Time Machine restore with exluded folders; Will I lose them?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by gumbyx84, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. gumbyx84 macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2008
    I'm at my wits end, so bear with me as I explain this.

    I am having issues buring CDs in Finder. Went to the Apple Store this past weekend as I have AppleCare. The genius there couldn't figure out the problem and only recommended I do a "Archive and install" of 10.6. Reluctantly, I did that today. Now I have lost most of my customizations to Finder, getting weird errors with some of my apps that load on login, and the problem still persists.

    Instead of wasting hours on end getting the system up-to-date and trying to figure out all the errors Im getting, I decided to restore using Time Machine. I was about to restore a backup from yesterday (most up-to-date), but hesitated as I have never done a "Full" restore from TM before. So I decided to do a bit of research. From what I have been reading, the destination volume will be wiped clean and replaced by the backup. Normally this would be ok, but I remembered I excluded some folders from my Time Machine backup to cut down on space (Applications folder and VMs for example). I'm worried that if I restore using the "Restore from Backup" utility, I will lose the content in those folders.

    Can anyone confirm what exactly will happen if I do a "Full Restore"? Will I lose those "excluded" folders? If so, is there any way I can restore only the System Folder for my backup (that's really the only thing I need to restore). Please help me out as I am slightly panicked and ready to go back to the Apple Store and rip that Genius a new one.

    (Yes I know he couldn't have know about my specific backup setup, but he said that a "Archive and Install" would fix the problem. He also said that I wouldn't run into any issues afterwards, which was also false. Also, I know I am over-reacting but I have a valid reason to be peeved ATM)
  2. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    That's ridiculous that he "couldn't figure it out" I've had my superdrive replaced 3 times now. They're crap drives, he should've just swapped the drives out instead of telling you to do an archive and install, that won't solve anything, at all, go back in and ask for a superdrive replacement.

    But in answer to your question, yes you will lose those folders if you didn't have them set to back up in Time Machine.

    And yes, archive and installs only really work if you have EVERYTHING selected for TM, if just one folder is missing it can really mess everything up, the errors you're probably seeing are due to missing plist files that were originally there when the programs installed themselves, but when the system has been restored, they're now missing.
  3. gumbyx84 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2008
    The superdrive isn't broken. Its a permissions issue. I can burn in Toast or iTunes, just not Finder. Repairing permissions has does nothing.

    So a full restore from a backup is in out of the question. Is there anyway I can just roll back the System and Library folders? If not, can I manually back up the excluded folders (copy to external drive), restore from Time Machine, then copy them back without the system falling apart? Is it possible to inject the folders into the older backup I was going to use?
  4. gumbyx84 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2008
    I'll get yell at for double-posting as I am desperate for an answer.

    Can I restore only the System and Library folders from Time Machine? If not, if I can extract them of a TM backup (think I have an idea of how to do this) would I be able to overwrite the System and Library folders by via Target mode?

    I really don't want to do a clean install to fix these problems as I don't have the time to do it. Also, I don't remember all the customizations I've done on the system. Most of the stuff I did when I first got the machine back in 2008.

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