I have been storing my Time Machine backups on an external drive. Noticing that space was getting low, I viewed that external drive in the Finder, selected a bunch of the folders and moved them to the Trash.
I now realize this was stupid of me, for a number of reasons:
- Time Machine will delete old backups properly, when it's running low on space.
- It is my understanding now that all Time Machine backups after the initial one are a diff of the previous backup, not a disk image. So deleting these folders would render subsequent backups useless (I think).
- The "Preparing to empty the Trash ... Items to delete: [number]" dialogue got up to 1.5 million files(!) before I stopped it. And I don't have permission, even as root, to rm -rf them.
- I also don't have permission, even as root, to mv files from /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups/.Trashes/ back to their original location. I did a little reading about Access Control Lists and am wary of making yet more mistakes by fooling around with them.
So, does anyone have insight or advice on how best to deal with this problem?
Specifically, I am wondering:
- Would deleting the items in the Trash render my existing Time Machine backups useless?
- If deleting those folders currently in the Trash *is& OK, how would I do so efficiently?
- If deleting those folders would create problems, how can I move them back to their original location?
Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer.