I have an external encrypted HDD that I previously used for Time Machine backups. I want to transfer the backup snapshots to another disk, but I'm unable to copy the files from it. Although I have read access and can retrieve files using Time Machine, I recently lost the ability to write to this drive. As a result, Time Machine no longer makes backups to this particular drive.

enter image description here

Even ls won't work :

root@macbook user # ls -l /Volumes/WD_BLACK
total 0
ls: /Volumes/WD_BLACK: Operation not permitted
root@macbook user # ls -l /Volumes/WD_BLACK\ Storage 
total 151845824
-rw-r--r--@  1 _unknown  _unknown        10244 Oct 10 23:58 .DS_Store
d--x--x--x   8 _unknown  _unknown          256 Oct 12 17:23 .DocumentRevisions-V100
drwx------   4 _unknown  _unknown          128 Jan 17  2023 .Spotlight-V100
d-wx--x--t   4 _unknown  _unknown          128 Oct 10 23:23 .TemporaryItems
d-wx--x--t   3 _unknown  _unknown           96 Jan 17  2023 .Trashes
drwx------   5 _unknown  _unknown          160 Oct 12 17:17 .fseventsd
drwx------   5 _unknown  _unknown          160 Dec 16  2022 File1
-rwxrwxrwx   1 _unknown  _unknown  77745049600 Jan 21  2023 Archive.zip
drwx------   5 _unknown  _unknown          160 Jan 17  2023 Windows
drwx------   5 _unknown  _unknown          160 Dec 16  2022 Folder_1
drwxrwxrwx  12 _unknown  _unknown          384 Oct 10 23:58 Folder_2

The hard drive is encrypted and partitioned like the following :

    /dev/disk4 (external, physical):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *5.0 TB     disk4
   1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk4s1
   2:                 Apple_APFS Container disk5         5.0 TB     disk4s2

    /dev/disk5 (synthesized):
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      APFS Container Scheme -                      +5.0 TB     disk5
                                 Physical Store disk4s2
   1:                APFS Volume WD_BLACK Storage        348.1 GB   disk5s1
   2:                APFS Volume WD_BLACK                3.3 TB     disk5s2

This is some info I'm getting on Finder :

enter image description here

enter image description here

I have read-only access to WD_BLACK, and I'm unable to make any changes to it. This concerns me because I fear I won't be able to recover my old files if the drive malfunctions. I'd like to transfer all the snapshots to a different disk. I have a new Synology NAS, but I'm encountering difficulties when attempting to copy files to it.

I tried running "First Aid" on WD_BLACK, unsuccessfully.

enter image description here

Is there any solution or approach I can explore to back up my files successfully?

Thank you

  • 3
    To all intents & purposes Time Machine drives are not copyable. See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/463617/…
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 12, 2023 at 16:03
  • Thank you. Crazy that Apple provide no explanation nor solution for this.
    – LotoLo
    Oct 14, 2023 at 8:40
  • They used to be copyable, back in the HFS+ days, but pretty much only if you used the Finder, which understood the format & use of hard links. Apple had a page on how to do that. Since APFS, they just removed the page after a while. Their advice is now little more than "Buy a new drive. Start over."
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 14, 2023 at 8:42
  • Yes I read the article on the archive. So all the data and my disk are stuck. If one day the disk break I'm screwed... This is unacceptable. And my disk doesn't seem in good conditions.. Maybe the only way would be restore the data on another disk, and backup that disk again. The effort to do that seem is huge.
    – LotoLo
    Oct 14, 2023 at 8:46


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .