How do I reduce the size of my Time Machine's Sparse Disk Image Bundle?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by maclook, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. maclook macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    I've deleted 6 backups already and am left with three but the size of the file hasn't changed at all. I don't want to delete the whole thing and start over.

    The file size now is 330gb which is ridiculous to me that it hasn't changed one bit since i deleted 6 backups.
  2. dragonmantek macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2007
    New York
    format the drive, if you don't have any big files to backup, and then reset the time machine settings to whatever you want, and re-do the whole thing.
  3. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    so are you telling me to pretty much erase everything and start over? i dont want to do that. the drive is a time capsule and i have files other than the disk image on there that i want to keep.

    i have a 120gb drive on my macbook. if i delete every backup but one and the sparse bundle is still 330gb will that make absolutely no sense? i'm deleting backups using the gear in finder when in time machine which i think is the correct way
  4. msevild macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2007
    Well now is the time to think about what could be taking up that space in the sparse bundle. DO you use any software that uses a database or stores everything in a single file. Examples of this are Microsoft Entourage, FileMaker documents, Parallels or VMWare Fusion virtual machines?
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    No need to reformat.

    hdiutil compact /path/to/xxxxx.sparseimage

    should do the trick.
  6. maclook thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    is that a terminal command?
  7. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Well, it's not a GUI, so doesn't leave much else.
  8. uberfu macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2009

    A Sparse Disk Image - first is a Mac format compression file.

    Second - A Sparse Disk Image is designed to start out small and expand as files are added to the Sparse Disk Image. It is not designed to deflate as files are removed. Such as is the case with a standard Folder.

    In order to shrink the size of the Sparse Disk Image back down - you do have to manually [or thru automation] as weckart mentioned run a Terminal command to tell the system to recompress the file size to clear up unused free space.

    Read before you speak!

    Not really too much to do with Microsoft or VM [virtual machines] databases. Databases have less hassle resizing themselves and even still have protocols built in to regulate this most times. There does however have to be a database controlling Time Machine to keep everything organized but it's a separate mechanism within Time Machine. 2 different things.
  9. steve09090 macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2008
    I am not used to using Terminal, so a GUI would be great (especially when I don't know the actual written 'path' for the Time Capsule) but I did find this from

    "...Here’s a tip in case you’re not used to working with Terminal. Just type hdiutil compact in the Terminal, followed by a space. Then drag the sparse image file from Finder into the Terminal window. The path and file name will be added to the command line. Hit the Return key on the keyboard and you’re done."
  10. pedroslima macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2010

    Very nice, very nice. My sparse image was in a network drive and I didn't know how to place the whole location in the terminal. I tried to use the disk utility and couldn't compact for some reason (even after ejecting). The tip you provided was great, the drag and drop worked fine and I saved 100Gb of disk by compacting! :cool:
  11. bimbachi macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    help needed on this solution

    I see your solution worked for others.
    Personaly I found problem.
    I'm not specialist and in Terminator app I had this:

    << Last login: Wed Nov 28 14:59:42 on ttys000
    MacBookProTI:~ tignaciuk$ hdiutil compact /Volumes/terra-1/MacBookProTI.sparsebundle
    hdiutil: compact failed - Function not implemented
    MacBookProTI:~ tignaciuk$ >>

    can you (or somebody else) help on this
  12. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Kirkland, WA
    I just actually ran into this problem today and was looking for an answer to this. Are you using a laptop not connected to battery power when doing this? If so, you either have to connect it to batery power or use the following command
    hdiutil compact -batteryallowed /path/to/name.sparseimage
    I'm guessing it's to prevent data corruption in the case of loss of power.
  13. polocanada macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009
  14. polocanada macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2009

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