Time Machine - Disk Full

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ///alpinepower, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. ///alpinepower macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Now that Time Machine has filled a disk, I find it does not respond as expected (deleting older material). It bitches about having run out of space. There is now a 14GB backlog that it is holding somewhere, according to the "concern" screen. :apple:
  2. n1mie macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2005
    OK, great. I have the same problem. How about some advice to work around this stupid problem. You'd think they'd have programmed this application to be a bit smarter than to full up a disk and run into a wall. It seems to have no idea what to do.
  3. yudilks macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2006
  4. edwinkasiya macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    Mine too, had to reformat backup HD 2 times already ...

    I just upgraded my Macbook to Leopard, have the exact problem where error message shows up after the disk is full.

    Already sent feedback to apple, but no response yet.

    So if anyone can help, much appreciated !!
  5. adjei7 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    My TimeMachine Drive filled up a while, ago, and I use it much less on my Macbook now. Just out of interest, how big was your drive, and to what time frame did it backup to? I guess you would have to know the system first. So I will start.

    Macbook 2.16MHz
    Total HD space: 70gig (120gig sharing with XP)
    Backup drive space: 133gig
    Backup timeframe: Just over a month and a week or so.
    Computer Use: Average

    So 133gig gave me about a month or so of constant timemachine backups.

    Is that average? Anyone go 2 months or only a week?

  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    ive used 85 GB of backup space in Time Machine on my 200 GB external hard drive. i consider myself a casual-medium power user who doesnt backup the video i encode. my mac is in my sig.

    ive set Time Machine not to backup:

    - my other external hard drives (store video encodes on here)
    - my boot camp partition (not sure if it doesnt do this by default already)
    - developer folder
    - downloads folder
    - parallels folder
    - system files and applications with hidden unix files (still backs up user and main libraries and third party applications)

    this suits me perfectly and ive used time machine many times to restore music, photos, library files, my whole user folder LOL (when i tried to move my user folder to another hard drive) and its still just surpassed my 80 GB hard drive.

    adjei7 filling up your time machine drive in a month is still not average IMO. do you backup video or your parallels folder? is time machine backing up your shared XP HD? i dont know if time machine backs up shared PC servers.
  7. edwinkasiya macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    My system this:

    Macbook 2.0GHz
    Totoal HD ; 120G
    Backup HD ; 150G
    Timeframe : around one week

    Computer use : extensive (work & home)

    I back up the whole HD, I know this is why it fills up in a week.
    But I do not back up shared of external drives.

    but the problem is it does not delete the old backup files.
    Even if partial backup can last longer to month or 2, still not workable.

    Its still not safe to have to reformat backup HD to free up future backups.
    And last time, after receive error message I can not retrieve the previous Time machine backup images.

    So if my computer crashes at that time...

    This really defeats the point of a total backing up solution. And apple need to get their act together.

    At the meantime, I will have to go back with super duper or other back up softwares.

    I don't know about you guys, but after upgrading to leopard, there seems to be a lot more bugs.

    - 1st the RSS problem (before leopard OS)
    - "blue screen of death" ; during installation
    - "account name permission" ; still on-going problem
    - more frequent application not responding
    - now "Time Machine" problem

    am I the lucky one ? or is apple finally getting close to MS ?

    dont get me wrong because i am still a die-hard apple guy, but this leopard OS is giving me a lot more trouble.

  8. TheZA macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    I've used about 32 Gb of my internal 160 Gb hard drive. I keep very little on it other than programs, recent photos, some documents, and a few little video clips. I have an external FW that I keep big stuff on and use as an archive, and which is excluded from the Time Machine backup. That being said, I have a 320 Gb USB HD that I use as my Time Machine backup with nothing else on it. I was cruising a long for about six weeks, moderate use, and the use on the Time Machine drive drive was up to about 34 GB of use. Then my four year old pulled the whole iMac off the desk while on and active. I restarted, everything seems to be OK, but my Time Machine backup jumped to about 42 Gb of use. I'm assuming that when the computer took that hit that Time Machine registered a bunch of files as changed and backed them up. I never restored from the backup, and everythings seems to fine with my computer to this day.

    So, it is interesting that your TM drives are filling up so quickly. I wonder if your TM is behaving like mine did after the hit, and registering a lot of things as changed and backing it up.
  9. adjei7 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    The workings of timemachine do seem to be a real mystery. It's like a little box of magic, that does what it wants, when it wants.

    Seems to be ok for me at the mo, but what is really annoying is that I don't always know when it's backing up. I always get a little worried when my processor and hard disk usage shoots up for no apparent reason, then when i check it's usually timemachine doing its thing. Yea, I know it backs up every hour, or whenever, but it would be good to have a little icon on the menu bar to turn around or something to let you know. Is that available anywhere?
  10. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    yep if you have your time machine disk in the finder sidebar it has a little spiny arrow circle thingy when time machine does its thang. if your disk isnt in the sidebar press "command-shift-C" in the finder and it should be in that folder and just drag it to the devices part of the sidebar.

    if having your time machine disk spinning up everytime it backs is annoying you should check out the energy saver prefs in system preferences. uncheck "Put the hard disk/s to sleep when possible". this prevents your hard disks from spinning down. its actually better for an external hard drive to always spin rather than be continuously spinning up and down every hour.
  11. adjei7 macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Yea, I know I can see it in finder, but that means, I would always have to have a finder window open, which is just not practical. It would be so much more convenient to have it in the menu bar, next to the battery icon maybe. I thought I saw it on someones desktop once but that just turned out to be iSync or something.
  12. ctworek macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2007
    TM will not necessairly save all files over time

    Have not had that issue - but - as TM starting deleting the first backups, it also deleted files unique to that particular point in time. My laptop was filling up and I needed space. I thought that TM would save the old files. However, in 8 days I filled up a 500 g drive and that is when fun began - it started killing the first sessions that had those files.

