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time machine disk full

18008 Views 34 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2008 11:45 AM by Richard Blau1 RSS
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gareth26 Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
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Nov 16, 2007 7:40 AM
time machine just told me my backup disk is full, so what happens now?
does it start deleting the back up from the first day i used it and so on?
2 GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.5), 30g ipod video iPhone
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (167,145 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 8:14 AM (in response to gareth26)
    Correct. It will start deleting previous backups, the oldest backups first.
    Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 2GB, Mac OS X (10.5), PowerMac G5 DP w/ Mac OS X 10.5; Dell w/ Windows XP SP2
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 10:58 AM (in response to gareth26)
    You might consider a larger drive -
    Dual G5(Leopard), MacBookPro 15(Leopard), MacBookPro3,1 17 Core2Duo, Mac OS X (10.5), BC1.4 Vista Ultimate 64-bit on MBP/17"
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,295 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 11:00 AM (in response to gareth26)
    How big is your working drive and how big is the time machine drive?
    PowerMac G5 dual 2.5GHz, PowerBook G4 1GHz DVI, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • CharlesLeMac Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 2:50 PM (in response to gareth26)
    I got my first "time machine disk full", and previous days deleted today, although I could see that TM was headed there fast. It has now dumped the days prior to Nov, 9

    But here is what I totally don't understand. I dedicated an new 500 GB drive to TM to back up about 110 GB of data on my hard drive (now up to about 120 GB). The external drive usage is totally out of whack as to what it should be.

    Initially, it backed up using about 110 GB on the external, then making additional back ups as one would expect. Then it suddenly did an 80 GB back up. Then another, until it had used up over 300 GB of the external. Then, after a freeze-forced rebootetting of the computer last night (my first in over a year), it backed up virtually the full 120 GB. That was followed by a 64.5 GB this morning. It is now in the middle of an 88.5 GB backup. During all of this it is removing older backups so that I am only getting about a weeks worth.

    Through all of this, it takes time to make these backups, and chews up CPU usage that would better be spent elsewhere. Something is definitely wrong and I haven't a clue as to what to do about it. Any ideas?
    g5 2ghz dual, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • iMrFreeze Calculating status...
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    Nov 16, 2007 3:32 PM (in response to CharlesLeMac)
    Well I have the same kind of problem.

    At first time machine struggled with my external HD to make a second backup which it never managed to do. I gave up and hoped that it would work with 10.5.1 (it didn't), I erased the hard drive and started again. The it worked flawlessly and made small updates every hour after the initial backup. Then I disconnected the drive (I use a Macbook) and went away. When I came back and plugged the external hard drive again Time machine started backing up a whole 63.5 gig, that is to say the whole content of my mac again ! Time maching backup is now 127 Go for two backups !!!

    What the **** is that ? Is it a bug ? I read on the forum I am not the only one ! Apple guys ! Help us !!!

    Thanks,

    iMrFreeze
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • CharlesLeMac Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 3:43 PM (in response to iMrFreeze)
    Yes, something is very wrong. It appears that Time Machine is not recognizing big blocks of files that it has previously backed up and recopies them to the backup drive. One of Apples suggestions is to buy add a new drive. Buying a new 500 GB external every week does not appeal to me.

    By the way, I am at the 66.7 GB point of the current 88.5 GB backup. I'm curious as to what it will do at the next back up. Wish I could hear some kind of solution to this problem. It certainly wasn't in 10.5.1.
    g5 2ghz dual, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • the deebs Calculating status...
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    Nov 16, 2007 4:19 PM (in response to CharlesLeMac)
    Know what?

    I agree with you. It is a bit unusual.

    Know what?
    I am confident it will be dealt with in a timely fashion.

    If I am not correct, apologies if so, if a 40 Gig folder is moved then it is backed up as a first instance of a 40 Gig folder. Hence one movement of a large folder creates another instance in the backup of that 40 Gig folder.

    In a best practice analysis that is probably the right thing to do.

    Maybe TM should say "Large known folder moved therefore update a change in a path statement" (a couple of bytes?) OR for valid data integrity it says "For your data security I have some doubt about this folder therefore I will err on the side of caution and back up the whole 40 Gig again".

    Should one ever encounter a data loss of some magnitude (this one has) then the validity of the second option is wholly understandable incredibly so if the data are very, very important.

