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Question: Older backups on TC is greyed out

I recently backed up on the iMac Sierra latest updates etc.

Verified the last back up now I can only access backups from a month ago.

Yet says the TC hard drive is full.

How can I get into the older backups?

iMac (27-inch, Late 2013), OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)

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Mar 12, 2018 1:26 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

No choices came up at all.


I dis-connected the HD had choice of -- Data then below that Data & the laptop, choose the second data with no luck.


The TC backs up my wife's laptop also she can see all her older backups. My iMac is the issue can only see from 170318, all previous ones are just greyed out with no dates to indicate when I backed up.

I have not changed anything on or around the 170318 with the system accept any Seirra updates that may have come out.

Mar 12, 2018 1:26 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 5:01 PM in response to 59Bob In response to 59Bob

Open the Sparsebundle in Finder and go to earlier dates.


Time Machine is well known for corrupting its own backups. Since Sierra the problem has grown to the point of ridiculous.. we strongly recommend people now use a 3rd party backup software like Carbon Copy Cloner.

Mar 12, 2018 5:01 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 7:30 PM in response to 59Bob In response to 59Bob

It now appears that Time Machine actually deleted all the old backups (because they were likely corrupted) and started again with a new backup on the date of 170318.


Normally, you would see a message like the example below on your Mac when this occurs, but this is not always the case.


User uploaded file


Unfortunately, this type of corruption error is all too common in Sierra and High Sierra, and there is not really anything that you can do to prevent it.


If you want to stay with Time Machine, my recommendation would be to back up to a USB drive that is connected directly to your Mac.

Mar 12, 2018 7:30 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 8:41 PM in response to 59Bob In response to 59Bob

hope that someone else can find a solution.

I am not sure what you are hoping for. We cannot fix your backup.. it is gone. When Time Machine wipes out the old backup it is not sent to trash.. it is deleted. If you stopped immediately at the point of deletion it is possible to recover those files.. (The TC would need to be opened and disk pulled out to do it) not perfectly but at least partially. With much pain.. and expense. But after several weeks of backups over the top of the deleted files that is no longer possible.


If you mean possible to fix Time Machine so it doesn't wipe its own backup.. well Apple seem to be doing precisely nothing.. not even to own up to the problem.


That is why we recommend a 3rd party.. which has never and by design never will wipe its own backup.

Mar 12, 2018 8:41 PM

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Question: Older backups on TC is greyed out