TM Drive Unfixable, Data Still Accessible

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jordii, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. jordii macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #1
    "OS X can't repair the disk Time Machine".

    However, I can still access files directly from the TM disk, and even (haltingly) via the TM app. So I hate to reformat the disk, since the data might be useful.

    But it's a big 1TB drive....an awful lot to back up elsewhere.

    What do I do? Just buy a new TM drive and keep this on hand for a year or two in case I need to go to it for data?
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #2
    That would be the prudent thing to do.
     
  3. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #3
    Hmm, but if I buy another drive to make my TM drive, then I can no longer use TM app to find files on the old drive, correct? If I remember correctly, TM is monogamous....
     
  4. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #4
    TM supports multiple devices for backups. I have 3 TM backup drives.
     
  5. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #5
    Cool. Hopefully TM app will still recognize the (offline) drive months from now if I need to remount it to grab a file.
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    Get the new TM working then I recommend you test the old TM to see if you can access it and extract a file so you will not be surprised "months from now".
     
  7. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #7
    Yup.

    Current issue is that I want to transfer these TM files to another drive, and while I've allocated a full 1TB to the new partition, I'm told they won't fit. I assume the directory problems are confusing the OS as it tries to parse the files. So I guess I'll need to tie up the drive they're currently on (it's a high quality OWC one, which I'd rather use in heavy rotation).
     
  8. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #8
    Wow. That's been more aggravation than expected.

    I can't copy the backup file to another drive. I guess the directory is too screwy.

    So I tried using Data Rescue 3. It says it can recover files off the disk, but even though it's a 1TB drive, the recovery will be 2.6TB (and I don't have any drives that big). Even stranger, I tried to winnow some of the backups from the recovery to make the data smaller, but Data Rescue thinks each backup is 400-600gb (weird, given that there are dozens of them, so I don't know how it can total 2.6TB).

    So I still haven't backed up these files, so I still haven't reformatted the TM drive, so I'm not currently backing up stuff, and am at a paralyzed standstill. Any ideas?
     
  9. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #9
  10. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #10
    +1 for DiskWarrior. I've used it for years and it is an awesome tool. I have used it many times to optimize TM directories and it is amazing all of the items it finds to repair in the directory. If you can find any way to swing the cost then do it.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    My Suggestions:

    Is the "source drive" -- which the TM backup represents -- still good?
    In other words, even if you erased the backup, do you still have your source files?

    In that case, my advice is to re-initialize the TM drive and "start fresh".
    Or -- if the drive won't re-initialize and "test out" -- get ANOTHER external drive for the fresh start.

    Actually, second way is better, you preserve the existing (but corrupt) backup until a NEW working backup has been created.

    My best advice:
    Forget about Time Machine, and for your fresh start use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create and maintain fully-bootable cloned backups of your source drive.
    Much easier, and you have a fully-bootable external drive as well.
    You won't realize just how important having one is, until you NEED it -- until you get into an "I can't boot!" situation...
     
  12. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #12
    Thanks, all. I bought DW3, never used it much, but can at least get an upgrade price.

    Fishrrman: I periodically clone in addition to TM. Also backup my most essential stuff to DB. I don't think cloning's "better" than TM, each has advantages and they're strongest in combination. Nobody clones hourly, and I'm unwilling to lose recent work. In fact, I need to grab backups of very recent files MUCH more often than I ever need a recent full-bootable clone ready to go.
     
  13. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #13
    I do, to 3 different drives so I know I'll always have a bootable clone handy. :)

    I also clone my media files hourly, to 3 separate RAID arrays. CCC makes it really easy.
     
  14. jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #14
    Cool!

    But you may want to bear in mind that very few people have access to that kind of hardware, or require bootability constantly updated. Simply telling people to bail out of TM and clone - when they don't have your RAID arrays, your meticulous config, or your idiosyncratic requirement for eternal bootability - is perhaps not appropriate for most users (I'm not saying this in a snotty way at all, just a gentle suggestion!).

    Edit: Woops....sorry, you're not the person who originally advised this! Forgot to look at the name tags!
     
  15. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #15
    Its OK, I was just saying that using CCC is easy, but I also have Time Machine backups to keep my bases covered :)
     
  16. jordii, Aug 28, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015

    jordii thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #16
    Ok! So Disk Warrior says:

    DiskWarrior has successfully built a new optimized directory for the disk named "Time Machine." The new directory is ready to replace the original directory. There is not enough contiguous free space for a fail-safe replacement of the directory. It is highly recommended that you backup all of your data from the preview disk before replacing the directory. The original directory is damaged and it was necessary to scavenge the directory to find file and folder data. Some files that had been lost or thrown away may have been recovered.

    Per above, I can't back up the data off my TM drive. So should I live dangerously, and go with DW's new version, paving over the old data, and hope Time Machine can recognize and work with the new disk, in spite of all the re-jiggering?

    I guess so. If Time Machine can't recognize the drive, I'm no worse than I was, and the data should be copy-able to another drive, per my Plan A.

    I've been computing since 1988, and it astounds me that, at this late date, corruptions and surprises and mini-disasters can still throw you into such deep conundrums. I'd have imagined that by 2015 my Mac would be an appliance akin to a microwave oven. But here I am, still needing to be a hobbyist....
     

Share This Page