If you’re like me after a year or two you may have outgrown your Time Machine backup and with Hard Drive prices dropping it’s time to get a bigger hard disk to host your Time Machine backup. But starting a new time machine backup on a new hard disk means you lose the continuity with your old backups. Thankfully you can move an existing Time Machine backup from one hard drive to another. Here’s how.
1. Format the new Hard Drive as OSX Extended (Journaled) and make sure ‘ignore file permissions on this volume’ is off.
2. Turn off Time Machine
3. Drag the Backups.backupdb from your old Time Machine Backup to your new Drive. (Yes it’s that simple and it actually works – it’s Apple’s recommended way of doing it!) This may take literally a couple of days.
4. Turn on Time machine and select your new drive.
You can read how to do this step by step in an article by Apple here: Transfer Time Machine Backups.
There’s also a good article about this on c-net. They suggest you use the ‘Copy Exactly’ feature but I did it without this (the way Apple suggested) and it worked fine.