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Trouble deleting Timeline backup

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Peter Sands
Trouble deleting Timeline backup
on Aug 19, 2008 at 5:39:20 am

Timeline back up is on external hard drive and has filled it up. Dragging the folders to the Trash and hitting delete doesn't do it. The folders remain on the hard drive and the available space shrinks daily! What to do?

Peter


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Jeff Carpenter
Re: Trouble deleting Timeline backup
on Aug 19, 2008 at 2:26:02 pm

You mean Time Machine, right? You shouldn't worry about erasing the files. It's supposed to fill up the drive, that's how it works.


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Peter Sands
Re: Trouble deleting Timeline backup
on Aug 19, 2008 at 3:07:49 pm

Yes, I mean Time Machine; what was I thinking? So I need to buy more and more hard drives as the years wear on? Surely not, there's got to be another way.

Peter





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Jeff Carpenter
Re: Trouble deleting Timeline backup
on Aug 19, 2008 at 4:27:33 pm

No, I guess I didn't make it very clear.

Time Machine is designed to opperate with the drive full. That's the way it's supposed to work.

The size simply equals how far BACK you can go. This is a simple example:

Let's say you have 100 GB of data on your computer. A 100 GB Time-Machine drive would be 100% full and give you access to 1 backup copy of everything you own.

A 200 GB drive would be 100% full and give you access to the last 2 copies of everything.

A 1 TB drive would be 100% full and give you access to the last 10 copies of everything you own.

And so on. So it doesn't matter what size drive you have, it will ALWAYS fill up. And that's ok. You'll just be able to go further back in time with a bigger drive, but a smaller one will still work.

The point is that, in all of these examples, the drive fills up all the way. You don't have to do anything about it, just let it do its thing.

As for your specific case, I'd suggest starting over. Since you've been moving stuff around there's no way to know what's going on. Use Disk Utitility to re-format the drive (HFS+) and then set it up as a time Machine drive again and let it backup overnight. Might as well get a totally fresh start.



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Jeff Carpenter
One more thing
on Aug 19, 2008 at 4:31:44 pm

I just thought of one more thing. My last post explains how it works, but there's one thing that might throw you off.

Sometimes I get an error message that Time Machine has run out of space. (Perhaps you got this alrady which is why we're here?)

Just ignore it. It's some kind of bug where it's telling you something you don't need to know. Yes, sometimes Time Machine will run out of space while trying to copy files. This is not YOUR problem, though! Eventually it works around and figures out which old files to erase and it gets on with its life and everyone is happy.

So there's no reason it SHOULD tell you that, but sometimes it does. Just say 'ok' or 'cancel' or whatever it wants to hear. I see it from time to time too, but after an hour or so it's worked itself out.

I just wanted to point this out because that message seems to contridict what I've told you already. Don't worry, it's fine. It's just bothering you with a notice that it really should just keep to itself.



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Peter Sands
Re: One more thing
on Aug 19, 2008 at 4:42:40 pm

Jeff,

All is explained. Thank you; much appreciated.

Peter



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