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Script to delete huge sparsebundle images
Authored by: mpstx on Oct 15, '12 11:34:49AM

Big thanks for sharing this approach -- one delete command per file, running over and over from cmdline.

I was experiencing issues deleting the bands out of sparsebundle image on a time capsule. Approx 75,000 files here. Tried Finder and it crawled (1 file every ten minutes), the basic rm -rfdv commandline approach (with a directory name) hung for hours, the rm rf with a wildcard failed out trying to expand the wildcard.

This is the only approach that seems to be making steady progress deleting bands out of a sparsebundle on my time capsule. Signed up for a user account here just to say thanks.

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Script to delete huge sparsebundle images
Authored by: RTench on Nov 30, '12 10:50:17PM

I prefer to use Windows. It's more steps, but you get a progress bar. It's quite fast:

1. Get the Time Capsule’s IP address from Airport Utility, e.g.
2. Fire up VirtualBox (or Parallels or VMWare)
3. Open Windows Explorer
4. In the address field key in \\<IP>, e.g. \\
5. Key in your user ID for ID and the Time Capsule administrative password (not the wireless password and not your logon password).
6. Click on the sparsebundle in Windows Explorer
7. Delete it.
8. You will get a nice dialog, a time estimate, number of minutes left, etc. and it runs quite quickly.

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Script to delete huge sparsebundle images
Authored by: JohnsonCW on Dec 13, '12 06:53:28AM

Thanks! A VirtualBox hosted image of Windows 7 did the trick for me and I probably would not have considered using Windows without your comment.

My Time Capsule resident sparsebundle was 628GB -- I couldn't even "ls" the "bands" directory from Terminal much less open the directory in Finder. "rm -rfv" ran for 8 hours with no visible effect.

Switching to Windows, I was able to use Windows Explorer to mount the Time Capsule share and *delete* (as opposed to "recycle") the sparsebundle file. After about 30 minutes of "Calculating ...", it finally started deleting 80,467 items (which I presume is the about the number of bands + control files). It's not done yet (18+ hours and 260GB remaining) but it's making steady progress.

Seems like it's time for me to learn to proactively prune my backup tree before it gets so large.

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