Moving a Time Machine Backup to a Time Capsule

I bought myself a Time Capsule, for a few reasons. Our wireless network at home has been pretty flaky—our AirPort Expresses (AirPorts Express?) seem to drop off the network a lot, and the “AirTunes” feature cuts in and out—and I have this vague hope that a network made up of all Apple hardware will work better. I also like the idea of always-available, wireless network-attached storage, since I’m only pretty good about remembering to hook up the external backup drive, and Rachel never remembers. Now that we’re both running Leopard, Time Machine + Time Capsule seems to add up to painless backups.

The hitch was that I’ve been running Leopard with Time Machine backups on my external LaCie drive for a few months now, and I wanted to move those backups to our shiny new 1 TB drive and maintain that backup history. When I called Apple support (our first Time Capsule was a dud) to ask how one might migrate an existing Time Machine backup from an external hard drive to a new Time Capsule, the nice man put me on hold for fifteen minutes and then came back to say it couldn’t be done.

Puh-leeze.

I know moving Time Machine backups isn’t as simple as just dragging the files from one drive to another. Because of the way the files are stored (Time Machine seems to use hard links to avoid wasting space) a regular file copy would massively inflate the size of your archive, and possibly screw up metadata, too. But surely Apple must have recognized that disks fail, archives grow, and people buy new hardware! There must be a way to move a Time Machine backup.

And there is! I found the solution on the discussion forums for SuperDuper, so that’s the software I used to accomplish the move. It’s possible that Apple’s DiskUtility would do the trick as well, but I didn’t try that. After going through it myself, I thought I’d gather the instructions in one place.

Here’s how to move a Time Machine backup from an external drive to a new Time Capsule:

  1. Hook up the external drive where you store your Time Machine backups, and do one more backup, just to be safe, by choosing “Back Up Now” from the Time Machine menu on the menu bar.
  2. Make sure your computer has a name in System Preferences -> Sharing or else your first Time Capsule backup will fail. This would be annoying later on.
  3. Set up your Time Capsule using the AirPort Utility. When you’re done, you should be able to see the Time Capsule under Shared in the sidebar of a Finder window:
  4. Mount the Time Capsule drive, by selecting the Time Capsule in the sidebar, and then, if necessary, clicking the Connect As… button and entering your Time Capsule password (that you set up in the AirPort Utility).

    You should then see a folder called Data. This represents the internal disk in your Time Capsule.

    Double-click on the folder to open it; it should be empty.
  5. Open the Time Machine preference pane (by choosing Open Time Machine Preferences… from the Time Machine menu) and click Change Disk… Choose your new Time Capsule from the list.
  6. From the Time Machine menu, choose Back Up Now to force Time Machine to start backing up to your Time Capsule. Once it starts whirring along, check out the Finder window that was showing the contents of your Data folder. Very soon you should see a file appear in that window whose name ends with .sparsebundle. Once you see that file, cancel the Time Machine backup—we were only using it to create the sparse bundle file. Once it stops, turn Time Machine off.
  7. Download SuperDuper, which is a pretty nifty backup and disk copying program. The free version is all you’ll need, but if you like it, you might consider buying the full version to support the fine people who made it possible.
  8. Double-click the sparse bundle file that you saw created earlier. This should cause a new drive to mount on your desktop, called Backup of your computer name.
  9. Launch SuperDuper. Set it to Copy your old backup drive to Backup of [your computer name] using Backup – all files. Click the Options… button, and choose Erase backup, then copy.

    Double check that your old backup drive is the source (on the left) and your Time Capsule is the destination (on the right). I mean, seriously. Then, take a deep breath, and push Copy Now.

  10. Go kill some time! This will take a while. My 200 GB of backups took about eight hours, copying from a FireWire 800 drive to a Time Capsule over wired Ethernet.
  11. When it finally finishes, go back into your Time Machine preferences and make sure your Time Capsule is still selected as the backup drive. Now, Enter Time Machine and verify that your backup history is still present. Voila!
  12. At this point, I recommend doing one more Back Up Now just to make sure everything’s working properly. This first backup after the copy will take a long while during the Preparing… phase. I’m not sure why. After that, you should be in business.

Hope this helps someone else!

