I'm in Japan, and I have a Time Machine backup on a disk that's hooked up to my AirPort Extreme in New York. I can connect to the disk using Back To My Mac. The disk is quite old, and I have no backup of that backup, so I'd like to at least backup the Documents folder that's on it. While I can dig into the folder structure of the backup when accessing it from Japan, I can't get to the Documents folder itself. There are several Time Machine backup instances, and from what I gather about how Time Machine works, the folders within these instances are aliased to their corresponding folders in previous instances when data hasn't changed between backups.

My problem is that when I click on one of these aliased folders, I get a message about the alias being broken. I can't find the actual Documents folder itself. I know it has to be there because the drive size is given as 25 GB. Unfortunately, I have nobody in New York who is competent enough to help me. The disk was previously used to backup an iMac that died. Does anybody here have any advice?

  1. Connect and mount the Time Machine volume in Finder.
  2. Click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar.
  3. Hold ⌥ and choose Browse Other Backup Disks….
  4. Select your mounted Time Machine backup volume to browse its contents.
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  • While I can access the Time Machine interface by doing that, I still get folders that are only aliases. When I try to open an aliased folder in the Time Machine interface, I get a "quick look" window telling me it's an alias. Could the backup volume be corrupt? – thewhitehart Jan 20 '18 at 12:43

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