    So, if there is something you love, save it elsewhere.
  13. crazybrit macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2007
    TM is not an archive utility. It is a backup utility.

    I am also having a problem:

    I have a 250 gig and a 500gig internal hard drive and I am backing-up to a 1TB WD MyBook. It has been running fine from the day Leopard was released until this morning. Time Machine is reporting an error writing to the disk. When I look at the disk, it only has 26Mb left, and so it is obviously full. TM still has all the backups going back to November 17. I have four questions:

    Why doesn't the error say that my disk is full?
    Why doesn't it delete the oldest ones to make more room?
    What can I do to get back on track?
    Do I have to wipe the disk clean and start again?

    I have reported this to Apple.
  14. iJawn108 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2006
    I redid my time machine back up just once I excluded certain folders I work in a lot but never save to. Desktop and others (see in image)

    I only have a 250 gb hd and i do lots of torrenting.

    Attached Files:

  15. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2005
    I keep getting warning that my backup disk is full, I think 'no its not :confused:' and sure enough, it's get 17GB free.. :mad:

    If I add a location to exclude, are previous backups to that location deleted, or does it just not make any more backups to that location?
  16. ///alpinepower thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2007
    that's how it is supposed to work - i gave up on time machine after i started this thread.
  17. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I hope you guys realize it backs up EVERY HOUR... thats why it takes up A LOT of space. When you change a large file, it actually recopies over the entire file, not just the changes.
  18. Eluzion macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Isn't that the point?

    From my understanding, TM will make an initial "image" of your entire hard drive (minus what you excluded). Every hour it will search for any files that were changed and make a separate backup of just those files that were changed. At the end of the day, it will combine all the changes into one "backup" for that day. It continues to do this for 30 days, then starts combining weeks. Obviously hard drives have a finite amount of space so when it's full, it deletes the oldest backup file which will either be a week backup or a day backup.

    I just started using TM today though on a 100gb partition (WD External 160GB drive) for my Macbook Pro. I just want at least a backup for the past few days incase my hard drive goes south.
  19. ///alpinepower thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2007
    that was also my understanding. however, my time machine never deleted the old files, it started generating error messages about running out of space.
  20. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    As a recent convert to Mac, I had assumed before switching that all these kind of things were easier on Macs - even XP is able to do backups without filling up 500GB drives!!

    At one time I had a 40GB XP HD and that was able to do numerous system restores from the same disk - maybe TM is different (I have not used it yet), enlighten me, please.
  21. G.I. Joe macrumors regular

    G.I. Joe

    Jan 3, 2008
    It should delete older backups but...

    from Apple time machine support:

    "If you do run out of space, the best thing to do is to attach a new backup disk. After you attach the new disk, open Time Machine preferences and click Change Disk to choose it as your Time Machine backup disk."
  22. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    I move very large files to my desktop and i had problems with my time machine getting full. In my case i had to tell TM to stop backing up my desktop and another directory that i put large files for short periods of time.
  23. Eluzion macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Sounds like you don't quite understand what Time Machine does. I suggest reading up on it a bit on the Apple website. Time Machine can use little as 40GB, or 500000GB, depending on how large of files you work with and how long of a backup history you want.
  24. Eluzion macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Yeah, that doesn't sound good. I still have about 60GB left before my Time Machine drive fills up. We'll see what happens when it does fill up. Hopefully Apple addresses the issue ASAP. I suppose you could go in and manually delete files, but if I'm not mistaken Time Machine uses some file "linking" thing so you might accidently delete an older backup folder that had files relevant to a newer back up (as in files that were never changed so they were simply "linked" over to the newer backups... if that makes any sense... If forgot what they call it).
  25. iTim314 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2005
    Sorry to revive an older topic, but it's relevant.

    I'm looking into purchasing Apple's Time Capsule (500GB) to back up both our computers:

    iMac G5 1.8Ghtz w/ 80GB HD, ~35GB used. (Wired to network)
    MacBook Pro 2.2ghtz w/ 120GB HD, ~45GB used. (Airport only, mainly)

    Here's my question: I know mathematically 500GB is sufficient to backup both our Macs (once we do upgrade to Leopard, mind you). However, from reading this thread it seems to me that Time Machine is filling up the Backup HDs far faster than anticipated. Will the 500GB Time Capsule be enough?

    Neither computers are used for any heavy-duty video editing. A bulk of the space used consists of iTunes Libraries, and all the music isn't changed very often. (Major iTunes updates will "update existing library")

    Will the 500GB be enough?


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