Hello forum peoples.
I have had a Powerbook G4 for the past 7 years and been using Time Machine to backup. Now I've just bought a new Macbook Pro and have decided to start afresh and not migrate my files to the new computer, instead bringing across files as I need them. Also, I have a new external HD set up as Time Machine for my new laptop.
The issue is that I still want to use my old Time Machine HD as an extra storage space on the new computer but all the historical backups from Time Machine are taking up most of the space. For the archival backup of my old computer all I need is ONE copy of each file. I imagined that consolidating all the backups into one would be a pretty obvious requirement but it seems otherwise.
I understand that because of the incremental way files are backed up with hard copies that you cant just jump into the TM folder and delete older backup folders. I have also just spoken to Apple support line and they said what I am asking for is not possible and I will have to keep all the backups. However they didn't seem sure about it atall!
I have also had a look at Carbon Copy Cloner and notice it does have controls which say 'automatically prune archived content' and you can tell it to delete/prune backups older than X date . This sounds like it would do the job, but I'm just concerned that all that will do is delete the backups in the same way as if i manually put the old backups in the trash and similarily mess up the newest backup.
Can anyone please confirm if there is a way of consolidating the backups which will not mess up the structure and damage the remaning backup.
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In your last reply you say that yes I can try restoring on the Macbook Pro but then described how to do it on the G4. So just to confirm: I am not touching the G4, it's already packed away forever!
Ah, sorry, I didn't realize that. That would be a sure way to get what you need, and you could be sure it's ok by starting up from it.
I do not need a working system on the external drive, as you said it will not work on the new laptop anyway, all I want are the files. Does this matter? Is this still the best process to use?
As I said, I've never tried it, but you might be able to connect the old backups to your new Mac and restore the last backup to a different external HD. If that works, you should be able to access those backups from the new Mac (there might be permissions problems with different user accounts, but that can be dealt with). See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #14 for instructions.
Another option would be to only restore selected files to a different HD. That would be more tedious (finding and selecting the ones you want), but take up less space (since you wouldn't copy OSX or apps). See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #15 and #16 if you're not sure how to do that.
Finally, my old TM disk has the 'Backups.backupdb' folder but also lots of of other folders which I have chucked on there manually over the years.
For future reference, that's not a good idea. See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #3. Also, you need some other way to back up anything you put on the same drive as your backups.
I do not want them restored too so I just want to check they will be left alone and not deleted when the restore process takes place. I am concerned the Restore process may not work if there is anything more than just the 'Backups.backupdb' folder on the Time Machine.
No, that's not a problem. Time Machine will ignore anything else on the drive, and restore only what you specifically tell it to.