Can't Use Time Machine after a month of Using It Cause Hard Drive is Full...Help, pls

Discussion in 'macOS' started by HappyDude20, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    I'm gonna play the part of being ignorant here as I can't seem to figure this one out.

    Since getting Snow Leopard I've started using Time Machine. I have an external 160GB that I normally like to connect once every 2 weeks to my Mac.

    1st Thing: I keep getting pop-up notifications like on the 10th day since syncing teeling me to connect and backup using Time Machine. Anyway to stop that?

    2nd: After a month of me using Time Machine and backing up like every few days this first month around during my last attempt to use Time Machine, with my external HD connected it said there wasn't enough space to backup using Time Machine...I don't get this; does this mean I have to open up Disk Utility and do a zero, 7 or 35 pass thing before I can use my external HD to use Time Machine again? If so that blows.

    But then again, don't feel Apple would make its users take that route...so, what am I missing here?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    Do you have any large files which might be modified regularly - such as virtual hard drive images for Parallels or the like? If so, those will be backed up every time you access them with your VM app. You can exclude them in System Preferences > Time Machine.
     
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #3
    Any large files? Not that I can think of. Probably not. It's a 500GB HD and am using exactly 161GBs right now...iTunes I think would hold the most with like 60GB's of music, movies, audiobooks and podcasts...but is that a factor?
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
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    #4
    Your external is 160GB and your internal is 500GB, with 161GB used?

    Seems like the error message is correct, since 161 > 160. You would have been out of space on the very first backup.

    As for the notice, I'm not sure what the timing is on that. If you're using Time Machine, and don't want to backup on schedule, you can turn it off in System Preferences > Time Machine. Then, turn it back on when you connect your external.
     
  5. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #5
    During my initial backup it was about 10GB's less than now, I create a couple of iDVD projects..

    So right now then I'd have to go the way of deleting every from from the external HD and then using TM as if it was my first time. If so kinda a drag. kinda.
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #6
    Still, your external HD is too small to be useable for Time Machine. It's barely large enough to do an image of what you currently have.

    The way Time Machine works is it will do an initial backup of your entire HD. Then, it will backup any changed or added file (hourly if connected, otherwise it will backup the next time the drive is connected). It continues the process until all available space is used, then will start removing the oldest versions of files (alerting the user before doing so). The larger the available space, the farther "back in time" you can go to restore a file or folder.

    The rule-of-thumb has been to make your Time Machine drive 2x your source drive (or some maximum used space). That means a 1TB drive. Even if you go by your current use, that's still a 320GB drive. The minimum I would ever suggest using would be 1.5x, or something around 250GB, in your case. Otherwise, you won't have room to add files and your ability to "go back in time" will be very limited.
     
  7. moez macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #7
    Ditto what gr8tfly said.

    But as a band-aid, exclude any VM drive, maybe even your movies and songs from your primary computer. This would give you some breathing space. But generally buying a bigger backup drive is the only option.
     
  8. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #8
    Thanks for the advice!

    I'll most likely go ahead and erasing the 160GB external and manually add important files, such as documents, personal photos, home videos, music and any other relevant info.

    Again, thanks!
     

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