Mac OS X 10.8.4's Time Machine is taking a long time to back up...

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ant, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Hello.

    Is it because there is only about 10 GB of free disk space on the
    external USB2 HDD partition (250 GB)? It was almost done, but its disk
    size backed up and remaining/left kept growing. Oldest/First back up
    snapshot was from 9/13/2012. Latest one was before now was last Saturday
    (8/10/2013). It has already been over 30 minutes and used over 25% (was
    99%) of the battery life so far. External HDD's free disk space is down
    to about 5.5 GB now.

    Thank you in advance. :)
    --
    "We now go live to Ollie Williams in Channel 5 traffic chopper. What's
    scene?" --Tom Tucker. "Everyone looks like ants!" "That is probably
    because you're up so high." from Family Guy.
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
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    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Aug 18, 2013
    #1
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  2. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Finally, it finished. I saw it go under a GB free too! It backed up over
    15 GB of data! It did tell me it had to delete the first few snapshots
    up to October 2012. Will this happen again for the next one due to low
    free disk space? If so, then is there a way to just go ahead and delete
    a lot of snapshots to make plenty of free disk spaces? :(


    --
    "Left right left right we're army ants. We swarm we fight. We have no
    home. We roam. We race. You're lucky if we miss your place." --Douglas
    Florian (The Army Ants Poem)
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Aug 18, 2013
    #2
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  3. Ant

    David Empson Guest

    If Time Machine backed up 15 GB, then it must have worked out that 15 GB
    of data had changed since the most recent backup.

    The amount it backs up has nothing to do with the amount of free space
    on the backup drive, only the total size of files that have changed or
    been added to the source drive (in folders which have not been excluded
    from backup) since the most recent backup.

    There are tools for working out what changed between two Time Machine
    backups, so you can see _why_ it needed to back up that much. The
    "tmutil" command line utility (introduced in Mac OS X 10.7, if I
    remember right) is one option, and there are third party utilities which
    also work on older OS X versions.
    Assuming you are dealing with a single computer being backed up, you
    don't need to delete anything manually on the TM backup volume just
    because it is short of free space.

    If the backup disk is approaching full, Time Machine estimates whether
    the next backup will fit, and if not, is deletes the oldest backups
    until there is enough space for the next backup to start.

    The first time the oldest backup is deleted, a message is displayed
    telling you this has happened.

    Subsequently, Time Machine will continue to automatically delete the
    oldest backups as required to make room for further backups, but it
    won't tell you it is doing this.

    If the amount of data changing per week is roughly constant, the number
    of weeks of backup history should remain about the same, but if there
    are a large number of changes at one point, several older weekly backups
    may need to be deleted to make room for the next backup.
     
    David Empson, Aug 18, 2013
    #3
  4. Ant

    Wes Groleau Guest

    However, sometimes that estimate is inaccurate and Time machine
    announces that it does not have enough free space to complete the backup.
     
    Wes Groleau, Aug 18, 2013
    #4
  5. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Weird. I wonder what my client did to change so much data since last
    Saturday. He's just a causal user (MS Office, Firefox, etc.).

    Do I run them when I am running TM in progress?

    Hmm. Weekly backups range hundred of MBs to a GB. Today was weird. Free
    disk space kept shrinking, data backed up kept growing at the end, etc.
    --
    "... The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems,
    bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen. Or they
    can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps
    host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected, dangerous flaming ant
    epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing..." --Jon Stewart
    from Rally to Restore Sanity on 10/30/2010.
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Aug 18, 2013
    #5
  6. Ant

    Paul Sture Guest

    I have seen that happen, and in the instances where I have watched its
    progress here, it throws away what it just backed up as part of its
    cleanup from the attempt.

    Of course all that data will get backed up on the next attempt, and it's
    frustrating to watch that one fail as well, which can happen when you
    are doing large reorganisations of your data.

    If I know I am going to be shifting many gigabytes of data around, I
    will switch TM off until that's done. If TM space is running low as
    well, I will go into the TM interface and manually delete backups of
    large files I am no longer interested in.
     
    Paul Sture, Aug 18, 2013
    #6
  7. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Where is that in TM options to delete backups manually? I did not see
    it? I should do that before it automatically do it since it takes too
    long from yesterday's incident.
    --
    "Ants never lend, ants never borrow." --unknown
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Aug 18, 2013
    #7
  8. Ant

    Ant Guest

    According to
    https://discussions.apple.com/message/22756764?ac_cid=op123456#22756764
    .... This is normal when there is low free disk space on the external HDD. :/
    --
    "... I'd wait for a hot Texas day, see? Tie him to a stake, get an ant
    trail going. You know, Texas red ants, inch long! Just love to bite into
    human flesh, catch what I'm saying here? See, they're eating him alive,
    nice and slow like..." --Ross Perot in Saturday Night Live's Debate '92
    skit.
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Aug 18, 2013
    #8
  9. Ant

    Tom Stiller Guest

    Enter the Time Machine, select the backup to be deleted, click the
    Action (gear icon) menu in the window toolbar, and select delete backup.
     
    Tom Stiller, Aug 18, 2013
    #9
  10. Ant

    Paul Sture Guest

    It's not in the TM options but in the Time Machine display which you get
    when you click on the Time Machine icon in the Dock.

    The easiest way to do this is to highlight the folder you are interested
    in in Finder, then open up Time Machine.

    So for example, if I have moved a load of stuff from Old-Hiearchy to
    New-Hiearchy, I will click on Old-Hierarchy in Finder and immediately
    launch TM from the Dock. When TM appears the Old-Hierarchy folder will
    already be highlighted and from there I can right or control click on
    the file and select "Delete All Backups of Old-Hierarchy". At this
    point it asks me for my admin username and password and if those are
    successfully validated it goes ahead with the deletion.

    To get out of Time Machine, either click on Cancel in the bottom left
    corner of the display or hit the escape key.
     
    Paul Sture, Aug 18, 2013
    #10
  11. Ant

    Bill Guest

    If you changed several files since the last backup, each of them will be
    fully backed up on the new backup, even if you only changed a few bytes
    of data in each.
     
    Bill, Aug 18, 2013
    #11
  12. The advanced options in the TimeMachine Control Panel has an option to
    exclude disks and ask you if you want old Time Machine backups deleted.

    Others have explained that you have to be Time Machine to delete files
    and stuff from backups.
     
    Michael Vilain, Aug 18, 2013
    #12
  13. Time Machine can only create hard links for an unchanged file or
    directory, or it can completely replace it. It doesn't have the
    sophistication to efficiently handle minor differences. Should an
    installer alter the modification date or permissions on several thousand
    files, they all need to be backed up again even if the file contents do
    not change. If you have a directory of 10000 files, touching one of
    them results in 1 new directory, one new file, and 9999 new hard links.
     
    Kevin McMurtrie, Aug 19, 2013
    #13
  14. Ant

    Paul Sture Guest

    You can also exclude individual directories there. For example I am
    currently using Audacity to edit a radio show I recorded. The original
    FLAC recording is 1.04 GB and the Audacity work files (at 1.1 MB apiece)
    for that total 3.61 GB. Those work files will be gone once I have
    tidied up after my editing so I am not interested in TM backing them up.

    By saving the Audacity project into a directory that I have excluded
    from TM, I ensure that those workfiles don't clutter up my backups.
     
    Paul Sture, Aug 19, 2013
    #14
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