Moving Time Machine Backups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AcesHigh87, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #1
    So, to keep this story brief the 1TB HDD I’ve been using as my backup drive for the past 3 years (3 years with macbook, 1 with iMac but anyway) is full, and I’m fairly certain dying for that matter. To make sure I didn’t lose all my backups I went out and bought a new 3TB drive.

    Well, I set this new drive up as my time machine drive, no issue there. It took awhile but it has now ran a successful backup of my iMac. However I want to have all my old backups as well (and the macbook ones for that matter) in case I need to go in and get an old file; this being a feature I love in Time Machine. I figured I’d just go in, grab the old backups, and drag them onto the new drive but that doesn’t work; claiming I don’t have permission.

    Figuring it was probably just a fail safe I went into the info for both backup folders (the old drive and the new one) and switched the staff permissions to read & write. However I still get the same error message when trying to move the folders over.

    So, to sum everything up. Is there any way to transfer old TM backups to a new HDD? I just don’t want my old drive to die (again, as I expect to happen soon) and then I find myself with no older backups.
     
  2. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    So based off reading that it seems like I need to copy my entire backup folder over? That in itself sounds fine but then will I need to re-do that entire first backup again? I would preferably like to avoid that since it took several hours.

    Or, once I transfer the old one over, will it just act like it was on that drive the whole time and only backup new data?
     
  3. LaWally, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    #4
    If you take a look at the backups, each TM backup is in a folder named with the date/time stamp (e.g., 2012-06-23-165003). The most recent backup is in a folder called "Latest", which is nothing more than a link to the last dated/stamped backup folder. That is what TM will look for next time it runs as the most recent backup. You should not have to rerun your last first backup, if you know what I mean.

    Edit: Just to be clear, you do not want to copy the "Latest" folder link from your old backups, only the dated/timed ones.
     
  4. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #5
    Yeah but won't that link also transfer over since, according to that link, I need to copy over the entire main backup folder? Since that file is in it would it not replace the latest file already present? What I'm thinking if, even if it does, should TM not just read the old "latest" and backup anything modified after that which is very little?

    I already know transferring over my 950GB of backups is going to take forever (I might delete some really old ones first) so I don't want to add any additional time creating a new full backup if you know what I mean.
     
  5. LaWally, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    #6
    Well, keep in mind that you are trying to solve a slightly different problem. You don't want to move the old backup folder to a different drive, you just want to move the old backups to your new backup folder on your new TM drive. So select all the old backups, except for the "latest" and that should get you what you want without disturbing the "Latest" backup you just took, which will be on your new drive.

    Edit: Since you have so many backup to move, you might want to try to move a few backups first, and then make sure everything is okay (i.e., you can see the old backups in TM). Once you have verified that this process will get you what you want, then you can do the bulk copy. Just a suggestion.
     
  6. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #7
    That is what I was trying though, I believe, and it was claiming I didnt have permission to move the backup files.
     
  7. AcesHigh87 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #8
    Based off readings and testing it seems like the only way to do this is to transfer over the entire backups.backupdb folder which is just shy of 1TB in size.... this could take awhile. It’s estimation is at over 150 000 files and climbing.
     

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