The command will show the machine directories in the TM database. That will show whether any other computers have ever been backed up to that volume. It makes no changes whatsoever to your data.
If you prefer not to use the shell, navigate in the Finder to the folder named Backups.backupdb at the top level of the TM volume. How many subfolders does it have?
There are 2 main subfolders within Backups.backupdb named Matt's Mac and Matthew's Macbook Pro, I believe they for separate computers. Matt's Mac is for my old laptop which is no longer working and Matthew's Macbook Pro my current machine.
Backups.backupdb (folder) Date Modified
>Matt's Mac (folder) 18 Nov 2010
2010-11-18-152712.inProgress 5 Nov 2010
>Matthew's Macbook Pro (folder) 6 Mar 2013
> 2013-03-01-213940 (folder) 1 Mar 2013
Latest (folder) 1 Mar 2013
On a side note a I don't seem to have permission for Matt's Mac. Under Sharing & Permissions: "You can only read" which is confusing as have checked the "Shared folder" box. And I have also changed all 4 Name's (admin, system, staff and everyone) to Read & Write Privilege.
Conversely the 2010-11-18-152712.inProgress that Matt's Mac contains, displays a "You have customs access" message.
Thanks for the help.
You need to delete the "Matt's Mac" folder. In 10.8, you can do that in the Finder, but I don't recall whether you can do it in 10.7 without using the shell. You'll have to delete the volume from the list of backup destinations in the Time Machine preference pane, and add it back when you're done. Even then you may not be able to delete the folder.
If that doesn't work, and you still don't want to use the shell, you'll have to erase the backup volume and start over. The underlying problem, though, is that the volume is too small. If I were you, I'd start a new backup on another drive, to be used only for backup. You need more than one backup to be safe, in any case.
By the way I am using OS X 10.7.4 and I have now removed the "Matt's Mac" folder and managed move its contents.
I have 2 main questions....
I have noticed: I don't seem to have permission for the Matthew's MacBook Pro folder either.
It has the same message Under Sharing & Permissions: "You can only read" which is also confusing as have again checked the "Shared folder" box. And I have also changed all 4 Name's (admin, system, staff and everyone) to Read & Write Privilege.
...Could this be affecting the situation?
I'd rather not delete my TM backups for this machine. I just want TM to add the update the old backup of this machine and any new files. I don't understand where the figures below came as my internal hard drive only 250GB.
Time Machine could not complete the backup.
This backup is too large for the backup disk. The backup requires 273.42 GB but only 188.44 GB are available.
It seems ilogical to me that an 250GB would add on an extra 23.42GB, its such a big amount. Also as I am only "updating the TM backups" add adding a handful of new files which I highly doubt would raise anything like as large as 180GB.
With the benefit of hind sight, perhaps I should have mentioned this earlier on.
...Could there a fault in TM (trying to start a fresh for example or could this I need to correct in the software settings)?
You have a partilal snapshot of another computer, which TM will never delete; a complete snapshot of the current computer, which will also never be deleted because it's the only one; and a partial snapshot of the current computer, which will never be completed because there isn't enough space on the volume.
I have now removed the partial snapshot named "Matt's Mac" and have managed to add the backup to it. I manually moved individually and then moved the "Matt's Mac" folder into the Trash (it has not been deleted).
This allowed to backup again, the latest TM backup was made to today. I have 3 questions...
1) I am confused as to why TM deemed it necessary to create a whole new backup rather just adding new files and to the orignal Mattthew's MacBook Pro backup?
2) When TM says "The oldest backups are deleted when your disk becomes full" is it refering to the to the 2nd full backup/snapshot and files saved there after?
3) As I am upgrading my Macbook Pro's internal HDD I want use a TM back up and Carbon Copy Clone bootable backup. The TM parition will used for CCC clone (TM will be switched off) so I would like to move my current TM files SAFELY to the other partition.
Thank you for the help.
1. See "Reconnecting" to your backups.
2. It will never delete the only complete snapshot.
3. I strongly recommend that use separate drives for those backups. All drives will eventually fail, and if your only backup drive fails, you don't have a backup, which is not what you want to find out when you need to restore.
...Thanks thats helpful. I certainly intend to puchase a new external drive as you suggested but at this this momement I don't have enough cash to do it right now. But unfortorntately I do nee upgrade my Mac now for professional reasons.
That said, I am considering purchasing an internal drive with an enclosure to function as an external drive. I hope that will cheaper and could solve some the issues we've talked about?