Moving a Time Machine Backup to a Time Capsule

What to do with a Wet Laptop

Every burgeoning bike rider probably has a stuck in the rain story, below is mine:

The clouds looked ominous as I left work, but I hoped the weather would hold off for the 20-25 minutes it would take to get home. Unfortunately, about halfway home, as I started across the Mass Ave Bridge, I felt the first drops. Big, intermittent, falling from the sky with more urgency with each pedal. By the time I crossed the bridge, it was a full out sideways rain thunderstorm. My shoes filled with water. Dirty water from the street was spraying into my mouth from the tires. My glasses were quickly rendered opaque by the drops and when I looked over them to see, water laser beams shot into my eyes. It was an angry, confused shower, filled with all the bitterness of a scorned Mother Nature.
I wasn’t sure if I should stop (I should have) or keep going to meet the HVAC guy who was coming for a spring tune up (what a waste that was), and I wasn’t sure how much protection my backpack would provide to my laptop.
Of course it stopped raining a couple minutes after I got home, but by that time, I had already seen the angry, blinking lights of my soggy D430 and taken the battery out. I tried it one more time after the HVAC guy left (seriously, a waste of time and money. He hadn’t even brought a ladder to change the air filter, leaving it for me to do). And one more time a couple hours later before leaving it in an A shape on the table to dry. And then I waited. And waited. I’d say it was the longest 24 hours of my life, but that would be cheap hyperbole, wouldn’t it? Finally, I couldn’t wait anymore and put the battery back in and it worked no problem. It came right back from hibernation somehow and it seems to be fine.
For those of you looking here for instructions on what to do with a wet laptop to guarantee bringing it back to life… I don’t know. Shut the power off right away. I guess probably don’t leave it on standby on your way home to reduce the chance of it getting wet while it’s powered on, also. And then hope it works after it dries for as long as you can stand drying it. Hope and Luck. That’s what you need with a wet laptop, because I imagine I had as good a chance of getting a brick out of the whole experience.

What to do with a Wet Laptop

24: Episode 2, 8 AM – 9 AM

Key Words: , , , ,

9:13: Edgar just provided conclusive proof that Jack Bauer was the guy who killed Palmer. Doesn’t Frank Flynn have a pretty good alibi? “Audrey, I don’t want to believe this any more than you do” but we’re going to need something to keep the authorities from helping Jack Bauer for as long as possible.
9:27: JBKC: 1 (FBI agent, wrong place, wrong time)
9:30: Jack Bauer is in. Am I the only one who finds this completely unbelievable? I mean Jack Bauer walks into a building full of officers from every agency involved in law enforcement and not a single one of those officers recognizes Jack Bauer from the convention in Miami a couple years back? No one from academy? What kind of show is this?
9:30: (Palmer uses an iMac) Jack Bauer is on the computer in the study and the only one who catches him is David Palmer’s brother. Right.
9:33: David Palmer got elected with a 60% plurality? That’s what I would call a mandate. Imagine the “political capital” he had to spend. Last year I was convinced that all the brutal torture in the show was a way of showing the American people why American’s shouldn’t torture. (Because torture sucks). Then I got confused because Fox would probably be the last channel on the dial to be sending that type of message. Now they’ve mentioned political capital twice. What gives?
9:37: CTU uses HP computers. No wonder they can’t do anything right, they’re hindered technologically.
9:38: Does anyone else think that the David Palmer All State commercials are kind of strange? This is sort of like when newscasters are in movies giving fake news. Now that David Palmer is dead are the All State commercials going to be less effective? I think so.
9:42: First foreigner. What does this mean?
9:44: JBKC: 2 (Random good guy, wrong place wrong time.)
9:45: JBKC: 3(Random good guy, wrong place wrong time.)
9:45: I bet Derrick is driving the van.
9:46: Damn it, just Chloe.
9:51: If it were me, I would leave Derrick at a mall somewhere and tell his mom to pick him up there. But, you know, that’s just me. I don’t have the training that Jack Bauer has.
9:53: Oh and if I had dropped Derrick off, I wouldn’t have been able to have this conversation with him, telling him, “I really do care about you. I care about your mother. I hope one day you can understand that.” This is why 24 wins Emmys, the drama.
9:56: YES! Martha IS insane and they didn’t make us wait 6 weeks to prove it. Thank you, 24!
9:58: I’m sensing that we’re supposed to think the Russian President’s helicopter is the target, but that that’s just what they want us to think. So far I’m 0 for 1 on predictions, though.
10:03: “I lied to you, I lied to you about a lot of things.” You’re damn right you did, Jack Bauer. Now how can Derrick and his mom get involved in danger?
10:06: I’m conflicted. I was going to give a JBKC for Chevinsky, the chubby security guard, but Jack Bauer just pushed him down and he was fully conscious when he ate his poison pill. Also, I’m not sure whether to count this as a torture scene or not. I’m saying yes to torture, no to JBKC.
10:06: Oh, this is how Derrick and his mom are going to get into danger. Derrick is a spy in training and he’s going to warn Jack Bauer. An attack on the airport? My second prediction was correct. 24 prediction ratio: 50%. 10:08: 24 just turned into one of my favorite movies. WHO THE F CREATES A HOSTAGE SITUATION OUT OF AN AIRPORT TERMINAL? I mean, come on! Really?! They couldn’t go to a bank? A school wouldn’t have less security?
10:09: Walt’s a bad guy? Martha Logan was right? Oh man. They’ve just gone and flipped so many switches.
Final thoughts:
3 JBKCs, 1 torture, Prediction Ratio: 50%. I think I’m not going to get into discussing the “Next week on 24” as that stuff is never as important as it should be.

