View Full Version : Time Machine Help

May 1, 2013, 06:15 PM
I was having trouble with my iMac and ultimately wound up doing a clean install of the OS. When I set up the new OS I changed the "home" name of the computer (Apple had set up the computer initially and used my email address for my Apple ID, which I found a bit annoying :-)). My backup drive only has about 6GB free, the rest is taken up with old backups. I would like to set Time Machine again to do automatic backups, but I can't figure out how to get it to use my drive and just erase the earliest backups leaving my most recent ones just in case I need them.

Is there a way to do this or do I have to erase the drive and start over with a completely new backup of the new OS install?

May 2, 2013, 12:38 PM
There is no way to only erase part of an existing TM backup. It is all or nothing.

May 2, 2013, 01:58 PM
Try this: http://pondini.org/TM/B6.html

It should link up to the old backups and treat them the same going forward (with older data deleting).

May 2, 2013, 05:45 PM
Thanks. Might as well give it a try. If it doesn't work it may just be time to replace my old backup drive. :)

May 2, 2013, 11:31 PM
Doesn't Time Machine just keep backing up until it uses all the hard drive space before deleting the older backups?

From the Apple website: "Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups until your backup drive is full."

Also: 410711


If it's a problem with Time Machine simply not recognizing the older backups (thinking they are from a different Mac), just open up migration assistant and restore something from one of the older backups, and answer yes to the "Inherit Backup History" prompt. Maybe that'll work?

May 3, 2013, 02:14 PM
Is there a way to do this or do I have to erase the drive and start over with a completely new backup of the new OS install?Although Time Machine will delete old backups as necessary, you can delete individual backups in Time Machine:

Enter Time Machine
select the backup you want to delete (Do not delete the latest backup. There has been issues with TM handling that correctly.)
right click in the window and sect "Delete Backup"
This will ask for the administrator password and delete the selected backup. The backup will take a couple of minutes (on average) to delete and you can't do other TM requests while that is happening.