Help. Time machine overwrote all the backups.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by globalhawk, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. globalhawk macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2011
    Hi, guys.

    I got myself a serious problem here.
    Last night I used time machine to backup the whole disk to a usb disk (backup file is about 300G). Then I did a clean installation of Lion. I connected the usb disk back to mac and went out. After I came back, what I can find from the usb disk is only a 'small' backup (90G). The old one is gone. All my data are gone now. Can anybody help? The disk is 500G so the old backup should not be deleted anyway.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    How much space did you have free on the disk?

    TM will delete the prior back up when it requires the space even if its the only one. Personally I hold off using TM after an OS upgrade for this reason. I want to freeze my TM backup incase I want to go back.

    In all likelihood if TM deleted the old one, its gone forever
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008

    You have to understand that you deleted everything. That's what a clean install is, essentially blanking everything out. So in essence you had a new machine. So apparently time machine decided to back up your new, "clean" installation and figured you didn't want the other stuff. Next time do a regular install.

    Get yourself some software that can attempt data recovery; meanwhile, don't use that external lest more stuff gets overwritten.

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