Importing Time Machine data to Drobo FS

I just purchased a Drobo FS and enabled a TM share on the device. I have previously been using an external HDD with TM to save data, and wish to move the backups.backupdb folder to the drobo FS, continue with my TM on the new device, and throw the external HDD into the Drobo array. I have been following the instructions here under the heading “Mac OS X v10.6: How to transfer your backups from your current hard drive to a new hard drive”, but have hit a wall at step 8. Finder gives me an error saying “The volume is the wrong format for a backup” even though the share is time machine enabled and mounted. Also, I was unable to verify step 4 of the instructions.

Any help on migrating the data for use in the new device would be appreciated

Unfortunately, while you can migrate a Time machine backup from one disk to another, you cannot migrate it from a disk to a network share. On disk, Apple stores the backup in a folder called “Backups.backupdb” as you noted, but on a network share they’re stored inside a specially formatted disk image - partially because network volumes may not have the underlying filesystem support to allow a Time Machine backup to function.

It may be possible to create that disk image the way Time Machine would, then copy the backups into it - but I wouldn’t bet on it. You may have to let go of that backup history and just start from scratch - just keep the old disk around until you’re sure you won’t need anything from it.

If you’re faced with losing your backup history, it’s not a bad time to consider other backup methods.

I’ve been using CrashPlan to back up my Mac for more than 2 years now, with no problems. It’s multi-platform, the data files can live on almost any filesystem and can be read by any CrashPlan client, and the peer-to-peer function works over the Internet.
Unlike other online backup services (dropbox, carbonite, mozy) data is encrypted by the local client and is decrypted only when the client receives the data during a restore. This is true for both their paid hosted service and their free peer-to-peer service.

CrashPlan takes a different approach to backing up than Time Machine does. I prefer it, but you might not.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Thanks for the good info. Fortunately, I just started using the external disk for time machine about a week ago and won’t lose much as the laptop is a fresh install on a laptop recently fixed by the “genius” bar, so I’m not very broken up about it.

I just thought there might be an easy way to migrate. If I must start fresh, then I start fresh.