Restoring iPhoto from Time Machine

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by backbeat, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. backbeat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    I hope this is the 'right' forum for this question. I did a bunch of research on this problem, but so far, none of the solutions I've seen are a match - or work.

    I'm running OS 10.9.4 and use time machine. One of my external drives has been flaky, and when I went to copy that data to a new drive, it would copy for a while and then it would lock up. Then I went and copied from the Time Machine drive to my new drive, and it seemed to copy all the data - which included the iPhoto library file. Unfortunately, when I point iPhoto to that file - it's grayed out and I can't open it. I then tried to restore that particular file from Time Machine to the new drive, in a new location, and I got the same result.

    When I looked through a few weeks worth of backups on TM, I noticed that the file size was 30MB, 500MB, or some other odd numbers, but nowhere near the 5GB or so that I know is in the library. So - are those the incremental adds each time there's a backup?

    Either way - if you can offer some advice so that I can restore this file, that would be great. If there's no easy solution, I'll just pull the drive out of the enclosure and connect it to an eSATA hub. I'd rather not do that - as I'd like to understand how one of these package files can be restored correctly.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    It sounds like you went into the Time Machine file manually and dragged files out including the iPhoto library. That can cause problems like you are seeing because those "files" you see may just be hard links to files and not the files themselves.

    Try this open Finder and go to the Picture folder then click the TM icon in the menu bar and Enter Time Machine. Now scroll back to the date/time you want to resort from and select the iPhoto library file then click restore.
     
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    A point of order, a hard link is just another appearance (name) of the file in the filesystem. It is indistinguishable in every way from the original. It "is" the file.

    A.
     
  4. backbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #4
    Thank you for your responses. Two of the external drives I have contain movies, iPhoto and iTunes stuff. I decided to restore both of those drives (instead of copying as I did the first time) to my new TM drive. That's going to take a while, so I won't be able to try until the morning.

    That said, when you say picture folder, are you referring to the iPhoto package file? If so - I think I've tried that, but again - I'll check in the morning.

    Do you have an idea for why the TM iPhoto package files are of varying sizes (and quite small) as I scroll back in time? Is that because TM is adding the net new photos as they're captured/added?

    Thank you.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Yes I meant restore the entire iPhoto library package from the Pictures folder.

    I think the reason you were seeing different sizes is because you were poking around in that TM backup file manually rather than using the TM star field interface and it sounds like you were just seeing the incremental backups.
     
  6. backbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #6
    Thank you, Weaselboy.

    Actually, I was flipping through the star field interface and looking at those folders. You can't see a 'file' there that you can click on, but I think that's normal. After restoring both drives, I still cannot click on the folder or find the library. Any other ideas on what is happening? There wasn't a difference between copying from TM and restoring from TM.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    If you are in the Pictures folder when you enter that Time Machine interface it should open Time Machine in that same folder and if a backup of the iPhoto Library is present you should see it right there. If you don't see one there, it may not have been backed up.

    Do you think maybe the backup was not working properly due to this drive starting to fail?
     
  8. backbeat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    #8
    Are you saying that when I'm in in TM (star field) that I should see the iPhoto folder, AND the file that you would normally open when pointing iPhoto to a new or existing library?

    I may be repeating, but just in case... When I point to the new drive and file location from iPhoto, I see a grayed-out (actually it's blue) folder that I cannot open.

    Now - to compare. I'm also in my old drive and when you look at the Pictures folder, you don't see another folder that says iPhoto Library, you see what looks like an 'application' file, or what you actually can point to and open, that is called iPhoto Library.

    To net this out - what I see in the old but still working drive, is an iPhoto Library file that you can open and it's 45GB. In the backup or restored version on my new drive, you see a folder - which you cannot open through iPhoto,but you can open the 'package contents' and see what's inside.

    So - good point on it possibly not being backed up correctly. I would be curious if you went (or someone else has) and restored your iPhoto library from TM, if you end up seeing a folder or you end up seeing a file/application that can be opened.

    Maybe the reason I see a folder and not a file that can be opened, is because the backups have been interrupted. I'd certainly like to know... Worst case is that I can still copy from my old drive to the new drive, as I pulled the old drive out of its case and put it into an eSATA enclosure and it works just fine.

    I hope I didn't make this more confusing than it is. If it's unclear, please let me know and I'll rewrite what I said. Thank you!
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Yes exactly. If that iPhoto library file is in the backup set it would look exactly the same in Finder once you enter that star field screen. If you select it then click restore it would put it back in the Pictures folder (or wherever you had it) and it would look like the same iPhoto library.

    I think what may be confusing you a bit is what an iPhoto library really is. It is just a sort of package file that contains the photos and associated data. If the permissions are and file type info etc is messed with it can make it look like a folder like you mentioned. If you right click on an iPhoto library to can select "show package contents" and actually look inside. Don't touch anything in there though because that can break the library.

    I have restored an iPhoto library before and it ends up in the Pictures folder looking just like the old one.
     

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