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How do I retrieve files from Time Machine backups from another computer?

How do I retrieve files from Time Machine backups from another computer?

Really it's the same computer - I just did a fresh install of Snow Leopard. When I try to open the Documents directory from my old user account I get

Asked by: Guest | Views: 115
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"You could also invoke ""Enter Time Machine"" as root. That requires Finder to be started as root first, so only for those who understand the risks. In Terminal, for both Leopard and Snow Leopard:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder

In Snow Leopard this does not (always?) open an initial Finder window. Do not click the Finder icon in the Dock (which might take you to your normal Finder), but use Command-Tab to go to Finder (which will be the new root-Finder). Here, hit Cmd-N for a new Finder window.

The new Finder looks like a normal Finder, but you'll notice root next to the home folder icon in Finder's sidebar. While the root-Finder is active, enter Time Machine (and once again validate that root is shown next to the home folder icon). This should allow you to browse, delete or restore what you need (but, for the original question: it won't solve your access issues permanently).

(As usual, holding down Option while clicking the Time Machine icon will change ""Enter Time Machine"" into ""Browse Other Time Machine Disks"" if you need to examine a disk that is not associated to your current machine. You might not need to be running as root to do that though!)

When done, eject the Time Machine volume if applicable. Next, hit Ctrl-C in Terminal to stop the root-Finder. The usual Finder will still be running, but in Snow Leopard the indicator in the Dock may have gone. Run killal Finder if that bothers you. (And if you forgot to eject the Time Machine volume while you were still root and the disk doesn't unmount properly at a later time, or if Time Machine won't mount it correctly when running its hourly backup, then you may simply log off as an easy fix.)

(If anyone knows how to do this without first running a root-Finder then please tell us! Running sudo ""/Applications/Time Machine.app/Contents/MacOS/Time Machine"" does not give the expected result, and I assume that the Time Machine galaxy window is in fact part of Finder. For the sake of search engines: ""run time machine as root"", ""start time machine as root"".)"
Guest [Entry]

"on the command line you should be able to type

sudo su

and be authenticated as root. If the root user is unable to access the files, then you're most likely running into a data corruption problem.

Fixing Disk Corruption:

DiskWarrior - great for repairing HFS+ (mac formatted) drives, but not free
OnyX - Has some nice drive repair, free."
Guest [Entry]

Never try to change the permissions of or modify any file on a Time Machine backup. Use sudo to copy the entire Documents folder to your local drive, then chown -R.
Never try to change the permissions of or modify any file on a Time Machine backup. Use sudo to copy the entire Documents folder to your local drive, then chown -R.
Guest [Entry]

"Okay so I'm not computer savvy by any means, but i have been puzzling over this for almost two hours now and i think i may have figured out something relatively easy that seems to be working.

When I would go into finder and select my external hard drive (which i called 'my life in virtual form) from the side bar, there would be several folders which would have this bizarre red minus sign in a circle at the bottom right corner. whenever i tried to open it, it liked to tell me finder couldn't open it because I didn't have 'permission...' whatever that means because I totally give myself permission to access my own writing.

Anyway, I took this file (the 'documents' folder from a backup of my old mac) and dragged it to the desktop. It copied it, still with that annoy little minus sign in the corner, but bear with me because this is where I stupidly stumbled onto my own genius. from the copied folder on my desktop, I then dragged it back over to the sidebar and dropped it into the 'documents' tap there. again, i had to wait for it to copy, and when it was finish, tada! magically I could go inside of it and open files from my old mac i apparently didn't have permission to see.

I have no idea why or how this worked for me, like i said, I tend to suck the life out of my technology faster than i do most anything else in life, but i now have access to these files after hours of scratching my head and being denied apparently by my own self. Hope this helps you guys and good luck!"
Guest [Entry]

I just clicked on the restricted folder (in my case Desktop), clicked Restore and away it went. I had to choose the new location (or I could choose to recreate the original) and I just chose my desktop. Simple.