Time Machine HELP!

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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Hey guys/gals,

I just got a new MBP 15" (mid-2012) Running lion. I have a external 2TB hard drive formatted with Time machine that has backups from my old MBP 15" (mid-2010).

So I opened Time Machine and selected the backup from my old MBP. It then copied everything to my new hard drive.

The problem is I can't find any of the files from the backup on my computer, but my hard drive shows the files were put on it.

I guess I did it incorrectly.

What can I do to fix this issue?

thanks
-Craig
 

Weaselboy

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When you say you copied everything from the old machine to the new, how exactly did you do that. Were you in the Time Machine interface like in my screen shot below? If you did that the files will be in whatever folder you restored them to.

Ordinarily the easiest way to move data over is to start the Migration Assistant app on the new machine and point it to the Time Machine backup from the old machine for import.


 

cjdontthink

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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When you say you copied everything from the old machine to the new, how exactly did you do that. Were you in the Time Machine interface like in my screen shot below? If you did that the files will be in whatever folder you restored them to.

Ordinarily the easiest way to move data over is to start the Migration Assistant app on the new machine and point it to the Time Machine backup from the old machine for import.



Yeah I was in the time machine interface like below. I pressed restore on my old time machine backup, it then transferred everything from my old Macintosh HD to the new HD.
But when I search in finder or manually go through everything I can't find one thing from my old computer.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to do some sort of factory reset and redo it
 
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Weaselboy

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Yeah I was in the time machine interface like below. I pressed restore on my old time machine backup, it then transferred everything from my old Macintosh HD to the new HD.
But when I search in finder or manually go through everything I can't find one thing from my old computer.
What folder were you in when clicked Restore in Time Machine? It will only restore whatever file/folder you have selected when you click restore. Unless you had a file or folder selected in that screen I showed, it would not restore anything.
 

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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What folder were you in when clicked Restore in Time Machine? It will only restore whatever file/folder you have selected when you click restore. Unless you had a file or folder selected in that screen I showed, it would not restore anything.
I think I did my old home folder?
It definitely restored it all because the space is taken up on my new hard drive.
 

Weaselboy

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I think I did my old home folder?
It definitely restored it all because the space is taken up on my new hard drive.
Okay... so you look in your home folder under say Documents and there are no documents there like there should be?

Are you using the same user name for the account as you did on the old machine?

Is the old Time Machine backup still intact (meaning you have not backed up to it again with the new machine)?

I have an idea about creating a new account that will fix you up, but answer these questions first.
 

cjdontthink

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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Okay... so you look in your home folder under say Documents and there are no documents there like there should be?

Are you using the same user name for the account as you did on the old machine?

Is the old Time Machine backup still intact (meaning you have not backed up to it again with the new machine)?

I have an idea about creating a new account that will fix you up, but answer these questions first.

Nothing is there. I'm not sure if I used the same user name. I'll have to double check that.

The old time machine is still on my hard drive I believe.
 

Weaselboy

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Nothing is there. I'm not sure if I used the same user name. I'll have to double check that.

The old time machine is still on my hard drive I believe.
Okay... since it looks like your backup is okay, let's start fresh. It sounds like you copied the home folder to some unknown spot in your user area.

Do this.

1. Go to System Preferences and under Users & Groups click the plus in the lower left and add a new user account. Call it whatever you want like temp because we are just using it temporarily. Make it an admin account and give it a password. Password can just be temp if you want also.

2. Restart the computer and login to the temp account. Go back to the Users & Groups screen and select the old account then click the minus button at the bottom left to remove it. You will asked what to do with the settings and data from that account... just tell it to delete everything.

3. Now while still in the temp account start the Migration Assistant from the /Applications/Utilities folder. Tell it you want to copy settings from a Time Machine backup and point it to your Time Machine disk. Check all the boxes to import everything.

4. When it gets all done it should have restored your normal account from the old machine to the new one along with all your apps and settings.

5. Reboot again and login to your old account and verify your data is there. This will require your login password form the old computer. If everything looks good, go back to the Users & Groups area and remove the temp account again telling it to delete everything.