Totals for the season, 7 JBKCs, 1 torture, Prediction Ratio: 50%.

24: Episode 2, 8 AM – 9 AM

Girlfriend Vacation Running Journal 3

10:15 AM Again, not as late as I’d have liked, but respectable, maybe I’ll take a nap later on. I’m still expressing my displeasure by staying in bed for a couple hours this morning. I’ll read the Globe sports page, slashdot, and anything else that catches my fancy.
12:35 PM I like Mark Cuban’s blog, and I’m not ashamed!
12:43 PM Wow. This French site has pictures of the “transparent” backgrounds people are putting on their Macs. Imagine lifting your computer up and taking a picture of what is behind it. Then put that picture on you Mac desktop so you can “see through” the computer.
1:35 PM Shower. Didn’t really get very dirty since yesterday, but a habit is a habit.
1:50 PM Eating cereal and reading Rolling Stone. I just like the People-esque section that talks about the different gossip. Most of the articles bore me. Though I did read an article about Suge Knight a couple years ago that gave me nightmares.
2:30 PM I tried adding pictures to the blog. I am using Ourmedia.org to do this and so far it’s not working.
2:52 PM Decided to use up all the outstanding gift certificates I have. First up, $10.00 at iTunes. This is hard, I want to get something I’ll like, but I can’t find anything that’s a certain hit. In desperation, I bought The Promise Ring’s “Nothing Feels Good”.
3:10 PM JR just called to let me know she’s about 100 miles away. I better hurry if I want to have a good goal achievement percentage.
3:18 PM Next up, $90.00 at Smalldog.com. Game or External Hard drive?
4:32 PM After much discussion and misgivings I finally chose a hard drive only to find my credit rejected. I’ll have to figure that out tomorrow. I have to go pick up JR in 20 minutes so I don’t know how to prioritize my last few minutes of freedom. The $75 at Amazon will have to wait until later this evening.
5:53 PM I left to pick up JR signifying the end of “Girlfriend Vacation”.

My best guest without reexamining the goals, I’d have to say I was pretty productive this weekend. However since we try to base everything at AABA on science and facts, let’s go through the original list one by one.
Use up gift certificates to Smalldog, Amazon, and Borders. I wasn’t yet able to use the Smalldog or Border’s GCs because of a problem with the websites. I added iTunes to the list, and used up the Amazon GC so I’d have to consider this goal completed.
Purchase iPod case and external harddrive (perhaps with gift certificates). I plum forgot to buy an iPod case, but my big issue was getting over the hurdle and deciding which one to get. I’ve done that and I’ll buy the case tonight. The hard drive was all set to be ordered from Smalldog until my store credit was rejected. Completed.
Shop for groceries. Over-completed.
Watch movies and basketball. 4 movies and a couple close games. Completed.
Laundry. Completed.
Finish a few blogs I’ve been working on (not the GF Vacation Journal). Ideas only, not completed.
Clean around the house. Depends on the definition of clean, but I did tidy up. Completed.
Extra goals will be added as they are realized. I learned about the history of notebook computers, researched discount online brokers, the difference between AAC and MP3, worked for about 7 hours, made some lunches for work, and fleshed out my disapproval of Rick Pitino. Completed.
Sleep a lot. The bane of boyfriends everywhere. When the girlfriend goes away, all semblance of time disappears, (which is why I think it’s so hard to accomplish goals). Going to sleep early becomes impossible and for silly reasons, too. I failed to complete this goal.

That gives me a 90% achievement rate, I’m an indisputable success. But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without all (ha!) of you. Clearly defining my goals for you gave me a small sense of structure to my time wasting and you deserve some of the credit. Next time we’ll have to set higher aspirations.

