Moving Your Time Machine Backups

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Tue, Aug 25 - 10:41 am EDT | 5 years ago by
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In preparation for the coming of Snow Leopard, I decided to purchase a new external hard drive. My 500GB was full and I wanted to make sure I had both a Time Machine backup and a manual backup of my user folder before I do a clean install of Snow Leopard. So off I went to the nearest mall and got myself a 1TB external hard drive.

Disk Utility Menu

Disk Utility Menu

Now, I tried moving my Time Machine back up before from a 200GB hard drive to my 500GB and I thought it was just as simple as dragging the files and resuming it from the new drive. Boy, was I wrong. Lesson learned.

Luckily transferring your Time Machine backup to another drive isn’t such a pain. The easiest way I’ve found out how to do this is to make an exact clone of your backup drive onto the new one. It will be the same except it has more space. There are third party apps to help you do this but Disk Utility works fine too.

Here’s how I did it.

1. Open up Disk Utility
2. Select the Restore option
3. On the left side of the window you’ll see icons for the various drives you have mounted. It’s usually your internal drive, the old external drive and the new one.
4. Drag the old external drive to the source input in the window, drag the new drive to the destination window. Make sure you check the erase destination option. I had problems when that was unchecked. It didn’t want to push through.
5. Hit the Restore button and go find something else to do. This will take some time. Mine took several hours including the verification process.

There you go. You should have your old Time Machine backups on your new drive. You can resume your backups on the new one.

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