9 Replies Latest reply: May 10, 2014 5:54 AM by iPodista
stevederry Level 1 (0 points)

After I replaced my Mac's system drive, Time Machine won't go back prior to the change, even though the data's still in the Backups.backupdb directory.


Here's my system:

MacPro 2x2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 6GB RAM

320 GB internal drive = "MacHD" = system drive

1 TB internal drive = "HD1" = new internal drive that will replace MacHD

2 TB external drive = "BKUP_TM" = Time Machine drive


Here's what I did:

1. Install and format HD1 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

2. Clone MacHD to HD1 using SuperDuper, with "copy all files" and "make bootable" options enabled

3. Remove MacHD and reboot computer with HD1 as new system drive

4. Mount BKUP_TM

5. Allow Time Machine software run overnight to do whatever it wants (it recognized the BKUP_TM drive immediately and without my input)

6. Launch Time Machine software after it completes its activity. This is where I noticed that I could only look back in time 1 day to the point of step 5 above.

7. At the finder level, open the BKUP_TM drive and notice that:

A. The data is all held in one directory (as expected)

B. The data still goes back to August 2012 (as expected)


Here's my overall question:

How do I get Time Machine to access the data correctly?


If I have to, I could reinstall the MacHD drive, erase HD1 and start over, but I'm concerned that even that would not get me back to being able to access the full depth of my Time Machine data in the Backups.backupdb directory.


Thanks, in advance, for the help,


Mac Pro (Early 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)


    Check out Pondini's TM help:



  • stevederry Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. That site looks like tons of help about how I *should* have done things (I'm going to refer to it for future TM issues), but I don't see anything that addresses how I should proceed from my current situation. Any further thoughts from anyone will be appreciated.

  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)

    Do you have all your files on your new internal drive? (HD1)

  • stevederry Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes. The good news is all my data is safe on:

    - the original location of MacHD (currently not installed in the Mac)

    - the new location of HD1

    - the TM drive of BKUP_TM


    Might it be a good idea for me to do this?

    1. Manually delete any directories on BKUP_TM that are after the change from MacHD to HD1

    2. Reinstall MacHD and remove HD1

    3. Boot from MacHD

    4. Mount BKUP_TM so that it will see MacHD and reassociate itself with MacHD

    5. Reinstall HD1 and reformat it

    6. Remove MacHD

    7. Boot from OS DVD

    8. Use Time Machine to restore from backup (on BKUP_TM) or use Migration Assistant to populate HD1.



    This idea has flaws (would step 4 work??) and is a lot of steps and time, but it *might* get me back to a usable TM history.


    I should note this: NO work has been done on this computer since I first introduced HD1. This means that I will lose NO data if I go back to MacHD as my system drive and use it as the new starting point.


    That's just my idea. All ideas are welcome.

  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)

    steve,  Read this as well as peruse the Pondini info previously sent. I am not a TM expert (I don't even play one on TV) and would not want to guess with your data and make an error that could cause you problems. As opposed to guessing the proceedure I would suggest to follow any of the aforementioned, as TM is an entity unto itself. I hope this helps

  • stevederry Level 1 (0 points)

    I appreciate your help and your attention to keeping my data secure.


    Deeper reading of the Pondini site has led me to this course of action:

    1. Update OS from 10.6.8 to 10.8.3 (required in order to use the tmutil command that is part of the next step)

    2. Follow the Pondini instructions here for "reconnecting to your backups"

    3. (hopefully) live happily ever after


    I was hoping to not update the OS (I still use one or two appsthat require Rosetta) but maybe this isthe kick in the pants I need to find other solutions for those apps.


    If this new plan goes poorly, I still have my original MacHD on the shelf and can go back to it.


    I'll update this post later to include the final outcome.

  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)


    If you have all the data on your internal drive that is on your TM B/U you can erase the the B/U drive and start as a new TM b/u.


    Also check out this link.






  • stevederry Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the help. You pointing me to the Pondini site was the thing that led to my solution. I checked my Apr 26, 2013 11:08 AM post as the "this solved my question" item because it holds the steps that were the end solution. I would not have gotten there without your help, though.


    And... if I'd done things "your way" from the start, I wouldn't have had any problems along the way.

  • iPodista Level 3 (550 points)

    "Replaced Hard drive in my Macbook Pro but Time Machine archive is now not available" - Thank you very much for posting this. I just followed the ifixit steps to swapping my MBP HDD with an SSD using CCC to clone the old HDD drive to the new SSD whilst I was doing a battery change. All went to plan until once booted up, I checked my Time Machine only to see all my history had vanished. Luckily before dispair dropped in, the above google question took me straight to this Apple Discussion and with a link to the very clearly written Pondini site and a bit of simple keyboard action in Terminal, reconnected my new drive back to the time machine archive created by my old drive. I will make sure this post is brought to the attention if ifixit as if had it been included, the resulting sudden increase in heart rate would have been avoided