Best way to copy a Time Machine drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bollweevil, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    I have a Time Machine drive with 1.13 TB of data on it. The backups go all the way back to 2008. I want to move all this backup data to another drive and keep all that history.

    Should I use:

    Carbon Copy Cloner

    Super Duper

    Something else?

    I have done this successfully 3 times in the past. Each of those times, I followed the instructions from Apple. The Apple instructions can be summarized as follows: In the Finder, drag-and-drop Backups.backupdb from the old external hard drive to the new external hard drive. That worked for me 3 times in the past, but it absolutely will not work now.

    I made a total of 5 attempts to do the Apple-style drag-and-drop. On the fifth attempt, I was fairly hopeful. It spent about 30 hours "Preparing to copy" and then about 27 hours "Copying", but then it just stopped, having only copied 1.00 TB of stuff.

    So now I think I will try a third-party application. Has anyone successfully used Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to clone a Time Machine drive?

    Alternatively, does anyone know how to fix the Apple problem where it copies 1.00 TB of stuff instead of all 1.13 TB? I don't really want to go the Apple route, I have spent a long time trying, and the fact that it takes 57 hours to do 90% of the job is fairly intolerable. Both drives are USB 3.0 and my laptop has USB 3.0, copying 1.13 GB of stuff can be done in about 1 hour, I have seen it.
  2. Garsun, Dec 12, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

    Garsun macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    Sounds like you have more experience with Time Machine than I do.
    However I think the carbon copy cloner does a very good job of making disk images.
    I have also used superduper when CCC have not been updated for a while several years ago and had no problem with it either.
    The largest issue I've had with CCC has been the speed of Copying.
    After I received drive capable of over 150 MB per second transfer speeds CCC seemed to bog down.
    For my off-site backups I ended up creating large sparse disk images and using OSX to the copy them between drives using thunderbolt for a full replacement and CCC for appending small amounts of additional data when needed.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I've never done this, but if I had to, I'd try CarbonCopyCloner first, and use the "block copy" option...
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I agree. That should work perfectly.
  5. bollweevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    Does anyone have direct experience using either tool for this purpose?
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ Does anyone have direct experience using either tool for this purpose? ]]

    My suggestion:
    - Get CarbonCopyCloner
    - Use the "block copy option" to clone the TM drive
    - See what happens next

    If it doesn't work, just re-initialize the target drive and start over...
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  8. bollweevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    I will try Carbon Copy Cloner

    I am about to try Carbon Copy Cloner, I hope to report back with my status.
  9. Melodeath macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2009
    FWIW, I tried the Apple way of copying Time Machine to a new drive and it also got stuck in "preparing to copy" like you, but then the original TM drive died.

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