Restore a Time Machine Backup from Backblaze B2
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    Restore a Time Machine Backup from Backblaze B2

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    Article Summary

    If you previously stored a Time Machine backup in your Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage account, you can restore the backup on your Mac computer.

    This guide makes the following assumptions:

    • You use a computer with MacOS 10.9 and above.
    • You have your Apple ID and password.
    • You have a Synology network-attached storage (NAS) device with at least DSM 6.0 installed.
    • You previously stored your Time Machine backup on a Synology NAS device and then synced the backup file to Backblaze B2 as described here.
    • You have a user account on the Synology NAS device that has the ability to download, install, and configure the Cloud Sync package.
    • You have working knowledge of the Time Machine backup service on your Mac.
    • You have a Backblaze B2 account.

    You should follow the steps in order and leave yourself enough time to complete them.

    Create a Snapshot of the Time Machine Backup

    If you already have a Time Machine backup stored in Backblaze B2, you can create a snapshot of it and then order that data to be sent to you on an encrypted USB hard drive. After you receive the encrypted drive, you must retrieve the encryption key from your Backblaze B2 account. Then you can restore the Time Machine backup to your Mac computer.

    1. Sign in to your Backblaze account.
    2. In the left navigation menu under B2 Cloud Storage, click Browse Files.
    3. Navigate to the bucket that contains your Time Machine backup file. Time Machine backup files have the .sparsebundle extension.
    4. Select the backup file that you want to use, and click Snapshot.
    5. On the Snapshot screen, ensure that the Include all B2 hidden files and file versions in Snapshot option is not selected, and click Make a Snapshot.

    It may take awhile for Backblaze B2 to create the snapshot depending on the size of the file. When the snapshot is ready, Backblaze sends a notification email to the email address associated with your account.

    Retrieve the Completed Snapshot

    You must retrieve the snapshot when it is ready. 

    1. In the left navigation menu under B2 Cloud Storage, click Snapshots.
    2. Select the snapshot that you want to use, and select USB Hard Drive.
    3. Click Retrieve Snapshot.
      Optionally, you can download the snapshot file at this point versus ordering a USB hard drive. Typically, Time Machine backup files are very large and can require a long time to download. If you do download the snapshot, then after the file is properly downloaded to your "new" Mac, you can skip to the Restore a Backup task.
    4. On the Choose File System for USB Snapshot screen, select Macintosh OS X Extended Journaled.
    5. Click Go to Payment.
    6. Enter your payment and shipping information.

    The snapshot is encrypted, loaded on the USB Hard Drive, and shipped to the address you provided. When the USB Hard Drive arrives, you can proceed to the next task.

    Restore the Data to a Mac

    You can restore your Time Machine backup to a new Mac or to a Mac with a new hard drive. After you start this process, you should expect it to take an hour or longer.

    1. Start your new Mac or the Mac that contains the new hard drive.
    2. Select Don't transfer any information now, and click Continue.
    3. Do not sign in. If necessary, select Don't sign in, and click Continue.
    4. On the Create a Computer Account screen, create a temporary account recording all of the information. You will delete this account later in the process.
    5. Click Continue.

    The installation is complete and a "temp user" is logged in.

    Retrieve the Drive Encryption Key

    You must have network connectivity on your Mac to sign into your Backblaze B2 account. If that is not possible, use a second computer to retrieve the needed information.

    1. Sign in to your Backblaze account.
    2. In the left navigation menu under B2 Cloud Storage, click Snapshots.
    3. Locate the snapshot file that was loaded onto the USB hard drive, and click(info) for that file.
    4. Copy the Encryption Key that is displayed on the Details dialog box.

    You can sign out of your Backblaze account.

    Connect and Unlock the USB Hard Drive

    Backblaze encrypts the USB Hard Drive that contains your Time Machine backup before it is shipped. You must decrypt the drive so it can be restored.

    1. Sign in to the Mac as the temp user, and connect the Backblaze USB Hard Drive.
    2. In the upper-right corner of your screen, double-click WD Unlocker
    3. Double-click WD Drive Unlock to run the application.
    4. Paste the encryption key that you copied in the Retrieve the Drive Encryption Key task in the Password field.
    5. Click Unlock Drive.
    6. Click Close.

    The USB hard drive is displayed on your desktop.

    Restore a Backup

    1. Double-click the USB hard drive on your desktop to display the contents of the hard drive.
    2. Navigate through the folders on the USB hard drive to locate the Time Machine backup file.
      The file is named after the computer that you backed up and ends with .sparsebundle.
    3. Double-click the file.
      Nothing appears when you click the file, but it is open and available for restore.
    4. In the Apple menu, navigate to Applications and open Utilities
    5. Double-click Migration Assistant, and click Continue.
    6. Enter the account information from the temporary account you created in the Restore the Data to a Mac task, and click OK.
      The Migration Assistant closes your open applications and signs you out of the computer. If required, click Continue.
    7. Follow Apple's procedure to restore the Time Machine backup on your Mac with Migration Assistant.
    8. When the migration completes, click Restart Now or wait until your computer automatically restarts. You may have to restart your computer multiple times.
    9. Click Quit, and eject the Backblaze USB hard drive.

    If you are within the time limit, you can return the USB hard drive to Backblaze to participate in the Snapshot return refund program.

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