Limiting Time Machine disk space?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Patty Winter, May 17, 2012.

  1. Patty Winter

    Patty Winter Guest

    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
     
    Patty Winter, May 17, 2012
    #1
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  2. Patty Winter

    nospam Guest

    In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$>, 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?
    >
    > 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.
     
    nospam, May 17, 2012
    #2
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  3. In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$>,
    (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
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, May 17, 2012
    #3
  4. Patty Winter

    nospam Guest

    In article <>,
    Leonard Blaisdell <> 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.
     
    nospam, May 17, 2012
    #4
  5. In article <160520122226324929%>,
    nospam <> 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
     
    Leonard Blaisdell, May 17, 2012
    #5
  6. Patty Winter

    Patty Winter Guest

    In article <>,
    Leonard Blaisdell <> wrote:
    >In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$>,
    > (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
     
    Patty Winter, May 17, 2012
    #6
  7. Patty Winter

    Paul Sture Guest

    On Thu, 17 May 2012 17:58:28 +0000, Patty Winter wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > Leonard Blaisdell <> wrote:
    >>In article <4fb458c6$0$87631$>,
    >> (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
     
    Paul Sture, May 17, 2012
    #7
  8. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    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.
     
    Alan Browne, May 17, 2012
    #8
  9. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-16 23:49 , Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
    > In article <160520122226324929%>,
    > nospam <> 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.
     
    Alan Browne, May 17, 2012
    #9
  10. Patty Winter

    Patty Winter Guest

    In article <>,
    Alan Browne <> 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
     
    Patty Winter, May 17, 2012
    #10
  11. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-17 17:22 , Patty Winter wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Alan Browne <> 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!


    Yes, HFS is quite nice that way. You can practice it on a thumb drive
    or something like that.

    - format the thumb drive as Mac OS Extended (journaled)
    - write some files to it
    - use disk utility to add a partition
    - write some more to either/both partitions

    I don't know how well (badly) it works on a disk that's fragmented (I do
    seem to recall a long session some months ago), but on a disk that you
    just created a TM on, there should be very little (no) fragmentation.

    --
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, May 17, 2012
    #11
  12. Patty Winter

    David Empson Guest

    Alan Browne <> wrote:

    > On 2012-05-17 17:22 , Patty Winter wrote:
    > > In article <>,
    > > Alan Browne <> 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!

    >
    > Yes, HFS is quite nice that way. You can practice it on a thumb drive
    > or something like that.
    >
    > - format the thumb drive as Mac OS Extended (journaled)
    > - write some files to it
    > - use disk utility to add a partition
    > - write some more to either/both partitions


    Note that this only works with Leopard (10.5) and later. Tiger's Disk
    Utility doesn't support live resizing of partitions.

    The critical point: in the Partition tab of Disk Utility, you must
    select "Current" as the partition layout, then add partitions using the
    "+" button at the bottom. If you choose a specified number of partitions
    from the popup menu at the top, all existing partitions are destroyed.

    The partition map scheme must be GUID Partition Table or Apple Partition
    Map, not Master Boot Record.

    Always a good idea to back up your drive before you start fiddling with
    its partitioning. (Not a problem here, as it was just a first backup
    that was being fiddled with.)

    > I don't know how well (badly) it works on a disk that's fragmented (I do
    > seem to recall a long session some months ago)


    Disk Utility has to move everything away from the end of the partition
    in order to allocate that space to a different partition, so a disk
    which was previously close to full will take a while to defragment
    before the repartition can be done. (This may not be possible if you try
    to repartition your startup disk, due to files being open which need to
    be relocated.)

    > but on a disk that you just created a TM on, there should be very little
    > (no) fragmentation.


    Agreed.

    --
    David Empson
     
    David Empson, May 18, 2012
    #12
  13. Patty Winter

    Paul Sture Guest

    On Thu, 17 May 2012 16:43:01 -0400, Alan Browne wrote:

    > On 2012-05-16 23:49 , Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
    >> In article <160520122226324929%>,
    >> nospam <> 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 if your aim is to recover files you have accidentally deleted.

