Doing Backups with Time Machine

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Entering Time Machine I see the external drive that I selected to use for my backups. The problem is the drive is greyed out. I therefore have no access to the backups from Time Machine itself. In order to see the backups I have to go through Finder where the drive is not greyed out. Also when I open my Time machine I am shown everything on the left ( backup drive greyed out) and the "Desktop" is selected.
I am running an old Mac with 2.66 processor and 2 TB internal on the latest Yosemite. I have selected to be advised when the oldest backup is deleted to make room for the latest backup. Now I get the message that backups are failing with no explanations...
Can anyone explain this behaviour?
Mozthedog
 

chscag

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Check the external drive using Disk Utility by doing a verify and repair if necessary. Time Machine will refuse to backup to a drive which is defective or has errors in need of repair.
 
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Permissions are fixed and disk is verified and repaired. Disk utility has not found any errors or faults on the external drive and yet Time machine fails to backup. A full backup is larger than space available but should delete oldest backup to accommodate .
Still in a quandary ....
Moz
Thanks again for your reply
 

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