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Deleting Time Machine backup files

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,


I need some advice from the Time Machine experts out there. I made the mistake of going into Time Machine and deleting the oldest backup files myself by moving to Trash.. (instead of letting Time Machine manage it's self by deleting the oldest files when the disk is full).

Now, I can't Empty Trash when Time Machine is plugged in:
"The operation cant be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -8003)."

And Time Machine can no longer backup, it doesn't delete files automatically to make space anymore and this error message pops up:
"This backup is too large for the backup disk. The backup requires 81.12 GB but only 76.78 GB are available.".

All of those previous backup files are stuck in the Trash and can't be deleted to make space for new backups.

How can I solve this problem?


Thank you in advance!
post #2 of 13
Turn Time Machine off. Delete your files. Wipe your backup drive. Turn Time Machine back on
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbwi View Post

Turn Time Machine off. Delete your files. Wipe your backup drive. Turn Time Machine back on

But I have other folders I don't want to trash on the external hard drive that Time Machine is on. Plus I can't empty the trash when Time Machine is plugged in even if it is off..
?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sb.films View Post

But I have other folders I don't want to trash on the external hard drive that Time Machine is on. Plus I can't empty the trash when Time Machine is plugged in even if it is off..
?

Surely you have backups for those "other files" on another volume, don't you? If not, can't you make copies of those files on your internal HD now? If not, you gambled, and it seems you lost.

You will need to erase that entire external HD that your TM backup files are on now, complete with the "other files", if you want to regain control of it. Sometimes shit happens.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

Surely you have backups for those "other files" on another volume, don't you? If not, can't you make copies of those files on your internal HD now? If not, you gambled, and it seems you lost.

You will need to erase that entire external HD that your TM backup files are on now, complete with the "other files", if you want to regain control of it. Sometimes shit happens.

So what you're saying is if I copy all the "other files" I want to keep from the external onto the internal HD, wipe the external HD using Disk Utilities and set it back as "Backup disk for Time Machine", all will return to normal?

If so, great, many thanks for the advice,
only thing, is there a way I can retrieve any of the old backup files from the Trash when TM is plugged in? I would ideally like to hang onto at least one several moth old backup file if possible.

thanks again
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sb.films View Post

is there a way I can retrieve any of the old backup files from the Trash when TM is plugged in? I would ideally like to hang onto at least one several moth old backup file if possible.

Perhaps you can retrieve them with special software. However, Time Machine is an incremental backup system. Which means that any subsequent, incremental, backup file only records what changed relative to the first and earlier backups. I.o.w.: all TM's backup files of one set together will work as a system. So just one or two of those incremental files aren't complete backups! Because the rest of the set is absent.

Copy everything you want to hold on to, to your internal HD (or another external one). Erase the external HD and set it up afresh as the destination for TM. Set TM to work at making the first, complete backup. And copy those special files back from your internal HD to the newly erased external HD.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

Perhaps you can retrieve them with special software. However, Time Machine is an incremental backup system. Which means that any subsequent, incremental, backup file only records what changed relative to the first and earlier backups. I.o.w.: all TM's backup files of one set together will work as a system. So just one or two of those incremental files aren't complete backups! Because the rest of the set is absent.

Copy everything you want to hold on to, to your internal HD (or another external one). Erase the external HD and set it up afresh as the destination for TM. Set TM to work at making the first, complete backup. And copy those special files back from your internal HD to the newly erased external HD.

Thanks Rokcet Scientist, very well explained and thanks for the advice. I have retrieved the files i wanted, wiped the external hard drive, reset it as backup for TM, all is now working soundly.

Cheers! Have a nice day
post #8 of 13
i also tried to delete many time machine back up folders at once. the trash spent all night trying and it never worked. just do a bout 7 folders at once. works fast. if you want to first put all the folders you want to delete in another folder on time machine so you can quickly find the 7 to delete from it with out getting confused or lost. i made a folder in time machine titled "to trash". then put all the unwanted folders in it, then dragged 7 at a time to the trash. deleted trash and repeated. i read that once the external HD is full that time machine will make room for new files. maybe try that before. one more tip. i decided not to delete all old back up folders and to just keep one folder from every three months. just in case.
post #9 of 13
Deleting data from a Time Machine backup

To delete all backups of one or more items from a Time Machine backup, follow these steps:

Click the Time Machine icon on your Dock to enter the Time Machine restore interface.
Click on the item you would like to delete. Command-click to select multiple items.
Control-click (or right click) the highlighted item(s) and select "Delete All Backups of..." from the contextual menu, or select "Delete all backups of..." from the Action Item menu.
Authenticate with an administrator password when prompted.
post #10 of 13
I've moved my unwanted backups to the trash and it will not let me empty the trash now. It's tell me error code 8003 (which is Trash refusing to empty)??

I also have like 30 GB of other junk I need to delete because I only have 11 GB left on my hard drive.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by andr3w View Post

I've moved my unwanted backups to the trash and it will not let me empty the trash now. It's tell me error code 8003 (which is Trash refusing to empty)??

I also have like 30 GB of other junk I need to delete because I only have 11 GB left on my hard drive.

Yep, it'll do that. You're NOT supposed to be deleting Time Machine files manually. You'll have to wipe the entire backup drive and possibly fix the drive on which your OS boots as well.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yep, it'll do that. You're NOT supposed to be deleting Time Machine files manually. You'll have to wipe the entire backup drive and possibly fix the drive on which your OS boots as well.

They couldnt tell you not to delete the files that way when using Time Machine? There's no other way to delete it?
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by andr3w View Post

They couldnt tell you not to delete the files that way when using Time Machine? There's no other way to delete it?

Sure, you're fine doing it through the Time Machine application itself. But moving the files while in the Finder? Man, Time Machine'll go berserk.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
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