Safe way to move Time Machine backup?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RaceTripper, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I have my TM backups on a 320GB drive, but will be getting a 1 TB drive to use instead.

    Is there a safe way I can move my existing backup so it continues on the new drive where it left off? I tried piping the backup from one disk to another using tar, but it actually copied the complete snapshots and filled the drive very quickly. I think this is going to require something that is TM aware?

    Any ideas?

    (if this has been discussed, sorry...I didn't see it in search results)
  2. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't think tar is going to be able to handle the hard links to directories. I have not personally found a way to move a Time Machine backup to another drive. Its really not worth the risk to be honest with you. You are better off just creating a new one, hold on to the old one for a little while just to make sure there isn't anything important on it.
  3. RaceTripper thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I already know tar doesn't work. I tried that as a test (i.e. tar cf - | tar xf -) without knowing anything about how the TM structure is set up

    Your answer otherwise is probably the one I'll have to settle for. I didn't want to have to save the backup I have on the retired drive because I was going to use that as a regular Airport disk (if they ever get that working somewhat reliably under Leopard).
  4. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    Why can't you just drag the *.db file from drive to drive?
  5. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    You need to name the new disk the same as the old one.

    So if your old mount was TMBackup, you need to name the new disk or mount the same thing. Leopard should recognize the sparsebundle at that point.
  6. RaceTripper thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    The backup is not a db file. Each backup is a snapshot of real files with hard links.

    I can't copy it for the same reason I can't use tar. Because of the hard links, each snapshot will copy as a full copy of that backup since the links are treated as valid files.

    The only thing I see working is some kind of block copy at a lower level than the file system, but that's risky because you bypass protections like blocking out bad sectors, etc.

    For this to work, the hard links would have to converted to symbolic links for the copy, and then changed back to hard links after everything is copied. Nah...I don't feel like going to the trouble.
  7. RaceTripper thread starter macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    How does that help with what I want to do? i.e. getting my backup moved from the old drive to the new? If I can't move the backups, it doesn't matter what I name the new drive because I'll be starting over anyway.

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