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Time Machine needs a shrinking machine
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atomicbartbeans
reticulating your mom
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2008-05-01, 08:56

Seriously,

it's taking quite a dent out of my external 500 GB drive, and I don't care about keeping dozens of old backups around.

Is there any way to tell Time Machine to slim itself down?

You ask me for a hamburger.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2008-05-01, 08:58

I was thinking about this a few days ago.

Is it safe to just go into the list and start manually deleting some of those files?
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babyb
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Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2008-05-01, 09:32

I know that there is currently no way to configure time machine to limit itself to the ammount of disk space it uses. It simply keeps going til it breaks (runs out of HDD space)

I've not used TC to any great lengths, but from what I've read, it performs "incremental" back ups and not "full" backups. That means that your first back up takes ages because it copies everything, Then as you create/edit new files on a daily basis it only copies those files that have changed. So if you delete your back up files. It will simply create new ones. However it'll take a while again.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel however. There seems to be some folks talking about creating a disk image on the device. That means you can effectively limit the amount of space it takes up.
You can find that discussion here

hope i've been some help
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Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2008-05-01, 09:51

Quote:
It simply keeps going til it breaks (runs out of HDD space)
Time Machine doesn't "break" or stop working when it runs out of space. It just starts deleting your oldest backed-up files.

You can't limit the size Time Machine takes up once you've started backing up, but you can partition the drive to limit backup space on a new drive. I have a 250 GB drive partitioned into a 100 GB Time Machine partition and a 150 GB storage partition for non-essential items (like Parallels VMs I rarely use) and temporary storage to keep my internal MBP drive clean. I've also had it set up with three partitions (one TM, one storage, one Carbon Copy Cloner image of my internal drive).
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babyb
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Join Date: Oct 2005
 
2008-05-01, 09:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcgriz View Post
Time Machine doesn't "break" or stop working when it runs out of space. It just starts deleting your oldest backed-up files.
Ah right thanks for pointing that out. So if you partition (or use disk images) you can effectively manage TMs disk usage. I wonder why apple didn't give you options to limit the space it takes up?
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atomicbartbeans
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2008-05-01, 10:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran23kk View Post
I was thinking about this a few days ago.

Is it safe to just go into the list and start manually deleting some of those files?
Hm, I wonder...
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kieran
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2008-05-01, 10:13

how about you go ahead and try it and then get back to us?

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ghoti
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2008-05-01, 10:35

Can you partition a TimeCapsule? I'm going to get one in the summer, and I would like to use about half the space for storing data (mostly movies I've bought). It kind of suck that you can't limit the amount of space Time Machine uses, that really limits its usefulness.
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kieran
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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2008-05-01, 10:38

I think you can, but I haven't done it yet. Maybe I'll try to play around with it this weekend.

I just don't feel like making another initial backup over wireless.
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billybobsky
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2008-05-01, 11:02

It all depends upon how much downloading/deleting/downloading you are doing. Every time you do that, time machine makes and maintains a copy of the new data unless this is done in a file it isn't allowed to back up. If you are pushing the limit of your hard drive, and going through data spin cycles, it isn't surprising at all that time machine is filling up your external. The back up drive should be significantly (let's say 2-3 times for typical use) larger than the hard drive it is backing up. This will not prevent time machine from filling the drive, but it all but guarantees that you will have a functional backup of things that are important...
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Xaqtly
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Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-05-01, 11:40

It also might be worth noting that Time Machine backs up any files that have been changed since the last backup. That can be a problem with programs like Entourage that keep all your mail in a single file. If you even get a single email, Time Machine will back up the entire file again, even if it's 4 GB or something.

Just something to look out for. I do wish Time Machine had an interface to let you see exactly which files are being backed up, like last night I ran a backup and it was only about a day out from the prior backup, but it backed up 1.2 GB of stuff and I don't know why. I'm not worried about it, I still have 450 GB free on my TM drive (named Tardis... nerd high five! *whapish*), but it would be nice to know in case it's something I can avoid in the future.
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veryamusing
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
 
2008-05-01, 11:50

Does Time Machine back up individual files or folders of files too? I don't know why, but TM did two separate backups last night around 300MB apiece shortly after I copied the contents of a CD-R into my Documents folder.

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Taskiss
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
 
2008-05-01, 15:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by babyb View Post
II've not used TC to any great lengths, but from what I've read, it performs "incremental" back ups and not "full" backups. That means that your first back up takes ages because it copies everything, Then as you create/edit new files on a daily basis it only copies those files that have changed. So if you delete your back up files. It will simply create new ones. However it'll take a while again.
I'm curious - I started using TimeMachine the other day and the used space on my TimeMachine disk is quite a bit less than my laptop used space. I looked and it appears that the backups complete successfully, my files are there, but I'm not sure what's going on.

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Yonzie
Mac Mini Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
 
2008-05-01, 17:59

How much is "quite a bit"?
Time Machine does automagically exclude certain stuff, like caches and the virtual memory file.
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tomoe
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2008-05-01, 18:28

I deleted some of my older backups, and haven't experienced any problems thus far (inasmuch as Time Machine still runs as normal when my laptop's connected & doesn't complain about missing data, YMMV).

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
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kieran
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2008-05-01, 19:59

Gruber posted a link on how to selectively prune your TM backups
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artesc
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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2008-05-01, 21:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
Can you partition a TimeCapsule? I'm going to get one in the summer, and I would like to use about half the space for storing data (mostly movies I've bought). It kind of suck that you can't limit the amount of space Time Machine uses, that really limits its usefulness.
you can't. well, at least according to macworld. the only way to do it is to physically open the time capsule, take out the drive and sock it into an external enclosure, plug it in to your mac and partition it there as an external, then put it back in to your time capsule and hope to god you didn't screw anything up.

artesc all the way!
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