Time Machine eating away my extrnal HD space

d wade

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 27, 2006
1,046
0
Boca Raton, FL
So i bought a 320GB external HD. 298GB are usable.

I have Time Machine on and my external HD space is down to 104GB!!! It's only been a few days!

I bought the HDD to be able to store additional movies, music, pics, etc. At this rate, Time Machine will use all of my extra space with backups and I will have no space to store my additional stuff.

Anyone know a way so I can keep the extra space available instead of using it all up on backups? I would like to just have a main backup and then use that extra space for my files. Can I delete these extra backups to free space? What can I do?

Thanks in advance.
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,299
50
~119W 34N
You didn't mention how large your internal drive was.

If you don't exclude anything, the minimum used will be the same size as your internal.

edit: You can store other files on the backup drive. TM will use up all remaining space (eventually). If you want to reserve space for other things, you can create a 2nd partition.
 

d wade

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 27, 2006
1,046
0
Boca Raton, FL
You didn't mention how large your internal drive was.

If you don't exclude anything, the minimum used will be the same size as your internal.

edit: You can store other files on the backup drive. TM will use up all remaining space (eventually). If you want to reserve space for other things, you can create a 2nd partition.
My MBP came with 74.21GB, and I have 13.81GB free.

Sorry to sound like such a noob, but what are partitions, and what do they do?

Also, can I delete some of these old backups to make space for my movies and music?
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,299
50
~119W 34N
If ~200GB are taken up by Time Machine backups, it does sound a bit strange. The total used should be the first backup of about 73GB, plus whatever files you have added or modified after.

When you are checking freespace, are you looking at the status at the bottom of the Finder window (or "Get Info" on the volume)? If you are looking at the size of each backup folder, it will be misleading. They contain hard links to the same files as are in the other backup folders, so the total will be the same for each backup folder (plus new files).
 

TheStu

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
1,245
0
Carlisle, PA
My MBP came with 74.21GB, and I have 13.81GB free.

Sorry to sound like such a noob, but what are partitions, and what do they do?

Also, can I delete some of these old backups to make space for my movies and music?
Are you downloading movies/music? If you are say, downloading really large files, TM will keep adding that file to the backup, even though it is the same file (at least that is what I have observed). Because of that, I told it to stop backing up my downloads folder... it changes too often.
 

nateDEEZY

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2007
696
0
San Francisco, CA
Are you downloading movies/music? If you are say, downloading really large files, TM will keep adding that file to the backup, even though it is the same file (at least that is what I have observed). Because of that, I told it to stop backing up my downloads folder... it changes too often.
Time Machine will not do that, unless you keep changing that file every hour/day/week then it'll retain multiple copies all with changes.

If it's the same file it'll only make a back up of it once but then through out the multipe days/week/months it'll create a "pointer/alias" that points to the original say that you initially downloaded that file/movie weeks ago.
 

d wade

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 27, 2006
1,046
0
Boca Raton, FL
can i delete some of these old backups? i would like to use some of my 320GB on stuff other than stuff i already have lol
 

vansouza

macrumors 68000
Mar 28, 2006
1,736
3
West Plains, MO USA Earth
load what you want

So i bought a 320GB external HD. 298GB are usable.

I have Time Machine on and my external HD space is down to 104GB!!! It's only been a few days!

I bought the HDD to be able to store additional movies, music, pics, etc. At this rate, Time Machine will use all of my extra space with backups and I will have no space to store my additional stuff.

Anyone know a way so I can keep the extra space available instead of using it all up on backups? I would like to just have a main backup and then use that extra space for my files. Can I delete these extra backups to free space? What can I do?

Thanks in advance.
TimeMachine loads it's backups into a folder. You can store what ever you want on the drive and TM will accommodate itself accordingly. When the drive fills either by you or TM, TM will begin to delete older backups. If you consider this a flaw then you should backup by other means as well.
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
5
American Riviera
what exactly will that do?
A partition is just a divide in the HD, so it basically appears to the OS that you have two separate drives. One could be 100GB for your extra stuff, and the remainder set aside for TM.

VVV Good point CanadaRAM, I should have specified that partitioning is a destructive process.
 

tersono

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2005
1,999
1
UK
Be aware that partitioning a drive with Disk Utility erases all data on the drive.
Not any more. Leopard's version of Disk Utility can do on-the-fly partition adjustments (re-sizing, removal of unwanted partitions etc) without affecting data (unless, of course, you choose to delete a partition.
 

d wade

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 27, 2006
1,046
0
Boca Raton, FL
TimeMachine loads it's backups into a folder. You can store what ever you want on the drive and TM will accommodate itself accordingly. When the drive fills either by you or TM, TM will begin to delete older backups. If you consider this a flaw then you should backup by other means as well.
Wow that sounds great. So let's say Time Machine fills up my external.. but then I want download 1GB file to the external. I can just download to the drive and it will automatically start clearing space for me?

A partition is just a divide in the HD, so it basically appears to the OS that you have two separate drives. One could be 100GB for your extra stuff, and the remainder set aside for TM.
i like the idea of partitioning the external. However i have a question about that... If i designate say 200GB to time machine and 100GB to personal usage. And then i want to go over the 100GB of personal stuff, would i be able to then expand the 100GB part? Or would i have to start over? How would that work?
 

DaveF

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
732
2
NoVA
You could buy another external hard-drive so you have one for Time Machine and one for your manual data copies. It would save you the trouble of fighting against TM's process or bothering with getting just the right size with a disk partition.
 

