Tuesday, July 29, 2008


so I use time machine - not to visit ancient peoples, cheat at gambling to amass a fortune, or find future technology - but to back up my mac data. Basically, for the non-initiated, time machine monitors and changes to files (creation/editing/changes), and makes backups based on those to an external hard drive.

I bought a new macbook in May/June. Migration is reduckulously turnkey, and was almost flawless - almost. A few preferences aren't imported over, including one that just caused my body to need Excedrin.

I also use parallels, a windows virtualization app for the mac, so I can make MS office stuff for my clients. It creates a virtual hard drive on your system - mine is about 16GB. Funny thing is that every time you open it - it changes. So it gets backed up.

Now, I'm not totally stupid. I was aware of this issue, and investigated it when OSX Leopard and Time Machine were released. What I overlooked, and what definitely qualifies me as at least kind of stupid, is that I didn't think to check the "excluded folders" in the time machine preferences. And they didn't get imported. So every time I used parallels, my HD was taking a 16GB blow to the shins with Tanya Harding's steel baton.

So now I've a totally full 300 GB partition on my external HD (my laptop is only 180GB). And using spotlight to crawl that for folders named "parallels" is bringing finder to screeching halt.

I am kind of amused that Finder is hobbling along, but everything else works fine. There's a half glass full satisfaction in that.

Finder doesn't let you delete files from Time Machine - but I found a way. You need to have the "actions" gear in your finder windows.

  1. From the finder, go to the folder or file you want to stricken from TM.
  2. Launch TM
  3. With the same folder/file selected, select the actions "gear" icon.
  4. Choose Delete All Backups of "(your file or folder you want to get rid of)"
That's it.  It's an all or nothing proposition, but it worked for me - just whacked about 225 GB worth of unneeded files.

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