Previous 1 2 3 Next 37 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2009 6:51 PM by Scott Radloff
Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
I have a single-user Mac with very few applications, only about 600 songs in iTunes and a very modest iPhoto library. Yet Time Machine, keeping 30 days of backups, nearly fills my 300 GB Passport external drive. On my Mac hard drive I only have a grand total of 45 GB of used space and 98% of that doesn't change, or if it does it's just a change, not more data. I don't even use Apple Mail...I use Gmail.

If very little is changing I don't see why Time Machine should using nearly 300 GB of space for 30 days worth of backups. How can I tame this beast? I'm tired of TechTool telling me I am running out of space on the Passport drive every few days.

In the past I've just manually deleted the old five or six days worth of T.M. backups, but that is another problem in itself. It takes Finder HOURS to delete the hundreds of thousands of files each time I do this. I like Time Machine, but I'm about ready to turn it off and go back to SuperDuper. Thanks for any ideas.

Unibody MacBook - 24" Cinema Display, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (252,390 points)
    Two problems: 1. Deleting files manually from the TM backup; 2. Then continuing to allow TM to backup.

    What you are doing is guaranteeing that TM will first take hours to reconcile the indices that are now out of sync because you've manually deleted files from the backup. This in turn takes an inordinate amount of time just to perform the deletions. Then the next time TM does a backup it will have to backup the whole thing all over because although you've deleted files in the backup you haven't actually deleted them from your hard drive. So I suspect after 30 days you've probably amassed dozens of backups for most of the files on your hard drive. Each new backup adding incrementally to what's already on the backup drive.

    If you don't want files backed up by TM, then put them into the TM Exclude list in TM preferences. If you want to remove files from a TM backup this should only be done using the TM application. If you don't wish to have the incremental backups on an hourly basis because it doesn't fit your needs, then don't use TM for backups. You may indeed be better off with SuperDuper!, Carbon Copy Cloner, or SilverKeeper.
  • Josef Kowalewski Level 4 Level 4 (1,915 points)
    Hi,
    I don't know if this is what's causing your problem, but I came across this article the other day - http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20090708114919183

    Regards
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6 (17,520 points)
    You're very lucky that you haven't had problems after deleting stuff using Finder.

    Might want to get the Time Machine Buddy widget and check the logs during a backup:
    http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/status/timemachinebuddy.html

    What you're seeing doesn't sound too unusual to me. Does TM delete old backups when the drive is full?

    ~Lyssa
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    In addition to the other excellent posts and suggestions, once you get your TM disk in order, do two things:

    First, do a +Repair Disk+ (not permissions) on it, via Disk Utility in your Applications/Utilities folder. That will repair any problems in the directory, etc., that might have been caused by the deletions.

    Then, since it does sound like you may have extra-large backups, Click here to download the TimeTracker app. It shows most of the files saved by TM for each backup (excluding some hidden/system files, etc.).

    That will help you find what's taking so much space. Post back with file/folder name(s) and paths if you find some big things you don't recognize.
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    @Kappy:

    That doesn't make total sense. If I only have a grand total of 45 GB of data on my entire hard drive, why would TM have nearl 300 GB in 30 days worth of backups if I haven't changed or added to the data on my hard drive. I may not understand TM...but I've been in the computing business for 25 years and something like this just doesn't compute. I'm sure there's a reason for it, though
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    @Josef Kowalewski:

    You may have found the culprit, Josef. About a month ago I installed TechTool Deluxe and prior to that I didn't have any problems and now the drive is full and TechTool is giving me warnings all the time that my drive space is almost gone. In fact, I've been using TM now since it first came out and just recently did this problem really come up. I'm going to research this some more...but I'd hate to give up TechTool Deluxe as it provides a lot of good info not found with some of the other similar apps like OnyX, etc.
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    @Pondini:

    Repair Disk on the Passport...or the Mac hard drive? Assuming the Passort.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Larry McJunkin wrote:
    @Pondini:

    Repair Disk on the Passport...or the Mac hard drive? Assuming the Passort.


