Cannot read a Time machine HD on PC HELP....

Discussion in 'macOS' started by NStocks, May 19, 2010.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I need to open some documents on a PC from an external hard drive that I use for Time Machine. I've downloaded Macdrive and I can now see the external HDD but when I look in the backups, the files are just blank files ?

    I really need to open the documents folder but it's not there !!!!! HELP

    Thank You
     

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  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    PCs can't read Time Machine backups. You need a Mac.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    Your documents etc are stored in your user's folder so open users, select your user and open documents folder
     
  4. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Done that... see attatched as it shows the path.

    My Mac is not with me, it's been sent of for reapir as it's becoming slow, crashing and exceeding 105 degrees celcius. It was collected from me today...

    The vista PC shows that the external HDD has a lot of content ( 300GB of backups )

    Thank You
     

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  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=693953

    Seems to be that I was wrong :( They are UNIX so Windows can't read them
     
  6. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

    I have the same story as the poster in the link you gave me... A student who needs the files to send for an exhibition...

    You would think that I can read them, in fact I remember a while ago I was able to read them :S... Would I be able to read them if I installed LINUX ?
     
  7. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    If I installed LINUX on a pc, would that be able to read the Time Machine backups ?

    Thank You
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    In theory, yes. If you have some spare time, try it, Linux is free anyway. If any of your friends have Mac, maybe you could borrow his to get your files off the HD? Even Apple store might be able to do that if you ask them
     
  9. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Maybe is a better answer. You'd need to install a program to read HFS+ formatted drives, which does not come standard with most Linux distros.

    The other (more technical) issue is that Time Machine uses hard links to do its magic, which is why you are having your trouble in Windows. Linux understands hard links of files, but Apple broke a long-standing Unix rule when they made Time Machine and allowed hard linking of directories (note: this is not a bad thing--it's the only way Time Machine could work the way it does). What this means is that you will likely have just as much trouble reading the disk in Linux as you did in Windows, because Linux doesn't understand hard linked directories.

    Basically, you are out of luck unless someone develops a Time Machine reader for Windows or Linux. The only other thing you could try is doing a search for the file (not the directory) that you want, but this will likely take a very long time, and might crash the search, depending on how it deals with the links.

    Better option would be to find a Mac and read the file there. And then stop using Time Machine for backups, unless you have no plans to try to access your backup on a non-mac.
     
  10. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Hmm, I guess I'm out of luck then. The few people I know that own Mac's live about 4 hours away :( . It's a real shame that nobody has been able to created a driver/application to support this really... I'm not really sure how I can search for the file, let alone have access to opening it.

    So if I want the backup my files but also read them on a PC, what software should I use that works similar to Time Machine ? ( I really like how automatic and intergrated TM is ! ) I could use online backup but I don't have much money and not really sure how much/easy this is.

    Thank You
     
  11. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I suggest SuperDuper.

    It doesn't do the same thing - it creates a bootable clone of your disk. So you only have the files that were on your computer as of the most recent backup - there are no historical files (e.g., that document you deleted 6 months ago that you just discovered you need). But it works great, and supports scheduling.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    AFAIK, there is no "Time Machine for Windows". Online backups costs as low as 5$ per month for unlimited
     
  13. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

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    #13
    If you don't mind an extra external drive--do both--Super Duper and Time Machine--covers both bootable current files and historical files.
     
  14. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Yeah I was just thinking about that... I have a 500GB Iomega external that has 100GB free space... I could use that HD for Super Duper then buy a 1TB for Time Machine...

    It's extremley rare for me to use windows other than for printing at Uni but at times like this, you really wish you had gone OTT with backups.

    Thank You
     
  15. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Well I've tried linux and a few drivers but nothing seems to work... I think I will give up trying.... after 4 constant hours I'm not getting anywhere.

    For future references, if my external HD was formatted to a different format ( not sure what ) would the PC be abble to read the files or is purley due to UNIX that I can't read the files ?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  16. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #16
    FWIW, Ubuntu can read HFS+ no problem... you just have to force mount the drive (which requires some terminal work). The drive won't come up automatically, but if you find its address and force it to mount, you can read/write just fine.

    Blew me away too.
     
  17. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I've tried some terminal work but it doesn't work... The external HDD shows up in " My Computer " and I can see the backups but they are just blank documents...

    Do you know what the codes/lines were that you used in terminal for it to work ?

    Greatly appreciated !
     
  18. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Sounds like you're talking about Windows... there is no "My Computer" in Linux. I know it works in Ubuntu (as far as reading HFS+ goes, no clue about TimeMachine).

    This article describes how to get it working in Debian... Ubuntu is based in Debian, so the Terminal work is the same.

    If you got your TM drive to mount in Ubuntu and still no dice, I can't really help you much. It sounded like you were having trouble mounting the drive at all in Linux...

    Also, to answer your question about formatting, IIRC TimeMachine requires HFS+, so it's a moot point. Even if it does work on something else (say, FAT32, read/write by all OSs) you still have the hardlink directory problem...
     
  19. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    The drive mounted in linux ( as in it showed up on the desktop and I can see it's contents ) but when I navigate to Users> Documents etc. what should be a folder is a blank file that is a read-only. When I click on it, it's just a blank page...

    I will check out Debian... does this run similar to Ubuntu, that is you can run it from a disk ?

    Thank You
     
  20. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Debian doesn't seem to work either, even after I looked into the terminal work... The External HDD appears on the desktop, but like in windows and ubuntu the files are just blank.

    Not sure if it's worth mentioning but the HD i use for time machine is formatted to HFSJ ( not sure what that is, nor if it is the best format... )

    Thank You
     
  21. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Journaled is screwy when trying to view with other OS's, but that's not your problem.

    Only solution is another Mac, as others have said.
     
  22. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Yep, I accept that now... nothing is working.

    I suppose it doesn't matter what format I have the Time Machine HD set to as nothing else can read the files anyway ( but just out of interest what it the most common format for the Time machine backup up drive? )

    Thanks
     
  23. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #23
    Time Machine can only backup to HFS+ drives (not sure if Journaling makes a difference). Thus, there is no way to use Time Machine but avoid this problem.

    jW
     
  24. coolbits macrumors member

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    Nov 1, 2006
    #24
    Just check in the first backup (oldest).
    First backup has all files... all others are only hardlinks to first backup unles the file is changed or added later and gets copied then.
     

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