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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive System 10.5
I couldn't find this documented anywhere, so I thought it might be worth mentioning that you can move a Time Machine database from one disk to another using Disk Utility. Using the Restore feature in Disk Utility, you can "restore" the Time Machine disk to another disk and retain the history of changes. This could be useful if you've outgrown your Time Machine backup drive, and want to migrate your existing backups to a new, larger drive. You should turn Time Machine off before doing starting this process, of course.

Be aware that the disks will have the same name and information, so it might confuse Time Machine. For example, after I activated Time Machine on the newly-created disk, I plugged in the old disk, and it showed up as a Time Machine drive, but the backup failed. It's probably best to avoid having both of them plugged in. At the very least, rename one of them.

Perhaps more importantly, Carbon Copy Cloner 2.3 doesn't work correctly for cloning a Time Machine drive (I don't know about 3.x), as it doesn't copy hard links but rather, copies what the links point to. This results in a lot of copies of your system when the Time Machine database has been around for a while.
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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: noworryz on Dec 10, '07 08:22:28AM

If you don't want the old USB/Firewire to be used by Time Machine any more, temporarily turn off Time Machine, plug it in and delete two hidden files at its root with the Terminal commands:

cd /Volumes/MyOldBackupDisk
sudo rm .com.apple.timemachine.supported
sudo rm .0* (that's a numeric zero, not an oh, part of a hexadecimal string)



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: critcol on Dec 10, '07 09:06:42AM

Carbon Copy Cloner 3 did this for me without hesitation. Just do a full disk, block-to-block copy of the Time Machine drive and Time Machine recognized it without any trouble.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: withdave on Dec 10, '07 10:20:13AM

Unless you do a block copy CCC 3.0.1 goes into an infinite file scanning loop (I canceled it after 8 hours in that mode) due to its not properly processing unix hard links which TM uses to order its backup tree. I've notified them of this.

I tried using Disk Utility to create a backup of my TM drive and Disk Utility hung up too even after having it do a successful volume check. (TM has worked flawlessly for me so I have no reason to suspect drive/volume problems.)



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: rflorence on Dec 10, '07 02:13:13PM

Ditto also does not get the hard-links right on a Time Machine disk. Glad to hear that the Disk Utility Restore gets it right.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: lwbrown on Dec 11, '07 07:15:32PM

Still had to start TM over due to the Western "MyBook" sleep mode (incompatible with CCC3 and even with Disk Utility), and with several progs not understanding the new file pointer tech.
Next question: how to get TM to "wrap around" several drives without resorting to RAID arrays...

---
LwB



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: lwbrown on Dec 11, '07 07:19:53PM

Also - when I tried block copies, the best I could get was a big drive that now that it was the same size as the old small one... Any idea why? I thought copying to an =size partition on the new drive, and then resizing it to the full drive-size with DU might work, but did not get to try (due to the drive-sleep issue)...

---
LwB



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: syzygies on Dec 13, '07 12:56:35AM

Considering how block-to-block copies work, it would be hard for any program invoking a block-to-block copy to mess up. This is like a photograph, and getting hard links wrong would be like a doctored photograph. Disk Utility and CCC are undoubtedly making the same underlying system call for this, which doesn't doctor the photo. One doesn't need to assume good will here, just laziness; it would require completely independent code to go in and doctor a block-to-block copy.

Nevertheless, Disk Utility does its very best to mess up what it can, restoring in block-to-block mode. It may take a faithful photograph, but it screws up the caption with a vengeance. It changes ownership of the volume itself, and re-enables in horror-movie fashion the dreaded "Ignore ownership" setting that you thought you could forget about after fuming while taking care of this when you first formatted the target drive. (PLEASE provide Apple with feedback that you do not appreciate any aspect of the "Ignore ownership" default.)

Restoring in file mode, Disk Utility is worse than a Finder copy, letting you authenticate so you can peer into files that aren't yours, then changing all permissions. This is truly unfortunate, as file mode would sometimes be desirable if it worked, e.g. to defragment a drive.

To insure block-to-block mode it must be possible to unmount both the source and target volumes (practice from within Disk Utility before the restore, as there will be no confirmation before DU does it the dumb way if it can't unmount), and be sure to check "erase" as part of the restore.

Google "backup bouncer" for an education on what does and does not get copied correctly by various programs. While we're busy exchanging hearsay, that program does empirical science for you, on your own system with whatever versions of programs you actually have installed.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: RQuarters on Dec 20, '07 04:35:18PM

If you want RAID-like capability without the hassle, look into a Drobo. I had nightmares with RAID systems, but my Drobo has been working like a dream (knocks on wood) so far.

Rob



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10.6: no drobo
Authored by: bloodnok on Jan 01, '10 09:14:47AM

drobo is a most unsatisfactory solution for a time machine backup device. my imac is put to sleep at night & during the working day. when it's awakened, the drobo fails to restart. the drobo dashboard app is required but that sometimes fails, too. even better, the app sometimes crashes. i'm horribly disappointed by this device & its software & especially by the pathetic technical support available from its supplier. should have known something was wrong when i found you can't navigate its user guide with preview but must use acrobat. it's also unbearably noisy & that's only partially the fault of the deathstar disks i crammed into it.

my drobo will be on sale on amazon.com soon as i get my new enclosure. i'll be using this hint to move my data beforehand, thanks. hopefully it'll work with the screwy raid system the drobo employs.



