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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Can you restore Time Machine Files to a NEW Time Machine Drive?


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drgrafix

 
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Prior to my old TM drive totally dying on me, I moved a number of backup files which I assume were its Time Machine files onto my root internal drive. I didn't get everything, but I got about 18 months worth I think. They wanted $600 to get everything off the drive and that was too much for me to handle. So I just got a new 1TB Lacie Quadra which I'd like to be my TM drive, but I'd also like to store other material there... mainly graphics files.

So rather than formatting as one large partition, do I need to format to two (2) partitions, one for TM and one for data files? Also, since I have a lot of old backup files, how do I incorporate those backups (back to 2009 I think) into Time Machine or is that a lost cause. Do I just move them from the root drive to the Time Machine drive (or partition)? The old drive did die and it won't even spin up now. Last question... I'm trying to grasp Time Machine's usefulness and exactly what it's backing up. Is it backing up _everything_ on my root drive or just OSX versions or OSX versions and applications, or what? Is it backing up my iTunes, my pictures, my email, and anything else?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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IWT

 
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Let me announce my amateur status from the start. The "Big Boys & Girls" of this forum will provide the class.

As far as I know, TM backs up everything, iPhotos, pictures, iTunes, Aperture 3, emails - the lot. Plus all applications and preferences. It restores your Mac exactly as it was.

My first ever TM was used to "populate" my three subsequent Macs, restoring them to a situation identical to the first. Obviously, I attached new TMs to each Mac as I got it, but, in effect, they were copies of my first with whatever new stuff I had added since then — photos, apps, emails, and all the rest.

I too use LaCie d2 Quadra as my TM.

Wise people will emphasise that LaCie ONLY makes the enclosures, not the HD which (in theory) could be from any source. BUT, just counting now, I have 12 different LaCie EHDs going back 4+ years. They've been repeatedly reformatted, partitioned and used over & over again. Not one has ever failed.

Caveat: I have no experience of partitioning the Quadra to allow TM to back up on one partition and data on the other and I'm not sure how you would do this anyway.

What I would do: Quadra dedicated to TM. Separate EHD to back up all those other bits, graphics or whatever.

Then, you mention "old backups from 2009". I can't see how to integrate these with your new (Quadra) TM. Again, my thoughts are to use an EHD.

You could partition the EHD into 2 - one to receive the graphics etc; the other the old 2009 stuff.

That's my effort. Await the experts.

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Slydude

 
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What you can salvage from the previous backup depends in part upon exactly which files were grabbed. When a TM drive is directly connected to a Mac it stores the files in a folder at begins with the name Backups (Don't remember the rest at the moment) If you want TM to pick up where it left off and continue with these backups it can be done but will take a bit of work. Are you trying to do that or simply salvage some of the files?

As far as what TM backs up that depends a bit on how you set it up in the beginning. It is possible to have it backup all or almost all files but it is also possible to exclude files. Check out ATPM 15.03 - How To: Time Travel: Introduction to Time Machine for more info

Note that the network backup and some aspects of restoring existing backups have improved since I wrote that.Depending upon how you want to restore the backup I may need to dig up the newest info.

Found it: If you are running 10.6 the latest info on restoring files from an existing TM backup can be found about 3/4 of the way through this article Mac 101: Time Machine

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drgrafix

 
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I'm probably in way over my head on this LOL. OK, I was able to move one (1) backup folder over to my root HDD. I meant the "Backup.backup.db" which has one folder with 111 sub folders, and of them... there are typically folders that show one more folder which when opened has folders like applications, User Guides and Information, System, a disk image file, and some other stuff. The initial folder, when I click info started calculating size and after about 10 hours of calculating it says there's 6.65TB of information (6,423,165,175,479 bytes) for 20,714,890 items!!! So those files must be compressed up the ying-yang! I probably should delete them and start from scratch... right?

The reference given was interesting but I think it assumes I have those old TN backup files on a working TM EHD (I don't). All I have is the above folder which was created in February '08 and last modified on August 22, 2009. So its just a snapshot of time. There's also the possibility that simply dragging and dropping TM files screws up the database or format or something and might make them more useless than useful.

