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Question: Copying Time Machine Backup from one external drive to another - taking forever!!!

I've been trying to copy my TM backup folder from one drive to another and it's been taking several days. There's a progress bar that says, "Preparing to copy to G-DRIVE" with a number of files listed. The number does go up, but more importantly, this has been going on for a few days now for a 10TB drive. Is it supposed to take this long? I basically started this simply by using the Finder to move the Backup folder from my current drive to the new one that I'm replacing it with.

macOS Sierra (10.12.5)

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Answering on Kappy's behalf,


1. Can I do this same thing in High Sierra? Is it the same procedure with High Sierra?


Yes and yes.


2. Do I need to restart and enter Recovery mode,


No


... can I just do this using Disk Utility without having to be in Recovery mode?


Yes.

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Mar 15, 2018 12:02 PM in response to John C Lin In response to John C Lin

The capacity of the drive is not relevant; the amount of time to complete depends on the amount of data it actually needs to copy (the number of files and their size). "Preparing to copy" means it hasn't even started copying anything though. When it does it will take several more days to complete.


When transferring one Time Machine’s contents from one disk to another I find it much easier, faster, and more convenient to simply use Disk Utility’s Restore function: Restore a disk using Disk Utility on Mac - Apple Support. That’s what I do and that’s what I recommend.

Mar 15, 2018 12:02 PM

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Mar 15, 2018 12:16 PM in response to John C Lin In response to John C Lin

The recommended way is to clone the existing Time Machine backup drive to the new backup drive which should be of larger capacity.


Clone El Capitan and Sierra using Disk Utility


  1. Restart the computer and after the chime press and hold down the Command and R keys until the Utility Menu appears.
  2. Select Disk Utility from the Utility Menu then press the Continue button.
  3. Select the destination volume from the left side list.
  4. Select Restore from the Edit menu of Disk Utility. A panel will drop down.
  5. Select the source volume from the drop down menu in the panel.
  6. Double-check you got it right, then click on the Restore button.


Destination means new Time Machine drive. Source means the old Time Machine drive.

Time Machine drives should only be formatted as GUID with a format of Mac OS Extended, Journaled. DO NOT use APFS.

Mar 15, 2018 12:16 PM

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Mar 28, 2018 5:40 PM in response to Kappy In response to Kappy

Thanks! This is very helpful!


Couple questions:


1. Can I do this same thing in High Sierra? Is it the same procedure with High Sierra?


2. Do I need to restart and enter Recovery mode, or can I just do this using Disk Utility without having to be in Recovery mode? I'd rather not have my computer occupied and inaccessible if this is happening in Recovery Mode.


Thanks in advance

Mar 28, 2018 5:40 PM

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Mar 28, 2018 6:57 PM in response to John C Lin In response to John C Lin

Answering on Kappy's behalf,


1. Can I do this same thing in High Sierra? Is it the same procedure with High Sierra?


Yes and yes.


2. Do I need to restart and enter Recovery mode,


No


... can I just do this using Disk Utility without having to be in Recovery mode?


Yes.

Mar 28, 2018 6:57 PM

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User profile for user: John C Lin

Question: Copying Time Machine Backup from one external drive to another - taking forever!!!