What went wrong with my Time Machine backups?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Reimer, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Reimer macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2006
    I've had Time Machine enabled for the past couple of years. Thankfully, I've only really had to depend on it a couple of times but nothing major. It was set to back up everything. The only exclusion I had set was the Bootcamp partition.

    Due to an incident, I decided tonight to wipe my Macintosh HD partition using Disk Utility and restore from my Time Machine backup which was on a 1TB external USB hard drive.

    To my surprise, the oldest backup available was from July 1, 2016. Only a bit over a month old. I could swear I've had backups much older previously. Okay, no problem I thought. I only need the most recent back up anyway.

    I restore only to find out my "Application Support" folder, for some reason, hasn't been backed up since July 1st. But the rest of the Library folder was fine.

    Anyway, I just thought this has been odd. Thankfully, the July 1st backup wasn't too old and I didn't lose much at all. Otherwise, I would have lost my browser settings, bookmarks, etc. And yes, I take responsibility for not being more diligent with my back ups and should have checked before deciding to format. I just thought this was weird behavior from Time Machine.
  2. george_i, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016

    george_i macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2015
    I suggest you try a full Time Machine reset. Go /Macintosh HD > Library > Preferences and move to the trash the file com.apple.TimeMachine.plist (you will be asked for your password), that is probably damaged.

    Connect the Time Machine disk and restart > Use as Backup Disk. A new full backup will be taken and will be added to the previous ones. The preference file will be recreated.
  3. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Have you verified the Time Machine partition with Disk Utility?
  4. Reimer thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2006
    Thanks. I ended up doing this. Hopefully, it'll prevent future issues.

    Yup. Doesn't seem like the drive itself has any issues.
  5. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    You should check the Time Machine drive with something like SMART Utility. Disk Utility is useless at catching drive failures. I have seen it miss drives with more than 1000 bad sectors on many occasions. Also Disk Warrior would not be a bad idea.

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