Time Machine question

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Crager724, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Crager724 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    God's Country
    #1
    Hello-
    I have an external drive and I used to do regular backups. I bought a new iMac and the firewire plug didn't fit anymore so I stopped doing backups. I recently bought a new cable so I can reconnect my external drive and resume regular backups.

    Time Machine starts backing up but stops and says I don't have enought space available. Is there a way I can tell Time Machine to write over the old backups?
     
  2. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #2
    If you want to start with a blank disk, use disk utility to erase the disk.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    It's supposed to automatically erase old backups by itself. I suspect what's happened is that the drive is backing up both computers uniquely. So you have a Backup A from the old Mac and a Backup B from the new one.

    Do what the previous poster said and use Disk Utility to wipe the drive and start fresh. From here on out it will auto-erase old things and you'll be fine.

    (Assuming the drive is big enough, that is. If it isn't, go into the time machine settings and exclude things you don't want backed up. To start, go on the Main hard drive and exclude the 'system' folder. There's no reason to back up OS X itself on your time machine drive.)
     
  4. Crager724 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    God's Country
    #4
    There are some old pics and music I'd like to keep. How do I get those old items onto my new computer before I erase the disk?
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    If you have Time Machine in your dock, it lets you select "Browse Other Time Machine Disks..." from its dock menu. Or you can hold down the option key while clicking on Time Machine in the menu bar and it will present that option.

    Use either method to select that option and navigate to the old backups. You can then restore the files you want to recover.

    How big is the drive in your current system? And how full is it? Also, how large is the external drive?
     
  6. Crager724 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2005
    Location:
    God's Country
    #6
    My external drive is 250 GB and Time Machine says it requires 180.40 GB.

    My current computer has:
    Capacity: 999.35 GB (999,345,127,424 bytes)
    Available: 846.48 GB (846,482,190,336 bytes)
     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    I do suggest you plan to get a larger drive for Time Machine at some point. Since the price difference between 1TB and 2TB external drives is on the order of only $10, go big and get a 2TB unit.

    Remember your Time Machine drive needs to be larger than the space used by what you're backing up.
     

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