Time machine backup not opening - error about file not found

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zimmer725, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. zimmer725 macrumors newbie


    Aug 25, 2015
    Hi All,

    I am experiencing an issue with time machine. As of last week I had several time machine backups on my external hard drive from an old macbook that I don't have anymore. On the external hard drive, I was able to open the time machine folder "latest" and it would open the latest time machine backup from the old macbook. To free up space on my external hard drive I deleted (moved to trash and emptied the trash) all the previous time machine backups but kept the backup titled "latest".

    Now, on the external hard drive, "latest" appears to be just an icon and when I click on it I get an error: "The operation can't be completed because the original item for "latest" can't be found."

    I think the problem might have to do with either one or both of these:

    1) Deleting the previous time machine backups.
    2) Sharing and permissions of the HD and backups. I have tried changing the sharing and permissions by going to the "get info" window for the external hard drive, but haven't had any luck.

    I'm thinking I might have to do data recovery to get back what I deleted off of the external hard drive. Do you have any ideas?


  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    By going in there and manually deleting those files, you have broken the Time Machine backup set. You should not manually delete files from there like that. Give this a read and it explains how Time Machines works and why the files you think you are deleting my not be what they appear to be.

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