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dariusp 05-17-2008 10:39 AM

Migrate Time Machine to Time Capsule

I have been using Time Machine since Leopard came out with a disk connected to my Macbook Pro via FW800. I am going to buy a Time Capsule and would like to know if I can clone my existing TM backup to my Time Capsule using SD, so the backups can continue using the Time Capsule but all my old backups will still be available to me.

Has anyone tried this or know if any reason why this won't work?



drdocument 05-17-2008 11:43 AM

Migrate Time Machine backup files
I want to do the same thing, move my existing Time Machine backup files to a Time Capsule so as to have continuous access to those older backups through Time Machine interface.

There's a simple answer in FAQ here:

However, I'm wondering if there are any special things we need to do to make sure it works.

I suppose we could try it out. I have a G-Drive as my current TM destination, and I want to copy the backups directory to a Time Capsule while maintaining all links. If I don't erase the G-Drive I'm guessing I could always go back to it.

It would be important, of course, to turn Time Machine off before doing the copying.

drdocument 05-17-2008 11:54 AM

Migrate Time Machine backup files
Okay. I turned off Time Machine in prefs, launched SuperDuper! and selected my current TM backup drive as the source, but Time Capsule does not appear in the "Copy to" pulldown.

What now?

dnanian 05-17-2008 12:05 PM

The TimeCapsule is networked, and doesn't store the data the same way as your 'directly connected' drive. Instead, it stores the data in a 'sparse bundle' with a special name.

What I'd try is to tell Time Machine to back up to the Time Capsule. When it starts, stop it, and it should have created the sparse bundle on the Time Capsule.

Open it, then use SuperDuper! to copy from your Time Machine backup to the sparse bundle's 'image'. It'll take a really long time, most likely, but should work. You can then turn TM back on.

drdocument 05-17-2008 12:09 PM

Migrate Time Machine backup files
Thanks. I'll try that and report.

drdocument 05-17-2008 12:20 PM

Okay. I started TM backing up to Time Capsule, then stopped it and turned off TM.

TM created a sparsebundle on TC, and in SuperDuper! when I select Disk Image in "Copy to" I can see the new sparsebundle, but it's grayed out so I can't select it.

I have the option to create a new folder on TC.

What now?

(Sorry to be dense, here)

dnanian 05-17-2008 12:30 PM

Don't select disk image. Open the bundle and choose its volume (what it opens as) in the destination pop-up directly.

drdocument 05-18-2008 05:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Sorry, but I still don't get it.
Attached what I have.
Time Capsule doesn't appear in the destination pulldown except if I select disk image, then I can see the Time Capsule folder, and the sparseimage created by Time Machine grayed out, and I can save a new sparseimage there under a new name, but then how does Time Machine recognize that new sparseimage's files as part of its collection of backup files?

dnanian 05-18-2008 08:58 AM

You need to open the sparse bundle that Time Machine created on the Time Capsule. Once done, that image's volume will appear in the destination pop-up.

drdocument 05-18-2008 09:07 AM

Thanks. That's my problem; the sparse bundle created by Time Machine is grayed out. If I allow TM to finish a full backup to Time Capsule would the spare bundle then be able to be opened from the SuperDuper! dialog, or do I need to open it some other way; if so, how? (Again, sorry to be dense.)

If I double-click the grayed-out spare bundle in SD dialog box, it places its name in the "save as" field. Should I go ahead and do that?

dnanian 05-18-2008 09:52 AM

Double-click it in Finder. Do not choose it in the "Disk image..." panel, choose the (mounted) image in the pop-up.

drdocument 05-19-2008 08:21 AM

Oh, duh! Now I think I got it.
I connected to Time Capsule, mounted the image located there, and now I have a mounted drive called "Backup of [Computer]" which appears in the pop-up.

Copy to that?

dnanian 05-19-2008 10:07 AM

Yes, exactly.

drdocument 05-20-2008 11:48 AM

Thanks, Dave! It looks like it worked.

It took a long time... almost 24 hours to copy about 165 GB from FireWire 800 drive to Time Capsule (Gigabit Ethernet) on G5 dual 1.8 GHz with 3GB of RAM -- while doing other things, of course.

After SD completed its work I turned Time Machine back on with Time Capsule as its destination, then clicked TM icon in the dock and I can see all backups back to the first one last November.

One final test: Time Machine started its latest backup but is waiting for Spotlight to reindex Time Capsule (Yes, I allowed SuperDuper! to update the Spotlight index at the end of copying). Spotlight is still "Estimating index time"/Indexing for Backup of [Computer], for 40+ minutes. I'm guessing indexing will take a while too.

Confidence is high, however. I fully expect that when indexing is complete Time Machine will do another snapshot while recognizing the multi-links. Will report.

Thanks again for your patient guidance.

dnanian 05-20-2008 11:57 AM

Glad I could help, and that you're all set.

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