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I have a Mac Mini Server running the latest version of Mavericks and OS X Server. I would like to do a full backup of my server. I have no business need to keep the backups currently on the disk. Can I just turn off Time Machine and delete Backups.backupdb through Finder or Terminal? I also want to make sure that when I delete the backups that I can remove them from Trash.

I have done searching on this but have only found information on how to delete backups of certain files or moving the backup disk to another volume.

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If you are backing up to an external disk, the fastest way is to

  • disable Time Machine
  • erase the backup drive/partition with DiskUtil
  • re-enable Time Machine

OTOH you won't loose anything if you keep the old backups for now. As every time slice within TM is a full backup you can still recover up to "now".

  • I had hundreds of GB that I removed after copying what I wanted onto DVD disks. It was just easier to start over than try to remember what folders to remove. Your solution is working. I'm taking my full backup now which will take a while (286 GB). – Pamela Cook - LightBe Corp May 31 '14 at 14:12

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