Huge Mess; Need Advice

Laisha

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
133
25
Far northern Maine.
I have a gigantic problem and need some feedback on my plan to fix it.

First let me inform you that my hard drive died just before Christmas.

Carbonite restored all of my files — EVERY SINGLE ONE of them — in iCloud and then put aliases to them on my desktop. DOCUMENTS was totally empty, and the Container folder from /Library/Container/ is gone.

(I know that most of my apps — or parts of them — used to be stored there, so now I can't figure out where I'm supposed to put things.)

I temporarily put everything on my desktop in a file called DESKTOP, intending to try to sort things out, but frankly I've been so depressed/angry/trying to avoid it all that it hasn't been done, and I keep having or finding other important projects to do.

Questions:

1. If I have no /Library/Container/ then just where have all my apps gone?

2. I've been thinking about manually backing up everything on my computer, wiping this disk out, and reinstalling the OS and then my apps. Is that something that might help?

Thank you.

PS I already bought CarbonCopy Clone, which I'd never heard of until the incident, and then heard about from like 20 people.
 

BigBoy2018

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
888
1,590
Not very helpful to you, but I will say that experiences like yours is EXACTLY why I never use iCloud. Fast backup storage is incredibly cheap these days and programs like Carbon Copy Cloner, which you mentioned and I regularly use, give me complete and confident control over where my important files are.

There are some conveniences to iCloud, but the many stories I've heard from people about how it's messed stuff up on their local drive and made certain files 'disappear' is enough to keep me away.

To me the fundamental issue with iCloud is the lack of complete transparency. You can't go to iCloud and clearly SEE exactly what files it's storing in a direct, easy to understand way. You just have to throw it up there and TRUST it.

No thanks.
 

Laisha

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 21, 2014
133
25
Far northern Maine.
Not very helpful to you, but I will say that experiences like yours is EXACTLY why I never use iCloud. Fast backup storage is incredibly cheap these days and programs like Carbon Copy Cloner, which you mentioned and I regularly use, give me complete and confident control over where my important files are.

There are some conveniences to iCloud, but the many stories I've heard from people about how it's messed stuff up on their local drive and made certain files 'disappear' is enough to keep me away.

To me the fundamental issue with iCloud is the lack of complete transparency. You can't go to iCloud and clearly SEE exactly what files it's storing in a direct, easy to understand way. You just have to throw it up there and TRUST it.

No thanks.
I didn't use iCloud. When I need to put something in a remote place, I use Dropbox.

Carbonite, for whatever reason, put everything in iCloud, which is my problem. :-(
 

webbga

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2014
57
55
Cincinnati, Ohio
I have a gigantic problem and need some feedback on my plan to fix it.

First let me inform you that my hard drive died just before Christmas.

Carbonite restored all of my files — EVERY SINGLE ONE of them — in iCloud and then put aliases to them on my desktop. DOCUMENTS was totally empty, and the Container folder from /Library/Container/ is gone.

(I know that most of my apps — or parts of them — used to be stored there, so now I can't figure out where I'm supposed to put things.)

I temporarily put everything on my desktop in a file called DESKTOP, intending to try to sort things out, but frankly I've been so depressed/angry/trying to avoid it all that it hasn't been done, and I keep having or finding other important projects to do.

Questions:

1. If I have no /Library/Container/ then just where have all my apps gone?

2. I've been thinking about manually backing up everything on my computer, wiping this disk out, and reinstalling the OS and then my apps. Is that something that might help?

Thank you.

PS I already bought CarbonCopy Clone, which I'd never heard of until the incident, and then heard about from like 20 people.
This may or may not help, but a few years back I had a situation where one of my grandchildren got on my system and started mucking around. Not sure what they were doing, but some files got moved that should not have been moved. At the time I was using Yosemite. I purchased Dave Pogue's "The Missing Manual" and was able to restore almost everything to its proper place. Let me say up front I do not know if he has published a "Missing Manual" for Mojave, but if he has I would look into it. It is a great resource for understanding how your MAC is set up.

Good luck and I hoe you get things straightened out.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,456
5,671
My advice:
1. Get an external USB3 hard drive
2. Get either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (both are free to download and use for 30 days).
3. Try creating a bootable cloned backup of your internal drive.
MUCH easier to create and maintain, and the most reliable backup there is.
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
437
145
US
I didn't use iCloud. When I need to put something in a remote place, I use Dropbox.

Carbonite, for whatever reason, put everything in iCloud, which is my problem. :-(
Overlooked part of each backup solution is "can this be used to recover my system/data" when I have major failure. It is difficult to test and one figures out answer to this by the time it is too late to actually make different decision. As my big institution IT found out years ago, the fact you dutifully run nightly backups is not any good, if, when it is needed, backups are not usable for whatever more or less funny technical reason.

I understand why Carbonite did what it did - it has to assume that you are recovering from different - or at least reinstalled - Mac and so it cannot nilly villi overwrite whatever you have in your current folders. It has to assume there is system and applications, so it cannot simply overwrite existing system and applications. They solve the problem by dumping restore somewhere (iCloud you say) and let you deal with the mess. Have run into similar behavior of different backup system (for Windows) and it was real pain to deal with. Basically, it is not full system backup, but more or less only your Documents backup.
They probably expect recovery by : reinstall system & applications from other sources, then recover Documents by copying what you need from iCloud. Hm... Sounds exciting work for long nights...

My preference - and I tested these - to backups is:
1. Carbon Copy Cloner - bootable backups are amazing. I had main drive fail and simply disappear. My family simply rebooted machine and the internally mounted CCC boot clone kicked in - and they run for week or so before I was able to come and fix it, off the clone. They had no clue what happened, just said something about being slower (sure, HD vs SSD). With CCC running sensible scheduled backups - like weekly or so = perfect.

2. Time machine. Very slow for full system recovery (have done it once or twice, nasty slow), but very good if you realize you deleted accidentally three weeks/months ago important file and you need to find it. Preferably on separate (external or internal) LOCAL disk (no wifi + NAS).

Combine these together (on separate disks!) and you have very good backup strategy, practically guaranteed easy recovery to latest state. Total cost today, may be $250 and those are nice and large disks...
 
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