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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > How to delete time machine backup without formatting hard drive

How to delete time machine backup without formatting hard drive
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finknottle
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Jan 26, 2009, 08:03 PM
 
I have a drobo which contains my time machine backup and my itunes library. I want to delete my time machine "Backups.backupdb" from the drobo (I did a new install of OSX and the new account won't let me write to the time machine backup). Obviously because my iTunes library is on the drobo (which is formatted as one big Hard drive called "Drobo") and I haven't the space to put itunes library somewhere else, I was wondering how to delete the "Backups.backupdb" file only. I was told I could do it as root in terminal but I don't want to make a mistake! What command should I use or is there another way? Any help is gratefully appreciated,
Thanks in advance.
     
CharlesS
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Jan 26, 2009, 08:12 PM
 
Does dragging it to the Trash, then clicking the "Authenticate" button and entering an admin password when prompted not work?

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finknottle  (op)
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Jan 26, 2009, 08:22 PM
 
No. Dragging to the trash took an over day to count the amount of files it had to delete and then refuse. I have an admin account but I was not even asked to authenticate. I suspect it's something to do with the problem I have of not been able to write to the backup in the first place, a permissions problem. When I "get info" on the backup file it says I can read and write...but I can't! Any ideas?
     
B Gallagher
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Jan 26, 2009, 09:55 PM
 
How big is the Drobo? How much space are your backups and your iTunes library (plus anything else on there) taking up? How much space is free?
MBP 15" C2D 2.2GHz 4.0GB [email protected]
iPhone 4 32GB Black
     
timmerk
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Jan 26, 2009, 09:58 PM
 
Try turning Time Machine off first, then deleting the file so that it's not in use.
     
besson3c
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Jan 26, 2009, 10:27 PM
 
I think the problem is due to the Finder wanting to download each file in order to count what needs to be deleted or something goofy like that. I'd just remove the files using the Terminal:

sudo rm -rfv /Volumes/yourdrive/Backups.backupdb
     
Hal Itosis
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Jan 26, 2009, 10:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think the problem is due to the Finder wanting to download each file in order to count what needs to be deleted or something goofy like that. I'd just remove the files using the Terminal: sudo rm -rfv /Volumes/yourdrive/Backups.backupdb
There's that... plus the fact that the ACLs inside Backups.backupdb are almost impenetrable.

The "simplest" way to do anything in Time Machine is to go into its interface (the spacey GUI)
and do all deletions (and authentications) right there. Else, turn off ACLs for the entire backup
disk... because the ACLs are simply too prohibitive.

sudo fsaclctl -p /path/to/the/backup/disk -d
# (and restart)
-HI-
     
CharlesS
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Jan 27, 2009, 03:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
sudo rm -rfv /Volumes/yourdrive/Backups.backupdb
Do not, not, not, not, not do this.

Especially since the OP is concerned with making mistakes in the Terminal... using rm -r on a path that has slashes in it puts you just one typo away from erasing all kinds of stuff you don't want to erase, including potentially the whole hard drive and all attached disks. Do not use rm -r and then anything with slashes in it, and please do not tell users who are uncomfortable using the Terminal to do that.

Here is the proper way to use rm -rf:

cd "/Volumes/<your TM disk's name goes here>"
sudo rm -rf Backups.backupd

Both this and the Finder Trash method worked for me back when Leopard was in beta (and some builds liked to corrupt the contents of this folder, so I ended up doing this a lot), but I haven't had occasion to trash the backups folder since Leopard's release, so I don't know if something may have changed since then.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Jan 28, 2009 at 03:28 PM. )

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finknottle  (op)
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Jan 28, 2009, 03:26 PM
 
Thanks CharlesS that worked a treat Appreciate it!
     
   
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