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Time Machine runs out of space to backup - should I be concerned?

211 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2012 7:43 AM by Linc Davis RSS
Julian Bashir Calculating status...
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Dec 28, 2012 6:53 PM

A mere two weeks after getting my iMac 2012, Time Machine daily tells me that it is unable to backup due to the drive running out of space, and will try to remove older backups in the future to make space.

 

I have a 1TB internal HD, a 2TB external HD with media files, and a 3TB HD which is being used as my backup drive. Hence, I would think that this would be sufficient to backup all my data.

 

Now, should I be concerned that Time Machine is removing "older" backups? Because if I understood this software correctly, the "latest" backup will have everything I need to restore my computer in the event of data loss, right? I figured I would not have a large number of older backups due to space constraints. In that case, can't I just ignore all future warnings, satisfied that there is a mirror image of my data in at least one backup?

iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012)
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,085 points)

    Julian Bashir wrote:

     

    ... Because if I understood this software correctly, the "latest" backup will have everything I need to restore my computer in the event of data loss, right?

     

    Right.

     

    In that case, can't I just ignore all future warnings, satisfied that there is a mirror image of my data in at least one backup?

     

    Yes.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  27 years Apple!
  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (55,165 points)

    For All things Time Machine see Pondini's Excellent Information Here...

     

    http://pondini.org/OSX/Home.html

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    If you're getting that message, it means that TM doesn't have enough space on the backup volume for even one new snapshot. You need to use a larger backup volume or exclude some files from backup.

     

    Do you use virtualization software, such as VMware, Parallels, or VirtualBox?

     

    The virtualization software creates a large virtual-disk container that is constantly changing, so it has to be backed up every time Time Machine runs. That will quickly fill up any backup destination.

     

    You should exclude the virtual-disk file(s) from your Time Machine backups. Click the Options button in the Time Machine preference pane. Back up the files on the virtual disk from within the guest OS, using a native backup application.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)

    You should use one of the external disks for TM, or make a separate TM partition of 1TB on the largest one; EXCLUDE not only all VM's like Linc said, but also exclude all the external disks!!

    1TB should be enough for years.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,810 points)

    If you have more than one user account, these instructions must be carried out as an administrator.

    Launch the Console 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 Console in the icon grid.

    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.

    Enter the word "Starting" (without the quotes) in the String Matching text field. You should now see log messages with the words "Starting * backup," where * represents any of the words "automatic," "manual," or "standard." Note the timestamp of the last such message. Clear the text field and scroll back in the log to that time. Select the messages timestamped from then until the end of the backup, or the end of the log if that's not clear. Copy them (command-C) to the Clipboard. Paste (command-V) into a reply to this message.

    If there are runs of repeated messages, post only one example of each. Don't post many repetitions of the same message.

    When posting a log extract, be selective. Don't post more than is requested.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

     

    Some personal information, such as the names of your files, may be included — anonymize before posting.

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