Document Folder Disappeared from Dock, Networked TM issue

Yesterday afternoon, I encountered very strange Finder bug. I was working with my M1 Mac mini system (Big Sur) and wemt to open my “Documents” folder from an alias in the Doc. I use it the same way as one would after using Finder to show the Documents folder under normal circumstances - this is just quicker since I don’t have to go to my drive and drill down. I clicked to open the Documents folder to see one of the many (80+) subfolders in it. When the Document folder opened, the only items in the Documents folder were the basic set iCloud’s folders (and NONE of my regular folders in Documents were there.)

In addition it was also the case that NONE of my regular folders in the real Documents folder were available, even if I started by clicking my “Macintosh HD” drive and drilling down. I read a bit online to see if this was happening to others … it was. My wife suggested I restart. I restarted and all was well. My normal set of folders was available. But this was very scary. (But I do have a TM backup).

And perhaps unrelated issue but who knows … I have struggled to get my wife’s new Macbook Air to use a backup drive attached to my Mac Min to store TM backups of her system. My Mini has an external drive partitioned into spaces for her system and mine for TM backups. My Mac Mini and her Macbook are in the same network system. She is wireless to the main router inches away. The Mac OS method of getting hers to connect to a separate partition of the external drive where I have my TM backup is very cranky. But I got it working a while back. But alas … it only stays connected for a while, then the connection drops and her TM backup stops. Mine continues fine. So I use SuperDuper to get her system backed up.

After restarting my Mac as noted earlier, the network connection between her Macbook and the backup drive on Mini must have been reestablished, because TM is now running for her as it should.

Comments and advice much appreciated, TIA.

You could try assigning a static IP address to Mac Mini via your router settings. I have found that some modern routers have become too clever assigning dynamic IPs for older devices to understand (eg Homepods). The Smart connect feature of some routers is also a suspect.

I am still running Mojave on an iMac and it has an external drive that my wife’s Macbook uses for TM. It has hiccuped once in a while but is generally reliable. As you have found, the latest macOSs do seem to be causing more problems in this regard.