13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 23, 2013 1:31 PM by Zeemerb
storme Level 1 (0 points)

I know there are a lot of posts about this, and i have spent hours trying to find a soloution / understand what people have responded to others, but i can't work this out.


I also have a Buffalo HD (let's call it HD1) that stores my itunes library.

I have a WD My Passport for Mac (let's call it HD2) that backs up my Mac Book Pro.


I have an older WD that has older TM back ups on it from previous computers (let's call it HD3)


I have one spare completely 'clean' WD hard drive (let's call it HD4).



My laptop was really slow and full so i went to Genius bar, they sold me the Buffalo HD and they moved my itunes to it and set it up so it now has my itunes. I used this disk to run two TM Backups before i realised the drive was nearly full, so i bought the WD My Passport HD2.


I now use WD My Passprt HD2 for TM.


I want to MOVE the backups on HD1 to My Passport HD2 as there is lots of space on it. I also want to move my itunes library from HD2 as a back up.


But i can't!!!


After reading for hours, apparently this is because my HD1 is case sensitive, journaled. And it needs to be Journaled to work with TM/OSX or something very confusing. I have read lots of threads about re-formatting / partitioning and all things that are way over my head. But the one thing i do understand is if i reformat HD1, it erases the data.


This is NOT an option as it holds my WHOLE itunes. The Itunes is WAY too big to drag onto my mac book pro and then move it over to HD2 and make that my itunes folder.


HOW THE **** ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BACK UP THE CASE SENSITIVE DRIVE BEFORE REFORMATTING IT IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FIT BACK ON YOUR COMPUTER? Surely that's the whole point of having an external drive... to back up AND give you more space?


I'm so mad that the apple store did this to me... they should know that case sensitve wouldn't work with a passport... that i would have problems. UGh.


I have options to move the files from HD1 as i have HD2 and HD3 and then also the completely unused HD4... but i can't move anything anywhere due to this case sensitive nightmare.





MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,900 points)

    You cannot reformat or repartition a drive without losing all the data unless you first make a backup on another hard drive.


    Backing up data to an external drive is the first step in making space. The second is to delete the files you've backed up.


    In any event you do not want to have a drive formatted as case-sensitive, but to change the format will require you to repartition and reformat the drive (Mac OS Extended, Journaled.)


    Why don't you take it all back to the store and let them put everything straight for you since your new backup drive is still in warranty.

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey, thanks for your answer!


    I don't know if i still even have the receipt for it, and i bought it at the beginning of the year, so not sure how long it's covered for.


    Can you please advise HOW i back up this case sensitive drive onto ANOTHER drive before formating/erasing content?


    It seems if i can only move it to another case-sensitive drive, then that's going to be the same problem as now?

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,900 points)

    You will need another drive large enough to hold all the data. Be sure this new drive is NOT formatted as case-sensitive. Then just copy the files to the new drive. Once that's done you will have to repartition and reformat the old drive so it is no longer case-sensitive, then you can copy the data back from the other drive.


    Note that Disk Utility does not format a drive case-sensitive by default. You have to specifically select Case-Sensitive. So if you stick to the defaults this should not be a future problem.


    I don't know why the Apple genius configured the drive that way unless the drive is a network device that requires it (usually because it uses a non-Apple operating system) or the genius wasn't much of a genius.

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much!

    So one last thing (i hope!)...


    So it IS possible to just drag from the Case Sensitive HD1 to a regular Journaled WD hard drive - i.e my HD4 which i have not used yet?


    It's litterally just dragging over to it?


    If that's the case then YES! Thank you! I don't think i will even bother reformatting the Buffalo HD1 as HD4 journaled can act as HD1 and then i should be able to just back up itunes directly to HD2 as they're both WD Journaled HD's.

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,900 points)

    I don't see that as problematic since you are copying to an empty drive and not trying to overwrite files with the same name but different case. You will only have problems with, say, a file on one spelled "CaseSenstiveFile.Doc" and on the other spelled as "casesensitvefile.doc" because the Case-Sensitive filesystem treats these as two different files. If you are using backup software to backup one to the other, then that's when you might run into problems. OS X in general has problems dealing with case-sensitive filesystems which is one reason it's not recommended.

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much.


    I just tried it ... but it's still saying the same thing


    I checked in Disk Utility. HD4 says Journaled. HD1 says case sensitive, journaled.


    Tried dragging files over to it, but still comes up wrong case etc...



  • Kappy Level 10 (265,900 points)

    I think I have a solution for you. Download Carbon Copy Cloner 3.4.5. According to what I have found CCC will copy files from case-sensitive to case-insensitive volumes.

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    I downloaded CCC. The same thing comes up! It says HD1 is case sensitive and My Passport (HD2) is not and they conflict. It gives me the option to continue anyway, but says that files won't work.


    I guess i'm doomed.


    It seems there is NO way to back up my itunes from my back up (HD1). Or anyway to just get all my data off HD1 and move it to somewhere that works properly.




    Thanks so much for your help though Kappy. Appreciate you taking the time.

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,900 points)

    I wouldn't yet give up. Visit www.bombich.com where CCC comes from. You can ask Mike Bombich or another helper how you might use CCC in this situation.


    Supposedly if you "clone" the drive such that it uses block copy, they it may work. Possibly the case with Disk Utility. But to use block copy with DU the destination drive must be the same capacity or larger than the source drive.

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    Kappy - i think it's working.


    I tried to copy over the back ups and i see on the site it seems quite complicated for TM back ups. There is a block-level copy - but that sounds a bit scary to me because all the information and instructions are way over my head...


    So i just tried to move another folder over through CCC and that's worked perfectly. So now i'm currently copying the itunes... hopefully that will be ok! Fingers crossed

  • storme Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Linc,


    thanks for these links. I read those all already today and i really don't understand all this terminal stuff, or all the ackronyms so i'm not sure how to do any of that


    i think CCC is working - but i just can't move the old backups, but it's no big deal. My newer passport has backups on too including one today so if i have to say good bye to the first two backups i think that's fine.


    thank you!

  • Zeemerb Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Kappy,


    Just wondering if you had any advice for my situation . . .


    My time machine backup was backing up to a drive that was "Mac OS X Enteded Journaled, Case Sensitive."  I had no idea what this meant, or that it would even cause issues.


    I took my computer to the Apple store yesterday, and they wiped it clean.  When they tried to restore it from the Time Machine backup drive, it would not work.  Their guess is that Time Machine cannot restore from a drive that is "case sensitive."


    Any thoughts on how I can convert my time machine backup data from a "case sensitive" state, to a "non-case sensitive" state?  I've tried to just drag and drop the files from the case sensitive formatted drive to a new drive that I have that is formatted non case sensitive, but I get the following error message:


    "The volume has the wrong case sensitivity for a backup"


    I just really want my data back - I thought TimeMachine was the way to go (and was supposed to work) but unfortunately it is not.


    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.