    --
    Paul Sture
     
    Paul Sture, May 18, 2012
    #13
  14. Patty Winter

    Patty Winter Guest

    In article <>,
    Jolly Roger <> wrote:
    >In article <>,
    > Alan Browne <> wrote:


    [sip]

    >> 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.

    >
    > having both types of backups on one disk doesn't
    >restrict you from having additional backups elsewhere.


    No, but I inferred that the person mentioning it only had those
    two sets of backups, both in the same physical location. Although
    I now have my Time Machine drive running, any files that I haven't
    yet sent to clients, or are personal files that I care about, I
    back up to my storage space on my ISP's servers.


    Patty
     
    Patty Winter, May 18, 2012
    #14
  15. Patty Winter

    Király Guest

    Alan Browne <> wrote:
    > Having two backup methods onto the same disk drive is plain dumb.


    It's no less dumb than having only one backup method on a single disk
    drive. I agree that the more backup drives the better. But if one only
    has one backup drive, a pair of backups on it is in no way worse than
    just one backup.

    --
    K.

    Lang may your lum reek.
     
    Király, May 18, 2012
    #15
  16. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-17 22:02 , David Empson wrote:
    > Alan Browne <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012-05-17 17:22 , Patty Winter wrote:


    >>> 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!

    >>
    >> Yes, HFS is quite nice that way. You can practice it on a thumb drive
    >> or something like that.
    >>
    >> - format the thumb drive as Mac OS Extended (journaled)
    >> - write some files to it
    >> - use disk utility to add a partition
    >> - write some more to either/both partitions

    >
    > Note that this only works with Leopard (10.5) and later. Tiger's Disk
    > Utility doesn't support live resizing of partitions.


    Didn't know that. I joined the Mac insanity at 10.5 in early 2008.



    --
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, May 18, 2012
    #16
  17. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-18 06:52 , Jolly Roger wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Alan Browne <> wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012-05-16 23:49 , Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
    >>> In article <160520122226324929%>,
    >>> nospam <> 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.

    >
    > Meh. I'd say that arguable in this case.


    Everything is arguable - and you snipped out the point I was making:
    human error.

    > The function each type of
    > backup plays is different, considering there are things you can do with
    > a SuperDuper backup that you cannot do with a Time Machine backup. So
    > while it's true one might lose both if certain failures were to occur,
    > having both available may be desirable, depending on what you are
    > wanting to do; and having both types of backups on one disk doesn't
    > restrict you from having additional backups elsewhere.


    Having two sorts of backup is a good idea.

    Having them both on the same disk is a bad idea for the reason I pointed
    out: if the ext. drive fails, then there is the (very low) chance of a
    sys disk failure or the higher chance of human error.

    --
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, May 18, 2012
    #17
  18. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-18 09:37 , Paul Sture wrote:
    > On Thu, 17 May 2012 16:43:01 -0400, Alan Browne wrote:
    >
    >> On 2012-05-16 23:49 , Leonard Blaisdell wrote:
    >>> In article <160520122226324929%>,
    >>> nospam <> 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 if your aim is to recover files you have accidentally deleted.


    I am sure you realize that having each backup on separate disks doesn't
    prevent recovery of accidentally deleted files.

    --
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, May 18, 2012
    #18
  19. Patty Winter

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2012-05-18 12:50 , Király wrote:
    > Alan Browne <> wrote:
    >> Having two backup methods onto the same disk drive is plain dumb.

    >
    > It's no less dumb than having only one backup method on a single disk
    > drive. I agree that the more backup drives the better. But if one only
    > has one backup drive, a pair of backups on it is in no way worse than
    > just one backup.


    That's logical. And dumb at the same time.

    As long as one invests in two backup methods the cost of another
    external hard drive is negligible.

    --
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds."
    -Samuel Clemens.
     
    Alan Browne, May 18, 2012
    #19
  20. Patty Winter

    Wes Groleau Guest

    On 05-18-2012 16:14, Alan Browne wrote:
    > As long as one invests in two backup methods the cost of another
    > external hard drive is negligible.


    Are you sure you know how much cost is negligible for everyone else?

    --
    Wes Groleau

    “It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it
    goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the
    world.â€
    — Thomas Jefferson
     
    Wes Groleau, May 19, 2012
    #20
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