Timemachine backup external hardrive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by photogy, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. photogy macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    I am backing up my MBP daily using timemachine with an external 2tb gtec drive.

    all working fine but the available space on gtec is of course lower each time.

    What do you do when the gtec drive is full? do you erase and simply start again?

    is there a more efficient way to back up with external drives?

  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Once the backup drive is full, Time Machine will notify you, asking you to either use a new drive or allow it to delete older backups (it will say the date of the backup it will delete)

    If you choose a new drive, you plug in a new drive and choose it; if you tell it to go ahead and delete the old backup, it will and won't bother you again until it needs more space again.
  3. photogy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    i guess it will just delete the last backup when full but then will ask you every time you back up - especially if backing up daily? so at this point, is it better to just format the external drive and start fresh?

  4. terzinator macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    in Time Machine Preferences > Options, you can choose to have it NOT notify you after old backups are deleted.

    Then the new backups will just push the old ones off the cliff.

    If you really need the OLD data, you could archive it separately, too.
  5. photogy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
  6. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    Even though my Time Capsule ran out of space over a year ago, I still have backups for over 18 months--plenty for me. Just be warned it does take a long time for Time Machine to free up space--especially if it needs a lot. It doesn't take back space all at once, it does it a little at a time--and will unmount and mount as many times as required to get the space it needs. Don't be alarmed if it seems to be taking a long time. You can also check progress in the system logs.
  7. Miss Terri macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2010
    US East Coast
    Some people have a talent for describing things so they are perfectly clear in just a few words. You are one of them :D

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