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Manually restoring a Time Machine backup

You should copy files using tmutil -

If you don't and instead use "cp -a src dst", Time Machine's special attributes and access rights will remain on the files. This will stop you writing to them, for one example.

This can still be fixed using these commands:

sudo xattr -d -r '' /
sudo xattr -d -r '' /
sudo chmod -R -a "group:everyone deny add_file,delete,add_subdirectory,delete_child,writeattr,writeextattr,chown" /

There are situations where using cp or rsync is preferable to tmutil, for example in the case of a corrupt backup.