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How do I reset my Time Machine to clear the files in it completely

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I made a mistake in how to delete the files from my Time Machine.
It said my disk was full and I went and incorrectly deleted files from my finder instead of through Time Machine.  

How can I fix so that I can actually use the Time Machine again.  It constantly freezes up saying the disk is full and can't copy files.

I've turned it completely off for the time being.  I can't be the first who messed this up.  Help!
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Question by:tixops
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3 Comments
 
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

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chapmanjw earned 1000 total points
ID: 34108796
The simplest thing to do is open Disk Utility and reformat the Time Machine drive.  Then re-setup Time Machine to backup to the drive.
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Expert Comment

by:nxnw
ID: 34115512
Something else is wrong. Time machine should be automatically pruning the oldest backups when the disk is full.

This may be obvious to you, but out of caution: DO NOT REFORMAT THE DRIVE UNLESS:
- The only data on the drive is your time machine backup; AND
- You actually want to delete all of the backups.

To delete some, enter time machine and,
- To delete a single backup, go the the backup you want to delete and select "delete backup" from the gear menu on the title bar of the window. The backups are incremental, so be aware that deleting a backup only deletes the files that are different from both the prior and subsequent backup.
- To delete every backup of a particular file or folder, go to a backup where that file/folder exists, select the file/folder, and select "delete all backups of" the file/folder.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tixops
ID: 34179798
slightly more direction needed.
Took a little more searching, but I thought since I deleted improperly my backup files from Finder, I was finished, but it looks like this may work.
Thank you.
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