Time Machine backup files invisible

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Hi, hoping you all can help me.

My Time Machine seems to be backing up my imac okay, but when I open the
Backups.backupdb folder, there is nothing inside.

This happened on my usual backup drive first.

I bought a new drive today with an 800 fire wire and did a complete Time Machine backup nice and quick, so I don't think it's an issue with the drive.

The backup has taken 500GB of space on the 2TB drive - but as I say - nothing visible in there.

Are the files hidden?
Is this to do with a Time Machine bug? Or OSX?

Thanks!
 

chscag

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In order to view files backed up by Time Machine you have to open Time Machine first. When it opens it will look like a Finder view from which you can navigate files and folders.

Do this:

Open System Preferences, System, Time Machine, then click on the small Time Machine icon in your menu bar at the top. Select "Enter Time Machine". Now you can navigate all your backed up files and folders. Try it and let us know if that works for you.
 
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Unfortunately they are still not there. The backups folder is there - the 500GBs are used on the drive but the folder is empty.


I have just run a disk utility using the install disk and it says the hard drive needs reformatting.
I am pretty well backed up as far as my own stuff is concerned - but what about itunes, iphoto, applications I use often? How can I manually back these up before deleting the hard drive?
 

chscag

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It sounds like your internal hard drive may be failing. That could mean replacing it with a new one. Whenever you get that message about the hard drive needs reformatting, it's generally bad news.

The best suggestion I have is to try manually backing up what you wish to save on to the new Firewire 800 drive. That probably means quite a bit of work and there is always the chance that the internal drive may quit in the middle of backing up.
 
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Thanks - that's what I feared.
We had a huge storm the other night - hard drive took a beating..

Any tips on the best way to go about getting a new hard drive?
Who does it best?
Is it worth going to Apple or will the local Apple repair store do the same job?
 

chscag

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Which Mac do you have? If it's an iMac, they can be difficult to change out a hard drive because the entire front panel display must be removed first. A MacBook or MacBook Pro is much easier.

You may be able to do the work yourself. As far as buying a new hard drive you might want to try the folks at Other World Computing. They have live support with an 800 number plus "how to" videos.
 
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It's an imac.
A local place quoted me $200 for replacing the hard drive (including the drive and labor) does that sound average?
Would you go with an authorized repair shop or only back to Apple?
 

chscag

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The $200 is a good price since it also includes the drive. As I stated, an iMac can be difficult to change out a hard drive.
 
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Thanks for your help - so far so good - I reformatted the drive and repartitioned, ran disk utility again and it says the disk is okay.
Everything is running well again after reinstalling OS X.
 

chscag

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Keep an eye on the drive. Make sure you do backups often - just in case. ;D
 
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Just figured this out - the backup files were invisible because I had renamed my computer using non-alphabetic figures only.
Now I've changed the name of my computer again, done another back-up on the drive where the invisible files are located, all the files have become visible.
But, problem now is that they have a no entry sign on them because they were backed up before I reformatted the hard drive. When I did that I had to create a new user account, which does not give me access to the old name/ account on the backups.

Any ideas how to get round this?

Thanks!
 

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