You should now have your old computer's account with all your settings on the new machine.

Let me know if you have any trouble.
 

cjdontthink

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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Okay... since it looks like your backup is okay, let's start fresh. It sounds like you copied the home folder to some unknown spot in your user area.

Do this.

1. Go to System Preferences and under Users & Groups click the plus in the lower left and add a new user account. Call it whatever you want like temp because we are just using it temporarily. Make it an admin account and give it a password. Password can just be temp if you want also.

2. Restart the computer and login to the temp account. Go back to the Users & Groups screen and select the old account then click the minus button at the bottom left to remove it. You will asked what to do with the settings and data from that account... just tell it to delete everything.

3. Now while still in the temp account start the Migration Assistant from the /Applications/Utilities folder. Tell it you want to copy settings from a Time Machine backup and point it to your Time Machine disk. Check all the boxes to import everything.

4. When it gets all done it should have restored your normal account from the old machine to the new one along with all your apps and settings.

5. Reboot again and login to your old account and verify your data is there. This will require your login password form the old computer. If everything looks good, go back to the Users & Groups area and remove the temp account again telling it to delete everything.

You should now have your old computer's account with all your settings on the new machine.

Let me know if you have any trouble.
Giving this a shot now!

Thanks for the help. I'll let you know how it goes
 

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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One problem.
All those files and other data are going to remain on the hard drive.
Now if I do it again its going to double up on there.

I need to erase what I did last time
 

Ledgem

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Jan 18, 2008
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This sounds like a situation where using Migration Assistant would be more appropriate. I'm surprised that Time Machine even allowed him to access the backups - in my experience, shifting between computers (even if the computer name and account names are the same) tends to make Time Machine not recognize the backups as being its own.
 

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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This sounds like a situation where using Migration Assistant would be more appropriate. I'm surprised that Time Machine even allowed him to access the backups - in my experience, shifting between computers (even if the computer name and account names are the same) tends to make Time Machine not recognize the backups as being its own.
Yeah I should have used Migration Assistant from the start, or right when I booted the computer for the first time did the restore.

I'm not sure what to do now :(
 

Weaselboy

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One problem.
All those files and other data are going to remain on the hard drive.
Now if I do it again its going to double up on there.

I need to erase what I did last time
Nope.

If you do what I described it will erase everything you first copied when you delete that first user account on the new machine. When you delete the account it will ask if you want to delete the data that goes with it... that will erase everything anywhere in that account folder no matter where it is. When you make that new temp account it will basically be like starting with a new computer out of the box.
 

cjdontthink

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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Nope.

If you do what I described it will erase everything you first copied when you delete that first user account on the new machine. When you delete the account it will ask if you want to delete the data that goes with it... that will erase everything anywhere in that account folder no matter where it is. When you make that new temp account it will basically be like starting with a new computer out of the box.
I selected delete all data. It didn't though. Everything is still filling my hard drive
 

Weaselboy

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I'm not sure what to do now :(
Just follow the steps I explained, you will be fine. :)

----------

I selected delete all data. It didn't though. Everything is still filling my hard drive
How much data are we talking about.... and how are you sure it is still there?

Anything you copied over in that old account would get deleted when you dumped the account.
 

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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Just follow the steps I explained, you will be fine. :)

----------



How much data are we talking about.... and how are you sure it is still there?

Anything you copied over in that old account would get deleted when you dumped the account.
~215 GB

I know its all still there by looking at the Macintosh HD info.
 

Weaselboy

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~215 GB

I know its all still there by looking at the Macintosh HD info.
Okay... sounds like you copied it into the root of Macintosh HD. Click the desktop to bring focus to the Finder then hit shift-command-g keys all three at once... enter a / (forward slash) in the box then enter. That will get you to the root of the drive. You should have just the folders shown in my screenshot. Do you see anything else there that looks like the files you copied over?



If you can't figure it out from there, try installing OmniDiskSweeper (free) and use it to find the culprit.

