Restore Time Machine backup as files/folders on another external drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jent, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. jent macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #1
    My wife just got a new MacBook Air which has a smaller SSD than the HDD on her old MacBook Pro. She has an external hard drive that she used Time Machine with on her old Mac, but she doesn't want to migrate her backup back onto her new Mac.

    Instead, she wants to start fresh with her Air, so I'm trying to figure out how to take her external drive's Time Machine backup and copy it over to another external hard drive as a set of files and folders as opposed to a Time Machine -formatted drive. She doesn't need older versions of files and data doesn't need to be bootable.

    Any suggestions on how to achieve this? We have multiple Macs and multiple USB external hard drives to get this going. Thanks!
     
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    You might do this way :

    In Time Machine interface, select the date you want to restore from, select her home folder (account name, the "little house"), right click, "restore to", select the external drive as destination.

    NB : you must go to Macintosh HD / Users / account_name

    This can also be done for (stand alone) applications if needed.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    OP wrote above:
    [[ Any suggestions on how to achieve this? ]]

    Do you still have the old Macbook, with everything on it?
    If so, consider this:

    Download CarbonCopyCloner from here:
    http://www.bombich.com/download.html
    CCC is FREE to download, and FREE to use for 30 days.

    Take the external drive that has the TM backup, and re-initialize it (YES, re-initialize it).
    You specifically stated you don't need ANYTHING from your older versions, is that correct?
    Now, use CCC to -clone- the contents of the old Macbook to the external drive.

    When done, the external will be a bootable clone of the old Macbook, fully "mountable" in the finder on the NEW MacBook Air.

    Now you can connect the backup drive to the NEW MBAir, and it will mount on the desktop just as any other drive.
    Your wife will be able to open it, and browse through all the folders as she chooses.
    She will be able to copy files or folders, as she chooses.
    It will also be available to "Migration Assistant" if she cares to use it.

    One thing that will be important, regarding permissions and file ownership:
    BEFORE your wife goes-a-browsin', you need to do this:
    1. Mount the backup on the desktop so its icon is visible
    2. Click on the drive icon ONE time to select it
    3. Type "command-i" to bring up the "get info" box
    4. In the lower-right corner of the get info box, there's a small lock icon. She should click that and then enter her administrative password
    5. Now, put a CHECKMARK in the box "ignore ownership on this volume"
    6. Close the get info box and you're ready to go.
     
  4. jent thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #4
    Sadly, no. One option, I suppose, would be to fully restore the Time Machine backup to the new computer, delete everything off the external hard drive, and then manually copy the files and folders over. I'm wondering if there's an easier way.
     
  5. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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  6. jent thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #6
    Looks like a good option. I'll give it a try. What's NB mean, out of curiosity?
     
  7. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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  8. jent, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015

    jent thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #8
    I will do this when I have a free evening but in the meantime my wife needs to access some school documents.

    Can I get into the backup and access individual files if the computer I'm using is not linked to the Time Machine backup?

    Recall that she gave away her old computer and has a brand new computer with no old info on it. Her Time Machine backup is on an external hard drive.

    I plugged in the Time Machine backup to my computer and I can browse the Backups.backupd folder but it's in the Time Machine "format," meaning I can't browse it interactively with the space-age Time Machine interface (because this isn't my computer's Time Machine backup and we don't have the old computer to browse it).

    I tried Control-clicking the Time Machine icon in the Dock and selecting "Browse Other Time Machine Disks…," which lets me select the external hard drive with the Time Machine backup, but when it opens the Time Machine interface I can't actually browse the user folder (just my own, as if I entered Time Machine normally). To clarify, this solution doesn't work in Mavericks, which is what appears to have been the solution in previous years.
     

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  9. Bruno09, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Once in Time Machine interface, hit Cmd + Shift + c (=Go to computer), then browse to what you need.

    If this does not work for you, you might use Migration Assistant which let you restore data from any Time Machine backup.

    See here : http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT5872
     

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