Time Machine Help

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by jazzer15, May 1, 2013.

  1. jazzer15 macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    I was having trouble with my iMac and ultimately wound up doing a clean install of the OS. When I set up the new OS I changed the "home" name of the computer (Apple had set up the computer initially and used my email address for my Apple ID, which I found a bit annoying :)). My backup drive only has about 6GB free, the rest is taken up with old backups. I would like to set Time Machine again to do automatic backups, but I can't figure out how to get it to use my drive and just erase the earliest backups leaving my most recent ones just in case I need them.

    Is there a way to do this or do I have to erase the drive and start over with a completely new backup of the new OS install?
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    There is no way to only erase part of an existing TM backup. It is all or nothing.
  3. gtstricky macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2012
    Try this: http://pondini.org/TM/B6.html

    It should link up to the old backups and treat them the same going forward (with older data deleting).
  4. jazzer15 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2010
    Thanks. Might as well give it a try. If it doesn't work it may just be time to replace my old backup drive. :)
  5. jozeppy26, May 2, 2013
    Last edited: May 2, 2013

    jozeppy26 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2008
    St. Louis
    Doesn't Time Machine just keep backing up until it uses all the hard drive space before deleting the older backups?

    From the Apple website: "Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups until your backup drive is full."

    Also: Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 11.29.16 PM.png


    If it's a problem with Time Machine simply not recognizing the older backups (thinking they are from a different Mac), just open up migration assistant and restore something from one of the older backups, and answer yes to the "Inherit Backup History" prompt. Maybe that'll work?
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Although Time Machine will delete old backups as necessary, you can delete individual backups in Time Machine:
    1. Enter Time Machine
    2. select the backup you want to delete (Do not delete the latest backup. There has been issues with TM handling that correctly.)
    3. right click in the window and sect "Delete Backup"
    This will ask for the administrator password and delete the selected backup. The backup will take a couple of minutes (on average) to delete and you can't do other TM requests while that is happening.

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