How do I restore specific files with Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by c073186, May 9, 2008.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
  2. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #2
    I'm sure you have but in case anyone else hasn't. I have done it 2 ways.

    1. Open the folder/location currently where you think or knew the files was, then click the "Time Machine" icon it 'SHOULD' take you to that exact same location in Time Machine.

    2. Another way is to just open Time Machine via icon and go through the finder to find the file you want.

    I'm sure there are other ways, but those are the 2 ways I've retrieved specific files.

    Good luck all.
     
  3. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #3
    I was going to start a new thread, then saw this. I had a HECK of a time all day yesterday and this morning with restoring my home directory.

    I have it set up now, but maybe someone can tell me what I did wrong to save a headache next time.

    Short story: MacBook acting up, is sluggish, plus I tried some terminal hacks I think are making the system unstable. I want to do Erase and Install, then re-import my home directory from my Time Capsule.

    OK, so I called Apple and asked about the Migration Assistant and if that would work during set up. They said that was only for bring all the files over (including OS and apps and all users). Later learned they were wrong about that.

    So after the erase and install, I went ahead and created a new user with the same user name and password as I had on my MacBook before. I figured I could just open up the Users folder, open Time Machine and then click on my old user directory and hit Restore.

    Well, I did that and I got an error message saying "Mac OS X requires *nameofmydirectory*"

    So I called Apple and they told me to restore it to a different location, which I did, but it still wouldn't let me copy it from that location to the users folder. So, finally (after AppleCare was closed), I decided to highlight all of the folders inside the user folder and hit restore. It let me do that after entering a password (although an error message for each folder still came up).

    I imagine it wasn't liking me doing this since I was replacing files that were currently being used in the Library folder?

    Because I noticed some settings transfered over (mail, iCal settings). Some others didn't like my dock configuration, and my iWork registration.

    I have to say I called Apple ahead of time and during all this and the only solution I ended up with was one I created by myself. They are normally a GREAT help, but yesterday I just got rep after rep who were not at all helpful (one I rushed off the phone after he swore up and down I didn't have AppleCare but I do, and another asked if I had the 13 or 16" MacBook. WTF).

    So I know next time, should I have just used the migration assistant? Would that have allowed me to just copy over my user directory? And also, the whole point of this was to start with a nice, clean system, but with it sounding like only some of my settings carried over, do you think I've set my system up for instability in that I did this in such a cock-eyed way?
     
  4. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #4
    Well see here is my situation: my computer has been freezing up lately and after several calls to Apple, we think it must be a bad user setting or something because I have done several Erase and Installs, but the problem persists (and we did hardware checks). However I have always restored everything thru Time Machine, so the bad settings come back. Well now I want to Erase and Install but bring back ONLY files and not the user directory stuff and see if that helps.
     
  5. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #5
    One thing also you can do is just open up the folder on the time machine drive, find the files you want, copy and paste.

    I did that as well (forgot to mention that method) and pulled docs, iphoto library, etc from the tm back up folder and then erased the drive and started over.

    If I remember correctly (I'm not on my mac atm) there will be several folders, you need to find the one that has all the files you could want to restore.
     
  6. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    #6
    I noticed one other strange thing after restoring my home directory piece-meal style after an erase and install. Spotlight this morning simply wouldn't work. I would type in an exact file name and it wouldn't show up in spotlight. However, I could see the file plain as day in the Finder. Strangely, Spotlight could find the file in Time Machine.

    I was about to call Apple when I tried searching for the file again and it showed up in less than a second!

    All this strange behavior makes me worry that my system is starting off in a corrupt state.
     
  7. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #7
    Spotlight does not start working immediately. It basically goes through all of your files and look through them and record all the word etc in them. This step takes quite a bit of time if you bring a lot of files at once right after reinstallation. Once the indexing is done, it will find files quickly. It seems what you are observing is normal.
     
  8. tobster100 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    new york
    #8
    restoring with time machine

    I hope im not thread jumping or anything like that, i starting reading this thread and wanted to see if there is another way to restore, i want to completely format and only restore data from time machine, pictures ,e-mails, word docs, i already did a complete restore and whatever is slowing my mac must also be on the backup, is there a way to do this?
     

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