Can’t delete time machine backups – error 8072

I am not able to delete permanently time machine backups from an external hard drive which are now in my trash. After an hour or so « deleting items » and a growing number, I get « the operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred error code -8072 ». I have tried many times and different backups but no success. I can’t even restore them out of the trash anymore and have therefore not managed to free any space from my hard drive which was the aim.

Here is what I have done : -deleted some backups directly via finder -stopped auto backups from time machine to avoid interference -tried emptying the trash or « delete immediately » individually

Any help would be appreciated, have tried looking around but no luck so far.

MacBook Air (13-inch mid 2011) macOS Sierra 10.12.6

create date folder version backups with hard links and a combined view

I am using the ideas laid out in this article to create incremental versioned backups of my data. I basically sync the data to a current folder in my backup destination and then create a date folder with hard links to the current folder. I end up with this:

$   ls ... 2019-01-01_10-00-01 2019-01-02_10-00-01 ... 2019-02-15_10-00-01 ... current 

It works great. If I ever need to do a full restore from a specific date, I can just restore everything from that date’s folder.

But if you’re looking for previous versions of a specific file, you have to go through each of the date folder’s to find what you want. I want to create another folder that has a running total of all files, each time they were changed. A combined view if you will.

I came up with this, and it works, but I am wondering if there is a more elegant, standard way to do this.

#!/bin/bash  NOW=$  (/bin/date +\%Y-\%m-\%d_\%H-\%M-\%S)  # the data that needs to be backed up SOURCES=("/path/to/source 1" "/path/to/source 2")  # where it is going DESTINATION="/path/to/backup"  # make sure the destination exists mkdir -p "$  DESTINATION"  # make sure there is a place to put the current data mkdir -p "$  DESTINATION/current"  # make sure there is a place to put the "combined" data mkdir -p "$  DESTINATION/combined"  # sync the data rsync -v -a --delete "$  {SOURCES[@]}" "$  DESTINATION/current"  # check if files were backed up # any file with only one link is either new, and needs to have a hard link version # or it wasn't fully backed up previously and needs a hard link version if [[ $  (find "$  DESTINATION/current" -type f -links 1 | wc -l) -ne 0 ]] ; then     # make a date folder backup using hard links     cp -al "$  DESTINATION/current" "$  DESTINATION/$  NOW"      # make a combined view     #  - find all files with 2 links     #    - one link is to the file in the $  DESTINATION/current     #    - the other link is to the file in $  DESTINATION/$  NOW     # - there should never be any files with only 1 hard link since the previous command     #   is sure to have created a second link     # - any files with more than 2 links were, hopefully, already covered during a previous iteration     cd "$  DESTINATION/current" && find * -type f -links 2 -print0 | while IFS= read -r -d $  '' filePath     do         fileName="$  (basename "$  filePath")"         fileFolder="$  (dirname "$  filePath")"          # where the file will live in the combined folder         # need to mirror the folder structure         destinationFolder="$  DESTINATION/combined/$  fileFolder"         mkdir -p "$  destinationFolder"          # make a hard link to it         cp -al "$  filePath" "$  destinationFolder/$  fileName.$  NOW"     done fi 

The code does work. After a few iterations, this is what it creates:

Files in the current folder (this is a “live” copy of the source data):

backup/current/source 1/001 backup/current/source 1/002 backup/current/source 1/003 backup/current/source 1/file 100 backup/current/source 1/folder/004 backup/current/source 2/006 

Files in the date specific folders (note files from the first backup have files that aren’t in the second because they were deleted):

backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/001 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/002 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/003 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/file 100 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/folder/004 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 1/folder/005 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 2/006 backup/2019-01-15_23-08-02/source 2/007  backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 1/001 backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 1/002 backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 1/003 backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 1/file 100 backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 1/folder/004 backup/2019-01-15_23-09-00/source 2/006 

And these are the files in the combined view:

backup/combined/source 1/001.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 1/002.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 1/003.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 1/003.2019-01-15_23-09-00 backup/combined/source 1/file 100.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 1/folder/004.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 1/folder/004.2019-01-15_23-09-00 backup/combined/source 1/folder/005.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 2/006.2019-01-15_23-08-02 backup/combined/source 2/006.2019-01-15_23-09-00 backup/combined/source 2/007.2019-01-15_23-08-02 

This way, if I need to find a previous version of source 1/folder/004, I just need to go to it’s matching folder in backup/combined/ (backup/combined/source 1/folder) and all the 004 files are there, with a date/time stamp appended.

