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Question: Any improvements in getting rid of TC backups?

Has Apple done anything to make it easier to get rid of TC backups? I've got 2 images on my TC, and I want to delete 1 of them. AP Utility seems to only allow erasing of the entire drive, not just part of it. Pondini suggested years ago to manually delete the bands in groups. get Infor shows I have 11,711. That is a lot to trash in groups.


Is the Pondini Method still the easiest?

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Nov 16, 2017 2:06 PM in response to DesertRatR In response to DesertRatR

I can't remember whether it was the Yosemite or El Capitan operating system that offered a new dramatic improvement as far as deleting a sparsebundle file of backups. Pondini's information was accurate up to the time of his passing, which was also about the time that Mavericks was introduced.


As long as you have a current or recent version of the Mac operating system on your Mac, simply open up the Time Capsule drive.....named "Data", unless you have changed the name of the drive......and click to highlight and select the particular sparsebundle file that you want to delete, then click the gear icon at the top of the window and select Move to Trash.


The sparsebundle file will usually contain the device name of the Mac as part of its name.


There is no going back once you click to Delete, so it would be a good idea to make sure that you are deleting the correct file.


Allow a few minutes for the deletion to occur......which is a vast improvement over the hours that were required in older operating systems.

Nov 16, 2017 2:06 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 2:02 PM in response to DesertRatR In response to DesertRatR

A Time Machine backup should be committed to a single drive. Different drives/computers should each have their own backup drive. There is only one valid way to remove a Time Machine backup is to use the Time Machine application. For your setup, I suggest you reformat the Time Capsule's drive after you backup the one image you wish to keep or use the Time Machine application to remove the image you don't want.

Nov 16, 2017 2:02 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 9:26 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Well, Bob, something went haywire. The Delete command seemed to take hours. It was a small backup, so not terrible.


Another question, please. Once I get everything fixed on my two iMacs (reinstalling High Sierra on both), and am sure everything is as it should be, I'll reformat the TC drive. I want to partition it into 2 separate logical drives. Can TC on each iMac see a single partition?

Nov 16, 2017 9:26 PM

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Nov 17, 2017 7:20 AM in response to DesertRatR In response to DesertRatR

Hmmm. Not sure what went wrong. A few weeks ago, I deleted a sparesbundle file for an old Mac that we no longer use and it took only 3-4 minutes to delete the file, which was about 100 GB of data. I was using a Mac running El Capitan to delete the file.


As far as partitioning the Time Capsule drive, this is not practical for most users, since Disk Utility does not have the ability to partition a network drive like a Time Capsule.


In theory, it might still be possible to pull the hard drive out of the Time Capsule, connect it to a SATA to USB converter or caddy, connect the caddy directly to the USB port on your Mac, and then try to partition the drive that way. Then, you'll have to reinstall the drive back in the Time Capsule and hope that things will work.


I've done this, but used a new larger 4 TB drive and partitioned it before I pulled the old drive out of the Time Capsule, which was about 4 years old at the time.


Not an easy project, and somewhat of a challenge even for a dedicated do-it-yourself type of person......as the older Time Capsule was not designed for easy maintenance. If you have a tech pull the drive from your Mac, it will probably cost more that simply buying another Time Capsule and then using one TC per Mac to back up.

Nov 17, 2017 7:20 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 8:25 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

I’ve been having other problems little problems since upgrading to HS last weekend. So maybe something there. Time to wipe the drive and do a fresh installation (not TC recovery ... risk of bringing back a problem). Everything is backed up.


The partitioning question was more just to see if I could. Also, to really separate the BUs of the two iMacs in the house. Yesterday something popped up about possible malware backed maybe a year ago in one of the kids account on my wife’s iMac. I don’t look at her machine often. Scans turned up nothing. But time to install HS anyway, after wiping the drive. So that is done. Since I’d replaced the TC six months ago any possible malware BU was gone. And with the last kid off the payroll now no other accounts on her machine. I don’t think there could be any crosstalk between the BU images on the TC but can’t be too careful with malware and also BUs.


You are correct about the TC being hard to get into. The hardware is as closed as all other Apple architecture, and not designed for any DIY work. When the old one failed, it failed. So I couldn’t wipe the drive before recycling. I did manage to get the thing opened and the drive out. Rather than buy an enclosure and then wipe it I took it to my shop and turned the platter to dust with a cutoff saw and grinder. And demolished the electronics.

Nov 17, 2017 8:25 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 11:03 AM in response to DesertRatR In response to DesertRatR

If you are using anti-virus software on a Mac.. that will hugely slow down and cause corruptions to backups. Just seeing that you were running scans and if that software is still on your computer .. leave it off.


Rather than buy an enclosure and then wipe it I took it to my shop and turned the platter to dust with a cutoff saw and grinder.

Yes.. that will prevent the disk being read.

Nov 17, 2017 11:03 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 11:18 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Just a note to mention that I do not use any type of anti-virus software or any other type of software that claims to "help" things on a Mac, so that was my reference when reporting the far faster sparsebundle deletions in newer operating systems.

Nov 17, 2017 11:18 AM

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Nov 17, 2017 12:25 PM in response to DesertRatR In response to DesertRatR

I just do not understand not using AV SW these days

It is not needed on a Mac, and in general causes more harm than good when it is installed.


However, this is not the place for this discussion. Post over in the High Sierra support forum to ask about using anti-virus....and be prepared for a stern lecture from the gurus over there.

Nov 17, 2017 12:25 PM

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Question: Any improvements in getting rid of TC backups?