Restoring from Time Capsule when local and external drive are backed up

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jeffnebraska, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. jeffnebraska macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    I am now backing up my 500 GB internal drive on my MBP and my 1 TB external USB drive to my 2TB time capsule.

    If I ever need to restore, how is this going to work? Since my internal drive will be too small to handle the restore, would I need to hook up an external drive to do the restore? Does the time capsule keep the two drives separate in its backups? If I bought a new computer with enough space to handle it all, could I restore the contents of both drives to a single drive?

    Just curious and want to be sure I'm not backing up things in a way that's going to cause problems if I ever actually need to use my backups.
  2. oneofthesedaves macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2011
    That's a really good question. I'm backing up to a brand new time capsule right now as well. I had been using Time Machine to a regular external HD. Today that Time Machine backup saved my a** so I decided to buy a Time Capsule.
  3. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2008
    USA (Virginia)
    The Time Machine program keeps track of where each file came from, and by default it restores files to the locations they came from. So you'll always be able to restore the (up to) 500 GB to your internal drive and the 1 TB to your external. If you don't hook up the external drive, you could restore just the 500 GB to the internal, if that's what you want.

    Each drive's files are kept "separate" on the Time Capsule backup files. You can see this by going into the Time Machine "star wars" interface. In the finder-like window that shows up, you should see all of your disk drives in the left column, under "Devices".

    If you bought a new computer, yes, you could restore all the 500GB+1TB to a single drive. In the TM "star wars interface", you can right-click a file or folder and pick "Restore xxxx to..." in order to restore the file to a new location (like a different disk). Unfortunately after my limited testing it looks like you'd have to repeat this operation on every top-level directory on your external drive, since right-clicking the drive itself doesn't offer the "Restore to..." menu item. Still, probably not a big deal unless you have lots of root-level directories on the external.

    Hope this helps. Regards,
  4. jeffnebraska thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    Very helpful. That puts my mind at ease. Thanks.

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