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Claws224, IEEE Datacommunication Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 5182
Experience:  IEEE, Microsoft
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I have a MacBook laptop computer. I am using a Maxtor ...

Customer Question

I have a MacBook laptop computer. I am using a Maxtor external drive for backup with Time Machine. When operating my computer this AM, a number of the applications were grayed out and unusable. As an example, MS Entourage mail was just like a brand new installation and all mail and files from yesterday were not found. I cannot access my Quicken application either along with others while Safari works fine as does Firefox, etc. I need to restore the files and regain access to my applications. I can see them when I click on Application in Finder but almost all of them are grayed out. (Hopefully I am making sense). I do not know how to restore the applications from the external disk or if there is something I need to do on the laptop to restore the proper operation of the files. HELP!!!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Claws224 replied 9 years ago.


By the sounds of things a complete restore to your last backup may be in order as it sounds like multiple files have been damaged or removed.

Could you boot from the Leopard install disc by booting the machine with the C key held down and instead of running the install process, go to Utilities, Restore System from Backup. Then select your backup source (your external Time Machine drive), choose which backup you want to restore (the most recent), then pick the destination drive and follow the steps to restore.

Once it is done your computer should be back to the correct state.

Let us know if you have any issues or if you just wish to try a single file restore.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The reasons I have not answered are:
(1) When attempting to restore from the backup drive, it erased everything on the Macintosh HD prior to attempting to restore.

The first restore did not finish. When I attempted to work from the Leopard disk again, it would not load because the original OS had been removed. The Leopard disk is an upgrade disk.

So I had to install the original Apple OS, then work from the Leopard OS, attempt the restore from the external Maxtor HD and all that takes HOURS!!!

After finally getting a restore from the external backup drive, I discovered that I was in EXACTLY the same spot I was in before I started all this. My Quicken files were gone, all the previous email on Entourage was gone (just like a brand new install) and other files were just like new. Had to reinstall MS Office for MAC, reinstalled Quicken for MAC which still does not work (no data file to open), and so on.

I can still see the grayed out files on the Macintosh HD menu and even on the backup files but NO files are accessible. I have about decided to drive 200 miles on Tuesday with the computer and the backup HD to an Apple Store (the nearest one to me) to see if they can help.

So - do I have issues????????????????????????
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Also I was afraid to restore from the "most recent" backup file as I felt it might have stored the problem...whatever it is. I went back a few hours to a time when the computer was running with no problems and did my backup from there. Was that wrong????
Expert:  Claws224 replied 9 years ago.


So how many backups do you have?

When you restore from a Time machine drive it should restore everything, OS and all.

If this is not the case then it sounds like your Bakups are either incomplete or damaged.

If that is the case then you may try individual file restores using Time Machine.

To restore a particular file, first use Spotlight to specify the file or folder location you need to recover. For example, if you need to recover a presentation on architecture, search for "architecture" using Spotlight.

Once you've located the file you want to restore, (or a file you want to restore even if Spotlight can't find it), click the Time Machine icon in the Dock. Spotlight will pass your search to Time Machine.

In the Time Machine "time travel" window, use the large arrows to the right of the search window, or the timeline on the right window edge of Time Machine, to browse through your backups. Your previous search is performed in every backup window as it is displayed.

When you've found the file you want, select it and use Quick Look to make sure.

Click Restore to restore the file. The restored item is returned to its original location. For example, if the file was in the Documents folder, it is returned to the Documents folder.

Time Machine may ask if you want to re-create one or more folders in order to return a restored item to its original location so say yes and follow the prompts.

Let me know what happens.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Didn't work. Called Apple Help and they were really slack. Not impressed with Apple Help at all. I was going to take the computer to the nearest Apple Store (150 miles away) but they didn't want to deal with it and referred me to Apple Help. And I dropped PC/s because I felt the MAC would be better.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am also looking for online backup for the MAC. Not happy with the Time Machine at all. No help. Thought I was OK with it and I would be able to recover data files and documents, etc., if something happened. No such luck. I guess I should have been backing up to a DVD or a second drive for insurance. Now I have to spend a few days reconstructing bookkeeping files and there is no way I can reconstruct the lost email and email contacts.

Expert:  Claws224 replied 9 years ago.

Sorry to hear that you could not even get your mail back.

For a backup solution you may wish to consider somethig like a Maxtor One touch

The link I provided is for the one I use however you can use a smaller unit which is a lot cheaper.

With something like the onetouch if you have a disaster you can boot the machine directly from the external drive or you can just direct transfer the entire disk image back to your computer, It also has both automated backup software and a One Touch button on the front that you hit if you want to run a backup

Once again I am sorry I was unable to help you recover your data.



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am running the Maxtor One Touch but using Time Machine to provide the backup schedule and recovery. That may have been part of my problem. This is the 120Gb unit which I assumed would be sufficient for my needs. Thank you for the web site on the larger unit. I should have set up a RAID program instead of what I did.

I am in the process of reevaluating my complete backup situation. Can't afford to lose any more documents and databases. I have not closed this discussion yet.