My old imac with Snow Leopard 10.6.8 was super slow.
I decided to do a clean install after backing up on Time Machine. When I reinstalled Snow Leopard, it asked for an account name so I just put in a logical one. I then went to TM and found that none of the files I wanted were there. Reading info about this, it seems I made a new account and that if I can rename the account to the original name, I may be able to get to those files.
Unfortunately, I cant recall my old account name.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    It might be easier to use Migration Assistant to migrate data from am TM backup
    – nohillside
    Nov 14, 2013 at 5:43
  • You might also try to browse for other time machine backups. (press option while clicking the time machine icon in the menu bar to see this menu item). If the machine name was different, etc, then the time machine data you browse normally is not going to have the old information.
    – Kent
    Nov 14, 2013 at 6:53
  • I tried Kent's idea and all that shows up is the external drive, same place but different data. Does it make sense that when I changed the user name that it created an "alternate reality" on the same external drive?
    – user62449
    Nov 14, 2013 at 14:32
  • I think the "alternate reality" is the previous installation's backup. If you go in there, then the "/Users" folder should show you all the original user names. You can restore the files you need from there. If this works, let me know, and I'll put it as an answer instead of the comment here.
    – Kent
    Nov 15, 2013 at 0:06
  • Sorry, but how do I "go in there?" I obviously know just enough to be dangerous.
    – Jeff
    Nov 15, 2013 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


You should be able to list all user home folders on the backup by running

ls -l /Volumes/Time\ Machine/Backups.backupdb/*/Latest/*/Users/

in Terminal. This assumes your TM backup drive is called Time Machine, replace the name if it is called differently.

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