Time Machine Back Up Problems

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I have backed up my iMac on a My Book (Studio Edition) external harddrive (320 GB) using Timemachine. I wanted to continue backing up but it gives me the message that the harddrive is full. How do I erase the old back up to make space for the new? Dragging it in the trash did not work. Thank you!
 
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it should give you a prompt that it will write over the old back up but if you want to erase the drive open Disk Utility and select drive and erase.
 
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Thank you! I'm doing this right now using the Quick Erase feature which takes 4 hours. I'm just surprised that this is not done automatically every time I am plugging it in for a back-up.

Also, if Timemachine keeps all the old files on the external harddrive while adding new files constantly, the external harddrive space needs to be by far larger than the space on my computer. Why then did Apple recommend to get a 320GB drive when my computer holds 319GB? Basically this allows me just one back-up and then having to erase it manually every time I want to back up again. Not efficient!
 
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Thank you! I'm doing this right now using the Quick Erase feature which takes 4 hours. I'm just surprised that this is not done automatically every time I am plugging it in for a back-up.

Also, if Timemachine keeps all the old files on the external harddrive while adding new files constantly, the external harddrive space needs to be by far larger than the space on my computer. Why then did Apple recommend to get a 320GB drive when my computer holds 319GB? Basically this allows me just one back-up and then having to erase it manually every time I want to back up again. Not efficient!

I was told minimum double the size but it still should have started writing
over the oldest backup after notifying.
 

chscag

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Also, if Timemachine keeps all the old files on the external harddrive while adding new files constantly, the external harddrive space needs to be by far larger than the space on my computer. Why then did Apple recommend to get a 320GB drive when my computer holds 319GB? Basically this allows me just one back-up and then having to erase it manually every time I want to back up again. Not efficient!

How is Apple supposed to know how long you wish to keep your backups? If you're planning on keeping backups indefinitely, you're going to need a much larger hard drive than the one you currently have in your machine.

Also, if Time Machine is not automatically erasing the oldest backup to make room for the latest, then it's not working right. It might be necessary to erase the drive and start over.
 
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With a drive that size I would be tempted to tell Time Machine to exclude certain files from the backup. For example, on my system I tell Time Machine to ignore everything apart from my own personal documents, photos and emails. I can't see the point of having all my applications and operating system backed up, those can be re-installed from elsewhere if necessary.
 

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