I need help with Time Machine backups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by longy6, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. longy6 macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2014
    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to Macs and am in a Tech Support position for a business. I've got an issue with someone's Time Machine and I'm hoping I can get some help.

    Basically, the backup hard drive (1TB) became Read-Only and therefore Time Machine wouldn't work anymore. The user wanted me to keep their old data and to fix the hard drive.
    I took the ~200GB worth of files from the user's 1TB hard drive and moved them onto my MacBook (seeing as the user was unable to stay put with their MacBook while this length process occured).

    So my MacBook's hard drive now has 220GB available out of 500GB, because it is holding all of the files from the user's hard drive on my desktop.

    I then re-formatted the hard drive, which appears to have fixed the Read-Only issue and I intended to copy the files back onto the newly formatted hard drive.

    Out of 35 subfolders, I have managed to move 10 onto the recently formatted hard drive. And now it is telling me that the hard drive is full. The 1TB hard drive only has 70GB free and I cannot move any more of the files originally on it, back onto the drive.

    And what's even more confusing, is that my hard drive STILL says it's got 220GB available (therefore has used 280GB), and yet the properties of the folder I took from the original Time Machine is telling me the size of those folders together is 3.28TB.

    So, how do I put all of the '3.28TB' worth of files back onto the newly formatted hard drive?
  2. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    Weird. My first thought is that after you reformatted the drive, Time Machine asked if you wanted to use it for backup. If memory servers, this is just a small dialog box that can be easily overlooked and dismissed. So, I'd see if the drive is being used for Time Machine.

    My second thought (and more likely as I think about it) is that the drive is bad. Try copying the data to some other drive and see if that works. Just keep in mind that I'm no expert on this. I'm only providing suggestions.

    Good Luck!

    Ps. Next time, if you want to retain the Time Machine data, you should probably use Carbon Copy Cloner.
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I'm not expert, just throwing out an idea.... A Time Machine backup keeps a record of all the versions of a file. To save space it doesn't make a copy of a file that hasn't changed each and every time it runs - it merely makes a note of the original location of the file and that it is unchanged.

    I wonder if when you copied it back to the original HDD it didn't just copy back the reference/pointer to each original file but instead copied the file itself - over and over again for each TM backup run. I could easily see OS X's Finder being smart enough to 'know' about a TM backup bundle and somehow treat it differently.

    Doesn't TM have a restore function? Why aren't you using that?

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