[SOLVED] Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

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ZenBeam
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[SOLVED] Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

Post by ZenBeam »

I just upgraded to Mint 19 (19.3), and Timeshift was recommended at startup, so I was trying it out. It says "Snapshots can be saved to any disk formatted with a Linux file system." It offered me a large partition as the default choice, so I accepted that, since I couldn't find any information about how large Snapshots actually were.

Now when i try to go to that partition, it says the location is not a folder. Did it just delete everything on the partition? Without any warning? Or is there something else going on that I need to track down to get that disk usable again?
Last edited by ZenBeam on Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AZgl1500
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Re: Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

Post by AZgl1500 »

Timeshift creates a Folder at the root of what ever partition that you gave it access to.

it backs up the OS or system files, not the data or /home files.

I have never known it to overwrite and delete existing files.

I suspect that you will find it at a location like this. Please note this is for my PC, not yours.

substitute your login name for 'john', and the actual location for the long identifier at the end will be whatever your Partition's identifier is.

/media/john/cf6c4e0d-d1cf-4f6b-a959-86f40e427aa3

Start Timeshift again, it will show you where it put the files.
that is how I copied the above address.


Timeshift.png
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon

ZenBeam
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Re: Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

Post by ZenBeam »

OK, thanks. Timeshift adding its folder to the partition is what I was expecting.

I've tracked down where the drive is. I think it used to be at /media/zenbeam/linux, and is now at /media/root/linux, and requires root permission to access. So at least I haven't lost anything.

I'm not sure why it's owned by root now, and not by me. Or how to get it back.

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Re: Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

Post by ZenBeam »

OK, Timeshift is causing this. If my drive is unmounted and I mount it by clicking on it in nemo, under devices, it is mounted normally at /media/zenbeam/linux, and is usable by me. If I then open Timeshift, Timeshift seems to work normally. I can select a Snapshot to browse, and it can find them under /media/zenbeam/linux/timeshift.

If the disk is unmounted and I start Timeshift, it mounts the disk at /media/root/linux instead, and the entire disk requires root permission. Clicking on the disk in nemo brings up this cryptic/inaccurate error message: "Could not display "/media/root/linux". The location is not a folder." Which is the error I was seeing, and which made me worry Timeshift had trashed my disk. Now that I know the behavior, and since I'm the administrator on my laptop, I can just unmount the disk, then remount it if I want to access it normally.

I'm marking this solved, but to me this is unexpected behaviour. Running Timeshift shouldn't be changing the required permission on the disk where I have it storing its files. It also seems to be a hole in the backup security. When the disk is mounted as a normal disk, I, or a misbehaving program, can access the snapshot files without administrative permission. Shouldn't Timeshift be able to mount just the timeshift folder, so I still have use of the rest of the disk? And shouldn't the files be better protected when the disk is mounted as a normal disk?

Finally, protip: Post any support threads as a question, where the desired answer is "no". The Law of Headlines will save you.

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AZgl1500
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Re: [SOLVED] Did I just delete all my data on a drive by using Timeshift?

Post by AZgl1500 »

glad you got it resolved.

In my case, the extHDD is always connected "before" Timeshift is activated.
and that extHDD is encoded in FSTAB so I never see the situation that you explained.
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon

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