** HELP ** Unable to restore system from Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by generationxwing, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. generationxwing macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #1
    Hey,

    So my iMac died, and Apple replaced it with a new one. I kept regular Time Machine backups of the entire system, just in case something like this happened.

    However, when I go to use the Migration Assistant, it doesn't show my iMac there, just my MacBook.

    When I connect to the TC in the Finder, I see both systems. When I double click the MacBook, the disk image mounts without a hassle. However when I double click the old iMac, all I get is a message saying it can't connect, there are no mountable file systems.

    I open the package contents, and I see a folder called "Bands", a couple .plist files and a couple of other random ones. However, for the life of my I can't restore my iMac.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? I bought the Time Capsule specifically for this, and now it's failed me.

    Help! Thank you!!

    EDIT: Even just before my old iMac died, I was able to mount the backup and view individual folders.
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    If you want to completely restore your previous system and data, you need to boot up off your OS-X install DVD and choose "restore from Time Machine backup" from the tools menu [which is available after language selection].

    If you're doing a clean install, then you can migrate from your Time Machine backup during the setup following installation.

    If you're using the migration assistant after the install, you don't have to actually mount the TC drive containing the Time Machine backup in the Finder. The migration assistant should see it over the network, then mount it (the TC drive) and the sparsebundle image as needed.

    I hope one of these scenarios covers what you need.

    edit: You mentioned mounting the backup and viewing folders from your Time Machine backup. Although you can do this, it's not the recommended method of retrieving backups. You should use Time Machine itself (the "zooming star field" application). It should be in your dock.
     
  3. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #3
    I tried doing the restore when I turned on the new system for the first time, it was a no-go. Nothing happened, I had to power down the system (and I waited over an hour). However, it would let me restore my MacBook, which doesn't help me at all.

    It looks like the sparsebundle image is broken, and I'm having a hell of a time finding out how to fix it. Anyone have any ideas??
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    Depending on how large your restore is, it could easily take an hour. Several hours wouldn't be out of line. Did it just appear hung or did it just look like it was taking too long?

    You mentioned mounting it OK in the Finder, so the sparsebundle directory structure probably is ok (though, Disk Utility can repair it, if necessary - a VERY long process).
     
  5. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #5
    My MacBook mounts OK, the iMac that I'm trying to restore to my new iMac doesn't mount. At all.
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    The old iMac or the Time Machine sparse.bundle for the old iMac stored on the TC drive? :confused:
     
  7. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #7
    The TM sparsebundle file for my old iMac will not mount, at all. The sparsebundle for my current MacBook will mount. I really, really need the SB file for my old iMac to mount so I can get at the files within it, preferably to restore the entire system.
     
  8. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #8
    So the TC mounts fine. That's good, at least.

    What machine are you using to mount it? (still a but fuzzy on your setup):confused:
     
  9. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #9
    The Time Capsule mounts perfectly. If I double-click the backup of my MacBook, it mounts OK. However, double clicking the backup of my old iMac doesn't mount, it gives me an error message that there are no mountable file systems.
     
  10. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #10
    But, which machine are you using to mount it?

    In any case, you can try and repair it with Disk Utility. Mount the TC drive. Now, drag the sparse.bundle file to the device list [on the left in Disk Utility]. You should be able to select the sparse.bundle [in the list], then select the First Aid tab and click on "Repair Disk". It could take a long time to complete, but hopefully this will help.
     
  11. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #11
    The image won't mount on either my MacBook or the iMac. I'll try the disk utility tonight after work.

    Thanks!
     
  12. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #12
    Alright, I'm doing a verify/repair now. God knows how long it'll take, but cross your fingers for me!

    My only other option is taking the iMac back to the Apple store and putting the old HDD in this one, which I don't want to do since I like having 2x the storage (320gig vs 160gig).
     
  13. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #13
    No, you wouldn't want to swap drives. Hopefully, the repair will fix whatever's ailing the sparse.bundle.

    Worse case, you could have them connect the old drive via USB and migrate from that (even better, if the old iMac can startup, you could use Firewire Target Disk mode - they would prefer that to opening the old iMac). If your new iMac is the same model as your old one, you could simply do a Restore using Disk Utility (it will work going from a smaller > larger drive).
     
  14. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #14
    Well, the repair failed.

    However, I did notice in the Disk Utility window underneath the sparse bundle image it showed the backup of the old iMac. So, I connected to it from the Finder. Success! I ran the Migration Assistant and so far, so good. It's transferring documents over now.

    I upgraded the iMac to Snow Leopard, so maybe that had something to do with it. I wouldn't think so, since my MacBook running SL wouldn't connect either. But whatever, so far so good.

    If this works, all I have to do is update MAC addresses so Time Machine will just add to the current backups.

    Cross your fingers for me!!
     
  15. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #15
    Hummmm - Well, I'm glad the migration's working [so far], but there must still be something wrong with the sparse.bundle.

    My suggestion would be to leave the old sparse.bundle as is, and start a new one (fresh Time Machine backup). You can still browse the old one with Time Machine, if need be (as long as whatever's corrupted in it doesn't interfere). If you have access to Disk Warrior, it might be able to fix it - but personally, I would be leery of it.

    edit: I'm crossing my fingers! ;)
     
  16. generationxwing thread starter macrumors 6502

    generationxwing

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    #16
    My only concern with a new backup is how much disk space it will take up. I only have the 500gig Time Capsule.

    What I might do is go back through the backups and copy the most important stuff to an external HDD (where I already have copies of super important stuff) and just wipe the TC drive entirely and start fresh.

    We'll see!
     
  17. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #17
    Yea, the space could be a problem. Sounds like you have a good handle on the situation, though. Good luck!

    btw: You're probably already on top of this, but make sure you have the latest TC firmware. IIRC, there were some corruption issues early on.
     

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