I have an external HD that I've been using as a time machine for my MBP. Here's what I want to do:

  • attach the drive to my desktop machine
  • configure time machine on my MBP to use the drive as a time machine through the network
  • retain my existing backups...

So I want time machine to continue using the same backups it always did when the drive was connected locally. I do not want to start from scratch.

I know how to set time machine to use a network drive rather than a locally attached drive, but it doesn't recognize the existing backups (it wants to start over). I'm not afraid of the terminal... how can I get this working?

on edit:

I got a large drive to use during the conversion, but the link below didn't help because there was no hex id to be found on my machine in the second step :/

  • Have a look @ this question : apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1192/… – Pierre Watelet Sep 15 '10 at 14:48
  • 1
    @Pierre: I found a site that describes the process, but I need about 640GB free space somewhere to do the conversion and I don't have that right now :/ rolf.haynberg.de/?p=83 – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 15 '10 at 20:03
  • You can delete your previous backups (that will be useless) before doing your fist backup over wifi... – Pierre Watelet Sep 16 '10 at 8:38
  • Ya but I don't have another disk that has enough space to copy over the old backups first so I can copy them back after I've followed the instructions on that page I linked. – Robert S Ciaccio Sep 16 '10 at 8:44

You'll need to convert your current local-style Time Machine into a sparsebundle before it will be usable in TM over the network. You'll need some temporary storage somewhere to create your converted backup into during this conversion.

I don't know the exact conversion procedure but here are some Google'd links: http://www.tidbits.com/Talk/1960

Something along the lines of hdiutil convert -format UDSB

  • +1... sorry I haven't had a chance to mess with this yet but when I do I'll put some feedback on here. – Robert S Ciaccio Dec 24 '10 at 21:22

If you have Mountain Lion, you can create a sparse bundle disk image, enable owners on that image, and copy over the "Backups.backupdb" folder from your Time Machine drive into the sparsebundle image using Finder

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