Please help!!!!!! Cant restore time machine backup!!!!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Z400Racer37, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Z400Racer37, Apr 18, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013

    Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I am absolutely freaking out right now... I have been using Time Machine for about a year now. I just recently had a problem with my hard drive, so I attempted to restore from my Time Machine backups.

    I boot up, and attempt to restore from a Time Machine backup. I select my computer name, and the most recent date that I backed up. When it says it's finished, it restarts, and it boots to the second partition of my original hard drive (This is a partition I made that is about 20 GB, that I would use for screwing around with different OS releases). The primary partition (with all my valuable stuff) is nowhere to be found under the Option boot, migration assistant UI's.

    The last full backup for my valuable primary partition that I can see in these UI's is from October. When I Boot Time Machine restore to this backup, however, and I log into my account, I can see the backups this account was making all the way up to April 6 of this year in the "enter Time Machine" UI of my account (but still not in the migration assistant UI). I select the folder that represents my entire primary partition, and try to "restore" the entire folder, but it stops after about the first 100MB and sits there. If I try to transfer, say, an individual audio file, it does not let me, but it does however let me listen to it by clicking the play button that appears in the middle of the icon.

    The data clearly exists there, but I can't restore to it!!!!! I REALLY need this stuff, and I have absolutely no idea why Time Machine is doing this (Particularly why it lets me restore my secondary partition from the boot Time Machine UI flawlessly, but completely ignores the primary partition when they were created in THE SAME BACKUP).

    PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ANYTHING you guys can give me would be GREATLY appreciated!!!!

    Thanks all :(
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    When you say boot up, you mean from the Recovery Partition?

    If you're trying to restore an entire partition, you need to do it from there, not the Time Machine interface.

    Another question I have is whether you ran (again from the Recovery Partition) Repair Disk from Disk Utility? If there is a problem with the partition (which is what happened in the first place?), that could be why you can't restore to that partition.
     
  3. Z400Racer37 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #3
    Hey there, thanks for getting back.

    When I say boot up, I mean that I have my time machine drive plugged in, and Time Machine shows up from the list of drives to boot from. I then enter the Time Machine Drive, and try to restore from the latest backup under my computer's name, but when it finishes restoring, it only has the secondary partition. I backed up three times that day before my primary partition any problems, and I tried to restore to all of them (and even ones from previous days).

    When I enter the enter Time Machine user-interface, it lets Meadview, and even interact with all the files of my primary partition up to April 4, but it does not let me transfer them. Even individual files can't be transferred.

    I ran repair disk from the recovery partition, even after I completely erased the drive (With the intention of restoring my most recent Time Machine backup), and verified it, and said that it was all ok. It fully restores the secondary partition, but not the primary one.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #4
    It seems like there could be something corrupt in the partition table. Since it sounds like the "secondary" partition is expendable, you might need to repartition the drive. I'd recommend just starting with a single partition; you can add a 2nd partition later after everything's up and running again.

    Something is confusing to me: a Time Machine drive isn't bootable (unless you have OS X installed on a different partition from the one containing the TM backup).

    I like to have at least two backups before I do something like creating a new partition table. If possible, I recommend restoring at least your data from the TM backup onto a third drive, burn some discs, etc. It's not always possible, but I had to mention it at least.

    Anyway, startup on your internal's Recovery Partition and run Disk Utility. Then, select your internal drive (not a partition, but the device itself) and then the Partition tab. From the pop-up menu above the partition graphic, change "Current" to "1 Partition". Format should be "Mac OS Extended (journaled)". It goes with saying that you should double/triple check which device you're going to repartition.

    (That's a kind of an ironic idiom, since you can't say "it goes without saying" without actually saying it... :) )

    Once that's done, quit Disk Utility, then you can choose restore from Time Machine. Hopefully, you will now be able to set the target as your internal drive.
     
  5. Z400Racer37 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #5
    thanks for getting back again,
    heres what i have for the bootable time machine thing...


