Restricting Time Machine and keeping the old database

Hi! I have a Drobo with a current capacity of 2.3 TB (1+1+0.5+1.5) on which I store my Time Machine backups (Mac OS X 10.6.4). I now have one full year’s worth of backups, about 1.2 TB, and I’m considering whether I should restrict my TM backups so they won’t fill out the entire Drobo. I guess I could just let it bloat further, but I can use the extra space in better ways, I figure. But, how do I accomplish my goal? That’s where I’d like some input. :slight_smile:

I have read of three different ways to do this:

1. Re-partition the Drobo with Mac OS Disk Utility, shrinking the existing volume to say 1.5 TB and leaving the rest to a fresh second volume. However, KB articles seem a bit contradictory on whether this is a good idea. Also, I tried once, left the operation running overnight and woke up to a Mac in kernel panic. The drives were undamaged, fortunately, but the partitioning didn’t work. I might try again, but the partitioning seems to take a long time (verifying data, I think).

2. Reformat the Drobo and repartition with Drobo Dashboard. Again, KB articles aren’t clear if this is the best practice or not. I have a new 2 TB drive that I can use to backup the TM data temporarily but I’m loath to do it because of the huge time investment (I’m guessing at least 24 hrs of moving files around).

3. Use the Time Tamer Automator script. I’ve tried it, but since I already have a TM database, it won’t create it’s .sparseimage unless I rename the old one. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck renaming the old database (even though I’ve changed the permissions), any ideas on how to do it? Also, if I rename the old backup and create the new .sparseimage for TM, can I copy in my old backups, or do I have to start over fresh? I’d rather keep my backups!

So, please advise! Which would be the best way to restrict TM bloat and preferably also keep my current backup history intact?

What size are you currently formatted to?

Drobo does not support re-partitioning so you would have to reformat drobo.

OK, so option 1 is out then. But, just out of curiosity, why does this support document talk about using Disk Utility? Is that only with a fresh Drobo?

My Drobo Volume size is 4 TB. While I could let the Time Machine just continue to do its thing, I’m not really interested in having that much backup! :slight_smile:

Any ideas on the Time Tamer question? How do I rename the old Backup.backup folder, and can I copy the backups from that folder to the new .sparseimage? Perhaps that’s a question for another forum?

Yes, a fresh drobo, just formatted.

Time Machine will keep trying to write to a 4TB volume size even though you only have 2.3 TB available for data. TM will fill up your drobo and cause data corruption.