I’ve been using Time Machine to back up to a 500GB external hard drive, but that is now full. I’d like to get a 1TB drive and use it for my backup. Is there a way to transfer the current backup on the old 500GB drive to the new hard drive?
There is. Rolfje.com has a tutorial that explains how to do it (www.macworld.com/6391). We’ll sum up the steps here. After attaching, formatting (Mac Journaled), and naming the new drive, click and hold on the Time Machine icon in the Dock, and choose Open Time Machine Preferences. In that preference pane, turn off Time Machine.
Now unmount the old Time Machine drive by dragging it to the Trash. Remount it by either turning it off and then on again, or mounting it with Disk Utility. (You do this so that the drive loses its Time Machine icon and appears with the orange external-drive icon instead.)
Launch Disk Utility, select the old drive in Drive Utility’s list of drives and volumes, and click on the Restore tab in the main part of the window. Drag the Time Machine partition from the old drive to the Source field in the Restore tab. Then drag the new drive’s partition (assuming it has only one) to the Destination field.
Enable the Erase Destination option and click the Restore button. Wait while Disk Utility does its job (this could take hours). When the job’s complete, you’ll see two identical volumes on the Desktop. Unmount and disconnect the one that shows the capacity of your old drive.
With the new drive mounted, open Time Machine and switch it on. Click on Select Disk and direct Time Machine to the new drive that contains your copied Time Machine backup. Time Machine should do the right thing and use that drive for its backups. Should you need to restore your data, you’ll find it on this new drive.