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Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
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456
I have these old Time Machine backups from 2013 and 2014 (around 5 or 6 in total).

Recently I noticed that I couldn't access some folders. They're marked as aliases, but when I click them, it says it can't find the original.

I moved these backups to another drive a while ago. And now I am wondering if it could be that those aliases are just aliases of the older backups (basically Time Machine not backing up things that are backed up in older backups already) and that these aliases' paths got lost when I moved the backups to another drive.

Do you think this is possible? Is that how Time Machine worked back in 2013-2014? When I look at the earliest backup from 2013, it seems like everything is there.

It would really suck if some stuff was missing. But I can't find out I guess, because folders kept their names, but maybe there was additional stuff in them in the younger backups and now I can't verify that. But then again, why would the whole thing use Aliases …
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,276
2,383
Totally possible, if some information was not copied from the backup. Time Machine uses aliases a LOT to link in something backed up earlier. This is why it’s so dangerous to try to “Manually prune” a Time Machine backup via the Finder - if you’ve backed up something large that you don’t need, you can remove it but should only do so using the UI. If you go in and start deleting folders… something’s going to be in those folders, that could easily prevent a restore from working.
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,732
456
Totally possible, if some information was not copied from the backup. Time Machine uses aliases a LOT to link in something backed up earlier. This is why it’s so dangerous to try to “Manually prune” a Time Machine backup via the Finder - if you’ve backed up something large that you don’t need, you can remove it but should only do so using the UI. If you go in and start deleting folders… something’s going to be in those folders, that could easily prevent a restore from working.

I think so too. That's calming me, I thought I had lost some stuff. I haven't moved anything inside the backups, just the entire backups themselves. I hope everything is fine …
 

Bigwaff

Contributor
Sep 20, 2013
1,456
954
Probably more than you ever wanted to know about aliases, links and Time Machine -
 
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