Time Machine - Am I Boned?

Mufasa804

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 6, 2009
229
77
I have a 3TB Time Capsule which I use to backup through Time Machine. Recently I experienced some document corruption so I figured, hooray! Time to put this thing to work! I started browsing through my "Time Machine" through the App but it was taking a while to load my files (I have filled the 3TB almost full). So I hit cancel, restarted my computer, and tried to do this again. However now I was not able to mount the drive for some reason.

So I went into Time Machine preferences in System Preferences, removed the drive, and added it again. Now it shows my last backup was never and my next backup will be in 120 seconds. What have I done? Have I now told the system that this is a new drive and to start a fresh new backup? How do I get it to load my previous backups in the "Time Machine" application again?

I appreciate the assistance.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
I have a 3TB Time Capsule which I use to backup through Time Machine. Recently I experienced some document corruption so I figured, hooray! Time to put this thing to work! I started browsing through my "Time Machine" through the App but it was taking a while to load my files (I have filled the 3TB almost full). So I hit cancel, restarted my computer, and tried to do this again. However now I was not able to mount the drive for some reason.

So I went into Time Machine preferences in System Preferences, removed the drive, and added it again. Now it shows my last backup was never and my next backup will be in 120 seconds. What have I done? Have I now told the system that this is a new drive and to start a fresh new backup? How do I get it to load my previous backups in the "Time Machine" application again?

I appreciate the assistance.

Hi Mufasa, hope you're keeping in great spirits today.

If you browse the backup volume as you would an external hard-drive, are your old Time Machine backups still visible? They'd normally have a folder called 'Macintosh HD', for instance. Or is the entire drive completely empty?
 

Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,384
1,441
Toronto
I have a 3TB Time Capsule which I use to backup through Time Machine. Recently I experienced some document corruption so I figured, hooray! Time to put this thing to work! I started browsing through my "Time Machine" through the App but it was taking a while to load my files (I have filled the 3TB almost full). So I hit cancel, restarted my computer, and tried to do this again. However now I was not able to mount the drive for some reason.

So I went into Time Machine preferences in System Preferences, removed the drive, and added it again. Now it shows my last backup was never and my next backup will be in 120 seconds. What have I done? Have I now told the system that this is a new drive and to start a fresh new backup? How do I get it to load my previous backups in the "Time Machine" application again?

I appreciate the assistance.
This is expected behaviour and it's basically reindexing the drive.
Allow it to complete that, and then your files should be accessible again.
You can take a look at the sparsebundle file on the TC in Finder to make sure it's still big and therefore has your stuff.
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Hi Mufasa, hope you're keeping in great spirits today.

If you browse the backup volume as you would an external hard-drive, are your old Time Machine backups still visible? They'd normally have a folder called 'Macintosh HD', for instance. Or is the entire drive completely empty?
This doesn't work via a networked backup, it's stored as a single sparse bundle file.
 

bernuli

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2011
631
353
Time Capsules store all your files in a disk image, not file by file. It is possible for the disk image to become corrupt and then not be mountable without some user intervention.

I would first stop the backup, turn off time machine on your computer, then restart the Time Capsule. Then see if you can mount it as a network volume and look for your backup in a .sparseimage ( think). I would mount disk image with "
hdiutil attach -readonly /PATHTOIMAGE" and see if you can recover some of the files. If the volume won't mount, you might be able to repair it. But it will take much time if pushing 3TB.
 

Belgique

macrumors member
May 6, 2016
85
29
Ocala, Floridah
after 2 years of backing up, on my Time Capsule....I needed it for the first time to restore my iPhoto Library....it failed.....no more green light...amber only....called Apple Care...spent 20 min with tech advisor and he suggest many things...none worked.
 
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Mr_Brightside_@

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2005
3,384
1,441
Toronto
after 2 years of backing up, on my Time Capsule....I needed it for the first time to restore my iPhoto Library....it failed.....no more green light...amber only....called Apple Care...spent 20 min with tech advisor and he suggest many things...none worked.
Crack it open and remove the drive.
 

Belgique

macrumors member
May 6, 2016
85
29
Ocala, Floridah
The apple support guy on the phone, said to bring it in for repair.
Its out of warranty so I may be really screwed....Chinese Quality Control.
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,656
150
The apple support guy on the phone, said to bring it in for repair.
Its out of warranty so I may be really screwed....Chinese Quality Control.
I recommend taking it in to see what can be done. If nothing, buy a new one (assuming no replacement since it is out of warranty) and keep your old one. Tear it apart and remove it's HDD. Buy an EIDI SATA to USB converter (not that expensive) and hook it up to your Mac. At that point the Mac will just see it as a drive. If the files are there yo can transfer them and see if TM can open them. If they are there but corrupted, I'm not sure...you may be hosed.

I have done this. My TM's power source died. I had no Apple Store nearby to take it into. Not even sure the cost of repair (if it can be done at all) would be worth it vs a new TM. My ultimate solution was to realize I did not want by router and backup HDD tied together. Bought an AEBS and attached a USB external drive to it for TM backups. I also mirror my Mac HDD once a month to keep as a bootable drive backup.
 

WinstonRumfoord

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2014
457
1,141
CCC can copy to a Time Capsule?

No idea, but it can to any old bare bones HDD. And you can set it to automatically duplicate your drive at whatever interval you want. And when your drive inevitably fails, you can easily access your duplicated drive or simply replace with the duplicated drive and call it a day. No weirdo disk image time machine headaches.
 

GerritV

macrumors 65816
May 11, 2012
1,267
396
after 2 years of backing up, on my Time Capsule....I needed it for the first time to restore my iPhoto Library....it failed.....no more green light...amber only....called Apple Care...spent 20 min with tech advisor and he suggest many things...none worked.
Same here, the two occasions on which I needed my TimeMachine backup, it failed on me.
Switched to Chronosync, never looked back to Apple's app.
 

smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,291
Silicon Valley
Really...do you think I would actually do that????? Gee...what could possibly go wrong?

Time Machine's always worked for me. In the odd cases where something went wrong it was because of my own errors.

If you can't retrieve the data you want over the network to your Time Capsule, what Mr. Brightside is saying is sensible. It's easiest to remove the drive and work on a bare drive directly. Your Time Capsule is basically nothing more than a modem + router paired with storage and it's a lot easier to work on the storage part of the equation if you free it from the case and work on the hard drive directly... but you'll also need a way to mount it so you'll need an external enclosure or a hard drive docking station like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External-Lay-Flat-Docking-EC-DFLT/dp/B00LS5NFQ2/

Yes, this appears a bit daunting if you have the religion that you should never ever open a consumer product on your own, but it's really not that technically challenging once you get over the freakout of playing hardware repair person. If those photos that you're trying to recover is worth that much do you, then you'll need to do this or pay someone a lot of money to do data recovery.

Amazing that this can happen on a very expensive product....

Welcome to the real world. Time Machine works fantastically most of the time, but as is the case with any backup method, you really need to assume that there's a chance of failure and have alternatives available. Yes, it's not cheap, but there's nothing you can buy that's failproof. That's why I keep a constant backup using Time Machine and I also clone my drives once a month and even still with all of this, I'll store some files in the cloud.
 
Last edited:

rugmankc

Contributor
Sep 24, 2014
2,178
640
I primarily use TM to an external Lacie, CCC, and Crashplan. I still let TC back up thru TM, since I have a 2tb one. But, don't rely on it.

Hope you get it sorted OP--
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CCC can copy to a Time Capsule?

I don't think so, TC doesn't show in CCC as a usable drive.
 
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