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10.6: Create networkable and copyable Time Machine backups
Authored by: zegor on Oct 25, '09 12:16:05AM

It can be done in three steps in the terminal:

1) Create an image (optionally encrypted) of the same size as the time machine hard disk. You can use the script from or simply copy and execute the relevant parts of it: -p <path to the disk image file> -s <size of the disk being copied>

2) Mount the new image:

open <path to the disk image file>

3) Use asr to make a block copy of the hard disk to the image:

sudo asr --source /Volumes/<hard disk> --target /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/ --erase

E.g. assume the source harddisk is named TimeMachine (size 370 GB), the computer is named MyMac and you want to create the image in /Volumes/NewTimeMachine (another disk): -p /Volumes/NewTimeMachine -s 370g
open MyMac.sparsebundle
sudo asr --source /Volumes/TimeMachine --target /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/ --erase

Make sure your asr copy is done by block copy (not file copy). See man asr.

I have tried this in a minor way. Created a time machine backup, backed up to it a few times, then followed the above hint, and then shifted the time machine to back up to the NewTimeMachine disk. TIme machine will mount the disk image, and back up to it.

When restoring from the image, one has to (1) mount the image (open the image file in the finder), (2) control-click the time machine in the dock, and (3) pick "Browse other time machine disks..."

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