I have two external drives, one for data and one for Time Machine backups. Time Machine backs up both my internal HD and my external HD. My external HD is dying, so I bought a new one and plan to migrate the data over.

Is it possible to somehow move the data to the new HD and still have Time Machine think that the new HD is the old one, since the data is the same? I usually just use Finder to move files from the old HD to new one (and then remove the old HD and rename the new one to use the same name), but from what I understand that wouldn't copy over the Time Machine data, however.

1 Answer 1


Instead of using the finder to copy your files - use a program like 'carbon copy cloner' or 'super duper'.

This will get you the closest to the two drives being exactly the same.

However, I should warn you that when I did this myself, I could not get Time Machine to treat the new drive as if it were the old drive. It insisted on keeping a backup of it as if it were a new drive. (however, in my case this was the OS internal drive and not an external data drive)

In the end I decided that it was OK that Time Machine didn't know it was the same drive, as I now had two copies of the data (before time machine even backed up) from the original flaky drive, and the new drive.

I just had time machine back up the drive as if it were brand new. I haven't had any regrets about it.

Hope this helps.

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