    Message was edited by: the deebs
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5), XP Pro running due to Boot Camp
  • CharlesLeMac Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
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    Nov 16, 2007 5:44 PM (in response to the deebs)
    deeds-

    Yes, I agree with you that Apple will probably deal with it in a somewhat timely fashion. I say somewhat because timely would have been before TM started discarding older back ups.

    I don't think it has anything to do with moving a huge folder. The only thing that is 80+ Gigs is my home user folder, and I can assure you that I haven't moved, renamed, dry cleaned, or freeze dried it. Something more hidden is triggering these large backups--could be as simple as selecting the home user folder and change the view from say list to columns and TM thinking this a major change. I am now tempted to play around later and see if I can actually trigger one of these massive file backup events (hmmm, sound like beta testing).

    And while I'm sure Apple will eventually fix this bug, it is still disheartening in the meantime when TM kicks into one of these "eat your processor, eat your CPU, discard earlier backups" modes.
    g5 2ghz dual, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • BrianWong Calculating status...
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    Nov 19, 2007 10:11 PM (in response to CharlesLeMac)
    I think the next version of time machine should have a maintenance options where the backup files can be compressed and archived.

    Meaning that once this option is selected, they should compress all the many backup files into one without losing or deleting any files and then compress the file so that it can be archived.

    I bought a new external drive for TM and at the rate it is going, I can see that its going to be filled soon too. I really hope that the geniuses at Apple are looking into this.
    MacBook Pro 17", Mac OS X (10.5)
  • CharlesLeMac Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
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    Nov 19, 2007 10:36 PM (in response to BrianWong)
    I hear what you're saying, but I don't think compressing the files would particularly help. It would only slightly delay the inevitable filling of the disk. What I need is for Time Machine to recognized what it has already backed up instead of backing up huge blocks of data that have not changed. For me these blocks are now running about 88.5 GB, about the size of my total user file.

    I have had TM fill up the backup drive a few times and delete old backups. I now only have backups going back to Nov. 16--three days worth. Something is definitely not working.
    g5 2ghz dual, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Slimster Calculating status...
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    Nov 27, 2007 6:15 PM (in response to CharlesLeMac)
    I actually don't even get the opportunity to let TM erase older copies. It just states that my disk (500 GB) is full and that I should change it for another...

    I run TM on my MBP and my girlfriends MB on the same 500GB drive but it worked smoothly the first few weeks...

    Somehow it feels like TM at times doesen't recognize that there are any previous backups, backing up everything and not erasing the old stuff. Since the backups are supposed to be incremental I'm afraid to start deleting backup data manually from the external drive in fear of making even more damage!

    This is VERY annoying and also distressing as TM is one of my favourite 'New-in-Leopard'-features.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • pvonk Level 6 Level 6 (13,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 27, 2007 6:25 PM (in response to Slimster)
    If TM seems to be backing up a whole lot of files each hour and you're sure you haven't changed that many, it's probably due to..
    1) One or more LARGE files on your source disk that change often without you realizing it, such as one of the Parallels folders or an Outlook mail file - these change each time you invoke the app,
    2) You have attached another external drive containing some data; that will then be added to the backup unless you exclude it.
    MacBook Pro, 2.16 GHz, 2 GB SDRAM; Mac Mini; LaCie 600, 250, 160, 500,Iomega 650, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • CharlesLeMac Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2007 9:25 AM (in response to pvonk)
    This sounds good in theory, but the fact is that neither I, nor some of the others who have been experiencing these large backups, have either of these conditions in play. I am trying to debug by excluding groups of files for a period of time. But the problem appears to be that Time Machine appears to simply forget large file groups, or they somehow look different to it. I am beginning to suspect that there might be a larger problem with Leopard as I have found that it will sometimes for get preferences, such as that I set the default for html files to dreamweaver, or how my Mailbox was set up to display.
    g5 2ghz dual, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • DKD Calculating status...
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    Nov 28, 2007 5:51 PM (in response to gareth26)
    I disabled the Downloads, Desktop, and Dropbox folders on my box and then this problem disappeared for me.

    Personally, I use the Desktop to very temporarily hold items until I decide where to put them - Downloads and Dropbox are also just temporary places where I hold files.

    My transcoding software also creates temporary files in my Downloads folder while it is transcoding so for each downloaded AVI - Time machine wants to backup the original AVI and temporary transcoding file as well as the final version. In addition, downloads that are zipped are unzipped in in the Downloads folder so Time Machine wants to keep backups of the original .ZIP and the resulting files and folders.

    By setting Time Machine up to not backup "scratch" areas on your system, you can avoid it backing up unnecessary files.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
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