Had to erase and restore my internal drive on my MacBook Pro. I selected restore from Time Machine my settings, User accounts, and Applications after doing a fresh install of 10.8. Now my Time Machine volume does not show the old backups I need to finish my restore.

Looking at folder in the finder all the folders in /Volumes/TM/Backups.backupdb/hd are locked. Looking at the permissions in Terminal I see the folder is:

root@MBP_LOCAL /Volumes/TM/Backups.backupdb> ls -la@
total 0
drwx--x--x   3 root  _unknown   102 Jan 28  2012 .RecoverySets
drwx------   2 root  _unknown    68 Oct  5 23:08 .spotlight_repair
drwx------   2 root  _unknown    68 Nov  9 03:34 .spotlight_temp
drwx--x--x@ 60 root  _unknown  2040 Nov  9 09:58 mbp
    com.apple.backupd.BackupMachineAddress    18 
    com.apple.backupd.HasRecoverySet       3 
    com.apple.backupd.HostUUID    37 
    com.apple.backupd.ModelID     13 

The extended attributes look ok and match my system UUID and mac address but the 711 does not seem right. What gives here since the ACL is set to:

drwx--x--x@ 60 root  _unknown  2040 Nov  9 09:58 mbp
 0: group:everyone deny add_file,delete,add_subdirectory,delete_child,writeattr,writeextattr,chown

So I assume something changed to 711 during the install or restore. What are the proper permissions?

  • Odd - mine are set to drwxr-xr-x (755) and group owned by wheel rather than _unknown. Your ACL look the same as mine. What is l@ aliased to?
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 20:20
  • ls is alias for ls -la@
    – tgunr
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


I manually changed the permissions and now all is well. I can once again see the old backup and restore. Used the following commands.

cd /Volumes/TM/backups.backupdb
chmod -N hd
chown root:wheel hd
chown +a 'group:everyone deny add_file,delete,add_subdirectory,delete_child,writeattr,writeextattr,chown' hd

tmutil associatedisk -a /Volumes/TM /Volumes/TM/Backups.backupdb/hd/2012-11-08-145609
  • What is hd? I'm having the same problem and would like more details on your approach.
    – Arc676
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 10:22
  • 1
    Inside the folder /Volumes/TM/backups.backupdb you will find the volumes you are backing up, in my case the volume was named "hd". Your milage will vary depending on how you renamed the volumes. If you didn't rename, you should see "Macintosh HD" or something like that. If you are backing up multiple volumes you will see those also.
    – tgunr
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 23:51
  • What shell did you use? I get bash: chown: command not found
    – Arc676
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 11:46
  • I always use bash. which chown /usr/sbin/chown
    – tgunr
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 18:10
  • Yeah, I just thought of that. My bad... It's a thing that happens when you set the startup shell to something other than "default login shell"
    – Arc676
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 9:34

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