Also, did you empty the trash after you deleted the account? (I don't think a deleted account goes into the trash, but I am not sure.)

Not to worry, the new account and Migration Assist will get you where you want to be, it is just a matter of us finding those stray files for you.
 

cjdontthink

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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Okay... sounds like you copied it into the root of Macintosh HD. Click the desktop to bring focus to the Finder then hit shift-command-g keys all three at once... enter a / (forward slash) in the box then enter. That will get you to the root of the drive. You should have just the folders shown in my screenshot. Do you see anything else there that looks like the files you copied over?



If you can't figure it out from there, try installing OmniDiskSweeper (free) and use it to find the culprit.

Also, did you empty the trash after you deleted the account? (I don't think a deleted account goes into the trash, but I am not sure.)

Not to worry, the new account and Migration Assist will get you where you want to be, it is just a matter of us finding those stray files for you.
No sign of the files I copied over anywhere.
I'll try omnidisksweeper now

Trash is empty

This omnidisksweeper is awfully slow. I'm not sure if its working correctly

Wait a sec. I think there is something really funky going on. The macintosh HD info and omnidisksweeper say I've used 244.9 of the 500 GB.
When I sweep the macintosh HD in omnidisksweeper it only finds 51.6 GB worth of stuff, which sounds like about what it comes with on it from the factory and a few programs I've installed.

I'm lost
 
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Weaselboy

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No sign of the files I copied over anywhere.
I'll try omnidisksweeper now

Trash is empty

This omnidisksweeper is awfully slow. I'm not sure if its working correctly

Wait a sec. I think there is something really funky going on. The macintosh HD info and omnidisksweeper say I've used 244.9 of the 500 GB.
When I sweep the macintosh HD in omnidisksweeper it only finds 51.6 GB worth of stuff, which sounds like about what it comes with on it from the factory and a few programs I've installed.

I'm lost
~50GB sounds about right.

What does Disk Utility show as far a disk usage?

Go to Apple button on the menu bar then About this Mac, then More Info, then Storage and look at the screen like mine. What does it say, particularly under Backups?

 

cjdontthink

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
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~50GB sounds about right.

What does Disk Utility show as far a disk usage?

Go to Apple button on the menu bar then About this Mac, then More Info, then Storage and look at the screen like mine. What does it say, particularly under Backups?



Everything shows 245 GB used
 

cjdontthink

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Sep 10, 2010
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Omni sorts by folder size like in my screenshot. That 215GB should be at the top? Click to drill down and see where it is. How big is Users in Omni?


The 215GB doesn't show up.

Its like ghost data that just takes up space haha

Users is only 203 MB
 

Weaselboy

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The 215GB doesn't show up.

Its like ghost data that just takes up space haha

Users is only 203 MB
Only thing I can suggest at this point is you do a fresh install and wipe the entire drive. Just do a command-r boot to Recovery HD and when the install screen comes up go to Utilities menu and select Disk Utility and erase the main partition. Then go ahead with the reinstall. After the install is done Migration Assistant will pop up and you can use that to restore your old account and data.

I can think of where might have copied that data that is does not show up. Omni even shows hidden files.
 

cjdontthink

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2010
15
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Only thing I can suggest at this point is you do a fresh install and wipe the entire drive. Just do a command-r boot to Recovery HD and when the install screen comes up go to Utilities menu and select Disk Utility and erase the main partition. Then go ahead with the reinstall. After the install is done Migration Assistant will pop up and you can use that to restore your old account and data.

I can think of where might have copied that data that is does not show up. Omni even shows hidden files.
Yep thats what I'm going to have to do I think.
Will I love any programs that come standard?
 

Weaselboy

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Yep thats what I'm going to have to do I think.
Will I love any programs that come standard?
When you first setup the new machine you had to go to the App Store to get your free version of Garageband, iMovie and iPhoto that comes with the machine. It would have asked you for your AppleID and linked those free apps to your AppleID. So when you wipe the machine you can just go to the App Store and enter the same AppleID and in the Purchases section redownload those apps.

If you never did that, you can do it after the fresh install.