It turns out that the reason the backups are there but not selectable in the timeline is to do with the frustrating TM UI: It requires that you navigate to the right directory to see it's history. I found this out from the tan coloured box on this page: The problem is that the directory structure is not the same on my new machine.
I want to explore and retrieve things from the root directory on the old machine. However, if I click on the All Files link in Finder I can see old files from my back up and can go back through the timeline. But how I do I get at the folder structure. To sum up: Note that I tried making local directories with the names of dirs I know to be in the TM backup, but that doesn't work - it recognizes, I think, that these are not the same dirs.
Read the HFS+ Partition
Just Checking that you have not missed the "holding option key down in time machine" thing that I missed for ages:. Complete guide to Time Machine: Select Browse Other Backup Disks. The Time Machine disk should appear in a list, and once you've selected it you'll see the standard Finder-based Time Machine view where you can move back in time to retrieve older files. What makes this even tougher is the fact that you probably do need to work and create new documents on the MacBook Pro while at the same time want to recover files.
Restoring selected files from time machine backup of a different mac - Ask Different
I might go and say that you have to do a bit of Terminal trickery as I suspect you have permission issues, OS issues from the dead iMac and the old TM disk , and maybe haste issues so let's trim the fat and see if we can save your stuff. I would say it might be necessary to set the permissions on the external drive to be read and write for every user and directory.
You can speed this up by not doing it on the entire disk but just the latest folder with the date name. So run this and let the system do it's thing perhaps disable screen saver but turn brightness down so that you don't waste energy.
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Once the command has finished check to see if you can access the files now from Finder in that folder you dragged into Terminal. Then try and see what the Time Machine. If that resolved things super. If not then you might want to consider something else.
How to move your content to a new Mac
If you have the space on the MacBook Pro's internal drive, consider saving just the User folder from the dated folder you chmod'd before. Again this copy could take approximately an hour per GB but speeds depend on file number and size. That's the key to being able to browse another computer's backup drive. Then hold the option key and choose "Browse Other Backup Disks".
At this point Time Machine will recognize the older backups and allow you to browse through history of the entire filesystem and restore files and directories as you would expect. There may be an easier and quicker way that just worked for me if you have disk permission issues.
How to Back Up With Time Machine
The first part of the task is the same:. Find the file s or directories you want to copy within the other machine's Time Machine backup and press restore. If the restore option is not available, close Time Machine. The window with the files you want is now visible in your finder a Christmas miracle You can now copy the files wherever you want like a regular Finder operation.
No disk permission fix necessary. If you want to browse individual files from a backup and then restore them or move them somewhere, I'd suggest the software BackupLoupe , which lets you do exactly this!
How to transfer backups from Time Machine to a new Mac
But I can't even run Time Machine without setting it up, so I do - I turn it on and point it at my external drive with the old time machine Q2: Uh oh - wait a minute, is it going to wipe my old backup and replace it with backup of the new machine?
I turn off Time Machine quickly I add a new external drive to another usb port and set up That one as a Time Machine backup for the new machine - turning TM back on. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Either way, the first step is connecting that Mac-formatting Time Machine drive to your Windows computer.
However, they do offer time-limited trials that will work for a one-time restore process.
This is the Time Machine backups folder. This is the folder that contains all the Time Machine backups from that specific Mac. The Latest folder is your most current Time Machine backup. Unless you want to restore old, deleted files or previous versions of files, go to the Latest folder. To restore all your personal files to your Windows PC, navigate to this folder, select it, and click the Extract button.
You could also extract individual files or every single backup file.