Right now the thought of trashing 6.5TB of backups is first and foremost.

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Slydude

 
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While the process I mentioned does seem to assume that you still have the old TM drive with the folder you have that process should work.

If you have already started a new backup it would probably be best to just save the folder that you have on a drive partition somewhere you can always point TM to it when you need access to the older files. In fact there is some software that has this as one of their selling points. Back-In-Time (Information) Although it assumes you have the TM disk it should work with the folder you have. There is a trial version that could be used to test it.

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drgrafix

 
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I guess I'm a bit confused by the size of the TM backup,backup.db folder at 6.5 TBs which I assume means expanded because I only have a 500GB HDD on the machine with 158 GB free! It did take at least an hour or two to move the file last time.

Wish I knew how big the compressed file was... is there any way to determine that? It might allow me to save the folder for future reference on a totally separate drive. I have another Fantom 1TB green drive which I could possibly purge, and a 250GB iOmega USB drive that has been bulletproof.

I'll take a look at the Back-In-Time deal.

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drgrafix

 
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Just an update; I went into those old backup.*.* files and trashed two years worth saving only 4-5 from each year roughly spaced about 45 days apart. As noted earlier I saved these particular files before the TM drive died completely and I sent it back to the manufacturer for a RMA's replacement. Since I did not have them on a working TM and have them in a different spot on my main HDD, I figured _NOW_ was the time to get Time Machine working again. So I connected the new external HDD and set it as my TM drive. It immediately went to work and started backing up. Several hours later it seemed to be done, and I _think_ all is well.

However, I do have two things to check out.

1. My new 1TB Time Machine drive is maxed to the gills with only 23.37GB free. My Main iMac internal HDD is 500GB with 197.18GB free. If TM is backing up 197+GBs, why is that taking up roughly 970GBs on the external drive?

2. I'm going to look into whether I need _ALL_ the remaining files on the "old" TM files because I'm thinking if the machine is running fine, why have all that garbage stored especially if it can't be or doesn't need to be accessed? Maybe there's a gazillion redundant files and that's why my TM file is so huge.

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hi basically time machine grabs all files on the computer and makes a copy that is usable in the Time Machine Programme. If you do not keep these files on the computer and your computers drive fails you only have 1 x copy on the external drive . If you remove files from your computer after thinking you have a backup and your time machine drive fails you loose your information. The Basic rule about Backup is that if the information is not in 2 locations it does not exist. I work for a Apple reseller and we see this problem all the time people assume that they have a fail safe because they have copied information to a external and then delete from there computer to free up space on the internal hard drives. Apple basically assume you have 2 copies so if your external fails you just get a new drive and start Time Machine again. the only way to secure data and feel confident about it is to have raid backups. I have a RAID 5 setup the data is copied to a external raid box ( 4 x 1TB drives in a RAID 5 configuration ) if any of the 4 drives fail I buy a new drive and place in the box and the data is rebuilt to its original form. basically there is enough information written on the other 3 x drives to keep my informations integrity and safe. I know some people can't afford this sort of thing but it is now under AUS$1000 for this sort of solution. you have ample storage that is safe. Anyway just some points for you to consider.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post

Found it: If you are running 10.6 the latest info on restoring files from an existing TM backup can be found about 3/4 of the way through this article Mac 101: Time Machine
Fast forward a year after your post - different person: I used the "Mac 101 copy Backups.backupdb folder from old TM disk to the new disk" method ( on OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard).

First time I did the copy, something weird happened and I only got a partial copy. Second time it worked (8 hrs to copy over USB 2.0). Maybe I answered the pop up question wrong the first time. There is a popup, after it has counted the number of files to copy, with three options.
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Thanks for letting me know that. I keep getting a Time Machine error finding my current drive for the last few days. If the cable from my Time Capsule to the drive isn't bad I think I'll do this to move the files to a new drive.

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