How to restore backup without time machine?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by ezwider, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, the other week my internal hard drive crashed after lasting for 5 years, and now its at the point of no return unless I spend hundreds of dollars on data recovery.

    So instead I went to ifixit.com and got a brand spankin new 5400 rpm 320 gb western digital ultra ata drive and after hours of painstaking formatting problems I finally am able to get on the internet and reach you guys.

    Here are my specs

    Powerbook G4 Aluminnum 17"
    1.5 Ghz
    2 Gb Ram
    10.3.3 (As of now)

    Now, I had an external drive that I kept my back ups on daily through use of Time Machine on 10.5.6. My problem now is, I have no idea how to restore my computer and utilize those back ups!!!

    Needless to say I lost my tiger AND leopard disc so I'm left with this crappy 10.3.3 version. If I finally end up restoring my computer using my latest backup, will it install leopard along with all of my information? Or do I need to go and acquire leopard before I can restore my files... :(

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #2
    It won't install Leopard. The files are so scattered across the different backups TM makes, that manually restoring everything will not be easy. Possible, but not easy.

    I'm sure that many of your apps and whatnot will not run on 10.3, so buying Leopard, and then restoring from your TM backup using the Leopard disc, will be your best bet.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #3
    Thanks man :(

    I'll see what I can do. I'll get back to you.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    RE: How to restore backup without time machine?

    "Now, I had an external drive that I kept my back ups on daily through use of Time Machine on 10.5.6. My problem now is, I have no idea how to restore my computer and utilize those back ups!!!
    Needless to say I lost my tiger AND leopard disc so I'm left with this crappy 10.3.3 version. If I finally end up restoring my computer using my latest backup, will it install leopard along with all of my information? Or do I need to go and acquire leopard before I can restore my files..."

    Here's but one more reason why I do not advise anyone to use Time Machine, but instead to use a REAL backup program like SuperDuper.

    Apple had [what they thought to be] a nifty concept for Time Machine: that is, a continuously-running backup drive. But they left out a couple of things:
    1. TM backup drives aren't bootable, and,
    2. No easy way to _restore_ files withOUT Time Machine.

    Also, it seems like an increasing number of folks are having trouble even accessing drives on which TM files reside, due to corruption, etc.

    TM was conceived to be "backup for dummies". But the problem is, that even experienced Mac owners use it, get into trouble, and then can't get things restored, because again, TM does not make restoration easy. It only makes copying files to a TM drive easy, not getting AT THEM.

    Even worse, to quote the reply of r.j.s.:
    "The files are so scattered across the different backups TM makes, that manually restoring everything will not be easy. Possible, but not easy."
    It sound like TM backups are as scatalogically-organized as iTunes libraries. That is to say, they may make sense to the program itself, but not to a user who wishes to access the files directly.

    A _REAL_ backup utility like SuperDuper creates a fully-bootable clone on an external (or second internal) drive. True, it does not run constantly, but you _can_ set it up for timed operations, I believe (although I've never had the need to). With SD, if you have problems with your main drive, you do this:
    1. Connect backup drive
    2. Boot from backup drive
    3. Restore from backup drive.
    And you ALWAYS have a fully-bootable backup close by and ready to go.

    To the original poster:

    If you have a replacement drive going with 10.3.3, first, use software update to upgrade it to 10.3.9 (the last iteration of 10.3.x).

    You don't need to restore any of your System files. You can just use 10.3.9.

    If most of your personal data files were kept within your home folder, you can do this (I've tried it and it works):
    You can REPLACE the existing folders within the home folder with copies from your TM backup drive (again, assuming you can locate them). BE SURE to check to see that the folder on the TM backup (if there is more than one of the same) is the most recent (use "get info").

    WARNING WARNING WARNING:
    You CANNOT simply replace the home folder itself. You MUST only replace what's INSIDE it.

    It will be something of a painstaking process, but so long as the files TM creates on the backup are in "Finder format", you should be able to manually replace your personal data files (and other data files you have created).

    Final tip:
    FORGET about Time Machine in the future.
    You see what kind of trouble it is causing you NOW.

    Instead, download SuperDuper and give it a try. It's shareware but even the un-registered version will let you do a "clone" to a backup drive FOR FREE.

    Once you get used to SuperDuper, you will never mess with TM again.

    Sorry for the long post, but Time Machine is "clunker software" and this isn't the first time that Apple has released something that turned out to be that way.

    - John
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #5
    ^^^ Time Machine is a good backup plan. It does have shortcomings, but it also does things nothing else can.

    Getting to the files and restoring from a complete drive failure is quite easy, providing you haven't lost the Leopard disc.

    SuperDuper is good for cloning, but you can't really go back to a version of a file from say two weeks ago.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #6

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