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Lacie back up drive tells me that it's full

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In "About this Mac", my mid 2014 MPB (10.13.6) is showing storage as:

Available: 21.69 GB
Capacity: 250.79 GB backed up

I back up to a Lacie external drive (via Firewire and an adaptor) using Time Machine. I don't remember the capacity of the Lacie but on the back I see (d2 Quadra v2). There is no mention of its capacity but only a serial number.

When I do a TM back up I'm getting a message to the effect that the external drive is full and everything prior to 2015 is not being backed up. So it seems that these old files are dropping off the end.

In fact, a lot of stuff on my MPB has been brought on board as and when I've acquired new Macs over the years. Some important documents on the MPB go back much earlier than 2015 and have probably not been edited since well before that time.

So am I right that these early documents are no longer getting backed up?

On the other hand, I use iCloud and so they should be up there. But perhaps iCloud is not a substitute for TM back ups?

Thanks in advance for comments.

M
 

chscag

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You can always find the capacity of any drive including the LaCie by using Disk Utility. Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility. Information concerning the drive will be displayed including its size and what format is being used.

As for iCloud, it does not back up your data. It does not store data, applications, or email.

Your 2014 MacBook Pro SSD is 256GB of which you only have around 21 - 22GB of storage remaining. You've reached a point where things are going to slow down and if you use much more of that remaining space, it may cause your MBP to not boot properly.

Also, I have to wonder why you're keeping data prior to 2015? You should be archiving all that older data on to external hard drives for safe keeping if you really need it. You certainly shouldn't be using Time Machine to store it.
 

Slydude

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Have to agree with Charle. You need to look at other means of archiving that older data.

AS Far as TM goes it will try to preserve as much of the older data as possible. If I remember correct it preserves the original files before starting to prune the size of a backup. As you move forward to solve this issue do not use the Finder or other utilities to delete files/folders from a Time Machine backup. That can easily destroy the entire backup.

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OK and many thanks for the information. All very helpful. I note the warning in bold type.

I realise that iCloud is not storing e-mails but trust that my Word documents are in safe keeping in iCloud.
However, I guess that I should go through my Mac's HD and get rid of things that I don't need.
For example: there are multiple copies (but each slightly different) of one particular project. The interim versions can go and I will keep just the final one.
There are also ancient e-mails with attachments that can be deleted ... I guess this will help.

But what about the Lacie external drive when the above slimming-down process is complete?
Will it then start to back up any pre-2015 documents that remain on the Mac's HD? Even those that have dropped off the end as far as the external HD is concerned?

Further advice and comments greatly appreciated.

M
 
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Slydude

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But what about the Lacie external drive when the above slimming-down process is complete?
Will it then start to back up any pre-2015 documents that remain on the Mac's HD? Even those that have dropped off the end as far as the external HD is concerned?

Further advice and comments greatly appreciated.

M
Because of the way Time Machine creates a backup there shouldn't be much of a size difference at all. Here's a kinda quick and dirty overview of the process. What I am describing assumes that your backup drive is connected and Time Machine is following the normal hourly backup:

1. The first backup backs up all the files in much the same way that any other backup software would.
2. During subsequent hourly backups any new files or files that have been changed are backed up. When it encounters files that haven't been changed since the last backup, Time Machine creates a pointer to the unchanged file. This is why using other utilities break the backup. One could easily delete the original file that the pointers are connected to. The pointers are generally much smaller than the original file -- reducing the size of the backup.
3. Periodically these hourly backups are condenses to a daily backup which will later be collapsed to a monthly backup. As the backups are consolidated the same process of creating links toffees is followed.

BTW if you are using virtual machine software such as Parallels, Fusion, etc. I suggest excluding those data files from a Time Machine backup. These files can be quite large (depending upon the size of the virtual machine). Each time the virtual machine is run Time Machine treats it as if there have been changes the file and backs it up even if no actual changes have been made.
 
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Thank you.
But I should say that the external drive and TM have not always been connected to the Mac.
I confess that I have only done TM back ups periodically. I've been lax on this. Earlier today I did one after an exceptionally long lapse of some three months.
Will my sloppy behaviour have any impact (positive or negative) on the space on the Lacie?
Since creating this thread I've deleted a lot of old stuff from the HD of the MPB.
I am not using virtual machine software such as Parallels, Fusion.
I will definitely take up the suggestion of archiving old Word files. This will free up lots more space on the MPB.
Some years ago, I archived things onto CDs but guess this is now very much 'old hat'.
How about flash drives for archiving. Do some of these have a large capacity?
Any other suggestions for archiving?
Thanks again for your patience.
M
 
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hi yes some flash drives can store up to 250gb and more of older files

again depending on the drive you go for

id be looking for a usb 3 drive at least that way it will back up quicker

a quick google of your backup drive seems as if its 1TB in storage so that means your almost at capacity as TM does take up a lot of space over time,

but as the others have said back up any files that are older than 2015 to an external either USB Stick or a USB Hard Drive again these come in up to 4tb 6tb 8tb drives of course if your after something smaller you could get another 1tb drive and back up there.


let us know how you get on.
 
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Also, I have to wonder why you're keeping data prior to 2015? You should be archiving all that older data on to external hard drives for safe keeping if you really need it. You certainly shouldn't be using Time Machine to store it.

I also wonder if there's a current application that can still open those older files???

The OP may want to check on that with a test.



- Patrick
======
 

Slydude

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Personally, I would not depend upon a flash drive as my primary means of archiving those older files. I'd bet that if we took a poll many of our members would tell you that they've had at least one flash drive (large or small) fail suddenly with little or no warning.

I'd either get a portable hard drive or archive the files on DVDs. If the files are important consider having more than one copy with one copy being off site somewhere. One of my friends used to keep a small hard drive in his safe deposit box at the bank. He would periodically grab the drive and update the archive as needed. IIRC the box didn't cost him anything because it was included as part of his account.
 
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Many thanks for all the replies ... very helpful.

Further to my original post and the warning from 'chscag': by dumping stuff I've improved the situation a little. Now at 45.3 GB available of 250.79 GB. Hopefully this takes me out of the danger zone. There were a lot of old e-mails with attached pictures, and videos. I presume such e-mails added to the clutter on my storage.

I've noted the comments and the article about iCloud.

As for archiving, 'Slydude' mentions DVDs - when I got this MPB (mid 2014 MPB with 10.13.6), I was surprised it didn't have a CD slot. I guess fewer (any?) Macs have such a slot these days. However, at the time, I bought an Apple outboard CD/DVD drive (Apple SuperDrive - MD564ZM/A) that I've used occasionally to look at old photos. It connects via USB. Are DVDs more reliable than flash drives? I had thought that the CD/DVD method was obsolete - but perhaps not (?). I do have some PDFs (manuscript and illustrations of books) backed up to DVD and/or CD. I trust these will be OK (?)

As to whether it's possible to open the old files: some are PDF so they should be OK; most open with Word for Mac 2011, which I currently have; sometimes I need Open Office, and in rare cases, Text Editor - the latter does as least give the text but can't remember whether images come out - probably not (?)

One thing I forgot to ask: some of my old flash drives are formatted MS DOS (Fat32) others are MS DOS Extended Journaled. Is it important to have the same formatting on a flash drive as the formatting on my MPB? I can't remember how to check the formatting on the MPB - is it via Disk Utility?

Any additional comments will be most welcome - thank you again.

M
 
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