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  1. #1

    johndope83's Avatar
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    Feb 27, 2011
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    Manila, Philippines
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM
    TimeMachine Question???
    Ei guys sorry again for raising a stupid question but i'd have to raise it nonetheless...

    Anyway, I have a 1TB external HDD I partitioned into two drives. 600GB as FAT (so that I can use it to store files for my PC and watch movies on my home theater) and 400GB as Journaled (as my Time Machine back up drive). I noticed that the free space get's smaller and smaller everytime I back up. I'm guessing because it's adding up all the files I added to my mac everytime I back it up.
    My question is what if the 400GB becomes full can I still back up via Time Machine? Does Time Machine have a shelf life or point where it will erase the last back up to give way to new ones?

    Sorry for being an eager beaver with all the questions... just want to be educated.

    Hope you could help me out... thanks...
    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM

  2. #2

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    Jul 02, 2006
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    Time Machine will back up until the 400GB is full, and then start deleting the oldest back up's to make room for the new ones, so it doesn't have a shelf life in itself, but obviously your back ups do.
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  3. #3

    johndope83's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
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    123
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevriano View Post
    Time Machine will back up until the 400GB is full, and then start deleting the oldest back up's to make room for the new ones, so it doesn't have a shelf life in itself, but obviously your back ups do.
    Thanks for the straight and simple answer!!! That cleared alot of questions in my part.
    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM

  4. #4

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
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    Winchester, VA
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    2015 rMBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and two MacMinis
    A follow-on question about how it deletes: When you say it starts deleting the oldest backups, how exactly does that work? Say I backup my entire system and I only have two files A and B, then have TM do the scheduled backups for a while. I edit A multiple times so it has multiple backups of A at each change, but B is the original file. When the drive is full and the deletes begin, does it delete B? If it does, then when it starts that deletion I don't really have a backup any more and I don't even know I'm at risk.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Victoria, BC
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    The short answer to this is "intelligently." It keeps track of what you delete and what you keep and deletes the older "snapshot" first, followed by things from the "base" that are no longer needed. Again -- depending on how big your hard drive is, it could take MONTHS for stuff to be completely deleted. I have a 500GB drive backing up a 320GB drive and I can go back and retrieve stuff from more than four months ago still.

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