    Basically what happened was this:

    I had to partitions, one main one that I needed, and a second one for playing around with OS X operating systems. I needed to put Windows 7 onto my computer, so I decided I would do three Time Machine backups(To the same time machine drive), and then take some of the remaining space (which was about 250GB at the time) and use Boot Camp to install it. It wouldn't let me, giving me error messages such as more than 10 GB needed (which there was), or the drive needs to be journaled(Which it was).

    I decided it would be easier to just completely erase everything off of the drive, and restore from the Time Machine backups I made. When I selected my name from the Time Machine Dr., and selected the most recent backup, it finished a lot earlier than I expected, and when I opened up the computer I found that it only restored the second partition, and not the first one.

    I eventually figured out that the most recent full backup (that appeared in the Time Machine/migration assistant UI) was made somewhere around October. When I restore to that back up, I can open up my account, click on "enter Time Machine" and view all of the files from the primary partitions backup on April 6 of this year, even though those files don't actually show up in migration assistant or the bootable Time Machine backup. I can interact with the files, i.e. play an audio file, or watch a movie by using the QuickView option, or clicking the play button on their icons, but I cannot copy them from the external Time Machine backup, to the internal drive.

    Thanks again for getting back :)
     

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  6. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    Yours is but one more post in the never-ending series of posts we see here on MacRumors that echo the same complaint:
    "Help, I need to restore from my Time Machine backup and….. can't !!"

    If you had used either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper (no financial interest in either of these products) to create a bootable backup clone of your internal drive, you would not be in the situation that you're in now.

    When you get yourself back up and running (with or without the T.M. backup), I suggest you download CCC and create a bootable clone of your stuff.

    It will make a world of difference to you, next time….
     
  7. gr8tfly, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #7
    Disk Utility's Restore works perfectly well to create bootable images to any partition (provided there is enough room, of course). I've used it exclusively (for at least the last 5 years) for backups and when installing new internal drives.

    I don't see anything in the OP's situation that has to do with a failed image backup, except lacking an image backup on a third drive. That still wouldn't have anything to do with using Time Machine for a restore. It's usually the most current full backup one has.

    I don't do image backups daily - it's a worse case fall-back in case of the TM drive failing. When I'm swapping drives, I do use Disk Utility Restore to do a final backup before the swap. I'm aware of incremental backup abilities of CCC or SuperDuper, but neither is as integrated with OS X as TM is.
     
  8. gr8tfly, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #8
    Boot Camp will only work on internal drive(s). Starting with a single partition, BC might not be able to create its partition if there are files residing in the sectors it wants to use. The only way to fix that is to either use a defraging program such as iDefrag, or to Restore to an external, then back to the internal.

    It's still not clear how this ended up with a bootable partition on the TM drive - even if you made three partitions - one for each backup (which isn't really needed, but would set the maximum backup space for each if you did).

    When you say "erase everything off of the drive", do you mean using the Erase tab in Disk Utility? That will erase the contents of the partition, but if there's a problem with the drive's partition map, it won't help. You'll need to perform the re-partition steps I mentioned earlier.

    I'm still not getting how you have any bootable partition with a TM backup on it (unless you put the TM backup on the same partition as you have previously put OS X on, which isn't really recommended - mostly because you're limiting space TM can use). For an emergency boot partition, it's good to have options, but I would keep external OS X installs on a different partition as TM. Having an external boot partition isn't as necessary as it used to be when we didn't have the Recovery Partition as an option on the internal drive.

    The screen shot does show the TM drive as bootable, but it's not because it's being used for a TM backup.

    Edit: Thought I'd mention a great way to backup a BootCamp Windows install is to make an image using WinClone. It creates an image that when restored, will be bootable. It's been indispensable when swapping out drives or if the BootCamp partition needs to be resized (use BootCamp Assistant to delete, then recreate a new partition of the new size).
     

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