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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

Time machine backup to already in use Time Capsule

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niall's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 02, 2007
Location: Motherwell, Scotland
Posts: 10
niall is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 Gb Ram, 320Gb HDD OSX 10.7.5

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Just wondering if the following is possible, and if so, could someone put me in the direction of some instructions please?!

I have a macbook and a mac mini. Until recently, the mac mini was exclusively used in my lab at uni, while my macbook was used at home.

I bought a time capsule about 10 months ago and successfully moved the backups for my macbook from an external HDD to the time capsule. I then moved the HDD into uni to use with my mac mini. I've now finished in uni, and as such have brought my mac mini home (along with the HDD of time machine backups for it).

What I want to do is to use the time capsule to now backup my mac mini, while retaining the original backups for it. I know how to copy an external HDD backup onto a new Time Capsule, but my understanding is that this will wipe the time capsule and I'll lose the backups for my macbook!

Any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks!
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niall's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 02, 2007
Location: Motherwell, Scotland
Posts: 10
niall is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Macbook 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 Gb Ram, 320Gb HDD OSX 10.7.5

niall is offline
So, it turns out it is possible.

Since this post in 2012, I had been running two separate backup systems for each mac, which was a bit annoying.

As stated above, my time capsule had been in use for some time, and I knew how to transfer one backup to a new disk. In order to get the backup from the external HDD to the Time Capsule, using previous instructions, would have resulted in the backups for my macbook to be lost.

To get round this, I changed the destination of the macmini's backups to the TimeCapsule, and once it said it was "preparing backup", I stopped it. This created a sparse bundle on the Time Capsule for the macmini.

Using Disk utility, I selected the "restore" tab, and selected the external HDD as the source, and the macmini sparse bundle on the TC as the destination.Took a few hours, but copied everything over and I can now backup my macmini to the TC and access old backups.

So far it seems to be running ok and I'm still able to backup my macbook over the wifi to the TC.
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