This is a bit difficult,. I will try to explain in detail, please excuse if it get's a little long.

Outlook 2011 crashed, and I was advised to reinstall. That was a mistake, all my local folders in which I had a lot of mails sorted by projects and other criteria disappeared.

Luckily I had a Timemachine backup on our network connected Timecapsule.

I found the backup, which was a .dmg file and copied it to an external USB harddisk and brought everything home, hoping to be able to reconstruct the missing bits.

Well. I doubleclick the .dmg file and up pops a disk image with the wellknown Backups.backupdb folder on it.

In this folder, I see everything … backups all the way back to Nov 22 2012

Wohoooo …. I start TimeMachine. And nothing happens. Nothing at all. It doesn't launch.

I check the settings, and Time Machine ask if I want to use the "new" disk as my backup target, and I can select if i want to replace the old target or use both. I select "Use both".

Since I'm at home and not on the business network, TimeMachine cannot access the TimeCapsule and makes a backup to the external usb HD.

I let it run, and again truies to launch TimeMachine, and whoa … there it is with stars and galaxies and all … except, it only goes back 5 minutes. It will not go back to the date I want/need.

Looking at the USB harddisk, I still have only one file there … Peters backup.dmg … doubleclicking this file results in a disk image on the desktop called Time Machine Backups.

This disk image contains the Backups.backupdb folder and yes … there it is. All of it. backup folders back to Nov 22 2012 with the most recent being just 5 minutes old …

And still, when I launch TimeMachine all I can access is the latest backup.

  • I wonder why your backup on the Time Capsule is a .dmg file? How do you set it up initially?
    – nohillside
    Dec 13, 2013 at 7:50

2 Answers 2


I think you can actually go in and get the files you are looking for without using Time Machine per se. Just open the .dmg file and navigate to the files you want and copy them elsewhere.

  • If you browse your TM drive, you won't see any links or aliases at all (at least not for the incremental part). You can use Finder to browse through a full copy of your backup for a given date and easily copy the files back to your main drive.
    – nohillside
    Dec 13, 2013 at 7:49
  • OK. That way I can copy the Outlook Identity folder back ... which only gave a new problem. Outlook says I have to rebuild the database, and no matter how many time I try, I am told my database file could not be rebuilt and an error -18000
    – Peter
    Dec 13, 2013 at 11:11
  • That's probably because when you copy directly from the dmg, permissions will get out of whack. It's easiest to let time machine restore the files.
    – Kent
    Dec 13, 2013 at 13:04

If you press the option key when clicking the time machine icon in the menu bar, you should have the chance to browse "other" backup disks. Check if your older backups are on one of them.

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