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Daniel, Mac Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 587
Experience:  10 Years hands on computer training
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My Time Machine/Capsule is full and wont back up. Every time

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My Time Machine/Capsule is full and won't back up. Every time I go into the Time Machine the Mac hangs and crashes. What do I do? How do I manually delete backups?
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Here is what you need to do


Launch /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility and do the Repair function on the sparesimage on the Time Machine (Capsule).

After you have done the repair function then you can manually delete the old backups by:

1. Enter time machine
2. Go to the point in time you want to delete
3. Select the icon that looks like a cog in the finder and choose 'Delete Backup'

If you want to delete everything on the Capsule then you can do that by following this steps: (DON'T DO THIS IF YOU WANT TO KEEP ANY INFORMATION ON THE CAPSULE)

1. Open AirPort Utility, click on the Time Capsule icon and then click Edit in the box that appears
2. Click the Disks tab at the top of the next window
3. Click Erase Disk
4. Select the Quick Erase option
5. Click Erase

Please let me know if you have more questions for me by Replying , I want to thank you for being my customer please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating for my time and information it is the only way I am compensated by and as always a bonus is optional.

Thank You, Dan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not getting the option in Disk Utility to select the Time Machine (Capsule). The only options are 160.04 GB JUTOTSU MJA2160BH FFS G1 Media

Are you do this through a Wired connection or over wireless?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Wireless. I have no spare ethernet ports on my Mac to plug in the Time Machine. Whilst I have been waiting I followed your second instruction on completely deleting all data on the Time Machine. I am now attempting a backup to see if this has worked so please bear with me - it could take some time

Alright that is fine but you will really want to use a wires connection, I dont know if you can free something using Ethernet for the time being. But Wires connection is the only way to ensure that the Time Capsule will work properly.

Just reply when you have completed the back up or if you run into a problem let me know.

Thank You, Dan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Daniel it seems to be going OK but of course it is having to back up everything so it is going to take a long time - it is only at 127 MB of 123 GB so I am probably going to have to leave it on all night. I'll give my satisfaction and rating once it is completed if everything is OK.

Sounds good.

Thank You, Dan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Daniel it is now showing that it will take 40 days to do this back up. Surely that cannot be right. Is there any way of speeding it up?

Since you are doing this through wireless there is no way to speed it up because it is transferring all the data over the network wirelessly. You need to use a Wired Connection to be able to speed it up.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am now using a wired connection, I went out and bought an ethernet docking switch!

Sounds good let me know how it is going
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It isn't! It's now telling me that it will take 1105 days!

Alright with the wires connection I need you to repeat the step 2 as you did earlier and then go ahead and try to back it up again. I believe that it is a little confused and that is why it is saying that it is going to take so long.

Let me know.

Thank You, Dan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Now I can't repeat step 2. The Time Machine is not showing in Airport Utilities - which I suppose it won't if I'm not connected by wifi?

Alright go ahead and reboot your Mac and then also Press and hold the reset for 10 seconds on the Time Capsule. Once the Time Capsule and Mac are back up then try to perform step 2 and then after step 2 is complete then go ahead and proceed with the back up and let me know what it does.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK I found it - you have to click on 'Ethernet" in Disk Utilities to see the Time Machine disk. So I've erased all the data again and am now trying once more to back up but it is just not working.

What is it doing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is just saying "cleaning up' - but this has been going on for ages. Before this only lasted a couple of minutes before the backup started

Are you using a virtualization product, such as VirtualBox, Parallels, or VMware?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes I use parallels
The large virtual disk files that it creates should not be backed up with Time Machine.

However I may have a way around it, go ahead and follow these steps and lets see if this works.

Turn off Time Machine

Eject and disconnect the external hard drive used for Time Machine

Restart Mac

Go to Library/Preferences and delete and

NOTE: This is not the Library under your user folder. Click Go on the Finder and select Computer. Select your hard drive and there is a Library folder for all users. Thats the one!

Reconnect your Time Machine disk. If the system asks if you want to use the disk for Time Machine, say decide later.

Open System Preferences > Time Machine and select the disk again.

Set up again any exclusions you had before.

Turn Time Machine on and do a backup.

Let me know how it goes.

Thank You, Dan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

RIght I have the 'Library' in the hard drive but that is just full of folders. Where do I find the items you have asked me to delete?

In the library you need to go to Preferences
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK Daniel. That seems to be working now. It is still slow, but much faster than it was - saying about 17 hours to back up - but I can live with that.

Are you know saying that my Parallels files will not be backed up? If so that is a major problem for me. I only use Parallels because I have to run Sage for my business (they don't do a version for Mac) and all of my client's accounts are on there. I cannot afford to have no backup.

No, your parallel files will be backed up, that is why I can gave you those alternative steps so that you could keep your Parallel files. See Time Machine as a hard time with such Large virtual disk files. But your Parallel files will be backed up.

Let me know if you have any more questions and please don't forget to rate the answer with one the top three ratings.

Thank You, Dan
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