1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2013 9:23 AM by Linc Davis
darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I tried to do I a TM backup and after a long wait from "Preparing To Backup Disk" I got the following message ...

 

Time Machine could not complete the backup.

 

This backup is too large for the backup disk. The backup requires 273.42 GB but only 188.44 GB are available.

 

Time Machine needs work space on the backup disk, in addition to the space required to store backups. Open Time Machine preferences to select a larger backup disk or make the backup smaller by excluding files.

 

[ ? ]       [ Open Time Machine Preferences ]                      [ OK ] 

 

 

I use an external hdd parition exclusively for TM which has 400GB capcity and 188.44GB. Why won't it TM just overwrite the old backups / data?

 

I'm using Lion on mid 2009 Macbook Pro

 

Cheers.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • 1. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    Time Machine deletes old snapshots to make room for new ones, but it will never delete the only remaining snapshot of any computer it backs up. It sounds like you need a larger backup volume.

  • 2. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    But if the external HD has capacity 400GB (and there only TM data) on there why doesn't it overwrite some of the snapshots that are on there? Is there something I need to change in TM settings for example?

     

    Thanks

  • 3. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below to select it:

     

    ls -l /V*/*/Ba* | open -f -a TextEdit

     

    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C).

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V).

     

    A TextEdit window will open with the output of the command. Post the contents of that window, if any — the text, please, not a screenshot.

  • 4. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did read "A TextEdit window will open with the output of the command" but what is this ls -l /V*/*/Ba* | open -f -a TextEdit command acutally doing on my computer?  Thanks.

     

    (I really not used to Terminal, I've been warned to avoid using it.)

  • 5. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    The command will show the machine directories in the TM database. That will show whether any other computers have ever been backed up to that volume. It makes no changes whatsoever to your data.

     

    If you prefer not to use the shell, navigate in the Finder to the folder named Backups.backupdb at the top level of the TM volume. How many subfolders does it have?

  • 6. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There are 2 main subfolders within Backups.backupdb named Matt's Mac and Matthew's Macbook Pro, I believe they for separate computers. Matt's Mac is for my old laptop which is no longer working and Matthew's Macbook Pro my current machine.

     

    External Drive


    Backups.backupdb  (folder)                            Date Modified

        >Matt's Mac (folder)                                        18 Nov 2010

                2010-11-18-152712.inProgress                  5 Nov 2010

         >Matthew's Macbook Pro (folder)                   6 Mar 2013

             > 2013-03-01-213940 (folder)                       1 Mar 2013

                 2013-03-01-213940.inProgress                 Today

                  Latest (folder)                                        1 Mar 2013

     

     

    On a side note a I don't seem to have permission for Matt's Mac. Under  Sharing & Permissions: "You can only read" which is confusing as have checked the "Shared folder" box. And I have also changed all 4 Name's (admin, system, staff and everyone) to Read & Write Privilege.

     

    Conversely the 2010-11-18-152712.inProgress that Matt's Mac contains, displays a "You have customs access" message.

     

    Thanks for the help.

  • 7. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    You need to delete the "Matt's Mac" folder. In 10.8, you can do that in the Finder, but I don't recall whether you can do it in 10.7 without using the shell. You'll have to delete the volume from the list of backup destinations in the Time Machine preference pane, and add it back when you're done. Even then you may not be able to delete the folder.

     

    If that doesn't work, and you still don't want to use the shell, you'll have to erase the backup volume and start over. The underlying problem, though, is that the volume is too small. If I were you, I'd start a new backup on another drive, to be used only for backup. You need more than one backup to be safe, in any case.

  • 8. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    By the way I am using OS X 10.7.4 and I have now removed the "Matt's Mac" folder and managed move its contents.

     

    I have 2 main questions....

    I have noticed: I don't seem to have permission for the Matthew's MacBook Pro folder either.

     

    It has the same message Under Sharing & Permissions: "You can only read" which is also confusing as have again checked the "Shared folder" box. And I have also changed all 4 Name's (admin, system, staff and everyone) to Read & Write Privilege.

     

    ...Could this be affecting the situation?

     

     

    I'd rather not delete my TM backups for this machine. I just want TM to add the update the old backup of this machine and any new files. I  don't understand where the figures below came as my internal hard drive only 250GB.

    darkhorse85 wrote:

    Time Machine could not complete the backup.

     

    This backup is too large for the backup disk. The backup requires 273.42 GB but only 188.44 GB are available.

    It seems ilogical to me that an 250GB would add on an extra 23.42GB, its such a big amount. Also as I am only "updating the TM backups" add adding a handful of new files which I highly doubt would raise anything like as large as 180GB.

     

    With the benefit of hind sight, perhaps I should have mentioned this earlier on.

     

    ...Could there a fault in TM (trying to start a fresh for example or could this I need to correct in the software settings)?

     

    Thanks.

  • 9. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    You have a partilal snapshot of another computer, which TM will never delete; a complete snapshot of the current computer, which will also never be deleted because it's the only one; and a partial snapshot of the current computer, which will never be completed because there isn't enough space on the volume.

  • 10. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Linc.

     

    I have now removed the partial snapshot named "Matt's Mac" and have managed to add the backup to it. I manually moved individually and then moved the "Matt's Mac" folder into the Trash (it has not been deleted).

     

    This allowed to backup again, the latest TM backup was made to today. I have  3  questions...

     

     

    1) I am confused as to why TM deemed it necessary to create a whole new backup rather just adding new files and to the orignal Mattthew's MacBook Pro  backup?

     

    2) When TM says "The oldest backups are deleted when your disk becomes full" is it refering to the to the 2nd full backup/snapshot and files saved there after?

     

    3) As I am upgrading my Macbook Pro's internal HDD I want use a TM back up and Carbon Copy Clone bootable backup. The TM parition will used for CCC clone (TM will be switched off) so I would like to move my current TM files SAFELY to the other partition.

     

     

    Thank you for the  help.

  • 11. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    1. See "Reconnecting" to your backups.

     

    2. It will never delete the only complete snapshot.

     

    3. I strongly recommend that use separate drives for those backups. All drives will eventually fail, and if your only backup drive fails, you don't have a backup, which is not what you want to find out when you need to restore.

  • 12. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello,

    ...Thanks thats helpful. I certainly intend to puchase a new external drive as you suggested but at this this momement I don't have enough cash to do it right now. But unfortorntately I do nee upgrade my Mac now for professional reasons.

     

    That said, I am considering purchasing an internal drive with an enclosure to function as an external drive.  I hope that will cheaper and could solve some the issues we've talked about?

     

    Thanks.

  • 13. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (117,765 points)

    Any drive you can use for redundant backups is a better than nothing.

  • 14. Re: Time Machine could not complete the backup
    darkhorse85 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    1) Can I use Terminal (or the Shell I assume its the same thing?) to safely move my TM files in their entirity from the 400GBpartition to the 1.6GB partition?

     

    2) You used the phrase "redundant backups" why so, there are benefits to using both TM and CCC are there not?

     

    Cheers Linc

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