Back up internal HDD that is full

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mainbeam, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Mainbeam macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2012
    Liverpool, GB
    Hi folks,

    My mother’s Macbook Pro (Retina , 13”, late 2013) will not boot because the HDD is full. I have managed to boot it from an external HDD.

    I have no option to back up the data on the internal HDD. It does not show up on the time machine options. I have a HDD with OS X in one USB port and the time machine HDD in the other USB port. The only way I can see the internal HDD is via disk utility. The only options from here are erase. I need to save the data though.

    Any help most appreciated!


  2. Kingcr macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2018
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I have no idea if you can invoke time machine when booted from another drive, so I would recommend you to make the copy of the entire disk. For example, you can connect a new external drive and then use the ditto command in the terminal to copy everything across.
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Is there enough space on the TM HD to put the entire contents of the internal HDD?
  5. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    Since you can boot it from an external HDD, I'd recommend that you do some serious garbage collection on it before anything else. It's amazing how much junk people keep on their systems. That might help some.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    lockerc18 has "the right answer" here.

    Get your Mom's MacBook booted from an external drive.
    Then start THROWING OUT stuff that doesn't need to be there.
    A good place to check would be the Downloads folder (in the home folder).

    Toss out about 10gb of stuff, EMPTY THE TRASH, then see if it will boot up on its own again.
  7. lockerc18 macrumors 6502

    May 17, 2012
    And empty out the Trash, too.

    *OOPS* sorry, didn't see that you already recommended that....
  8. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Select the drive itself at the very top then click restore and follow the prompts to restore from the internal to the external. This will clone the drive over.

    Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 12.27.36 PM.png

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