Time Capsule with Multiple Computers - Backup Priority Details?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by kngspook, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. kngspook macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    I have 2 Macs in the house, with a 3rd coming soon. I backup mine to an external hard drive using Time Machine, but neither of the others have a backup plan in place.

    One user doesn't really need a robust backup solution, but the person getting a mac soon does.

    I was thinking I could kill two birds with one stone if I got a Time Capsule. Now I've read all about how you can partition Time Capsule and stuff like that (and I'm technical enough that I could probably pull that off if I wanted to, but I don't think I do). What I haven't found out is what the Time Capsule does if two users have been syncing to it, and on the next backup it runs out of space.

    Does it just delete the oldest backup? Or the oldest backup by that user? Is it possible for one user to backup so frequently they get rid of all the other users' backups?

    Basically, what's the process (algorithm) that Time Capsule uses to allocate space and delete backups when multiple users are involved?
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    welcome first of all :)

    i am somewhat confused why you want to partition, unless you want to set specific backup sizes for each user (e.g. partition 750GB for yourself, and 250GB for the other user), or something.

    if you leave it as one big partition they will not delete each others data. :)
  3. kngspook thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    Thank you. :)

    I don't want to partition. I know it's an option from my research, but I'd rather not fix something that isn't broken.

    I'm just trying to figure out what happens when there are two users backing up, and the Time Capsule runs out of space. How does Time Capsule decide which backup to delete? (Because it has to delete something to make space for the new backup...)
  4. DNAppleGold macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2009
    I'm having the problem you are describing, and it's not fun. You'll basically be told that you've run out of space and will need to manually delete old back-ups or select certain files not to back up. Neither is great. This because TM won't delete the back-up for computer A to created needed space for computer b. I will suggest this. If you are going to partition - do it now. Don't wait until you have memory problems a year in (like me).
  5. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    This will happen in Time Machine regardless of what target drive you use. Eventually it'll run out of space. Obviously it'll run out sooner if two or more people are backing up to the same drive, but one day it'll happen no matter what.

    Now, with that said, the Time Capsule/Time Machine will not remove another user's data. It will prompt you that some backups will be removed, but it won't remove the other user(s) data until they log in (then they'll get the same disk full notice you did).

    So for that reason, either buy the largest TM drive you can afford or, when it fills up, remove the HD, store it someplace safe, and replace it with a new blank (and presumably larger) one.

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