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I have a Time Machine backup of my entire system on a hard drive (the system folder and everything else seems to be there). How do I move all of the contents of this directory to another directory? There are files not shown in Finder (/etc, /usr, etc) that cannot be moved, and there are too many to move over manually by Terminal. Thanks for your help.

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You might try using the Migration Assistant app in the Utilities folder and the Time Machine backup then restore to new disk. It might help to know what you plan to use this newly copied data for. If you're looking to clone your system I'd recommend Carbon Copy Cloner. – afragen Feb 7 '12 at 23:58
I'm trying to restore a server... so I'm confused by what needs to be copied over and what not. I have all of the files I need, there are just multiple problems with the current OS (programs crashing, VPN issues, Open Directory issues, etc). It all seemed to happen after I installed that security update Apple just released... – Jack Humphries Feb 8 '12 at 15:32
In that case using the Migration Assistant back to a known good installation should work. – afragen Feb 8 '12 at 21:37

You can try using something like Unison to sync folder contents and then delete the source directory once it's synced up.

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That link isn't working... – Jack Humphries Feb 8 '12 at 15:33
@JackHumphries It is now... – daviesgeek Jul 21 '12 at 5:44
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Use Disk Utility to create a disk image of the contents. Then scan the image for restore. Finally, restore the image to the correct volume.

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