How do I compact sparse bundles using Command Line? To reducing Time Machine Back Ups

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Cloudbase, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Cloudbase, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    Cloudbase macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2009
    I'm trying to reduce the size of my Time Machine back up files on my external drive. I have a 2TB external for all of my data and Time Machine. I bought a dedicated 1TB to use with Time Machine. I have to get my Time Machine Back Ups down to 1TB to transfer to the new drive. I've been using these instructions to do so, but when I get to step 2 I have no idea how to use the command line utility to find and compact the sparse bundles.

    Here is step two:

    Since we will be using a command line utility to compact the sparsebundle, you will need to mount your backup disk before proceeding. While this can be done a variety of ways, the easiest is to open up the finder and select the backup drive from the list under “Shared”. (When it is mounted, you will see a little eject symbol next to the computer name.)

    Now open up a command line terminal and go to the /Volumes/ folder.
    cd /Volumes/

    Spend a bit of time looking in the various subdirectories until you find the correct .sparsebundle file. The sparsebundle file will have the general form of Computername_MACaddress.sparsebundle. Note the name of this file, it will be important in Step 3.

    When I type the cd /Voumes/ into command line it just shows a new line below that says my name/volumes.

    As you can tell I'm new to Linux / Command Line. Obviously I'm doing something wrong. Please help...
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I know very little about Terminal and the commands used with it, but, I do know a couple of basic things.

    I believe that to do what you want to do, open up Terminal. Type cd followed by a space. If you don't have your external hard drive mounted, do so and then drag the icon for it to the Terminal window, it will fill in the path to the external, then hit return. Type ls and hit return it will list the file directory on your external hard drive.

    Hope this helps, because other than that I don't have a clue what you doing. :eek:
  3. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    In the terminal:
    Which OS version do you use? I cannot find a sparseimage on my TM-volume.
  4. Cloudbase thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2009
    I'm using OS X 10.6.8

    I've been trying to access my the volumes on my back up disk by typing cd /Volumes/Time Machine Backups, where Time Machine Backups is the disk name of my back ups. But it doesn't find any folders when I search that way. When I type anything regarding a sparsebundle I come up empty handed.
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    If you're using the default Time Machine setup, the folder name is Backups.backupdb but I don't know if it's a sparse bundle or not.
  6. Cloudbase thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2009
    Thanks. Any clue how to access the volume via Command Line to try to compact it?

    Is it possible that this isn't necessary for OS X?
  7. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Time Machine only uses a sparse bundle if you are backing up over the network. If you are backing up to a hard drive directly connected to your computer, it does not create sparse bundles. If that's how you're backing up, you don't need to compact anything.

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