I have recently recovered my Mac with a Time Machine Backup from the beginning of August. Today I ran an existing Meteor JS project and saw that the MongoDB documents were pretty outdated (latest document was from May 25th!).

Do you have any clue how to recover the missing documents? I have made a few backups between May and August but I would like to recover the latest.

1 Answer 1


Yes - use tmutil to see if the files you are missing were even backed up:

tmutil isexcluded /path/to/the/folder

If you don't have them backed up, you'll have to redo the work. If you did have them backed up, you can copy files using terminal from the destination to your desktop:

cp -rp /Volumes/Backup/Backup.backupdb/host/2015-08-25-000102/Macintosh\ HD/path/to/the/folder ~/Desktop/
  • Thank you for your comment! I ran tmutil isexcluded on the path: [Included] /path/to/folder/.meteor/local/db So the files have been backed up by Time Machine. As mentioned, I am having problems with the MongoDB files that were in this folder. It seems like they have not been backed up correctly as they are older than the last back up but have been changed in the meantime.
    – Steven
    Aug 26, 2015 at 18:17
  • I haven't had any issues with Mongodb files, unless you don't periodically stop the database and then run a backup. My guess is the oplog and database files are not coherent. The good thing with mongodb, is you can just copy the backup to a new directory and fire up a mongod on a non-default port to see what the database makes of that snapshot. Don't trust the file modification dates - trust the database reading the contents of the files :-)
    – bmike
    Aug 26, 2015 at 18:24
  • So I copied the db folder off my Time Machine volume and ran ` mongod --dbpath /path/to/db/ --port 28020` on the copy, but there are still missing records. Do you have any suggestions how to make sure that those records have been backed up by Time Machine and how to recover them properly?
    – Steven
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:38
  • @Steven Let's start a new question. 1) One to describe how to ensure Time Machine has a coherent backup of a running/working database. 2) One with specifics on recovering your old DB - basically what version of mongodb - when exactly you need to recover and how many backup intervals exist after that point in time.
    – bmike
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:45
  • Thank you @bmike. I tried out another backup (actually one that was ahead of the one I recovered my Mac from) and could regain my data. So copying the "db" folder and running mongodb --dbpath /path/to/db worked for me. I guess this has something to do with how Time Machine handles the backups (hard links or something like that).
    – Steven
    Aug 27, 2015 at 14:44

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