Preserve particular timepoint in time machine backup?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by daeshel, May 26, 2015.

  1. daeshel macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2012
    Is there a way to save a particular time point of a time machine backup so that it does not get overwritten as time machine continues to use the backup disk?

    Backstory is that I had to restore my computer from my latest time machine backup (the apple bar geniuses reformatted my hard drive even though everyone was very clear the issue was the cable and not the hard drive, which has caused a bucketload of additional work for me). After the restore I keep finding files that I need to bring over from the time machine backup (mostly because iCloud version handling has made a total mess of everything I was storing in it). So I'd like to save the most recent back time machine back so that I can keep pulling files from it as I find that I need to.

    Is there a way to preserve a particular time machine backup so that it does not get erased in the course of continuing to backup to the time machine drive (or copy that timepoint it in it's entirety to another drive)?

    Is it possible to do something as easy as lock the folder so it's not overwritten/erased to just drag the whole folder to another disk (or use cp --dereference)?

    Thanks a ton for the help!
  2. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    There's a lot of dragons in the Time Machine implementation. It works great until you look at it funny, then it can fail catastrophically.

    The only safe way I can think of to do what you're trying to do is to just clone the Time Machine backup to a new physical drive or partition and leave it alone until you need that particular snap shot again.

    The official Apple support page on this shows how to transfer a backup -- you will want to do everything except the final part where you actually switch Time Machine to the new backup:

    Maybe someone knows something fancier, but I'm pretty wary of being fancy with Time Machine.

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