Copying from 'Latest' - Time Machine - Some files are lost?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by gwelmarten, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    England!
    #1
    Hi

    I recently had to have a HDD replacement for my Storage drive in my iMac (the mechanical one - I have a SSD and a mechanical one).

    Because I just use this drive for storage and it doesn't have an OS on it, neither the Time Machine program nor the Recovery Boot Utility will work. The only way I could think to do it was by copying the entire contents of the backup drive in /Backups.backupdb/Samuel's iMac/Latest/Macintosh HD 2/ to the drive Macintosh HD 2 after I formatted it. The first time I tried, after about an hour, it stopped and asked for admin rights for some reason. I stopped the copy, re-formatted the drive and opened Finder as root, and tried again. When it had finished copying the files 6 hours later, (770gb) it the size of the folder in the backups.backupdb was about 0.1gb > than the one on the HDD, and had about 400 more files. Does mean that not all of my content was copied across, and that something was corrupted or failed? Or is there a different file system or something, that lead to some files been irrelevant or what? Am I ok, or do I need to re-copy some how? Any ideas on a better way of copying all that data from a Time Machine backup?

    Thanks for the advice,

    Sam
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    In the core of a black hole.
    #2
    Do you still have both the folders, if so you can compare the folders with certain Apps.

    SynchronizePro is a paid App but I think you can use it to compare the folders but not the actual syncing if it is a trail so you can see what was not copied.

    I think there's also an App called "sync folders free" which might do the same, but I never really used it since I use Carbon Copy Cloner now, CCC would be another option but is complicated for this case.

    Look here for SFF


    CCC is free up until 3.4.7
     
  3. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    England!
    #3
    Yes, I still have both folders. I might try this. Is it normal behaviour to loose some files? I guess some of them will be hidden internal stuff that wasn't necessary maybe? Or backup references?

    What do you mean by the above quoted?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    If you had used CarbonCopyCloner to create your backups instead of Time Machine, you wouldn't be having the problems you're experiencing now. It's that simple.

    CCC creates fully-bootable, instantly-mountable backups in POFF (plain old finder format). Just connect the backup, it mounts automatically, copy one file back where you need or re-clone the entire drive.

    Yours is but one more post (of many) here on the MR forums from folks who thought they could rely on T.M, and then -- in a "moment of need" -- discovered that they cannot!
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    #5
    Let me make sure I understand what you have done. So you now have the SSD in the iMac and the OS is on there and that works... yes?

    Now you replaced the HDD and want to get data from a Time Machine backup onto that new HDD?

    First off, you can't manually copy files from inside a TM backup like you tried to do because those files you saw are not what they appear to be. Many of those "files" you saw are hard links to the real files stored elsewhere in the backup image. You can read a bit about it here.

    You need to restore Time Machine backup data through the Time Machine interface (the one with the stars and all on the screen). So launch Time Machine from /Applications then navigate to the folder/drive you want to restore. Then right click and pick Restore folder-name to... and select that. You will get a pop up asking where you want to restore to. Just select your new HDD as the restore destination and TM will put the folder from the backup on the new HDD.

    I'm hoping you have not jacked up the TM backup by manually poking around in there. :(

    ----------

    You should be on commission with the CCC dev. :p
     
  6. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
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    England!
    #6
    Hi there

    Yes, you seem to have got the gist of the situation. The problem with what you are suggesting is that when I open the Time Machine utility (I have to open using the 'Browse other Backup Disks' option) and navigate to the Macintosh HD 2 volume, there is nothing there - it is showing the live state of that drive. Because, as far as it is concerned, there is no backup of that drive on the restored system, I can not go back in time for that drive in the time machine utility as I would be able to normally.

    Is this what you were suggesting? ) In the sidebar of the time machine utility, I can select the backup drive (as if I were looking for past revisions of that drive). I could then navigate to backups.db/Latest/Macintosh HD 2/ and restore all those files to the physical drive on my computer using the method you explained ("right click and pick Restore folder-name to")? How is that different to just copying the contents of the drive from the latest folder in Finder? It seems to do roughly the same thing - my aperture library seems at first glance to be intact having done it that way.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain,

    Sam
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    One is using the Time Machine interface and the other is accessing the files directly in the Finder. Poking around using the Finder directly I believe is what got your in this trouble to begin with because of the way Time Machines handles file with the hard links I mentioned. You need to do restores through the Time Machine interface if you can.
     
  8. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 17, 2011
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    England!
    #8
    Yes, but you are accessing the same folder via the same method (albeit a finder window in the time machine utility). Isn't it true that when you do a restore from time machine utility that it just does a normal finder copy anyway?

    ----------

    Does anybody know of another piece of software that lets me extract the content from my time machine backup safely?
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #9
    No, it is not the same thing. Go back and read the link in my first post where it explains about hard links. If you just open it (the TM backup) in Finder and drag things out you may (depending on the date of the files) be just dragging out a hard link to the file and not the file itself. This is why you need to access the data through the Time Machine interface and after you have found the data you want to click restore. This is at the root of your entire problem.
     
  10. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    England!
    #10
    Does anybody know of another piece of software that will compare two folders (a folder within a sparsebundle and a HDD)?
     
  11. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular

    mtngoatjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #11
    Who's fault is this?

    So, is this a problem with Time Machine or not? It seems like the OP isn't listening to Weaselboy, but it also seems like Time Machine should be able to restore the HD without issue.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #12
    If I may weigh in... I don't think there is a problem with Time Machine (TM), but I do think this illustrates a weakness in the way it works. By OP manually moving files around inside a TM backup I think he did not get all his data like he wanted and in the process may have borked the TM backup set.

    When used as designed TM does work quite well and can easily restore an entire disk with no problems. "As designed" is the key here. TM is not designed so one can just go inside a backup set manually from the Finder and start dragging files around. In OP's defense, what Apple should have done is have a big warning pop up when you try to access a TM backup from the Finder telling you you are about to really screw things up.

    If you have been reading the forums for a while, OP is not the first to make this mistake. Apple could surely improve the way this works to make it less error prone.
     

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