View Full Version : Recovering files from Time Machine backup drive

8th March 2008, 04:25 PM
Well it finally happened. My lovely G5 iMac blew up this morning (power supply) so I plugged my LaCie external HD (with all my iMac Time Machine backups for months) into my trusty G4 PowerBook with the firewire cable so I could grab a few important files while the iMac gets repaired. The G4 is never backed up. The LaCie appeared as a mounted drive on the PBook. I found the folder on the LaCie and dragged it onto the desktop of the PBook. Copying started - about 1Gb in that folder - all my current work files. Then the shock - the copy window stated that it will take 244 hours to copy that folder across. I waited a while in case the timing was screwed up but no such luck - snails pace. Any suggestions as I need the files before heading to the US on Monday!!!

8th March 2008, 05:25 PM
Do you have Leopard on the G4? You should be using Time Machine to recover the data onto the target computer.

8th March 2008, 05:30 PM
1gb of data should not take that long

8th March 2008, 05:34 PM
Yeah you should be accessing the files through leopard... maybe you are - don't now you didn't say. Also if you get a message like this I often find that it has more to do with the firewire drivers being out of date or some kind of transport problem - although Lacie drives normally play very well with macs.

8th March 2008, 07:10 PM
I should have said that I have latest Leopard on both computers. Time Machine on G4 wants to start all over again - cannot see the previous back ups from G5. Can only see them through finder on G4.

8th March 2008, 07:52 PM
Try copying half the files at a time. There could be a problem with a single file. The external drive could also be faulty.

8th March 2008, 08:01 PM
Yeah, pick out only your most critical files at this time, later back up to the internet somewhere. Off site backups can save your life.

9th March 2008, 07:03 AM
Try skimming through the Apple support forum.

I found this (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1432275&tstart=15) and this (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1428810&tstart=45).

Whilst they don't address your problem directly, they explain that Time Machine backups are machine-specific (actually, ethernet MAC address specific).

Also, if you use FileVault with Time Machine, then the contents of the TM drive are encrypted.

10th March 2008, 05:14 AM
Aladdin, thanks for the pointer to the support docs. So there are two ways to achieve what I wanted - use finder and drag copy from the backup to the new target computer or control-click the time machine icon in the dock and select "Other Time Machine Disks" and you can restore to the new target computer.

Either way, the initial time estimator started off at hundreds of hours but in the end actually took around 6 hours. Thanks everyone for their assistance - much appreciated.