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MacTechTrainer
MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
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Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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my older mac powerbook G4 suddenly cant access info from my

Customer Question

my older mac powerbook G4 suddenly can't access info from my time machine external drive from my larger newer I-Mac. Was working fine a few days ago. Now folder icons have small black arrow in corner and won't open. Any ideas? Out of town and need the info on the drive! thanks!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 2 years ago.

MacTechTrainer :

Hello and thank you for asking your question, with JustAnswer.com/Mac. I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

MacTechTrainer :

thank you very much for your inquiry

Customer :

Hi Terry

MacTechTrainer :

Hello :)

MacTechTrainer :

As a professional Mac technician, I like to take more of a personable, personal approach, toward helping any valued JustAnswer.com customers, I am fortunate to assist.

MacTechTrainer :

On that note, may I start by asking your first name?

Customer :

this thing was working yesterday! Now it won't let me access files. Get a folder icon, but a little black arrow, says that

Customer :

The volume can't be found, insert the disk or connect to the server volume and wait for it to appear on the desktop then try again.

Customer :

My name is Ellis, sorry

MacTechTrainer :

No worries Ellis,

MacTechTrainer :

my pleasure to assist you

MacTechTrainer :

Now just to confirm, have you tried turning off the external drive, disconnecting it from the iMac and then reconnecting it and trying to have it discovered by your PowerBook G4 once again?

Customer :

yes. lots of times. restarted computer, etc.... the icon for the hard drive shows up, it will let me open it and even access folders that are on it in addtion to the the time machine backups, but it will NOT let me open the time machine files

Customer :

NOW. it has several times in the past, I've never had this problem before

MacTechTrainer :

And the Time Machine files are the same ones you have accessed before that are now not working, correct?

Customer :

Yes. By the way, I am working on an older Powerbook G410.4.11. The time machine backup is from my desktop IMAC, probably working on 10.6 or higher, can't remember. The backup probably far exceeds the capacity of this older laptop, but as long as I didn't try to run any programs, no problems before, was able to go in with Photoshop or Bridge or Word, grab the files I needed and open and work on them. Now, i just get the error message

MacTechTrainer :

Thanks for confirming that for me Ellis

MacTechTrainer :

here is what I want you to try, just to make sure that the permissions on your 10.4.11 Powerbook are cleared and repair (sometimes permissions on the computer accessing time machine back ups may need to be repaired)

MacTechTrainer :

So try this:

MacTechTrainer :

-RUN DISK UTILITY FIRST-

MacTechTrainer :

Go to Finder Menu bar

MacTechTrainer :

• Click Go > Utilities > Disk Utility and open up Disk Utility app.

MacTechTrainer :

• Click on Macintosh HD volume (or on the name you have changed

MacTechTrainer :

this volume to.)

MacTechTrainer :

• Select "Repair Disk Permissions"

MacTechTrainer :

*Let Disk Utility run this repair permissions until completion

MacTechTrainer :

Once Disk Utility is complete and there are no errors in red in the completion summary (if there are errors listed in red, re-run DU to see if those error will clear- if they don't reply back to this post right away and let me know what the exact error message is), quit Disk Utility.

Customer :

OK, will try now

MacTechTrainer :

This is a great way to make sure there are no errors from the recipient (the Powerbook) side

MacTechTrainer :

No worries, take your time sir:)

Customer :

ahem, I'm a m'aam ;-)

Customer :

Done, no repairs needed, all permissions good to go

MacTechTrainer :

I am soooo Sorry Ellis!

Customer :

NO problem!

Customer :

happens all the time

MacTechTrainer :

I have spoken to more "Ellis" that are sirs than Ma'am

MacTechTrainer :

lol

MacTechTrainer :

thanks for being so kind and forgiving

MacTechTrainer :

I am really going to help you well now

MacTechTrainer :

;)

Customer :

i'm 700 miles from home and in trouble if I can't access the info on that hard drive. I KNOW it's there, took it by the Genius bar today, they could see it all from a newer computer, but not showing up on this dinosaur where I need it!

Customer :

of course, working on a deadline too

MacTechTrainer :

I will standby as you complete that first procedure- and duly understood

Customer :

sorry, it's done. Disk utility found no permission errors

MacTechTrainer :

no worries

MacTechTrainer :

perform that task once more for me if you would Ellis

MacTechTrainer :

I like to have this procedure performed at least twice

Customer :

sure

Customer :

meantime, something weird is going on with the dates on these files, they're all showing Dec 31st. 1969, just noticed.

Customer :

done on permissions again

MacTechTrainer :

that is ok, usually, if you follow the script in the repair permissions, you will see some strange data

MacTechTrainer :

as long as the summary of completion does not bring up any errors in red

Customer :

the dates i'm seeing are on the external hard drive time machine folders....

