Help deleting time machine backups?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PicnicTutorials, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #1
    My time machine is a 500GB partition on a external drive. For some reason time machine stopped deleting the oldest backup and replacing with new ones. Started saying time machine full. So I deleted the old ones. But OS X can't seem to delete them. Just hangs for days. So then I try restoring them to the original location and it says can't authenticate and/or iMac is in use and can't. So they are all just stuck in my trash.
     
  2. BLUEDOG314 macrumors regular

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #2
    How much information is actually on the drive you are backing up? Time machine is just creating multiple hardlinks to files to avoid file duplication in a backup setting, thus unless you delete all hardlinks to a given file, it wont actually get deleted.

    On another note, if you want to just empty trash, use terminal. sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*
     
  3. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

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    Dec 29, 2013
    #4
  4. BLUEDOG314 macrumors regular

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #5
    Let me just say this, I am very OCD about my backups and how I use my machine in general. While time machine is ok for most, the way it is implemented is rather scary considering how HFS+ works with hardlinks. I have had my backups get jacked up on numerous occasions because of the sheer number of files and directories on my drive.

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/07/mac-os-x-10-7/12/

    From the article:

    "One particularly scary example is the implementation ofhard links on HFS+. To keep track of hard links, HFS+ creates a separate file for each hard link inside a hidden directory at the root level of the volume. Hidden directories are kind of creepy to begin with, but the real scare comes when you remember that Time Machine is implemented using hard links to avoid unnecessary data duplication.

    Listing the contents of this hidden directory (named "HFS+ Private Data", but with a bunch of non-printing characters preceding the "H") on my Time Machine backup volume reveals that it contains 573,127 files. B-trees or no b-trees, over half a million files in a single directory makes me nervous."

    To empty your trash with terminal type exactly what I said, "sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*" without the quotes and you will be just fine.
     
  5. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #6
    Thanks bro but i did it and they all still just sit in my trash
     
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    #7
    If it is just your trash that you are trying to empty, try first doing a safe boot by rebooting while holding down the shift key. See if you can then empty the trash. If you can, then reboot normally.
     
  7. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #8
    Too late. :)

    OS X tries very hard to protect your backups. It protects Time Machine data in several different ways - conventional methods that you would use to delete normal files do not work with Time Machine files.

    In the future, if you want to manually delete some backups, you use the "tmutil" command. You can google it.

    For your current problem, you could reformat the partition you use for Time Machine and start from scratch. If that is too scary, you can try to delete the files in the trash using a hidden command which bypasses the OS X Time Machine protections. Google "TMSafetyNet".

    A.
     
  8. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #9
    ok I came across a solution but cannot seem to execute it. I believe I have the syntax wrong. Can some one show me exactly what type into terminal to do this?

    Open terminal, type "cd /Volumes" and then "ls" to display all volumes and "cd <<TM volume name>>" to go into the TM volume.

    Type "ls -a" to display all files, the -a is because Trashes is hidden.

    "sudo rm -rf .Trashes" should delete the trashes folder.

    Careful, messing that up could delete the wrong thing. Also, this hasn't always solved the problem for me.

    Time Machine seems to (rather annoyingly) just do it's own thing. I've had it delete the files on its own time before and the free space was back after a certain period of time. I have no explanation for it but it seems to have fixed itself.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 30, 2016 ---
    ok and I followed this to a tea. And it tried to empty the trash but basically said I didnt have permission. Id have to go buy another hard drive if I wanted to rrefomat it because too much data on it. Is there any way that will work?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 30, 2016 ---
    https://seo-michael.co.uk/how-to-remove-os-x-time-machine-backups-from-trash/
    --- Post Merged, Jan 30, 2016 ---
    ok I located them. Now I just need help deleting them. Here is where the trash is...

    /Volumes/Time\ Machine/.Trashes/501/

    . 2015-12-27-071416 2016-01-09-071416

    .. 2015-12-29-070202 2016-01-11-070704

    2015-12-11-070704 2015-12-31-071146 2016-01-13-071006

    2015-12-16-070201 2016-01-02-073424 2016-01-15-073458

    2015-12-18-072821 2016-01-04-070609 2016-01-18-071827

    2015-12-23-070456 2016-01-06-071700 test

    2015-12-25-073238 2016-01-07-070704 test2
     
  9. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #10
    can some one show me how to use the TMSafetyNet command? I googled it but it didn't show me much
     
  10. PicnicTutorials, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016

    PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #11
    would this work???? considering the trash is in my 501 folder

    tmutil delete /Volumes/Time\ Machine/.Trashes/501/
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2016 ---
    or for el capitan is this the correct syntax using the bypass thingy??? I think this may work but I wanted to confirm with you guys first so I don't delete anything I don't want to.

    /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Helpers/bypass rm -rfv /Volumes/Time\ Machine/.Trashes/501/
     
  11. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
  12. BLUEDOG314 macrumors regular

    BLUEDOG314

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2015
    #13
    If you wanted to delete everything within that 501 folder:

    sudo tmutil delete /Volumes/Time\ Machine/.Trashes/501/*

    Use sudo as it will require root, the * at the end means match anything within the 501 directory.

    If that does not work, you could always use single user mode as all the jazz that works in the background to protect Time Machine backups will not be running. This would however require you mount your backup in single user which takes a little more work. If you want to try this I can give you direction on how to do it.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    OP:

    I suggest you just reinitialize the partition that has the TM backups you want to get rid of, then "start over".

    Suggestion:
    Have you ever considered CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper instead?
     
  14. PicnicTutorials thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #15
    Yeah I have carbon copy cloner. I've already order a new 5T drive. So when it comes I guess I'll back everything up and then erase the drive. Googling for days you know what's happening??? There is a bug in the newest OS that won't delete time machine backups with a carboncopycloner in it. Which mine have. Which eventually gives me the message time machine full. Which leads to people like myself trying to manually delete their backups which then leads to this problem. Anyways... if by some craziness deleting the partition doesn't work then I'll try this. But I already order the new drive so I guess it would be prudent to wait.
     

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