Transfer a Mac Time Machine From One External Hard Drive to Another
Time Machine is a backup utility included with newer versions of the Macintosh OS X operating system. Once Time Machine is set up on the Macintosh computer, all files on the machine are automatically backed up to an external hard drive. By default, incremental changes are saved to the external hard drive hourly after the initial backup is created. As more and more incremental changes are saved to the external drive, users may find the need to move the Time Machine backups to a larger capacity hard drive.
1. Launch Time Machine by opening “System Preferences” and selecting “Time Machine” from the System Preferences window. Turn Time Machine off by clicking the “On/Off” button in the preference pane.
2. Plug in both the current Time Machine backup drive and the new backup drive. Check that both drives are mounted on the computer by making sure they are recognized in the Finder.
3. Click “Applications” in the dock then select “Utilities.” Double-click on the “Disk Utility” icon.
4. Click on the new backup drive in the list of drives shown on the left of the Disk Utility window.
5. Choose the “Partition” tab and select “1 Partition” from the Volume Scheme drop-down menu. Click “Options” then select “GUID Partition Table” for newer Intel-based Macs or “Apple Partition” for older Power PC-bases Macs. To check which type of Mac you have, click on the Apple menu and select “About This Mac.” The processor type will be listed in the pop-up window.
6. Click “OK” and enter a name for the new backup drive. Be sure the drive name is different than the name of your current drive. Select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” from the Format drop-down menu. Click “Apply” to format the new drive.
7. Select the “Restore” tab after the new drive is formatted. Drag the name of the old backup drive from the list of drives to the “Source” field in the Disk Utility window.
8. Drag the name of the new backup drive from the list of drives to the “Destination” field in the Disk Utility window. Be sure the “Erase Destination” check box is checked.
9. Click “Restore” in the Disk Utility window then click “Restore” in the pop-up window to confirm the selection. Allow the restore process to finish.
10. Quit Disk Utility once the restore process is complete and launch Time Machine. Click “Select Disk” or “Change Disk” in the Time Machine preference pane, then choose the new backup drive. Turn Time Machine on and close the preference pane.