Customer :

should I run disk permissions on the time machine drive

MacTechTrainer :

Yes, that was my next request-

MacTechTrainer :

twice

Customer :

will do

Customer :

interesting, it doesn't give me the option to repari

Customer :

or verify

Customer :

i can either verify disk or repair disk

Customer :

only

MacTechTrainer :

Do you see the repair Disk option

MacTechTrainer :

yes

MacTechTrainer :

that is the one you actually want

Customer :

yes

MacTechTrainer :

the Repair Disk Permissions options is for the Mac OS X volume on the hard drive

Customer :

this is the only back up I have, it won't mess with it?

MacTechTrainer :

in other words for 10.4.11 as an operating system

MacTechTrainer :

Not at all

Customer :

ok

MacTechTrainer :

Disk Utility is geniunely first aid to hard drives and volumes

MacTechTrainer :

it fixes errors not make them :)

Customer :

haha... ok but it's 763 gigs so it's going to take a while... will let you know when it's done!

MacTechTrainer :

so you will be ok Ellis

MacTechTrainer :

That is ok

MacTechTrainer :

I am dug in - so I can standby with no issue ;)

MacTechTrainer :

I am going to help you resolve this issue, any way I can

Customer :

done, it says no repairs were necessary ...

MacTechTrainer :

Ok good

MacTechTrainer :

now what I need you to do Ellis, is believe it or not,

MacTechTrainer :

reboot your Mac

Customer :

I'll lose you

MacTechTrainer :

make sure you bookmark this session of course, in your web browser

MacTechTrainer :

so you can come right back to this session

MacTechTrainer :

I will be here

Customer :

ok, will do. this is scary!

Customer :

;-)

Customer :

i'm back!

MacTechTrainer :

You did it!

MacTechTrainer :

I knew you could Ellis

Customer :

still can't access files though ;-(

MacTechTrainer :

Hmm

MacTechTrainer :

Ellis, give me a few minutes if you would

MacTechTrainer :

I want to check some of my mac resources regarding this issue

Customer :

sure.

MacTechTrainer :

be right with you

MacTechTrainer :

and thanks so much for your patience

MacTechTrainer :

Ok Ellis,

MacTechTrainer :

I see you are offline

MacTechTrainer :

are you able to come back online?

MacTechTrainer :

we have some more steps I need to take you through to see if we can fix this access issue

MacTechTrainer :

Oh there you are

MacTechTrainer :

- thought I had lost you

Customer : For some reason I lost you on line On phone now
MacTechTrainer :

Ok,

MacTechTrainer :

Now quick question

MacTechTrainer :

where is your newer iMac with the external hard drive in this equation?

MacTechTrainer :

is it in the same area of where your Powerbook is located, or have you been accessing that external hard drive from that iMac wirelessly?

Customer : Please offer suggestions fading fast. My other Mac is 700 miles away
Customer : No a hard connect usb
MacTechTrainer :

Oh ok

MacTechTrainer :

So let me ask this, because now I think I know what is going on

MacTechTrainer :

when you said the Powerbook was accessing files just fine a few days ago Ellis, where you still 700 miles away from that Mac?

Customer : Yes
MacTechTrainer :

Sorry for all the questions Ellis, but I have to get a mental map of the way you were connecting so I can isolate what could be the issue here

MacTechTrainer :

So thanks again for your patience

Customer : Look thanks for your time Im exhausted. Please leave me any answers you might come up with. I'll rate you in morning. You certainly tried thanks
MacTechTrainer :

Oh its ok

MacTechTrainer :

I do understand

MacTechTrainer :

I will just keep posting some questions for you

MacTechTrainer :

and I will be watching for you tomorrow

MacTechTrainer :

for your feedback Ellis

MacTechTrainer :

because I believe once I have those few questions answered

Customer : Thnks
MacTechTrainer :

it may solve this riddle for me

MacTechTrainer :

as to why you could access the time machine hard drive at one time, but not now

MacTechTrainer :

You now have this page bookmarked

MacTechTrainer :

so you will be able to get back to me with no further issue now I am sure:)

MacTechTrainer :

Have a good evening Ellis

MacTechTrainer :

Now I am going to post some questions:

MacTechTrainer :

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MacTechTrainer :

1.) You mentioned in your initial question about doing searches, going through a "backdoor". That leads me to ask, how were you connecting to your iMac from your PowerBook?

MacTechTrainer :

2.) Also, do you have anyone at your home location where the iMac and external drive is located who can check and see if the hard drive is still on?

MacTechTrainer :

3.) Finally, have you had any error messages appear when you do attempt to access the Time Machine files from your PowerBook?

MacTechTrainer :

Thank you in advance for your answers Ellis. I will be looking to resolve this issue for you tomorrow

MacTechTrainer :

Kind Regards,

MacTechTrainer :

-Terry

MacTechTrainer :

Sr. Mac Support Specialist

Customer : Hi terry, NO way was the PowerBook picking up anything from my other computer wirelessly or otherwise. I definitely was able to open files from the drive earlier this week. Any other ideas?

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