Vir­tual store too large to back up

Mac|Life - - ASK -

I bought a Drobo 5C for my Pho­tos li­brary, which is over 400GB large and grow­ing steadily. Hav­ing moved the li­brary to that ex­ter­nal stor­age, Time Ma­chine now re­fuses to back it up to my Time­Cap­sule, which has 1TB of avail­able space. What am I do­ing wrong? Drobo 5C pro­vides users with friendly and ex­pand­able stor­age, which seems like it would be a good choice for stor­ing an ever–grow­ing li­brary of pho­tos.

When for­mat­ted as a sin­gle vol­ume us­ing the Mac OS Ex­tended file sys­tem (HFS+), the Drobo 5C re­ports to macOS that it has a to­tal ca­pac­ity of the largest size that it’s able to ac­com­mo­date — in this case over 60TB. Time Ma­chine is usu­ally able to back up to a smaller drive than its source, pro­vided the amount of data be­ing backed up fits the des­ti­na­tion’s avail­able space. But there ap­pears to be a pe­cu­liar­ity in the way that the Drobo 5C re­ports its ca­pac­ity that pre­vents this; it ap­pears to cause prob­lems with macOS’ abil­ity to as­sess whether the Drobo can be backed up.

If you want to store your Pho­tos li­brary on the Drobo, the best way to do that is to repar­ti­tion it us­ing Drobo Dash­board — the of­fi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion should help you with that. How­ever, as it runs a cus­tom vir­tual HFS+ file sys­tem, do­ing so will erase its cur­rent con­tents com­pletely, so you’ll need to move the Drobo’s con­tents to a dif­fer­ent drive. Only when that’s done, cre­ate a smaller vol­ume of around 1TB on the Drobo, which should bet­ter match the ca­pac­ity of your Time Ma­chine’s stor­age.

Drobo’s ex­ter­nal, multi–disk sys­tems are very flex­i­ble, but can cause con­fu­sion for Time Ma­chine.

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