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Limiting Time Machine disk space?

 
 
Patty Winter
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      05-17-2012, 01:47 AM
I finally got around to setting up Time Machine on this iMac
(10.6.8) that I bought last year. I bought a 2TB external
drive, thinking that I would use it for a few different things.
But from reading the Time Machine introduction on Apple's support
website, plus some postings in the forums on that site and in
the Google archive of this group, it appears that Apple does not
provide a way to tell Time Machine, "Start deleting old files
when you get to x amount of storage space or x weeks/months from
the earliest backup." Is that correct?

I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup
drive, or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think
that it has less room than it does. Are those really the only
options? There's no user size setting available?

It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?


Patty

 
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nospam
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      05-17-2012, 02:07 AM
In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$(E-Mail Removed)>, Patty Winter
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I finally got around to setting up Time Machine on this iMac
> (10.6.8) that I bought last year. I bought a 2TB external
> drive, thinking that I would use it for a few different things.
> But from reading the Time Machine introduction on Apple's support
> website, plus some postings in the forums on that site and in
> the Google archive of this group, it appears that Apple does not
> provide a way to tell Time Machine, "Start deleting old files
> when you get to x amount of storage space or x weeks/months from
> the earliest backup." Is that correct?
>
> I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup
> drive, or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think
> that it has less room than it does. Are those really the only
> options? There's no user size setting available?


that's how you do it. keep in mind that if the drive is shared on the
network, time machine will create a disk image for you, which you can
later tweak to have a specific limit. for a directly attached drive,
time machine will copy files directly.

> It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
> I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
> starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
> want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
> them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?


that's the easiest if the drive is directly attached and each partition
will appear as a separate icon on the desktop.
 
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Leonard Blaisdell
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      05-17-2012, 02:14 AM
In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) (Patty Winter) wrote:

> it appears that Apple does not
> provide a way to tell Time Machine, "Start deleting old files
> when you get to x amount of storage space or x weeks/months from
> the earliest backup." Is that correct?


Yes.

> I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup
> drive, or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think
> that it has less room than it does. Are those really the only
> options? There's no user size setting available?


AFAIK, you either partition a drive and point TM to the partition or use
the whole drive for TM.

> It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
> I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
> starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
> want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
> them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?


I don't know if it's the best way, but it's the only way I know. Yes,
they show up as separate drives on your desktop. Then name them.
I have a 1Tb drive for backup. It's split into three partitions. I
backup to TM on one of them. I use Superduper! on one of them. One's for
fun. TM will take up all available memory on whatever backup
disk/partition it's pointed to and then start deleting old backups when
full.
That's my experience. I'm no expert. Works great.

leo
 
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nospam
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      05-17-2012, 02:26 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Leonard Blaisdell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
> > I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
> > starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
> > want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
> > them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?

>
> I don't know if it's the best way, but it's the only way I know. Yes,
> they show up as separate drives on your desktop. Then name them.
> I have a 1Tb drive for backup. It's split into three partitions. I
> backup to TM on one of them. I use Superduper! on one of them. One's for
> fun. TM will take up all available memory on whatever backup
> disk/partition it's pointed to and then start deleting old backups when
> full.


it's a good idea to use both time machine and superduper, but having
both backups on the same drive means if that drive fails, you lose
both. not good. hopefully you have other backups on other drives,
including one or more off site.
 
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Leonard Blaisdell
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      05-17-2012, 03:49 AM
In article <160520122226324929%(E-Mail Removed)>,
nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> it's a good idea to use both time machine and superduper, but having
> both backups on the same drive means if that drive fails, you lose
> both. not good. hopefully you have other backups on other drives,
> including one or more off site.


I accept a certain amount of risk. When my Mac drive goes out, I will
get it fixed (hasn't happened in twenty years of personal ownership
[seriously]). When my backup drive goes out (has happened a few times),
I buy a new one right away. I figure the odds of Mac and external going
out within a week are within my margin of acceptable risk. I never
access backups for files I've deleted. Ever. I'm aware that when a drive
sinks, all partitions on it sink. Currently, my Mac is fairly new and so
is the external drive.
I use Superduper as a bootable just in case and TM "just in case".
But, I clearly understand your point.

leo
 
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Patty Winter
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      05-17-2012, 05:58 PM

In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Leonard Blaisdell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> (E-Mail Removed) (Patty Winter) wrote:
>
>> I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup
>> drive, or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think
>> that it has less room than it does. Are those really the only
>> options? There's no user size setting available?

