Forum Question: Time Machine full

The hard disk I use for time machine is full, how do I delete the older versions? I want to delete all of them, actually, and have only the last 1 or 2 version. My hard disk used for time machine is 750 G.

Comments: 12 Responses to “Time Machine full”

    2/2/11 @ 7:37 am

    How do you know it is full? Have you gotten an error message from Time Machine?
    Normally, Time Machine manages the drive without you having to do anything. When it gets full, then TM will remove older copies of files to make room.
    Problems can happen when you have a smaller TM drive than the drive(s) you are backing up. Also, if you try to put some of your own files on there using the Finder.
    You should not try to modify the TM drive yourself by adding or removing files manually. Always let TM do it. Otherwise it will corrupt the TM database — it won’t know which files are there and which are not.

    2/2/11 @ 9:40 am

    TM is designed as a incremental backup where as changes to files and deleted files are backed up to be retrieved at a later date if needed. TM does all this behind the sene. As the hard drive gets full, older files get deleted to make room for newer files. If incremental backup is something that is not for you, you may want to try a “carbon copy” backup. This backup makes an exact duplicate of your hard drive however there are no incremental backups with this method but if drive is partitioned correct, you can boot off a cloned backup. There is a free app called Carbon Copy Cloner that will do just this.

    2/2/11 @ 9:47 am

    However TM’s incremental backup has saved me a time or two because TM also backups your emails, photos, music, EVERYTHING unless you tell it otherwise. As for me I bought a big hard drive and partitioned it using Disk Utility. One partition as my TM backup and the other as my “clone” backup so if my hard drive were to fail I can boot off that partition. I so happen to use the same drive for both different backups but of course they can be separate drives too.

    2/3/11 @ 8:36 am

    Ok, thanks for the response. Right now I use a 750 G drive for time machine. How do I delete half of it, so I can make a partition?
    If I attached the drive to a PC (windows), can I delete the files on a windows computer like any normal files? And then come back on my Mac and do the partition.

      2/3/11 @ 9:29 am

      You can’t just delete half of a TM backup. It doesn’t work like that. You would have to erase the whole thing to repartition it. But don’t. Drives are cheap. Your data (photos, etc) are priceless. Use the whole 750GB drive for TM.
      You can’t hook it to a Windows machine either (why do you want to) because TM drives much be Mac formatted.

    2/3/11 @ 2:16 pm

    Not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Most people that use TM, dedicate a whole hard drive to TM. Its ok if the hard drive gets full. That’s what’s it’s for. Think of TM as a “data base” for all your files both new and old. If you start deleting files you mess up TM’s “data base”. Like Gary has said on previous podcasts, buy a TM HD that is at least twice the size of your internal HD. The bigger the HD, the further back in “time” you can go. And TM machine can also backup HD’s connected to your Mac also. TM can not work with PC’s because TM is required to be formated in HSF+ which is Mac OSX file format structure.

    2/3/11 @ 2:18 pm

    I only partitioned mine because I have a big enough HD for my needs but I too would recommend a separate drive. Plus I already have enough drives connected to my mac;)

    2/3/11 @ 2:22 pm

    Also forgive me but you seem new to the mac and it sounds like you digging in TM’s backup folder in finder. Am I right? TM is designed so that you use the TM App that launches so you can retrieve your files that way. Don’t move the files from finder. Use the App.

      2/3/11 @ 8:48 pm

      Yeahhhh, I did it, I used the finder to move some files to trash bin, and I cannot delete them from the trash bin either.
      The message I get from TM is that the copy that is now to be saved is 6.10GB and is only 4.65GB space on the drive. That is why I wand to delete some of the old files, in a way or another.
      Now the last back up I have is from 01 february 2011.

        2/3/11 @ 8:58 pm

        You should start fresh immediately. Erase the disk and start new backup. ASAP.

    2/3/11 @ 9:37 pm

    Yes agree! Open system preferences select Time Machine and turn off! Than open Disk Utility app in Utilities Folder. Once Disk Utility is open select the drive on the left side pane and click the “erase” tab and click erase button. The drive will unmount and remount with a clean drive. Go back to System Preferences and click Time Machine again, select that drive and turn on Time Machine. In the future if you want to retrieve any files just launch the Time Machine App. It also has a cool UI if you had not seen yet:)

    2/6/11 @ 5:03 pm

    Thanks a lot. I did it. Now everything is OK. :-))

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