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  1. #1
    Finding the trash in Time Machine


    I have my Mac set up so that I can see hidden folders in Finder and that means that I can navigate to my user folder and see the Trash folder under it and, if I need, retrieve something. I don't need to do that, of course, since I have the Trash icon in my Dock, but I wanted to comment on the fact that I can see it in my normal file system.

    However when I open Time Machine and look at some previous entries I can not see any hidden folders and thus can not see any backed up Trash folder, and that presumably means that I can not retrieve something from the Trash from a backup. Given that I wanted to know if there was any way to retrieve something from the Trash from Time Machine backup. I assume I could restore the entire disk and that would give me back the earlier Trash folder, but I would assume there would be some easier and more practical way to retrieve something from the Trash from Time Machine.

    Or does TM not back up the Trash?

  2. #2

    IWT's Avatar
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    Or does TM not back up the Trash?
    No.

    I investigated this and posted about it on these Forums several months ago.

    I'll try and find it. But the bottom line is that Time Machine does not backup Trash.

    Ian
    Ian

  3. #3
    Thanks. As disappoint as this is I guess it explains why I could not find the Trash in my TM backup.

    I need to find some way around this issue.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeFromMesa View Post
    Thanks. As disappoint as this is I guess it explains why I could not find the Trash in my TM backup.

    I need to find some way around this issue.


    OK, so what is your actual problem???

    Are you wanting to find some file that you think is or was in your Trash at some point???

    Of course, the same file should be in your Time Machine backup at a time before it was placed in the trash.

    Just saying...



    - Patrick
    ======

  5. #5
    No. You misunderstand my concern. There is no particular file I need to retrieve from the Trash. This was more in the way of planning for the future. That is, as I was about to empty my trash it occurred to me the there might be a time in the future when I want to retrieve something from the trash and, of course, it would be gone once the trash was emptied, so how could I get it back if I needed to do so.

    As for the file being on my system and retrievable with Time Machine, many of the files I use are trip photos and are kept on an external drive. Those also get deleted so I might possibly want to retrieve one of them, and they would not be on my TM backup.

    I was just thinking about what might be a concern in the future, but not now.

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    As for the file being on my system and retrievable with Time Machine, many of the files I use are trip photos and are kept on an external drive. Those also get deleted so I might possibly want to retrieve one of them, and they would not be on my TM backup.
    You're going to need to rethink your strategy on this. Time Machine does not backup the Trash as Ian has stated and external hard drives need to be attached before their Trash items appear.

    I also keep several external hard drives with files and photos that I can't afford to lose but I make sure I back them up with Carbon Copy Cloner. I know that requires extra external hard drives. Currently I have 5 on my desk in addition to my 27" iMac.

  7. #7

    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Why isnít Time Machine backing up your external drives? TM will backup external drives also.


    Bob -

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    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  8. #8

    pm-r's Avatar
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    No. You misunderstand my concern. There is no particular file I need to retrieve from the Trash. This was more in the way of planning for the future.
    ... ... ...
    I was just thinking about what might be a concern in the future, but not now.

    As already mentioned, you need to re-think your deleting and baclup strategy.

    Either just keep all such files or use something like CCC and enable its Safety Net and/or archiving options.


    - Patrick
    ======

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Why isn’t Time Machine backing up your external drives? TM will backup external drives also.


    Bob -
    He, nor anyone else said that Time Machine was not backing up his external hard drives. That's not the problem. The problem is that Time Machine does not backup the Trash.

  10. #10

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Charlie, in post #5 he said:
    ...many of the files I use are trip photos and are kept on an external drive. Those also get deleted so I might possibly want to retrieve one of them, and they would not be on my TM backup.
    I suspect that was the statement that led to Bob's comment. I wondered the same as Bob as TM can certainly backup externals.
    Jake

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
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    I can see where the confusion is. I took it to mean that he was having the same difficulty finding Trash items in his backups both for his internal and external drives that were being backed up by Time Machine. I guess we will have to wait for Mike to comment.

    I personally do not use Time Machine to backup my external hard drives that I use for photos and other files. I use CCC to clone them to another hard drive. Additionally, for family photos and other photos I burn a copy of them to CDs or DVDs as needed.

  12. #12

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    That's how I do it, too. I use TM for the internal drive to one external, then CCC to clone the same drive to a second external. Then I copy the pictures critical to me to a third drive and then to a NAS RAID array. Yes, I'm paranoid, but I have lost two drives on the same day (primary and backup) so I now have at least three copies active at any time. I don't use CDs or DVDs any more, but then I have 11 external drives altogether (13 if you count the two raid arrays as individual drives), so I look like an old-fashioned DASD Farm from the old IBM mainframe days!
    Jake

  13. #13

    Rod Sprague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeFromMesa View Post
    No. You misunderstand my concern. There is no particular file I need to retrieve from the Trash. This was more in the way of planning for the future. That is, as I was about to empty my trash it occurred to me the there might be a time in the future when I want to retrieve something from the trash and, of course, it would be gone once the trash was emptied, so how could I get it back if I needed to do so.
    Based on that paragraph you would be unable to trash anything, with the exception of duplicates and things you don't need like .dmg installers and the like.
    Well storage is relatively cheap so you could just save everything you would normally trash but this borders on hoarding.
    Before long you will be considering backing up this storage as well.
    Sooner or later we have to make a decision about how many precautionary measures are reasonable to protect our data.


    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  14. #14
    I back up my system regularly. I have 3 backup hard drives (3.5") attached to the computer to backup (1) the system using Time Machine, (2) the system using CCC and (3) the raw and jpg files from our vacations and trips. I Also have 2 network drives to back up important information and the photos, so my normal system files are protected well enough. I keep the digital photos on an external ssd to save space on my MBP's internal drive (raw images take up a lot of space) and process them on that external drive, and that is what does not get backed up.

    That is, when we return from a trip I copy the raw and jpg images to the external drive for processing, and immediately copy them to both the attached backup and the NAS backup. When I am finished processing I copy the results to a different computer (which also gets backed up) and delete the working files to free up space for the next trip. My concern involves the intermediate files used when processing. That is, the files that are partly processed, but not yet finished. They exist in the window between my initial backup when placing the original images on the computer and the final backup when processing is complete, and if they are lost it means a lot of work re-establishing those files. The window is small and is not much of a danger, but I am concerned about accidentally sending some to the Trash and finding that it (the Trash) has been emptied. Thus my initial question.

    The CCC webpage says that it does not copy the Trash either unless the user unchecked the button saying to ignore the Trash, but I could not find that button anywhere and Bombich has not responded to my support request.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Why isn’t Time Machine backing up your external drives? TM will backup external drives also.
    Yes, I know. But the external drive is almost entirely my digital photos (and my Parallels pvm file) and those get backup up separately. It seems redundant to back up my images on the disk when they have already been copied to 2 backup drives. I am already running out of USB ports with the 4 usb drives attached to my MBP.

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