the disk.

     

    I then followed the steps on http://pondini.org/TM/B6.html to re-install OSX and start all over again.

    The only problem now is that the setup assistant can't find the back up any more.... I guess this is due to my tmutil exercise...

    Please help! How can I make the the back up discoverable again?

    The files are still there on the external disk. It's just that the Setup assistant can't find them.

     

    Many thanks in advance for your response!

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Hans-Fredrik MG wrote:

    . . .

    I'm trying to inherit a back up from an external disk. It didn't work with the migration assistant

    I'm afraid you've left out a lot of detail, that makes it hard to tell just what's been going on. 

     

    You have a new Mac, right? 

     

    And you put your data on it from the backups, right?  Did you use Setup Assistant when the new Mac first started up, or did you create a user account, and use the Migration Assistant app later?  

     

    If you did either of those, did you transfer Computer Settings?

     

    Did you then start a backup of the new Mac to the external HD?  If so, did you get the "inherit" prompt?

     

    Or, why do you think the "inherit" didn't work?

     

     

    so I tried using tmutil in Terminal. It seems to have worked to some extent as it renamed the the name of the back up (from the old computer to the new one).

    What, exactly, did you do?  If you didn't transfer as above, and/or didn't get the "inherit" prompt when you started the first backup of the new Mac, you should have done both "inheritbackup" and "associatedisk" per the blue and pink boxes in #B6.

     

     

    However, Time Michine still couldn't find the disk.

    What do you mean?  When you were trying to back up the new Mac to the old backups?   Or when you Enter Time Machine on the new Mac?  Or ?

     

     

     

    I then followed the steps on http://pondini.org/TM/B6.html to re-install OSX and start all over again.

    Huh?  There's nothing there about reinstalling OSX and starting over.  Are you saying you started from the Recovery HD, used Disk Utility to erase the disk, and the Reinstall Mac OS X option to download and install a fresh version of OSX?  Why?

     

     

     

    The only problem now is that the setup assistant can't find the back up any more.... I guess this is due to my tmutil exercise...

    Assuming you erased the disk and reinstalled OSX, and selected From Another Disk on this window:

     

    shapeimage_4.png

     

    Does it never find the backup disk at all, or does it find it, but doesn't show the contents you expect?

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