can't delete timemachine backups!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sannekita, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Sannekita macrumors regular

    Sannekita

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #1
    Hey Guys,
    Timemachine is currently using up a lot of my diskspace for silly backups i don't really need. So I tried deleting some files.
    When I saw you can't just drag the backupthing wherever you want, I did some research. Here I learned you're supposed to go into timemachine and delete the backup through the 'gearsign'.
    I tried this, but it does not seem to work. My external HD just makes noise, but nothing happens. I tried a really small file (20kb), to check if it was the size that mattered. Nope. It won't even delete that.
    What am I supposed to do? I have other files on the external HD that I don't want to ruin, that's why i'm not formatting...

    can anyone help?
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    It won't overwrite anything that is already on the drive and will delete it's own backups when it needs to ... best to just leave it alone. You may end up deleting a crucial part of the backup, and be left unable to restore if needed.
     
  3. Sannekita thread starter macrumors regular

    Sannekita

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #3
    I basically just want my drive back. I want to loose the backups...
    it's a 1 TB drive that I now want to use for something else...
    Help... anyone?
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    Then turn Time Machine off, and delete the backup folder.
     
  5. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    Yeah. TM could be more flexible,* but the best approach would be to start over. So long as you're sure there's nothing you need to recover, you should be fine. Partition the drive so TM doesn't take up the whole thing.


    *It would be useful to have some options such as size limits (i.e., no-partition partition) and time limits (delete backups older than x months/weeks/days). While it's great to have backups, I imagine most people have an idea of how far back they might need to go--for me it's certainly less than a year).
     
  6. Sannekita thread starter macrumors regular

    Sannekita

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #6
    you can't just delete it, it's secured in some way...
    You're supposed to do it through Timemachine they say, but it just won't work ... (other's say it's really simple and instantly removes what you want to remove, but not with me)...

    Also, put the backups folder in the trash (without emptying), but I didn't get the space back on the harddisk... so I put it back onto the drive 'coz I got scared :)
    EDIT: should I just move the stuff I still need (regular files, not backups) to some other place, format the drive and put the reg files back??
    Are you sure just moving the backups folder to the trash works?
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    You have to be an admin to delete from TM.

    You need to empty the trash to get the space back. The fact that you put them there means that you can simply delete the backups. What are you scared of?

    Don't forget to turn off TM.
     
  8. Sannekita thread starter macrumors regular

    Sannekita

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #8
    I just read lots of places you're not supposed to delete the backups like that... but now I did it and its slowly emptying the trash (about 300GB in there..)

    It really creeps my out that I still see no change in the free space on the disk... but i'll be patient and wait
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    If you are trying to delete specific files from the backups, then you should do it from within TM, but when you want to trash the whole thing - this is the best method.
     

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