13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2010 3:54 PM by The Edge
ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Does anyone know how I can delete a no longer needed backup for my old Powerbook and reclaim the disc space it's taking up? 1TB Time Capsule getting low on space, but I don't want to erase the whole drive, just the Powerbook backup.

I can't see it from the Time Machine interface, just the one for the MacBook I now use, but I can see it as a sparseimage in the FInder. The problem is that deleting the sparseimage from the Finder just doesn't work. Dialogue box states "Deleting…" and "0 items to be deleted" but stays open forever and the file never gets deleted.

Any help would be much appreciated as I'm driving myself nuts with this...

MacPro Quad Dual Core 2.66, MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.8, G5 Dual 2.5, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    ee601 wrote:
    Any help would be much appreciated as I'm driving myself nuts with this...


    i would temporarily connect TC and Mac via ethernet (you may want to turn airport off prior).

    next, try clicking to highlight the sparsebundle (be sure to click on the correct one), then click the little gear icon above and select +move to trash+.

    you may have to wait for some time (even some hours) depending of the size of the sparsebundle.

    any luck ?
  • ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I did this last night but used Airport instead - left it overnight and in the morning the message window still said "Deleting xxx.sparsebundle" with no blue progress in the progress bar, and stating "Items to delete: 0".

    I did as you suggest about 30 minutes ago, plugged in via ethernet after disabling Airport, and the dialogue box says the same thing (no progress and delete 0 items), so I'm not getting my hopes up too high, much as I do appreciate the advice.

    The sparsebundle is 580 gig or so - any idea how long I should give this? I'll post progress here later...
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,400 points)
    Take a look at the article in the link below. I have not done this with a sparsebundle file, so can't verify if it will work for you.

    http://www.mactricksandtips.com/2008/09/delete-problem-files-with-terminal.html
  • ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you Bob. It looks good, but I've read elsewhere here that there are ways to delete TC files using Terminal and they delete the files but don't free up the space (which would leave me in more of a mess). I may keep that in the back pocket for now and wait to see if there's a more definite solution, but thanks for the advice.
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,400 points)
    Actually, you get the space back, but the Get Info command will continue to display that largest file size that the sparsebundle grew to in the past. That's because sparsebundles expand, but do not contract.

    There's another Terminal command to tell the TC exactly how much space is available, but it will take some looking. I'll see if I can find it today.
  • ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, it's 4 hours now since deleting the sparsebundle with the TC connected directly, and the Trash dialogue window says "The operation can’t be completed because the item “bands” is in use." Does that give any clues?
  • ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's good info, thanks. It's all a bit deep and scary to be honest... I did bite the bullet though and gave it a go, but Terminal asks for my password. I've put in all my usual suspects (not aware of ever having set one up at that level and the laptop itself has no password for me as a user) but they all come back as incorrect, even if I don't type a password at all... Could it be there's a default OSX or TC password I'm not aware of?
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    ee601 wrote:
    Ok, it's 4 hours now since deleting the sparsebundle with the TC connected directly, and the Trash dialogue window says "The operation can’t be completed because the item “bands” is in use." Does that give any clues?


    unfortunately not.

    how comfy would you be to erase your TC's HD ? I mean, would you be willing to completely start over ? via airport utility, you have the option to erase your TC's HD, which of course would mean also to erase all other sparsebundles on it.

    generally, TM backups to a TC should be only *one part* of an overall backup strategy. besides using TM to backup my machines to my TC, i make bootable clones of both regularly.

    anyways, post back if you decide to +start over+ - the necessary steps can be provided ...
  • ee601 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I suspect you're right, a complete erase might be my best option. Does seem a shame that the system is so inflexible though, especially as it's sold as such a simple solution.

    I'm good with the idea of backups, I use Retrospect to make tape backups of completed projects, and I'm about to set up CCC to clone my main data drive regularly as part of this whole process.

    Thanks for the good help, I think I'm ok with the procedure for erasing, but if I need to I may take you up on your kind offer of advice on the steps if needed.

    What a great bunch of people here! Thanks.
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    ee601 wrote:
    Thanks for the good help, I think I'm ok with the procedure for erasing, but if I need to I may take you up on your kind offer of advice on the steps if needed.


    any time and ... good luck
  • Trautfolk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same issues and am willing to start over. How do I do a complete wipe of the TC?
  • Bob Timmons Level 10 Level 10 (92,400 points)
    To erase the disk on the Time Capsule:

    Open AirPort Utility, click Manual Setup
    Click the Disks icon
    Click the Disks tab just below the icons
    Click Erase

    The Quick Erase option will only take a moment or two to complete.
  • The Edge Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Did anyone figure out a solution to this problem that worked reliable and quickly? I'm also having this problem and it's really bothering me.

    I'm backing up two computers to a Time Capsule. Where normally TC deletes old backups, because there's two computers, it thinks there's not enough space and just fails to backup. Therefore, I need to manually delete some files and the "delete immediately" command is anything but immediate.

    Even a day of deletion has not, in fact, deleted.

    Let me know if anyone's still following this thread, whether you've found a solution.