4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 7, 2013 6:05 AM by Lanny
jbahamon Level 1 Level 1

New to Time Machine. The HD on my Mac Air is full so I got an external HD and using TM to back up everything.

Can I erase all files (pictures, docs, etc) from my Mac and still have access to those files through Time Machine?


Time Machine, Mac OS X (10.7)
Solved by John Galt on Mar 6, 2013 10:31 PM Solved
That is a bad idea. Time Machine is strictly a backup utility. What you describe will require archiving files, which Time Machine is not designed to accomplish. Once you erase files from your MacBook Air, they will eventually be erased from your Time Machine backup. This is by design, as Time Machine will eventually fill your backup volume and will delete old files as required. Depending on when they were first backed up and how long they existed on your MBA before you erase them, they could disappear in as little as one hour. Use Carbon Copy Cloner or equivalent "clone" utility and configure it to archive files that do not exist on the source, or simply copy them over manually using the Finder. You can then delete them from your MBA. Bear in mind that once you do that, you no longer have a backup copy. The only copies will exist on the external HD.
  • Lanny Level 5 Level 5
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X
    Can I erase all files (pictures, docs, etc) from my Mac and still have access to those files through Time Machine?

     

    Only if you want to restore them back to your MacBook Air's HD. Copy them to the external without using Time Machine.

     

    Depending on the model of your MacBook Air, you didn't identify it, your best bet would be to get a bigger hard drive.

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    That is a bad idea. Time Machine is strictly a backup utility. What you describe will require archiving files, which Time Machine is not designed to accomplish.

     

    Once you erase files from your MacBook Air, they will eventually be erased from your Time Machine backup. This is by design, as Time Machine will eventually fill your backup volume and will delete old files as required. Depending on when they were first backed up and how long they existed on your MBA before you erase them, they could disappear in as little as one hour.

     

    Use Carbon Copy Cloner or equivalent "clone" utility and configure it to archive files that do not exist on the source, or simply copy them over manually using the Finder. You can then delete them from your MBA. Bear in mind that once you do that, you no longer have a backup copy. The only copies will exist on the external HD.

  • jbahamon Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks a lot! I'm glad I asked before doing something...... not good.

    I copied all my files to a hard disk. Those files are on my Mac desktop at home as another back up, but tha MacBook Air (that I use while on the road) keeps telling my  "start up disk full" "need to delete files"

     

    Saving all files on external HD and deleting almost all files opened only 3GB, out of 60!!!!

    The heavy stuff are applications and software and I wouldn't dare messing with those. So seems like I will always be LIVING ON THE EDGE with my Mac Air (which I love, best investment EVER)

  • Lanny Level 5 Level 5
    expertise.macosx
    Mac OS X

    So seems like I will always be LIVING ON THE EDGE with my Mac Air (which I love, best investment EVER)

    I repeat:

     

    Depending on the model of your MacBook Air, you didn't identify it, your best bet would be to get a bigger hard drive.

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/