TheStu

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
1,245
0
Carlisle, PA
i like the idea of partitioning the external. However i have a question about that... If i designate say 200GB to time machine and 100GB to personal usage. And then i want to go over the 100GB of personal stuff, would i be able to then expand the 100GB part? Or would i have to start over? How would that work?
So long as there is still space free in the 200GB partition for you to expand into, yes, you can resize the 100GB file.

And what I was talking about earlier.... let's say, for sake of argument, that I am torrenting a 10GB file. Since it is a torrent, and the 10GB file is pretty old, it is taking a while, upwards of a week to download. It's all one file though, but it keeps getting bigger. Therefore, TM will (under my observance in the beta) continue to back up this file, every hour and every day, at the current size. So, over teh course of a day, you can eat up quite a bit of space from just this file. I know that it makes a daily backup then, so that helps, but the next day all that space (and then some) gets eaten up again.

I know that static files are copied once. I was saying that if he has a folder that he downloads to, it would probably be best to have TM ignore that folder, since (at least in my situation) it is mostly a temporary dump site, and it changes far too often.
 

phillipjfry

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2006
847
1
Peace in Plainfield
So long as there is still space free in the 200GB partition for you to expand into, yes, you can resize the 100GB file.

And what I was talking about earlier.... let's say, for sake of argument, that I am torrenting a 10GB file. Since it is a torrent, and the 10GB file is pretty old, it is taking a while, upwards of a week to download. It's all one file though, but it keeps getting bigger. Therefore, TM will (under my observance in the beta) continue to back up this file, every hour and every day, at the current size. So, over teh course of a day, you can eat up quite a bit of space from just this file. I know that it makes a daily backup then, so that helps, but the next day all that space (and then some) gets eaten up again.

I know that static files are copied once. I was saying that if he has a folder that he downloads to, it would probably be best to have TM ignore that folder, since (at least in my situation) it is mostly a temporary dump site, and it changes far too often.
Here is what I have observed while dealing with this issue. After said 10gb file is done downloading, move it from your downloads folder into a Movies folder of some sort (for sake of argument), and I do believe next time TM does its thing, it will remove all instances of growing 10gb file from the downloads folder in the TM backup and make a single copy in your Movies folder. Something similar happened like this where i had it download to desktop. I moved it from desktop into my media folder and when I tried to show TM off to my GF on how much my desktop had changed since having Leopard installed, there was no more instances of said media file at all on my desktop while going through TM. Anyone else can confirm this? I don't think TM would do things like folder changes, thats what the finder through TM is for :)
 

mm1250

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2007
313
39
Time Machines isn't really smart compared to other backup programs.

It does the "Full" first backup and "differential" after that. So if you modify a 10mbfile, it will recopy the whole 10mb.

It would be a big space saver if it copied only the changed bits, similar to what "Previous Versions" in windows does.

I have my TM setup on a 500gb partitioned drive. I gave TM 200gb and the other drive has 300gb.

Some here have said that you can re-size the partition without a reformat. I'm in Disk Utility and the area to resize is all greyed out.

EDIT: I think its becuase I set the main drive settings to FAT format.
 

TheStu

macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
1,245
0
Carlisle, PA
Time Machines isn't really smart compared to other backup programs.

It does the "Full" first backup and "differential" after that. So if you modify a 10mbfile, it will recopy the whole 10mb.

It would be a big space saver if it copied only the changed bits, similar to what "Previous Versions" in windows does.

I have my TM setup on a 500gb partitioned drive. I gave TM 200gb and the other drive has 300gb.

Some here have said that you can re-size the partition without a reformat. I'm in Disk Utility and the area to resize is all greyed out.

EDIT: I think its becuase I set the main drive settings to FAT format.
That is probably it... i think you can only resize HFS+ partitions dynamically, all the rest must be wiped and then rebuilt.
 

Nugget

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2002
1,855
863
Houston Texas USA
The way Time Machine is designed to work it will happily fill up every last byte of space available on the partition you've selected for it to use. While it's true that you can place user files alongside the Time Machine folder on that partition, TM isn't going to go out of its way to make your life easier in that regard. When the drive fills up, Time Machine will begin deleting it's oldest weekly backups, but it will only be doing so in order to make room for the new hourly backups it wants to make. If you manage to slip a few new files onto the drive in the interim it will only be by accident. :)

If you need to use a portion of your external drive for user files, independent of Time Machine, the only really workable approach is to partition it into two volumes as others have described.
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
the on-the-fly partitioning and partition resizing only works with apple-formatted drives to begin with.
 

Currawong

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2005
19
3
Fukuoka, Japan (was Australia)
Time Machines isn't really smart compared to other backup programs.

It does the "Full" first backup and "differential" after that. So if you modify a 10mbfile, it will recopy the whole 10mb.

It would be a big space saver if it copied only the changed bits, similar to what "Previous Versions" in windows does.
The problem with that is, you wouldn't just be able to drag the old version of the file straight off the Time Machine hard drive. If you only had incremental file saves, you'd need software to manage restoration. If the archives become corrupted, as happened to a client of mine with Backup.app, your data mostly ends up useless.

If anything, the design has been a good change for Apple. Instead of creating something highly complex which can screw up, they've created something as simple as possible which doesn't require the software to read the data from.
 

stellarceltic

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2007
84
0
I'd like to start using Time Machine, but I'm curious how it would affect my external drive that I also use for media.

The first pic attached is how the drive is set up now (in Disk Utility). Note that it says "This volume will not be erased".

Second pic is after I select "2 Partitions". That is what I want, correct? One for Time Machine and one for my other crap?

If I do this, will it move everything currently on the HD to one of the new partitions? Or will it erase everything?
 

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