This process involves using Terminal to make a copy of your Time Machine disk and subsequently transfer it to a new location while still allowing it to be accessible for continued backups (via macosxhints.com user "zegor"):
Caution: Make sure your 'asr' copy is done by block copy (not file copy). See 'man asr' for help with this.
- Create an image (optionally encrypted) of the same size as the Time Machine hard disk. You can use the script from this hint, or simply copy and execute the relevant parts of it. With the script, the command would look something like this:mkBackupImage.sh -p /path/to/disk/image -s nnn**Replace the nnn with the size of the original Time Machine disk (and replace the path bit, too).
- Mount the new image:open /path/to/disk/image
- Use asr to make a block copy of the hard disk to the image:sudo asr --source /Volumes/TM_backup --target /Volumes/mounted_image_name --erase
Testing: I have tried this in a minor way. I created a Time Machine backup, backed up to it a few times, followed the above hint, and then shifted Time Machine to back up to the NewTimeMachine disk. Time Machine will mount the disk image, and back up to it.
Bugs: When restoring from the image, one has to (1) mount the image (open the image file in the Finder), (2) Control-click the Time Machine icon in the dock, and (3) pick 'Browse other time machine disks...' from the contextual menu.
I have not tested this solution personally, though comments on the original post by "zegor" concerning copyable Time Machine backups relay pretty good success with the process. As always, when working in Terminal be sure to have a secure and stable backup of all your important data should something go wrong.