time machine dont delete older backups to make room for new backup?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bob2131, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i have a macbook with an internal drive of which about 230gb if full and used.

    I have a 250gb external which i have been using to back up with time machine, done it several times over a few months.

    Now there is like 70gb left on the external, and when i try to back up, it says failed, not enough space on external.

    But i thought when there is not enough space, it simply deletes and backs over older time machine backups.

    Can anyone help? I dont wanna fork out for another external again.


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  2. petrolhead360 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
    I've been stuggling with this too and can't find much help on it. Even the genius at the local Apple store wasn't much help.
    After a few months now, users must be filling up their HD using Time machine.
    I use a 500gb Time capsule which has 6gb free.

    The backup stops with an error message and does'nt free up any space.
    This happen in sept08 to me and I was advised to use repair permissions in Disk Utility on the HD. The advice was too late as I deleted everything and started again.
    Now I will look at deleting by hand thru the Time machine application:mad:
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    yeah.... im slightly confused....

    what i just did.....was.... excluded some very large folders, in the backup, and then it was ok.... so tweaking the backup, excluding some stuff, to make the backup smaller, and only for more important stuff, is one way to go.

    This is kinda like norton ghost, which i just gave up on.

    Im sure ive read from apple documentation, that time machine, if it needs more space, it just deletes over the oldest backup etc.....
  4. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    It could be that the latest back up is registering as the first back up with Time machine and so TM is trying to back up EVERYTHING again. I'm only guessing here. Personally I would totally erase the drive you wish to back up to then start a new back up. Once thats complete and TM starts the second back up see if you still get the same problem.
  5. StuBeck macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2008
    It is supposed to delete old backups. Don't completely delete all of your backups though, go into the folder and delete some of the backups which were created. Then once you have enough free space on the hard drive try the backup again.

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