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Time Machine Backups Gone?


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Time Machine Backups Gone?
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-20, 09:58

Yesterday I was moving the location of my routers around in an effort to improve the network and because of that I moved my Time Machine drive from the Airport Extreme to being directly plugged into my iMac. Problem is, when I enter into Time Machine now I'm not shown any prior backups. I know they are still there (somewhere) but just not accessible for some reason. I tested this by placing something on the Desktop, backing up, and then deleting the file and again backing up. When I pull up Time Machine I'm still only shown the "Now" version. So my question is where are the backups going and how can I use Time Machine so that I have all of the prior backups (nearly a year's worth) accessible?
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ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2008-12-21, 01:56

You cannot freely switch Time Machine backups from being network-attached to locally-attached. (*)

When backing up to the network, backups are stored in a per-machine disk image, of the form <hostname>_<MAC>.sparsebundle, stored at the root of the target volume. You'll see this file on your Time Machine disk.

Local backups, however, are stored in Backups.backupdb at the root of the target volume. If you open the sparse bundle, you'll notice that the internal structure of the disk image starts with the Backups.backupdb that I just mentioned.

(*) Thus, it might be possible to migrate the contents of a specific sparse bundle to a local volume using the following commands:

Code:
hdiutil attach -readonly -noautofsck -noverify \ '/Volumes/<BackupDisk>/<hostname>_<MAC>.sparsebundle' && \ sudo ditto \ '/Volumes/Backup of <hostname>/Backups.backupdb' \ '/Volumes/<BackupDisk>/Backups.backupdb'
If "Backups.backupdb" already exists on the <BackupDisk>, this likely won't work. If this does work, however, the next step would be to select the disk at its new location in the Time Machine preferences. Though the disk is the same, the network-attached and locally-attached variants will be aliased differently, for (hopefully) obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, being able to copy this information requires that <BackupDisk> be under 50% full, since it's effectively putting all your backed-up data on the volume twice. But this is the best help I can offer.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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Gargoyle
http://ga.rgoyle.com
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
 
2008-12-21, 04:27

If the structure is indeed exactly the same, then you might be able to make a symlink so that Backups.backupdb on the root of the disk points to Backups.backupdb inside the sparse bundle.

OK, I have given up keeping this sig up to date. Lets just say I'm the guy that installs every latest version as soon as its available!
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ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2008-12-21, 05:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
If the structure is indeed exactly the same, then you might be able to make a symlink so that Backups.backupdb on the root of the disk points to Backups.backupdb inside the sparse bundle.
This would likely fail for a number of reasons:
  • Disk image would always need to be mounted. Nigh impossible to guarantee.
  • Backups can run when no users are at the console, exacerbating the previous problem.
  • If backupd checks to make sure it never crosses device boundaries in its backups, this will always fail.
Or even if it works, I wouldn't tout it as a long-term solution…

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-21, 21:29

Interesting. I'll have to play with this tomorrow when I'm more awake and can try to figure that out.

I guess basically if I can figure out how to migrate the two versions of backups, I should be good to go?
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ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2008-12-21, 21:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
I guess basically if I can figure out how to migrate the two versions of backups, I should be good to go?
You might be good to go. No guarantees. Since it's simply a copy, you shouldn't be at risk of losing anything.
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-22, 07:57

I tried to run those commands in terminal but nothing happens. I just get an empty cursor with no activity. Can you give me a step by step and what I should expect if it's actually doing what it's supposed to?

I opened up the sparsbundle to see if I could just copy the backups out and do it that way. Everything in there is readonly for users. Is it possible to give myself read/write access to move them or would that not be smart?

Also, now when I try to backup to the disk I get an error saying that the selected drive is read only.

Last edited by jdcfsu : 2008-12-22 at 08:23.
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ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2008-12-22, 12:28

Ditto, by default, doesn't print any progress information. Add -vV right after the "ditto" command and it will spew output as it's copying files.
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-22, 13:54

That doesn't seem to work. I get a boat load of can't find the file errors. I've double checked everything, typed it in correctly and it doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure if it's because there is a ' in the name of the files/destinations but everything is named in the default OS X manor <username>'s iMac, etc.

Would it be possible to manually copy the contents of the sparsbundle, the individual backup dates, somewhere, reformat the drive and then move them back in? If it is possible, how do I make the files read/write as they're currently all read only except for the system.
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ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2008-12-22, 18:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
That doesn't seem to work. I get a boat load of can't find the file errors. I've double checked everything, typed it in correctly and it doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure if it's because there is a ' in the name of the files/destinations but everything is named in the default OS X manor <username>'s iMac, etc.

Would it be possible to manually copy the contents of the sparsbundle, the individual backup dates, somewhere, reformat the drive and then move them back in? If it is possible, how do I make the files read/write as they're currently all read only except for the system.
It might be my mistake, since I live on the Terminal, but Finder may be able to copy the directories. Just try dragging it from the mounted disk image to the target disk. If that works, I'll kick myself.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2008-12-22, 21:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowOfGed View Post
It might be my mistake, since I live on the Terminal, but Finder may be able to copy the directories. Just try dragging it from the mounted disk image to the target disk. If that works, I'll kick myself.
It doesn't. They are all read only locked by the system. I can't move them without write status (I guess) but I can't give them write status... I can see them all -- there's a ton -- but I have no idea what to do next.
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