>
>AFAIK, you either partition a drive and point TM to the partition or use
>the whole drive for TM.


Okay, glad I caught this "problem" (I think it's a problem; obviously
Apple doesn't...) early in my Time Machine use. I'm off to launch
Disk Utility.


Thanks!

Patty

 
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Paul Sture
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      05-17-2012, 08:25 PM
On Thu, 17 May 2012 17:58:28 +0000, Patty Winter wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Leonard Blaisdell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> (E-Mail Removed) (Patty Winter) wrote:
>>
>>> I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup drive,
>>> or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think that it has
>>> less room than it does. Are those really the only options? There's no
>>> user size setting available?

>>
>>AFAIK, you either partition a drive and point TM to the partition or use
>>the whole drive for TM.

>
> Okay, glad I caught this "problem" (I think it's a problem; obviously
> Apple doesn't...) early in my Time Machine use. I'm off to launch Disk
> Utility.
>
>
> Thanks!


Yes, I bought a 500 GB disk back when my system disk was only 70 GB, and
it seemed a shame to devote the whole 500 GB to Time Machine.

I repartitioned it before letting TM loose and moved my iTunes data and
other stuff there to give some breathing space on the system disk. I
also have another couple of 70 GB external disks, so have a couple of
other backups of my iTunes / other data, done via Carbon Copy Cloner.



--
Paul Sture
 
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Alan Browne
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      05-17-2012, 08:41 PM
On 2012-05-16 21:47 , Patty Winter wrote:
> I finally got around to setting up Time Machine on this iMac
> (10.6.8) that I bought last year. I bought a 2TB external
> drive, thinking that I would use it for a few different things.
> But from reading the Time Machine introduction on Apple's support
> website, plus some postings in the forums on that site and in
> the Google archive of this group, it appears that Apple does not
> provide a way to tell Time Machine, "Start deleting old files
> when you get to x amount of storage space or x weeks/months from
> the earliest backup." Is that correct?


Unfortunately, yes. I agree that it would be useful to cap what TM can use.

>
> I've seen recommendations of creating partitions on the backup
> drive, or making a big (but empty) disk image to make TM think
> that it has less room than it does. Are those really the only
> options? There's no user size setting available?


Yes and yes.

> It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
> I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
> starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
> want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
> them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?


You can partition using disk utility. And you don't have to wipe out
your existing TM backup to do so. Just add the new partition.

--
"A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
-Samuel Clemens.


 
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Alan Browne
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      05-17-2012, 08:43 PM
On 2012-05-16 23:49 , Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
> In article <160520122226324929%(E-Mail Removed)>,
> nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> it's a good idea to use both time machine and superduper, but having
>> both backups on the same drive means if that drive fails, you lose
>> both. not good. hopefully you have other backups on other drives,
>> including one or more off site.

>
> I accept a certain amount of risk. When my Mac drive goes out, I will
> get it fixed (hasn't happened in twenty years of personal ownership
> [seriously]).


Having two backup methods onto the same disk drive is plain dumb.

Not to say you're dumb, but what you're doing is dumb.

> When my backup drive goes out (has happened a few times),
> I buy a new one right away. I figure the odds of Mac and external going
> out within a week are within my margin of acceptable risk.


You're neglecting other faults that may occur following the potential
ext. drive failure, esp. of the human induced variety.

--
"A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
-Samuel Clemens.


 
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Patty Winter
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      05-17-2012, 09:22 PM

In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Alan Browne <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>On 2012-05-16 21:47 , Patty Winter wrote:
>>
>> It only took about 40 minutes to do the initial backup, so
>> I wouldn't mind wiping the disk, making two partitions, and
>> starting over, if that's the best way to accomplish what I
>> want. I've never worked with partitions before; once you create
>> them, they just show up as separate volumes on your desktop?

>
>You can partition using disk utility. And you don't have to wipe out
>your existing TM backup to do so. Just add the new partition.


Ah, I didn't see your posting before I reformatted the disk. :-)
Oh well, no harm done. It only took about 45 mins. to do another
fresh TM backup.

Out of curiosity, Alan, are you saying that I could have added a
1.5TB partition and that would have automatically left TM with a
..5TB partition? I didn't realize that one could partition without
wiping the disk. As I said, I've never done it before!


Patty

 
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