Linking previous Time Machine Backup to a new Mac OS X Reinstall

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tray, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. tray macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Hi guys,

    Several recurring problems prompted me to reinstall Mac OS X Leopard 10.5. Beforehand, I had made a copy/clone of my entire Macintosh HD onto an external hard drive. After the reinstallation, I selectively copied specific folders back to my fresh installation.

    On my previous installation, I have had Time Machine running for several months. Trouble is, when I connect the external hard drive which holds the Time Machine backups, the Mac does not recognize it.

    I wish to have my new reinstalled Mac back up to this same Time Machine backup. I have copied all of my documents and applications back onto my new installation. I wish to browse previous backups of the files I had made.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe if I choose my old Time Machine hard drive as my Time Machine backup disk in my new installation, Time Machine simply starts an entirely new backup and ignores the old Time Machine backups made from my previous installation.

    I would appreciate any help you guys could provide.

    Many thanks.
  2. MurphyM macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    I had this same problem a couple months ago. I researched it and concluded Apple hadn't planned Time Machine for this situation! After reading semi-complex fixes I gave up and started over.

    I know that's not a great answer - just letting you know you're not up against a fluke situation.
  3. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    That's odd, I also reinstalled OS X on my Mac Pro. My time machine runs on another drive inside the Mac Pro. I didn't do anything special and all my time machine backups are still intact. I can go all the way back since before the reinstallation. I think the oldest is from Nov 3rd.
  4. shlauncha macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    I think I read somewhere that you can access time machine backups other than they system backup by holding option and clicking on the time machine icon in your menu bar. I haven't tested this, but it is a starting point.
  5. TH-Gunner macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2008
  6. shlauncha macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    I re-installed leopard doing a clean install and then turned on time machine expecting it to overwrite all my old files(after I used time machine to browse my old files and restore the files I wanted), but it merged my old time machine with my new one, which was a nice surprise.

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