Mac – Yosemite Time Machine Backup Failed Due to Full Disk


I've run Yosemite for some time now, this issue is recent. My assumption has always been that Time Machine autonomously overwrites old backups once your time capsule is full.

So my question is :

How do I resume normal Time Machine backups without having to manually erase old backups. I know I can delete files from Time Capsule


Time Capsule :

461 GB of 2TB available…backup error is

The backup disk needs 536.69 GB for the backup but only 460.78 GB are available. Select a larger backup disk or make the backup smaller by excluding files.

Best Answer

This somewhat of a long shot, but it sounds a little like you may have changed something on your disk. "Invisible" actions like changing file permissions or HFS+ compressing files will cause TimeMachine (TM) to assume that the files have changed and need to be backed up. Another scenario would be that the UUID of your hard disk changed. This article lists some further possibilities. So to answer your questions:

  1. the warning is there because you would loose all previous backups and you would be left with only this one backup.
  2. Time Machine thinks that all files have changed. My hypothesis is that you did some action changing attributes of all files or your disk's UUID.
  3. you could try to inherit the files

I suggest you try the following:

  • Compare your disk's UUID with the one used in your Time Machine:
    1. diskutil list and
    2. look for a hidden file called on your TM disk (not too sure about the file name, because I use sparsebundles)
  • Full Reset of Time Machine: Read this article for details. Basically you will have to delete /Library/Preferences/
  • Reconnect your backup. Read this article thoroughly. You will have to use either of these commands:
    • sudo tmutil inheritbackup /Volumes/myTM/Backups.backupdb/myMac or
    • sudo tmutil associatedisk -a / /Volumes/myTM/Backups.backupdb/myMac/myDisk

Note that you might loose your entire backup. Please make a copy of your Time Machine backup.