Is there a better, more elegant way to do this?

Merge two time machine backups into one folder

I have two time machine disks from two macs, first disk has Backups.backupdb/mac1 and the second Backups.backupdb/mac2. How can I merge these backups into one? Or in other words, copy Backups.backupdb/mac2 to first disk?

There is a similar question about archaving old backups Consolidate and Archive Old Time Machine Back-ups But I’d like to continue backing up both macs on one disk.

Clever way to reduce rsync/rclone load with backups to Amazon S3 ?

I started running rclone to keep a set of files on my laptop that are synced up to the cloud and encrypted. I wanted to ‘control’ the encryption because of trust issues. Rclone does this pretty well, and so well that I use it for a lot of my stuff, but that means that the number of files in there is getting bigger and that is costing me money.

I thought about alternatives to this, like syncing just the difference in a zip or an rdiff file or something. It is clear that this could work but it has some disadvantages or hurdles to manage.

First of all, the S3 storage isn’t a real rsync server in the sense that it does not only copy the part of the file that changed. If I want to change to a system that sends a blob up to the cloud it needs the intelligence to know what is already up there.

The features I am looking for are:

  • Minimal connection load for backups,
  • Ability to quickly restore when I stupidly delete a file.
  • Low number of files stored on server
  • Full or near full file history
  • Something I can make a script for that takes the load off my brain to figure out all the options I need to include when syncing.
  • Ideally something that works with multiple devices although I don’t use multiple devices simultaneously.

I’m posting this here because I thought this question would produce a worthwhile answer for a lot of people with server-type usage requirements.

Thanks in advance

Can’t empty trash after deleting Time Machine backups

I have a 4 GB drive with Time Machine backups on it that I’ve not used in a couple of years. It’s nearly full. I wanted to start using it again, but first I wanted to remove ~2/3 of the backups, to free up space, while keeping a good sampling. Thus I removed 50 of the 70 backups (cmd-delete in Finder), alternating removing two and keeping one while going through the entire list chronologically; as a consequence, what remains goes back just as far, just with less frequency.

But, after doing this, the drive is still nearly full. I figured that’s because I needed to empty the trash, but when I tried to do that it removed items slowly, and then stopped. So I stopped the emptying and checked trash, and saw nearly nothing had been removed. I then ejected the drive, after which the trash was empty. But when I re-mounted the drive, the items in trash all reappeared.

There is a procedure given in this thread, but the behavior the OP describes doesn’t exactly correspond to what I’m seeing: How can I manually delete old backups to free space for Time Machine?

So: Should I try the terminal command in the above thread? Or do the problems I’m having indicate my Time Machine partition may be corrupted? If the latter is the case, it would make the most sense to just reformat the disk and start clean. Granted, it would be nice to have some of the old backups, but I don’t have a critical need for them (not critical enough to buy a new disk and put this one in storage).

iCloud backups from a very old iPhone are not seen during the restore

My sister used to have an iPhone 4 that I used before (she replaced the battery); she’s used it until 2013 or 2014 when the battery was not usable anymore. She’s then used an Android phone for a few years and has just bought an iPhone SE. She wanted to restore it from iCloud but the phone shows “no backups available” once she logs in to her Apple ID account during the initial phone setup.

The iPhone 4 had newest iOS 7 installed, I’m not sure what version the SE has but it may even be 12. Does Apple delete old backups if no one logged into the account for a few years? Or maybe restoring from a backup to iOS 5 versions newer is not possible? Are there any other reasons it may not work?

I’d normally try backing up the iPhone 4 again but I think it doesn’t survive long enough to back up right now, even when connected to external power.

I’d appreciate any help.