Time Machine failing to identify previous MacBook Pro back-up to restore from.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 11HE, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. 11HE macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012


    So in April this year I bought myself a brand new MacBook Pro. I had no trouble using Time Machine, in turn, found the whole process of moving computers pretty easy.

    However, last month, the backlight of that computer broke, amongst other more severe issues. Thankfully I had backed up all my files, so they were safely stored onto my External Hardrive, using Time Machine. And the machine had to be replaced.

    So here I am a month later, with a new MacBook Pro, again. This time, though, I'm having a lot of difficulty restoring all my files. When given the option to restore my files I was only given one, which happened to be the same one from April. So now this computer is where I was 9 months ago.
    I can however see the back-up from last month, (and all the files inside it) in a separate file on the external hard drive, but also in the file 'backups.backupdb'. But thats it.

    I can't restore from it, or drag it anywhere. Without being presented the message "The operation can’t be completed because it isn’t supported.".

    So if anyone could give me a pointer as to how to go about restoring my files I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: tmutil inheritbackup...

    Hi 11HE,

    It sounds like you ended up with two backup files, is this correct? One from last April, one from last month...

    If so, you can select one of them using the "tmutil inheritbackup...." terminal command. You might also be interested in the "tmutil associatedisk..." command. These command will allow you to read from a backup file made for another machine, or even continue backing up a new machine to an older machine's backup file. The manpage "man tmutil" will explain how to use these commands. You will need root privilege to execute these commands.

    Good luck,
  3. 11HE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    RE: tmutil inheritbackup

    Hi Switon,

    Thanks a lot for your help.

    Yes, that's right, I have two back-ups of two different computers. And, of course, I want to restore from the November back up, as opposed to the April one.

    I looked into tmutil, and read up on it, along with manpage, and this does seem very promising. Just admittedly, despite researching it, I'm still not to sure how I would go about approaching this in terminal.

    Is there anyway you could talk me through this?

    Thanks again.
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: that tmutil command...

    Hi 11HE,

    Yes, I guess I could help you do this. What are you interested in doing?

    Normally when I do this sort of thing with my clients, I video conference with them and Screen Share at the same time, that way I can talk to them as they (or I) perform the necessary commands. If we were to do this "offline", then you would have to send me details about your system through the Private Messages modality.

  5. 11HE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    Hi Switon,

    Sorry for the delay,
    I'll private message you now.


    I need 5 posts to be able to PM you, sorry about this..
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    If you hold the OPTION key as you click Time Machine on the menu bar, does it show a new option to browse other machines Time Machine?
  7. shersh macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2010
    toronto, ontario, canada
    similar issue - could you confirm command structure

    Running on a MacBook Pro ( late 2007) with Lion. Have been doing backups with time machine ( external drive via USB) and I "thought' that included my emal data. Now I have upgarded to Mountain Lion ( clean Install) and wanted to reload my folders back into Mail. I can see all my backup folders on my external drive. But Time machine does not recognize backup prior to Mountain Lion..
    Assuming this is an "opportunity" to use tmutil:

    My Newly reformatted for ML Hard Drive is called: MacHersh HD

    My old hard drive is Macintosh HD

    Time machine Volume: Xanadu444

    Mac : Seymour's MacBook Pro

    OLD Directory Structure is Xanadu444/Backups.backupdb/Seymour’s MacBook Pro/Macintosh HD

    NEW Directory Structure is Xanadu444/Backups.backupdb/Seymour's MacBook Pro/MacHersh HD

    The intention is to change all the Macintosh HD to MacHersh HD

    Is this right ???

    sudo tmutil -a /xanadu444/backups.backupdb/Seymour's MacBook Pro/MacHersh \HD /dddd-dd/Macintosh\ HD

    Is this format correct?

    Thanks for the help


Share This Page