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  1. #1
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    Sorry if I'm in the wrong forum. I recently discovered (much to my embarrassment) that my external drive has almost reached capacity. I'm trying to delete 3/4 of the files, but it is taking way too long. I've Googled it and the solutions don't match what I have on my iMac. It was suggested that I go into Finder preferences, click advanced and uncheck "empty trash securely." However, there is no such option. Only "Eliminate Warning" or something like that. Anybody have this problem? I sincerely hope you can help.

    Thanks so much in advance.

  2. #2
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Move unwanted stuff to nTrash,. and with nthe external still connected and powered up, empty the Trash. Can't help with Secure Empty as you did not provide Mac or operating system details, always vitally important. Just lkeave it to empty overnight and patience is a virtue!
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I hope the external drive you are referring to is not your Time Machine backup drive? There are procedures to remove the file from Time Machine, I just want to be sure first?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  4. #4
    Sorry, I didn't provide needed information. My system is OS X ElCapitan 10.11.6. I have left it to empty for two days now and it's still full. Very full. Like almost 3 million files.

  5. #5
    Yes, I'm afraid to say, it's the only external drive I have that uses Time Machine. Should I just dump my iMac in the trash now?

  6. #6
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billinden View Post
    Yes, I'm afraid to say, it's the only external drive I have that uses Time Machine. Should I just dump my iMac in the trash now?
    No, but you're going to need to come up with another Time Machine backup drive and start over. You just very nicely trashed your Time Machine backups. The only way to delete files and regain space from a Time Machine backup drive is to use Time Machine itself.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    No, but you're going to need to come up with another Time Machine backup drive and start over. You just very nicely trashed your Time Machine backups. The only way to delete files and regain space from a Time Machine backup drive is to use Time Machine itself.
    Iím going to overlook your sarcasm and pretend you just had a bad day and actually wanted to help. I havenít deleted all my files. Just the ones prior to 2017. Does that make a difference?

  8. #8
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Yes, it does make a difference, IF, you used a Finder window, instead of going through Time Machine. See this Article, http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/05...chine-backups/
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Yes, it does make a difference, IF, you used a Finder window, instead of going through Time Machine. See this Article, http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/05...chine-backups/
    Thank you! Very helpful information. Much appreciated.

  10. #10
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billinden View Post
    I’m going to overlook your sarcasm and pretend you just had a bad day and actually wanted to help. I haven’t deleted all my files. Just the ones prior to 2017. Does that make a difference?
    Sorry if you took it that way as it was not meant to be sarcasm. But we have had folks in the same situation as you who arbitrarily deleted files and folders from their Time Machine external backup drive and then placed the blame on Time Machine or Apple.

    And yes, deleting the files prior to 2017 disturbs and upsets the integrity of the Time Machine backup flow. So in effect, the entire backup sequence would need to be started over. Consider this for a moment: How valuable is keeping backups prior to 2017? You may have a good reason for doing so, but generally backups kept for more than 6 months or so are usually less valuable than those that you made during the last month.

    Also, if you have a clone backup (CCC or SuperDuper) that may be all you need. CCC effectively does the same thing as Time Machine if you set the cloning to archive files that it deletes.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Sorry if you took it that way as it was not meant to be sarcasm. But we have had folks in the same situation as you who arbitrarily deleted files and folders from their Time Machine external backup drive and then placed the blame on Time Machine or Apple.

    And yes, deleting the files prior to 2017 disturbs and upsets the integrity of the Time Machine backup flow. So in effect, the entire backup sequence would need to be started over. Consider this for a moment: How valuable is keeping backups prior to 2017? You may have a good reason for doing so, but generally backups kept for more than 6 months or so are usually less valuable than those that you made during the last month.

    Also, if you have a clone backup (CCC or SuperDuper) that may be all you need. CCC effectively does the same thing as Time Machine if you set the cloning to archive files that it deletes.
    Thank you for explaining. Iím not totally sure I understand everything, but Iíll take a look at it in the morning with a fresh mind. Iím really not that interested in saving files more than two years old. Thatís why I was trying to delete them. I was concerned that my external drive was getting full and I canít afford a new drive or a new computer. If I screwed things up, Iím the only one at fault. Not the computer or Apple. Thanks again for trying to straighten me out.

  12. #12
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Why not consider formatting the drive using Disk Utility to mac OS Extended (Jopurnaled) which will erase it comp[letely and use saySuperDuper or CarbonCopy Cloner yto make a clone, or complete duplicate, of your internal hard drive and simply use Smart Backup every week or two to bring it up to date.

    Further in the event of problems you can boot from the external.
    Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  13. #13
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    IWT's Avatar
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    @billinden

    My simple view of Time Machine and a cloned backup like Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or SuperDuper! (SD!) is this:

    TM runs inoffensively in the background, initially backing up the entire HDD and doing incremental BUs hourly for 24 hours, then daily, weekly and so on. So it's always up-to-date without any intervention from you.

    TM is there to recover something deleted by accident or perhaps become corrupted. This applies to apps, files, folders, photos - even emails although the restoration process is slightly more complex.

    TM can also be used to restore your Mac's entire HDD and if you buy a new Mac, will restore all your data and settings to the new computer.

    A Cloned BU makes an exact copy (clone) of your Mac's HDD at a single point in time - chosen by you. You can BU as often as you feel appropriate.

    Each cloned BU therefore relates to how things are at that chosen point in time.

    (You can set it up to archive those things that have been deleted since the last BU - though if you have Time Machine as well, that is less important).

    A Clone is bootable, which means you can boot up your Mac and continue working on it until some fault or other is sorted.

    So, you can see that they serve different, though slightly overlapping, purposes.

    Ian
    Ian

  14. #14
    Now What?
    Quote Originally Posted by IWT View Post
    @billinden

    My simple view of Time Machine and a cloned backup like Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) or SuperDuper! (SD!) is this:

    TM runs inoffensively in the background, initially backing up the entire HDD and doing incremental BUs hourly for 24 hours, then daily, weekly and so on. So it's always up-to-date without any intervention from you.

    TM is there to recover something deleted by accident or perhaps become corrupted. This applies to apps, files, folders, photos - even emails although the restoration process is slightly more complex.

    TM can also be used to restore your Mac's entire HDD and if you buy a new Mac, will restore all your data and settings to the new computer.

    A Cloned BU makes an exact copy (clone) of your Mac's HDD at a single point in time - chosen by you. You can BU as often as you feel appropriate.

    Each cloned BU therefore relates to how things are at that chosen point in time.

    (You can set it up to archive those things that have been deleted since the last BU - though if you have Time Machine as well, that is less important).

    A Clone is bootable, which means you can boot up your Mac and continue working on it until some fault or other is sorted.

    So, you can see that they serve different, though slightly overlapping, purposes.

    Ian
    Okay, although I sincerely appreciate all the good feedback, I'm still not clear on what to do, but I decided I should start over from the beginning, which meant put all the files back on my external drive until I know what needs to be done. Trouble is, all the files that I deleted from my external drive (all but 2017 and 2018) are in my "Trash". The system will not allow be to put them back on my external drive. So, it looks like I'm screwed. To empty the trash means waiting for who knows how long for it to finish. It could take weeks. If anyone feels like they have a solution, please feel free to end my frustrations. Thanks.

  15. #15
    Deleting Trash from Exernal Drive
    Sawday's Avatar
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    If your external hard drive is used ONLY for Time Machine (which it should be for Time Machine) then TM will delete the oldest files once the disk gets full. It's automatic - you don't have to do anything and that includes worrying about it getting full.
    Experience teaches you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.

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