Time Machine backup disk full - what are my options?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by CyberBob859, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. CyberBob859 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #1
    I just got a message that my Time Machine external backup disk is full. I have another external drive I can use, but buying drives every few months is going to get expensive.

    I was wondering what others are doing in this situation.

    Is anybody archiving the Time Machine backup? If so, what software are you using and where are you storing your backup?

    What kind of backup plans are you using with Time Machine?

    Thanks
     
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    why don't you just start deleting some of the really old backups. TM is supposed to do that for you but i know some people don't get that to work. that's what i would do if you know your ok getting rid of some of the old stuff
     
  3. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #3
    You might also take a look at what you are backing up. I don't have it running, but with programs like Parallels I have seen where you should not include the disk image. I am thinking that everytime you run it something changes and it causes it to be backed up. A snapshot is much more efficient here. This is just an example, but could apply to some other progs you are running. I suppose you could go into the Time Machine hard drive and clean up some stuff you don't need.
     
  4. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #4
    goto -> Your Time Machine drive/Backups.backupdb/Your Mac's name/hard drive name (if you have multiple hard drives are backed up)

    sort the folder by ascending name and delete the ones near the top. the latest backup is just above the "Latest" alias at the bottom. the latest alias also points to the latest backup.
     
  5. kurzz macrumors 6502

    kurzz

    Joined:
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    Canada
    #5
    I thought Time Machine was supposed to do this automatically for you..ie deletes the oldest backups.? :confused:
     
  6. CyberBob859 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    #6
    Time Machine doing what its supposed to do

    Well, it is deleting the oldest backup. I was just wondering if anybody is attempting to archive these backups somehow, or if there is any value in doing so.

    With Time Machine, it seems you have to make a decision on how far back your want to access your data, and then figure out how much external hard drive space you need to get that data. For me, a 320 GB external firewire drive was good for about three months of hourly backups of my iMac drive.
     
  7. heatmiser macrumors 68020

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    Dec 6, 2007
    #7
    Don't let TM turn you into a pack rat. Compulsively archiving useless parts of your hard drive won't do you any good in the long run.
     
  8. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #8
    Did you change the options? The standard out of the box is as follows:

    Hourly backups for the past 24 hours
    Daily backups for the past month
    Weekly backups until your backup disk is full
     
  9. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #9
    Couple of questions

    How much are you backing up (usage on your internal drive)

    How big is your Time Machine drive

    How long have you been running Time Machine

    Thanks
     
  10. Paul S macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #10
    Ok, so I'm still a Mac-noob. I am wondering how to get the Time Machine to delete old files? The message keeps coming up that "Time Machine has not backed up your files in 1 month" or something like that. I will go in and delete some old files, but just like some of you were saying, I thought it was automatically supposed to do that? Confusing. I wish that application was a bit more noob user friendly. :(
     
  11. todd2000 macrumors 68000

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    Nov 14, 2005
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    Danville, VA
    #11
    When your backup drive is full TM will just pop up, and ask if you want to delete older backups to make room for new ones. You shouldn't have to turn anything on/off. There is an option to "Warn when old backups are deleted" though.
     
  12. Paul S macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #12
    Hmm... It doesn't even give me an option to delete the old files. I don't have the "Warn when old backups are deleted" option checked. Still, I get a pop up sometimes and it says is something like, "Your hard drive has not been backed up for 30 days. Please reconfigure blah blah". When I go into TM, I cannot see any options to get it to delete old files. Should I just format the external hard drive again and start over?
     
  13. kafene macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #13
    I'm having the same issue. It's supposed to delete the old stuff but it's not. It's just telling me I'm out of space and won't go any further. I have the option turned off to notify me of deletions, but still won't delete old stuff and now won't backup because it's full. I may have to go in and do it manually, but if that's the case, I'd rather just do manual backups of only file that are important. :(
     
  14. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    #14
    I have the same problem. Pretty annoying! Any solutions yet (that make TM do it by itself)?
     
  15. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    Absolutely not the case.

    Bumping, because I was going to make a new thread on this issue. Has anybody actually seen this dialogue, or are you guys just assuming that's what will happen?
     
  16. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #16
    If you delete the oldest backup manually, won't that affect what is actually backed up? I thought TM made an "original" backup and then tracked the changes you made since then, so that deleting the oldest would delete the baseline backup?

    Also, TM needs an extra option, which is "back up only so far" Using the disk size as a constraint is really bad--why should TM consume an entire drive if I want backups for only the last, say, month?
     
  17. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    I agree with Le Big Mac -- I wouldn't advise manually deleting any of TM's files. I think there's a good chance you'll foul up its archiving scheme, as it seems to be set up to do incremental backups, saving a 'baseline' version + changes.

    To the OP: let the oldest stuff go. Don't let yourself start thinking you can save everything forever. That way madness lies...
     
  18. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

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    #18
  19. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    The Black Country, England
    #19
    Yes, I've had time machine delete old backups on numerous occasions in the past, though you do have to click OK on the warning that pops up before it will remove anything.
     
  20. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    #20
    500GB Time Machine HD, backing up continuously since the first week Leopard was out. For the first time two weeks ago, TM told me it was going to remove the oldest backups. Worked fine. I may move to a 750GB or 1TB backup drive in a few months, but for now, 7 months worth of backup is sufficient for me.
     
  21. aroundtheworls macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #21
    Wish I could say the same. I bought a 500GB drive yesterday started using Time Machine. However, despite the fact that I only have 260GB of data on my iMac, Time Machine told me a couple of hours ago that my drive was full! :confused:

    I thought that Time Machine makes a copy of the drive and then tracks/records changes but obviously that's not the case here.

    I can't see any options to change the frequency or type of backups done by Time Machine so really don't know how to continue.

    Appreciate any help or hints anyone out there has for me.
     
  22. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #22
    just delete all the old backups before your most recent backup and get all your space back...do that every so often if you have to

    also, if you have vmware/parallels, tell timemachine to ignore your windows image or else it will back it up every time you change anything..you'll run out of space very quickly.
     
  23. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
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    #23

    TimeMachineEditor

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  24. pivo6 macrumors 68000

    pivo6

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #24

    Thanks for the link. I've just started using TimeMachine, and I really don't need it to backup so often.
     
  25. mickbab macrumors 65816

    mickbab

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #25
    I'm just going to bump this thread because my Time Capsule has just filled up.
    We have a 1TB TC backing up 5 Macs in our house, and its been doing wonderfully well.
    Is it possible to buy a new 2TB TC and transfer the backups? Will Time Machine recognize the backups on the new drive or does it only know the location to the original drive?
    Thanks, mickbab.
     

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