    Yes.

    With regard to the Tech Tool package, if you're using the Tech Tool Directory option, look at this file/folder:

    ~/Library/Application Support/TechTool Protection/<name of internal HD>

    I'm not sure why you'd need that if you're running Time Machine, but if that (or similar) files are rapidly filling-up your TM drive, and you do want to run them, just exclude them from Time Machine, via TM Preferences > Options.
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (252,390 points)
    Did you not state that you have been repeatedly deleting backed up files you did not want on the TM backup drive? Thousands of files? Did I misunderstand this statement:

    In the past I've just manually deleted the old five or six days worth of T.M. backups, but that is another problem in itself. It takes Finder HOURS to delete the hundreds of thousands of files each time I do this.


    What I said was that each time you delete these files manually you force TM to re-backup the files. Since each backup is an incremental addition to what's already on the drive, more and more drive space is consumed.

    In other words you are mismanaging the TM backup. See some of the other replies you've received.
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Yes, Kappy...but just during the past month or so...SINCE I installed TechTool Pro 5, which is the problem. For all the time prior to that since TM came out It's always done it's own maintenance regarding deletions when the TM drive became too full.

    I do have all the additional files Pondini mentioned but I need to stop TTP from saving them, which is supposed to be an option under Protection, though I can't find it. I don't want to exclude them from TM as they'll still be building up unnecessarily on my Mac hard drive.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Larry McJunkin wrote:
    . . .
    I may not understand TM...but I've been in the computing business for 25 years and something like this just doesn't compute.


    Welcome to the club! I've been at it about twice that long, and I'm here to tell you that Time Machine is a whole new sort of critter!

    Under normal circumstances, it manages to do only incremental backups hourly, of what's been added or changed, but each backup is, in effect, a *full, complete copy of your entire system* at the time of that backup!

    Even stranger, when it automatically deletes your oldest backups to make room for new ones, all the remaining backups are still, in effect, full, complete copies!

    You might be interested in these:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/10/12/roadto_mac_os_x_leopard_timemachine.html
    and: http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2007/10/mac-os-x-10-5.ars/14

    and perhaps the Frequently Asked Questions post at the top of this forum.
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    With regard to the Tech Tool package, if you're using the Tech Tool Directory option, look at this file/folder:

    ~/Library/Application Support/TechTool Protection/<name of internal HD>

    I'm not sure why you'd need that if you're running Time Machine, but if that (or similar) files are rapidly filling-up your TM drive, and you do want to run them, just exclude them from Time Machine, via TM Preferences > Options.


    Here's the specific problem...every day TechTool Pro is adding about 10GB of files into this folder, but rather than exclude them from TM I need to figure out how to stop TTPro from adding them. I don't want them on the Mac hard drive, either. If I can't do this, then I'll just dump TTPro, which is a shame as I paid for it.
  • Larry McJunkin Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    I see that the files TTPro adds to the Protection Folder are always overwritten, but they're added several times each day so TM is adding them several times a day as well, making for about 15 GB a day that it should be backing up. For now I've just excluded:

    ~/Library/Application Support/TechTool Protection/My Passport/
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Larry McJunkin wrote:
    . . .
    Here's the specific problem...every day TechTool Pro is adding about 10GB of files into this folder, but rather than exclude them from TM I need to figure out how to stop TTPro from adding them. I don't want them on the Mac hard drive, either. If I can't do this, then I'll just dump TTPro, which is a shame as I paid for it.


    Those specific files are from the +TechTool Pro Directory Protection+ option. I don't have that app, but there has to be a way to turn it off. Try the Help, if any; their website (support and/or forums), or this article I found via Google: http://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=3688

    You'll probably have to delete the files yourself, and if you want, you can delete all of TM's backups of them via the procedure in item 12 of the Frequently Asked Questions post at the top of this forum.
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