We use Apple’s OSX Lion Server (10.7) to host TimeMachine backups for several machines around the lab. Mostly this is a secondary backup as most user data is on a different fileserver, so I haven’t been too concerned about it. Recently though, we had a machine that needed a hard drive replacement, and I wanted to recover from the TimeMachine backup.

I booted from the recovery DVD that came with the system and selected Utilities>Restore System from Backup… but the TimeMachine backup did not show up. Our OSX Server is on a different subnet and while I could see another network mounted TimeMachine server, there was no way to connect to the one with this machine’s TimeMachine backup.

Luckily, I found this blog post from El-Studio Communications which describes the method.

      1. Boot from system recovery DVD (or other recovery media for machines without DVD drives)
      2. Select Utilities>Terminal
      3. Mount the TimeMachine share:
        1. Type:
          mount -t afp afp://username:password@hostname/ShareName /Volumes
        2. Note that in Snow Leopard you first need to create the mount point:
          sudo mkdir /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups


          mount -t afp afp://username:password@hostname/ShareName /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/
      4. Quit Terminal
      5. Select Utilities>Restore System from Backup
        1. Now your TimeMachine data should be there.
        2. Select it and continue with restore