Boys and girls, don’t try this at home. I was doing a bit of late-night file reorganization and I wanted to delete a directory of photos from my 3TB Drobo. I opened Drobo in the OS X finder, right-clicked on the directory and clicked on Move to Trash (OS X). Then I noticed that I’d accidentally moved the mouse and clicked on Backups.backupdb, the folder that contains everything in Time Machine. Oops! Too late. That’s right, 130+GB of files now in the Trash.
Okay, I figured, I should be able to recover from that. So I tried to move the directory from the Trash folder back to Drobo. About 30 hours later that failed, so I gave up on saving my Time Machine database. Next step was to run TIme Machine to create a new backup, and that took the better part of an entire day. I’m now in what I hope is the final stage: emptying the Trash and getting rid of those 7+ million files that I can’t use with Time Machine. “Preparing” took about 20 hours. It looks like “Emptying” should be done by midnight or so.
Lest you think that Time Machine combined with redundant disk storage makes for an idiot-proof backup scheme, just consider that you may need to redefine “idiot.” Hard to believe I managed to find and execute a one-click vulnerability to the whole system, but that’s what I get for trying to do anything risky late at night. Be careful out there.