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  1. #1
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    My partition for Time Machine is not working right, so I bought a new WD 4TB external drive to move the backup file to, also partitioned. Both WD drives are 4TB, partitioned into 2 x 1 TB and 1 x 2 TB sections, the latter of which is for the backup.

    The new drive has been formatted to Journaled HFS+ and GUID. (The old drive was just HFS+.) The instructions say that I need to turn on "Ignore Ownership on this volume," and I have done this for the new drive; this choice and tick-box does not come up as an option under Get Info on the old drive.

    I have read that all I need to do is drag-and-drop the huge backups.backupdb file from the old drive to the new. When I copy files over, after some hours (e.g., 500 GB) it quits, saying I do not have permission: "The operation can't be completed because you don't have permission to access some of the items."
    no_permission.jpeg

    I do know that the old backup files were made in a different operating system -- several over the years, I would guess. I recently upgraded to Sierra.

    I cannot tell you how many hours I have now wasted trying this over and over. Why can't I move this ginormous file? Should I give up and just lose all those backups that go back to 2015? I am not a programmer, so I am hoping that there is a solution that does not require me to go deeply into files and make complicated changes. :-)

    (Also, if anyone has a way to speed up the copying-over process, lay it on me, because this is going to take nearly a week, I think.)

    Macbook Pro (Retina, 15", early 2013)
    2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Sierra 10.12.6

  2. #2
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    pm-r's Avatar
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    The instructions say that I need to turn on "Ignore Ownership on this volume," and I have done this for the new drive; this choice and tick-box does not come up as an option under Get Info on the old drive.
    If that drive is is your boot volume, the option to change permissions does not normally show.

    I've never used Time Machine as I have never trusted it, but regardless, I would get a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner and use it for a backup, as well as moving and relocating your files and data.
    Download Carbon Copy Cloner | Carbon Copy Cloner | Bombich Software

    I would be very surprised if it doesn't do everything you want and keep all your data intact, including your Time Machine backup.



    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Does the drive still work with Time Machine, or is there an issue and you are replacing the old drive?

    Have you tried to run Disk Utility First Aid on the Time Machine Drive?

    Can you add the second drive, and use both, until it copies most of the backups onto the new drive?


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    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  4. #4
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Apple has a support article detailing how to migrate a Time Machine backup to a new drive.

    Transfer Time Machine backups from one backup disk to another - Apple Support

    It should also be pointed out that if the old partition isn’t “working right”, then migrating it may not be possible, especially if the drive is failing.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  5. #5
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
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    The file transfer will be very slow, not because of the actual data moved, but because of the number of files. Consider this: If you have 300,000 files on your drive (That's conservative) and you have several years of backups on the drive, you could have 40-50+ million files in the backup. Most of them will be small, as they are symbolic links to the "real" files, but each of those has to be entered into the directory structure of the new drive as the copy is made. That is what takes the time. The good news is that you can get it started and just let it run. Eventually it should complete. The permissions issue is probably related to the fact you have multiple version of the OS in the backup. If you changed users at any time in those updates, then it may be that the current "you" is not the same as the "then" you to the system, so you don't have access. It could also be system files for each version are "owned" by different account IDs. Hard to tell without knowing what file is causing it to choke.

    Oh, and you cannot trust the report of the amount of data moved because the counter counts not the actual link size, but the size of the file to which it is linked. That approach grossly over-reports the amount of data actually moved.
    Jake

  6. #6
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
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    I started to do this, but when, after 24 hours, the Finder was still preparing to copy, I gave up and just started a new TM drive. My old drive was fine, so I just kept with the old backup.

  7. #7
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    Rod's Avatar
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    Ratsima, considering the complexity of the process and the time required to complete it (or not) I think you have preempted my suggestion. Keep the old backup (at least until you're sure you don't need it) and create a new TM backup on your target volume.

    Even that will take a while but at least you can be fairly sure it will complete successfully.

    Personally I have a 1Tb EHD for TM and another for CCC both for a 512Gb SSD. When I upgrade macOS (yearly) I erase my CCC backup and create a new clone. I keep my TM backup for about 6 months more then I erase that and create a new TM backup.

    I have never needed to restore data that was more than a year old.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
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  8. #8
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    chscag's Avatar
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    Why not try using CCC to clone the Time Machine backup to a larger drive? I see no reason why that should not work.

  9. #9
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    Ratsima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Why not try using CCC to clone the Time Machine backup to a larger drive? I see no reason why that should not work.
    I don't think that works anymore. From the CCC website:

    CCC will exclude the Backups.backupdb folder during a backup task because Time Machine backup folders contains Apple-proprietary filesystem devices.

  10. #10
    Thanks to all for the advice.

    I do not boot from the old drive; it's fully external -- is that what you are asking @ferrarr? I am told the partition can no longer be used, though I can, though various machinations, still look at it (it does not show up in the sidebar or Disk Utility anymore, but I can look at it from the root MacBook Pro level in Finder); but I cannot do much with it except, apparently, copy from it. First Aid fails on it. My hope was to empty all the partitions (the other two are already copied over to the new drive), erase the whole thing and--unless it is truly broken--set it up as a mirror backup drive to the other. Reundancy, I know, is fine AND good. I suppose I can just leave it for now, but I don't see at what point I will know "OK, I don't need the backups from 2015-2019 anymore." The Carbon Copy Cloner suggestion might be worth trying; anyone think I should NOT try this?

  11. #11
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratsima View Post
    I don't think that works anymore. From the CCC website:
    I guess that would have been too simple a solution. I now remember reading that way back when... and forgot that it was not possible.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  12. #12
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I do not boot from the old drive; it's fully external -- is that what you are asking @ferrarr?
    No, I wasn't asking that?

    If you can copy items off the drive, then copy them to your drive, and use the new drive as your Time machine backup.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  13. #13
    There are two problems. One is that I cannot copy the files from old to new, as per my original description: It says I lack permission for some file(s), though I don't know which. Added to the problem now is that not only does the flawed partition not now load into Finder, NONE of the partitions will load into Disk Utility. So at the moment, I can no longer even erase the drive.

  14. #14
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    @adamadman, it sounds like the hard drive has failed. I can only suggest one thing. In Drive Utility make sure you have "Show All Devices" under the View options. That makes the hardware be visible, where you may be able to erase, reformat the entire drive at the lowest level. If the other option, "Show only Volumes" is selected, all you see are the partitions/volumes on the drive, not the hardware itself.
    Jake

  15. #15
    Time Machine: Migrating to new HD, but face permissions problems
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamadman View Post
    There are two problems. One is that I cannot copy the files from old to new, as per my original description: It says I lack permission for some file(s), though I don't know which. Added to the problem now is that not only does the flawed partition not now load into Finder, NONE of the partitions will load into Disk Utility. So at the moment, I can no longer even erase the drive.
    Did you review the Apple support article I linked to? It gives explicit instructions on addressing the permissions issue.

    That said, I also agree with MacInWin's suggestion that the drive has likely failed. I suggest following Apple's instructions to the letter. They are the authority on this. If that doesn't work, then try what MacInWin suggested, but expect to write it off. I do suspect the drive is lost, but would be glad to be proven wrong.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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