Girlfriend Vacation Running Journal 3

Girlfriend Vacation Running Journal 2

4:35 AM Got awoken by bad cat who was trying to climb on my bedside table. Normally, only JR is afflicted by them. Kicked both cats out and realized one had knocked my water over onto the carpet.
8:50 AM Cursed my job for conditioning my body to wake up early.
9:15 AM Decided to start my day. But to show my disapproval and reluctance, I’m going to spend the first 2 hours of the day in bed.
11:49 AM After reading a good deal of , Boston.com/globe/sports, and the RSS feed of slashdot.com, I got up to bring Another State of Mind (Netflix) to the mailbox. Instead of leaving it in our mailbox for the mailman to pick, I decided to enjoy the cloudless day and walk it down the street to the box. Hey, that could be all the going outside I do today.
12:05 PM Got back from my walk, so I’m now reading an article about The Birth of the Notebook on MobilePC. Why do I care about the history of mobile computing? One interesting fact is that portable PCs originally referred to the idea of being able to use what we now refer to as desktop computers anywhere.
12:21 PM Finished reading an article on Business 2.0 about how Apple is going to use the iPod and iTunes brand to continue kicking ass in the coming years.
12:42-1:42 PM I spent about an hour looking into discount online brokerage houses. I’m convinced there is an “Online Brokerage Association” that mandates every member must keep their fee schedule murkily confusing and make it difficult for interested investing novices to spend their money. I imagine that through an agreement between Federal Regulators and the OBA, online brokerages stay out of the regulatory spotlight by making a concerted effort to confuse and repel idiotic and impulsive consumers like me. Right now I see myself as a bleeding dolphin in the middle of the ocean. I’m being circled by sharks dressed as discount online brokerage houses. They’re just waiting for me to make a decision so that they can eat me alive with hidden fees and surcharges. Individual sharks keep making a run at me, woosh, there goes an Ameritrade hammerhead, swish, a Scottrade great white. With whom will I invest? I don’t know. But for now I’ve been sufficiently scared off. But I will swim again.
1:46 PM My arcane and indisputably geeky New Year’s resolution was to track every cent I earned and spent this year. In that name I updated my Quicken records.
1:53 PM I need a new password system. I continually forget the passwords on my credit card site.
2:15 PM I Tried to figure out the difference between audio files in MP3 format compared to audio files in AAC format. I think I might have been going about things all wrong for the last year by ripping everything into 128 MP3. I don’t ever really hear a difference, but I guess AAC takes up less space?
3:00 PM Took a shower to prepare for going to the grocery store.
3:34 PM The productivity begins right now. I’m going to throw in a load of laundry, go to the pet store and the grocery store and then clean. Or at least the laundry and stores.
5:22 PM For proof to the old adage don’t go shopping on an empty stomach see AC’s Shopping Trip on the 26th of March, 2005. Talk about bleeding dolphin in the middle of the ocean, I didn’t stand a chance. I bought 3 of everything that I don’t need. I see a sale on things I eat and buy a lot of it. This does keep me from having to go to the grocery store, but did I need 4 pints of Ben and Jerry’s? I still haven’t eaten the Ben and Jerry’s I bought when it was on sale a couple weeks ago.
Let the productivity continue.
6:15 PM Cleaned toilet, bedroom, coffee table. Started working on spreadsheet again. Watched West Virginia totally blow a lead and lose to Louisville and Rick Pitino. I don’t even like the Celtics very much, but I hate Rick Pitino. He wrote a book called “Success is a Choice” and that may be true, but if it is, why the F would you choose anything except success? And if you know it’s a choice why would you make the decision to sign Travis Knight? There’s only one explanation: Rick Pitino chose to fail while coaching the Celtics which makes his tenure here even worse, because he failed on purpose.
8:15 PM Started cooking and cleaning the kitchen. Pasta and chicken in different forms make up the majority of my diet, so I’m making a pound of chicken sausage, a pound of pasta and some sauce. I’ll make several meals out of this that I can bring to work this week. Or else I’ll just leave it on the stove and eat it until JR comes home tomorrow, it’s probably what I should have done yesterday. Up until this point all I’ve eaten today is a banana and some ice cream. I’m pretty hungry.
9:34 PM Finally sated. It didn’t come out as well as I would have hoped, but dinner is finally eaten.
9:38 PM Starting Outfoxed (Netflix).
9:45 PM Decided to work for an hour and paused Outfoxed.
10:45 PM Back on Outfoxed.
12:10 AM Outfoxed is over. It was pretty good. It seemed to me it was the film version of “Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them.”
1:00 AM I’m going to get into bed and watch a little bit of Closer, my second Jude Law movie in two days.
3:15 AM Damn it! I watched the entire thing. What was I thinking? Closer was pretty good, but I happen to hate most movies that were plays first. There is something different about dialogue written for the stage as opposed to the screen. People in plays and movies of plays tend to say stuff you wouldn’t hear in real life and the conversations are almost always between two people only. Also, the timing always seems off, like the characters wait an extra beat before saying anything at all, which is what drives me craziest about this genre of film. Next time you have a conversation, try to get the other person to agree to count to one before responding to anything you say and you’ll know what I mean.

Girlfriend Vacation Running Journal 2