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10.6: no drobo
Authored by: msh1908 on Jan 24, '10 08:12:12PM

For those of you interested in Drobo, I have had no problem with mine and have had it for almost one year.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: ptone on Jan 22, '08 01:43:49PM

Note this also works in creating a disk image from the TM volume.

-P



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: paulicca on Sep 11, '08 12:28:46AM

I can confirm that CarbonCopyCloner 3.1.1 made the copy using the option block to block.

The other method for CCC (files to files) did not worked.
I've also tried with Disk Utility but I wasn't albe to make a copy on my old TM disk.

bye



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: calop on Sep 20, '08 06:34:30AM

I've tried both Disk Utility and the latest version of CCC, and both would time out after hours of cloning the disks. I'm trying to copy my old Time Machine which is now mostly full (I've already lost months of backup) to a new Drobo. Can it have anything to do with trying to move over ~465GB of data? Both times I tried with either tool, it timed out after everything seemingly had been copied over. Both tools said that the restore failed as a result. All the files APPEAR to be on there, but I'm not sure I want to take that chance.

Any ideas?



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: calop on Sep 21, '08 04:28:23AM

Got it work - finally... with Super Duper. Interestingly enough, it failed as well at nearly 100% completion but was specific about what it was having trouble with... it was a password protected folder on the Time Machine disk. I deleted it from the backup, and tried again using Smart Update and it worked! My Drobo is now recognized as a Time Machine backup!



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: osxpounder on Sep 25, '08 08:57:19AM

A password-protected folder? How do you set up one of those? I know about encrypting sparseimages, to secure files, but I didn't know you could restrict access to a single folder with a password in OSX. How's that done?



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: csburris on Oct 29, '08 07:15:06AM

Thanks - I don't know why Apple doesn't document it. In my case, I wanted to move Time Machine to a larger external disk, and use the internal partition for growth (iTunes, iPhoto).



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: keydesignz on Mar 12, '09 06:35:50PM

Not sure if anyone has tried this method, but I am using Toast to create an image based on one 250GB external drive (connected via eSata) to a LaCie Big Disk 6.5TB Raid Storage. So far so good, but I have yet to see how it comes out.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: llee on Mar 20, '09 01:35:51PM

I can't do it. I'm using Disk Utility with 10.5.6 and the copy method is block level. I can't do it even if I launch Disk Utility as root. The copy gets almost done then stops with an alert containing "Restore Failure Could not restore - Permission denied." I wonder if their is something unique about my Time Machine Backup, but I don't think this will be easy to solve.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: Geoloweb on Apr 23, '09 03:39:08PM

Hi everybody! And thanks for this post... I tried to change my Time Machine HD, following all what has been explained here. However, I am always getting an ERROR while restoring my old Time machine on the new HD. Whatever I used (CCC 3.2.1 or Disk Utility), the copy seems OK, but an error constantly occurs during the checking of the copy (verification). In the log, an IN/OUT error appears (in French: impossible de restaurer - Erreur Entrée/Sortie). Is it related to a file badly copied or to a connection problem (see tech spec below)? Could some one help me, please???

My Mac is a MacBook Pro 15'', 2.4 GHz, 4 Go RAM, OS 10.5.6, the old Time Machine HD is a WD MyPassport (320 Go, 2 partition, 160 Go reserved for Time Machine, connected on FireWire) and the new HD I want to use is a Microspot 500 Go (1 partition, HFS+ journalized, connected on USB).



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: palahala on Apr 23, '09 04:09:43PM

Maybe A Bigger Time Machine without Changing History has some more information that can help you.



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: Geoloweb on Apr 24, '09 01:55:46AM

Palahala, thanks for this link... I tested it again (this time connecting both HD to USB), and make sure to check the "erase" checkbox in Disk Utility. Actually, I am force to check this, otherwise another error occurs in the log:
"Impossible to restore - operation not allowed"
...and just before this error another one... "could not copy /Volumes/Time Machine 2/Backups.backupdb/MacPro JulienAllaz/2008-10-09-085155/Macintosh HD/Applications/Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional/Acrobat Distiller 7.0.app/Contents/Frameworks/AdobeACE.framework/AdobeACE; operation not allowed"

Anyway, this doesn't solve my problem... Is there another solution, i.e only a simple copy-paste of all files (including all invisible one)?



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: palahala on Apr 24, '09 02:43:05AM

If you're using Time Machine as an archive (rather than a disaster backup) then: be careful. You'd never know for sure if files are still on the Time Machine disk once you've deleted them from your Mac. Having said that: consider how important it is for you to keep the current history...



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10.5: Move Time Machine backup to another drive
Authored by: indigoking on Jul 29, '10 11:02:04AM

I know it's old news - but just in case someone else comes behind -

I used disc utillity, as prescribed, I also checked "erase" everything worked and works fine.

Initially the "new" time machine drive displayed as a normal HD labled "time machine" but now its auto changed to the logo style.

No problems whatsoever! Thanks!



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