How do I backup ALL files from time machine backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by malana, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. malana macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2009
    How can I extract all the files from a Time Machine backup harddrive?

    Before starting: Permissions are not important in this case, it is only a work folder I am talking about. I did a clean install on my MBP, without the help of my time machine backup HD.

    There are about 15 different folders with different dates on my external Time Machine HD. I want to copy the latest versions of my files as well as the deleted ones - that don't show up in the latest date folder. (Let's say I had folder A in my work folder, deleted it 2 years ago, now I want to backup the folder A. If I just drag and drop the latest time machine folder onto my backup HD, folder A won't be there).
    I could start copying the first folder onto a new HD, then copy the second folder into the first and modify the older files and so on. But there has to be another way.

    I didn't assign the time machine HD to my new system (yet). Since I don't trust time machine that much, I'd like to save my files before doing that. Do I see all the files (even the deleted ones) in the last folder in the time machine application, when I launch it? Can I copy it from there onto a new HD?

    If anyone has an idea - thank you!

    ..and yes, I did search and read threads for hours - but I couldn't find a solution for my problem :)
  2. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004

    I use SuperDuper to make an exact copy of my TimeMachine drive. Would something like that work fine for your purpose? Or do you really, really not want all the extra hard links?
  3. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Another vote for cloning.

    In my case I used Carbon Copy Cloner when I needed to make a complete backup of my Time Machine drive with the history intact.

    I don't think there is a practical way to merge all your history into a single set.
  4. malana thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Thank you for your answers.

    and this is what I am about! I could achieve this with my tedious coyping algorithm - but there has to be a way.

    I try to save this folder onto dds tape. but saving the whole time machine harddrive is not necessary in my opinion.
  5. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Why? Why does it have to be a convenient way to do that? It doesn't sound like something that many people would want to do.

    Sure, it would be possible to write a script for merging if you know what you're doing, but there are so many situations that need to be accounted for.
    How should modified files be handled? Every version? Or only the latest? And files that have been deleted and reappears?

    Converting existing backups to other schemes is rather weird.

    A compromise would be to clone the drive with for example CCC to a disk image and back that one up. You would then get the entire history with a minimum of work and occupying a minimum amount of space.

    Not a great idea, sure, but neither is your merging ;)
  6. malana thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Lol, that's true. Yes, like written above I only want to have the latest versions of my files - and the deleted ones as well :)

    You got a point with the deleted ones that reappear. I didn't think about them. The good thing is: every way is more convenient then mine.

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