Help! unable to restore from Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by fatwhy, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. fatwhy macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Here is the situation. I have a Time Machine backup (with encryption) onto an external drive running Lion.

    I was having issues with my iMac (sound no longer works). So I formatted the drive and restored system from an earlier date. Sound still doesn't work.

    Erased drive again and do a fresh install. When machine first boots up Time machine trying to do backup of the system and I stopped it. When I try to restore the files all I see is the new backups, I no longer see the old backup files.

    I know the files are on the drive because drive usage indicated there are 211G being used and the new backups only have a couple gigs of data.

    I have tons of photos and trying the past week trying to recover but no luck.

    So far I been
    1. boot from CD and try to recover from Time Machine (only see the new backup)
    2. boot into recovery and recovery from Time Machine
    3. enabled hidden files

    Thanks any help in advance.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I have tons of photos and trying the past week trying to recover but no luck.
    Thanks any help in advance."

    If you had been using CarbonCopyCloner to create/maintain your backup, you would have been back up and running in a few minutes.

    Time and time again, here on MacRumors, we see postings exactly like the original poster's problem above. That is to say, they cannot get a Time Machine backup to work in a "moment of extreme need".

    Yes, for the end user, TM seems to "make backing up easy" -- just plug in a drive, turn the TM switch "on", and go! So easy!

    The problems arise when the user _tries to get the data back_, again, in a moment of extreme need. Then it ain't so easy.

    I can't offer any suggestions on how to recover a cranky TM backup, because I've never used the app and never will. But I will make a suggestion:

    NEXT TIME, use CarbonCopyCloner to create a backup. It will create a BOOTABLE backup volume with all your files in POFF (plain ol' finder format). Just attach the backup drive, and it will mount in the Finder -- from there you can access any file, just as you would on your main drive. Or, if you wish, you can "re-clone" the entire backup drive back to the internal drive, and it will look "just as it did before". Everything (since your last incremental backup) will be "there", and usable.
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Or, to actually help you instead of ranting nonsensically:

    OP: have you tried manually browsing the backups? As in, simply looking at the contents of the Time Machine drive in the Finder? If so, and the files are not there, they may have been deleted, but software like Data Rescue 3 should be able to recover them still.


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