Resolved A question about Time Machine Backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Diogones, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Diogones, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011

    Diogones macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2009
    I have a Mac Mini 2006 Core Duo with Snow Leopard installed on it, with a 80GB hard drive. While only 37GB of the drive is occupied, I have a spare SATA 2.5'' 250GB drive that I'd like to swap out with the 80GB drive. Unfortunately, I do not have a hard drive enclosure, so I had a different approach.

    What I'd like to be able to do is copy my Mac's data to the 250GB drive, and then swap the drives. I don't have another volume that I can backup to, so I want to directly copy everything to the 250GB, effectively making it bootable.

    Since it won't be enclosed, I'm going to be attaching it to my PC, and then connecting it to the Mac via Ethernet, and sharing my data as a mounted network drive. Can I make a Time Machine backup of my 80GB to the 250GB drive, and then swap the drives out and boot from the bigger drive? Or would I first have to make a partition on the new drive that I would restore the TM backup to? I know I can't have TM restore the backup to the same partition it is stored on, but I just wasn't sure how it would work.

    Another idea I had is that I could backup my drive to the 250GB with CCC, creating a disk image. Then, once the drives are swapped, booting up the SL Install Disk, launching Disk Utility and using its restore function to copy the image to the existing drive.

    Any advice on this whole procedure would be greatly appreciated, as I'm not sure how I would copy my current setup to the newer drive without directly connecting it via enclosure.
  2. r0k, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Stop. Get a SATA to usb cable. It's less than 10 bucks. A PC doesn't have a clue how to make a GUID partition scheme with 1 HFS+ partition which is what you will need. Consider this...

    My procedure for upgrading HDD in 4 of our 5 Macs was as follows:
    1 - Attach USB to SATA cable to the new disk
    2 - Use Disk Utility to format the new drive GUID Partition Table, 1 partition HFS+
    3 - Use Carbon Copy Cloner (donationware) to clone the original disk
    4 - Reboot, holding down option and boot from the new disk to prove it is good
    5 - Swap the disks and put the old disk in a $10 USB to SATA enclosure for use as backup or extra data.
    Total time: Less than 1 hour per machine, averaging 50 gig of data to migrate per machine.
    My procedure for upgrading 1 of our 5 Macs was as follows:
    1 - Attach a firewire disk and make a FRESH Time Machine backup to the FW disk
    2 - Swap drives and reboot from the Snow Leopard DVD
    3 - Launch Disk Utility from the SL DVD and partition the new disk Guid Partition Table, 1 partition HFS +
    4 - Install SL
    5 - when prompted, migrate my data from the Time Machine backup I made to the Firewire disk
    Total time: almost 12 hours with 120 gig of data to migrate.

    Bottom line: Your PC is useless for upgrading the HDD in your Mac. Even if you can find software that runs on Windows to create HFS+ partitions, do you want to trust your entire OS to such software? Get a cable even if it means waiting for it in the mail and use your Mac to upgrade your Mac. Much safer. Plus the cable gives you the ability to test booting from your new drive before you take your Mac apart to install the new drive. This peace of mind is well worth 10 bucks and a few days waiting for USPS (assuming you don't have a local Fry's or MicroCenter to pick up the cable in a matter of minutes).

    BTW, restoring from a disk image is another option but it doesn't give you the ability to test the boot disk before taking your Mac apart to install it. BTW, if you buy a cable that comes with a CD, the CD makes a nice coaster. There is nothing on the CD you need on your Mac.
  3. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2009
    Wow, what a response, r0k! That was certainly one of the most detailed, helpful, and concise replies I've received in a long time! Thanks a bunch! :cool:

    As far as I can tell, there is software for PCs that would allow me to create a GPT HFS+ formatted drive, so that isn't the biggest issue. The real problem is that - unlike your more practical approach, which is just to directly attach the drive to the Mac and clone the internal from there - trying to clone to the drive over Ethernet attached to another computer. I have found that it presents several difficulties:
    1.) CCC won't clone everything to a network drive, so it isn't going to be bootable.

    2.) Because it isn't directly attached to the computer, the Mac will not recognize it as a HFS+ volume, and therefore accessing it with Disk Utility isn't possible.

    3.) I would be unable to test the drive to ensure that it is bootable once I had copied all the data to it.

    I think you're right: I just need to stop and use the easier direct connection approach. I must admit I did get carried away trying to use another computer to share the data over LAN.

    As a final note, you did mention that I could restore from a disk image. How would I do that, without using any other storage media? Would I create 1 partition on the replacement drive to store the image on, and then restore the data to a 2nd partition?

Share This Page