Time Machine has deleted all backups except latest one?

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I really hope someone can help me.

I went to backup my macbook pro today as usual to find an error message that read

"The backup disk needs 348.24 GB for the backup but only 285.88 GB are available. Select a larger backup disk or make the backup smaller by excluding file"

I found this strange as i new my hard-drive had much less available space than 285 gb, and also wondered why time machine needed so much space

I went into finder and opened my hard drive to find that all backups were missing apart from most recent.

Someone please help?? Whats going on?

Rachael
 
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If you launch TimeMachine, what do you see on the right hand side of the screen ?
Can you scroll back in time ?

You should not approach your TimeMachine backups using the Finder as that might screw up the TimeMachine database and confuse TimeMachine during the next backup.

Have you recently changed anything on your setup ?

What version of the OS are you running ?

Cheers ... McBie
 
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It only lets me scroll back in time to the last backup i did on the 25th.

If the backups have somehow been deleted I dont understand why Time Machine is now asking for extra space?

I am running version 10.9.3

The only thing i think i did was deleted the first ever back up :\ i needed some extra space to store some files on the hard-drive temporarily. Im unsure when i did this, and didn't check then to see if there was any problems :\

Thanks for responding
 
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My first suggestion is to upgrade to 10.9.5. This may not be the solution to your problem, but at least we got that out of way.
How did you delete the ' first ever backup ' ...... did you use the Finder to do that or did you use the TimeMachine application.
If you used the Finder, then it is likely that TimeMachine has lost its integrity and assumes that it needs to do a full backup again.

Cheers ... McBie
 
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I deleted it in finder :'( so you think thats maybe the problem?

Im just bait confused as my mac is currently very full at 319 gb, however time machine says it needs 348 bg? which is more than i have on my laptop to back up?

I have been using my wd hard drive as my time-machine since 2011 without any hiccups or problems, i guess thats why I'm finding it all hard to get my head around.

I appreciate the help and suggestions
 
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I think that is where your problem is coming from .... deleting backups using the Finder.
Always approach TimeMachine backups using the TimeMachine application :)
In terms of the space needed, TimeMachine will do an estimate of the space it needs, so 348 makes sense to me. In reality, it will require less space.

As a quick test, if you connect to your TimeMachine disk in the finder and you browse through the disk, how many backups of you see ( folders ) ?
Are you seeing more or less backups than you would see in the TimeMachine application ( right hand side of the screen ) ?

Am I making sense ?

Cheers ... McBie
 
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When I enter time machine in the finder and click on "backups - Rachaelsmacbook" there is a folder dated "25/10/14" and another folder "latest" (there are only 2 folders) and this matches what i see when I enter time machine on the right hand side. There seems to be more windows behind these 2 but they are all blacked out (not sure if thats normal or not)

What would you suggest doing now? Should i try deleting 63 gb worth and trying to do a backup?
 
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Interesting recommendation not to delete backups from Finder. I have never had a problem doing that selectively. Once the 1TB hard drive was full Time Machines (I have 2 1TB external hard drives in case one crashes) gave me the option to have the earliest backups deleted automatically and so I elected to allow that.

It does seem puzzling that you need so much space to do a backup. If you can't resolve the problem it might be best to erase the external hard drive and start again and buy a second one.

On advice on this forum I have installed Carbon Copy Cloner to save current OS as well as all its contents. This will ensure that, if your internal hard drive crashes, you will be able to restore everything. Time Machine doesn't store the OS only the files. You need an external hard drive that is the same size as the internal hard drive. If you're thinking of upgrading to Yosemite I strongly advise getting CCC or SuperDuper and back everything up.

By the way please put your MBP specs in your profile. It helps people trying to solve your problems.
 
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chscag

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Member McBie's advice is right on target. Never delete Time Machine backups using the Finder as that destroys the integrity of the entire backup sparse bundle. Always enter Time Machine and remove the older backups one by one using the remove option which will require you to enter your Admin password before it deletes the specific backup.

To the OP: Your Time Machine backup is very likely worthless now. My advice is to reformat your TM hard drive and start your Time Machine full backup from that point on. The first one will take quite a while but thereafter the backups will go more quickly.
 
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Thanks chscag for tip re deletion with Finder. Although I did do that initially TM now does it automatically and, until I installed Yosemite, there hadn't been any problems. It was on your advice that I decided to install CCC.
 

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