Compressing Time Machine Backups?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by LoneWolf121188, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. LoneWolf121188 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Just wondering a) can you do this?, and b) is it helpful?
  2. himansk macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    compression in today's huge hdd is just a waste of time. compression only has a noticeable affect on files like text files but then how much space would these text files really take on an average system? for most users, the bulk of the space is occupied by music/videos/pix etc which are already compressed data in different formats, so compression wont really affect them. so in short compression is not really helpful these days for complete disks at the very least. No you cannot compress time machine hdd.
  3. LoneWolf121188 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Easy to say when you have a 1TB external HDD. :rolleyes:
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    You MIGHT be able to, but it wouldn't save all that much space unless the majority of your backups are text files and not movies or music.

    It would probably interfere with TM's ability to retrieve files, I would imagine.

    So short answer: probably, but I doubt it would help much.
  5. redmac macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2008
    San Francisco
    I was searching for an answer to the same question when I found this old thread.

    I have my Time Machine backups from my main computer, on a 1TB partition of a 1.5 TB external HD. The remaining 500 GB was being used to store backups from my old Powerbook running Tiger (which is not Time Machine compatible). Recently I changed my setup and moved Powerbook backups to a separate drive and freed that 500 GB partition. Now that I don't need to use it for anything but my Time Machine backups, I want to reformat the hard drive into a single partition.

    On the other hand, because of the way the HD was formatted, I can't resize the the existing partitions without erasing them. I could move the TM backup to a 750 GB HD that I have, only if it didn't need 850 GB of free space. I can think of two possible solutions but honestly I don't think any of them would work. Here they are:

    - Do you think I can compress the TM backup folder and expand it later without losing anything?
    - Is there a way to clean older backups effectively so that I could trim about 100 GB of the Time Machine backups?

    Any comments?

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