Currently Being ModeratedFeb 25, 2013 10:40 AM (in response to smnolmagic)
Can anyone help me restore my entire system (MacBook Pro, os x 10.5.8) from a set date in time using Time Machine.
See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #14 for all the gory details.
The second store said I needed to restore my Mac with a snapshot from my HD, which seems like the place I'm restoring to, not restoring from.
There may be a misunderstanding there -- effective with Lion, Time Machine does make "Local snapshots" on the internal HD of laptop Macs, so they're available when your regular TM backups aren't. But you can't do a full restore from them.
And since you're still on Leopard, the only way to have backups on your internal HD would be if you'd created a separate partition on it and directed TM to back up there, instead of to your Time Capsule.
Since Lion has been out for about 18 months, the AppleStore folks may have forgotten (or never known) the differences from Leopard and Snow Leopard.
I want to first ensure TM is backing up to the Time Capsule and not to my Mac before I do a complete restore.
When I go into TM I see the dates on the right hand side, but none are pink as some tutorials read they should be? Is that a new addition with later operating systems.
Yes, that's a change effective with Lion. The "Local Snapshots" are shown in white, backups on an external HD, Time Capsule, etc., in pink. But on Leopard, all you'll see is white. See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #15A for details.
From what I'm reading I can restore the computer to what it looked like in a point in time when I know everything looked and synched correctly, a few days before the problem without losing too much data?
Yes, per #14 in the FAQ as above. Once that's done, you can then selectively restore more-current items from subsequent backups, if you want.
However, note that, on Leopard, doing a full system restore makes your internal HD look like it's an entirely different disk to OSX and Time Machine. Once you're running on the restored version, you'll need the procedure in #E3 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting to see the backups from the "old" disk.
Also, when you do the next backup, it will be a full one -- everything you just put back on the disk will be backed-up in full. That will take a long time and probably a lot of space on the TM drive.