13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2013 2:25 PM by Linc Davis
David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

I have a Mac backing up to Time Machine on OS X Server (not that I think that's relevant).


I needed to restore some files from January but on entereing TM it only had backups for the last couple of days. The TM volume on the server was nearly full so perhaps that wasn't unexpected. However I have been able to recove the 'lost' files by mounting the sparseimage within which are files going back over a much longer period.


Why was TM on my Mac not 'seeing' all the backed up files more than a couple of days?


I have now moved the TM backup files to a new, larger, volume. TM appears to want to create a new backup and shows "none" under "oldest backup" in the Preferences. How can I force TM to see my original and older backups? I am pointing TM at the correct shared volume and all permissions are set corectly on the server as far as I can tell.



  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    On the server, stop and restart the Time Machine service. Delete the backup destination from the list in the Time Machine preference pane on the client, then add it back.

  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    This doesn't seem to be doing it for me. The Server is 10.6.8 should that matter. When you suggest stoppping and restarting the TM service, I can only do that for the AFP. I assume that's what you mean as I don't have a seperate TM service (maybe that changed in later OS X Servers?).


    On deleting and adding back the drive I want to use (where the old sparseimage is) I end up with both my"oldest" and "latest" backup as "none".




    Message typo was edited by: David Gordon

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    Can you mount the disk image on the client?

  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    I have learned from these pages http://pondini.org/TM/Troubleshooting.html that "none' doesn't mean none until its done! So now I've let TM run it has updated to say my oldest backup is 7 December (which reflects the sparseimage).


    However I now can't "enter" Time Machine to see if everything there looks correct. The volume mounts but I don't go int TM mode. This is also true on the Server where on asking to enter TM it seems to freeze up.


    Slow progress!

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.


    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.


    Click the Clear Display icon in the toolbar. Then try the action that you're having trouble with again. Select any messages that appear in the Console window. Copy them to the Clipboard (command-C). Paste into a reply to this message (command-V).

    When posting a log extract, be selective. In most cases, a few dozen lines are more than enough.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

    Important: Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting.

  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    I've deleted the TM plist and can now enter Time Machine. I'm now back to where I was, I can only see files as far back as yesterday. None of the files from earlier -- which we know are in the sparseimage -- are listed.


    Not sure if the Console will tell us anything now I can enter TM but happy to post if needed.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    I can only see files as far back as yesterday.


    Does the timeline in the time-travel view show grayed-out snapshots older than that?

  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    If the timeline is the dates which run up the right hand side of my screen: I see back to yesterday at 18:41. There are more gray bars but they don't have dates.


    The Desktop window which opens on entering TM likewise goes back to yesteday and behind the last window are more gray blank windows. I don't know if this is normal for a new TM (I can't remmeber) but that's what it looks like to me. Its as if I just started TM for the first time yesterday.


    I know that's not true and I know that the sparseimage contains files back to last year. The question is how to force TM to read all the files on the sparseimage?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    It sounds like the backup is damaged, but hold down the option key and select Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu. Select the backup. Any difference?


    If not, try repairing the disk image in Disk Utility. Do this only if you have at least one other backup of all your data that is in perfect working order. If you don't have such a backup, make one.

  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    Yes, holding down 'option' and browsing to the TM disc has resulted in my Timeline now going back to last December! Thanks.


    I can now browse back and see the files I wanted to restore in the first place (although there is some delay and much hard drive activity from the TM drive -- that may be normal?)


    So the only odd thing now is why are most of the timeline bars and dates in magenta. A few recent dates are gray but mostly they're magenta colour.



  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    This may be the answer to my magenta / purple question...



  • David Gordon Level 1 (115 points)

    Linc if you repost  "hold down the option key and select Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu. Select the backup" again I'll mark it as "This solved my Question".


    It appears that I wasn't properly connected in some way to the backup drive. Browsing to the drive has fixed the connection. I now know that I was seeing local snapshots in TM (coloured gray) going back a day or so. Now I've reestablished the link using your suggestion I can see all my expected backups (coloured "pink").


    Thanks for your help.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,689 points)

    It appears that I wasn't properly connected in some way to the backup drive.


    That means you were only seeing local snapshots.