HELP : Restoring my time machine backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by appleocd, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. appleocd macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    Hi guys....newbie here and I was hoping some of you could bail me out of the mess I am in.
    In short...I messed up the time machine backup on my Seagate external hd.

    To begin with, I had partitioned the external hd to two drives....the first one held the clone of my mac (cloned via Super Duper) and the second partition held my time machine backups.

    I bought a refurb 13 MBP yesterday (after selling my aged macbook)...I installed Win 7 on it and decided that one partition of the external hd could be used for Windows. So I formatted the partition containing the clone (despite warnings from Windows) to exFAT. Everything seemed fine in Windows.

    I boot into SL to retrieve data from my TM backup and to my horror...SL says that it cannot read the TM partition!! In Disk Utility, I do not see any options to repair the drive and in fact, the TM partition shows up as an NTFS partition in Disk Utility. I am not even able to mount the TM partition!!!

    In windows 7, I am able to navigate the top level folders in my TM backup but it shows no data. I guess bootcamp has trouble reading HFS partitions sized 350GB.

    I know I screwed up bad but I am hoping I will be able to recover the data.
    For one thing, the TM partition still contains the data but it shows up as an unmountable NTFS partition in Disk Utility.

    Can someone please help me out here?
  2. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I am not too sure why SL is not able to read the partition. Maybe you could try out macdrive for windows. I have personally not tried it but it should be able to read TM backups from Win 7. From there, you can at least copy over your files. Let me know how it goes.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    It is hard to tell what has happened based on your description
    According to what you have written, you did not touch the TM partition
    Yet it has gone from HFS+ to NTFS, which makes no sense

    The only suggestion I can give is you might want to try DiskWarrior
  4. appleocd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010
    It just shows up as an un-mountable NTFS drive in SL. SL throws an error that it can't read the said volume.

    i m not a hard core techie but I understand that when you clone using Super Duper, it prepares the disk in a MBR format. So when I removed the clone partition in Windows, something happened which corrupted the partition table of the disk...corrupted in such a way that SL has problems recognizing the TM partition. In winodws, the TM partition shows up as an HFS partition.
    So I guess if I am able to write into the partition table of the disk, maybe this issue will be resolved. The problem is..I don'[t know how to do it (assuming my half baked theory is correct)

    As macjunkie has suggested, I will try out Macdrive...

    Till then, if anybody has any other idea , please let me know.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Can someone please help me out here?"


    Stop fooling with the TM partition. Your post is but one more in the continuing saga of posters to this board who discover (after backing up with Time Machine) that they cannot access their TM backups. The original post is a perfect example of TM's fatal flaw and why users should be advised away from TM to a real backup solution such as SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner.

    You said that in addition to TM, you also used SuperDuper to clone your [old] internal hard drive as well, is this correct?

    So, it seems to me you should have this:
    1. The new (refurbished) MBP without any of your old files on it
    2. An external drive with a SuperDuper clone of your _old_ MacBook on it.

    Are you able to plug in the external drive with the SD cloned parition, and have the clone partition mount on your desktop?

    Yes or no?

    If the answer is yes, do this:

    Open "Migration Assistant" (in the Utilities folder).

    Enter your password, and then choose your SD backup drive as the source from which you wish to "migrate" your files from.

    Pay attention and set MA up so that it imports only as much as you need. EXAMPLE: MA will import your older applications, but you probably don't want to do that if you have newer copies of those same applications already on the new MBP (such as iPhoto, etc.).

    Migration Assitant will then import your old accounts and data to your new Mac.

    Granted, the import will be only as "up-to-date" as the last time you ran SuperDuper and cloned the old drive. You might lose a few things, such as your most recent emails, etc.

    BUT - you will get most everything else. It will get you running again, whereas Time Machine cannot.

    There may be some folders and files not moved by Migration Assistant, but you can do a manual "look-through" of the old drive vis-a-vis the MBP, and manually move files/folders if you need to.

    In the future, I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you DO NOT use Time Machine any more - you have already seen its major weakness, eh?

    Instead, use either SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner. CCC in particular is VERY much improved lately.
  6. appleocd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2010

    You see, when I was in Windows, I plugged in the external drive. I realized I needed extra storage. So what do I do : two partitions on my ext. hd: one containing the clone and the other containing TM. So I figure I did not need both and removed the partition containing the clone! I formatted it to exFAT.
    After that, I log into SL to run migration assistant but then SL says that it can't read the TM partition!!
    I open Disk Utility and see that somehow SL says that the TM partition is in fact a NTFS partition.I am really not sure how it happened!!!! I can only guess that Windows corrupted the partition table.

    Thanks for your suggestion..will help me the next time around.

    Any other ideas are welcome. I guess I am gonna sit through the day and try to recover the files ....

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