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renault4
Oct 31, 2007, 09:52 AM
My initial experiences with time machine were not great, glacially slow initial backup rate, left external HDD in unstable state that could not be repaired, stuck on "preparing" etc. The initial backup rate was minutes per Mb--unacceptable.

here are some steps I took, based on watching this and apple support discussion groups--this may not work for all problems being experienced.

turn off time machine

Although TM doesnt require exclusive use of an external drive and will use HDs that have other data, you are placing those data at risk:

before you turn on TM backup anything you have on your intended time machine external disk, partition ( as GUID) first, then erase (format as HFS extended, journaled) and check/repair permissions. (dont let time machine format the disk)

exclude the external disk from spotlight indexing (or turn off spotlight altogether); certainly do not commence initial backup while spotlight is performing initial index after leopard install

turn off any virus checking!!

remove TM plist file from any previous attempts and erase and trash any previous backup files

exclude any large frequently updated database files (Entourage, Parallels) from time machine.

If you have multiple drives that you dont intend including in your routine backup, make sure you exclude them in TM

avoid daisy chained FW drives for the initial backup, time machine disk should be directly connected.



that's about it, Time Machine backed up a ~90G system from a 2.4Ghz SR MBP to a LaCie 500G d2 (FW800) in about 120 minutes and has continued with hourly backups since.

good luck!



Bagelsurf
Nov 2, 2007, 01:26 AM
Shutting off virus checking was the key to speeding it up. It was crawling at glacier pace like you said. Turning off virus checking had the progress bar moving 10x faster at least. On my way...

fatstuff
Jan 30, 2008, 11:54 AM
I have a brand new Magdor External Hard Drive and initially was ready to return it since the firewire was running so slow. Reading the thread on this site got me to disable my Norton anti virus. Bottom Line: i restarted this morning and it has almost backed up the entire 60 gigs in a couple of hours. Thanks to all for the great help. These sites are far more valuable than any Apple Support Program. I hate to say that aside from waiting hours on the phone to get to a level one support that knows less than me. The techs have become arrogant and snotty to boot. Thanks againhttp://images.macrumors.com/vb/images/smilies/smile.gif

danny_w
Jan 30, 2008, 12:02 PM
I only just received a new iMac at work and started TM yesterday afternoon on an empty partition of an external USB drive (MyBook 500GB). I know I don't have much on this machine yet (about 28GB) but all the talk about slow initial backups had me worried. Anyway it finished in under 1.5 hours, and there was even a ccc clone going to the other partition on the same external hdd at the time! So far that doesn't sound so slow to me. Since then I have looked and it shows all of my backups every hour since then.

aircraft
Feb 16, 2008, 06:01 PM
After 2 hours 30 minutes, Time Machine had copied 1.26GB of 89.27 to my Seagate external hardrive. So, I did a little research, and found this forum. On the advice of a previous poster, I opened Activity Monitor to see which processes were running in the background. Sure enough, Norton has some Auto Protect thing going on. I Force Quit that one process (Norton Auto Prote) and in the 7 minutes since, I have gone from 1.26GB to 7.34GB now copied. Without exaggeration, I think this course of action sped the process up by a factor of 100.

Doing the math, I had 1.26GB copied after 150 minutes. During the 7 minutes following the fix, an additional 6.08GB were copied. I went from one half GB per hour to almost one GB per minute. UNBELIEVABLE.

msteele999
Feb 19, 2008, 12:13 PM
I too just purchased a new drive WD320GB disk and was shocked at the performance. I just disabled background scanning for Intego VirusBarrier X4 and the backups are now progressing as they should.

I appreciate this forum as well.

Regards

vincebio
Feb 19, 2008, 12:20 PM
maybe im going mad here....

but


im assuming you had all these pointless anti virus software apps for your Windows installs?
I thought that the Windows partitions were completely seperate and you would not be able to see Norton etc running on OS X?


Please tell me you people havnt installed Anti virus for OS X :confused:

AndyK
Feb 19, 2008, 12:30 PM
On the advice of a previous poster, I opened Activity Monitor to see which processes were running in the background. Sure enough, Norton has some Auto Protect thing going on. I Force Quit that one process (Norton Auto Prote) and in the 7 minutes since, I have gone from 1.26GB to 7.34GB now copied.

Why, why, why in the name of all things holy are you running NORTON ON A MAC?!

If you insist running an AV on a mac (personally I don't, firewall is all that's needed, macs are no where near as vulnerable as a pc is - common sense is the best form of AV you can get for a mac) at least run something not quite to domineeringly anal with its self.

It's like dual booting Windows onto a mac and using it all the time :(

RedTomato
Feb 23, 2008, 01:20 PM
I decided to start using TM today, and was on the point of tearing my hair out with frustration.

Just couldn't get the inital backup to complete. Time Machine froze, crashed, froze my OS, halted, refused to stop, different things at different times.

Finally I saw the advice on here:

- turn off TM

- exclude the external from Spotlight.

- clear any data off the external HD, including old TM aborted backups (had to use a spare iBook with 10.4.11 for this, see below)

- reformat in GUID (I had to use a ibook with Tiger for this as disk utilities on my macbook refused to deal with the external - kept giving me error "Disk cannot be unmounted" or "Disk will not unmount")

- partition into two GUID partitions, then repartition into a single GUID. Both times, with Apple Extended (Journaled).

- run disk verify / repair on the external and the internal (from the Leopard macbook - after a restart, Disk Utility now worked fine)

- let Time Machine run.

- if it hangs again, start Console, (in Utilities folder) and click on show all, then search / filter for 'backupd'. Make a note of any 'error -36' messages and exclude the folders they occur in from Time Machine. (on mine, it was the Warcraft III folder)

- Let it run again. See above if it stops again.

Finally, Time Machine completed! Am excited to finally have this outstanding if slightly buggy application working.

These last few bugs must be why Apple is releasing its own TM drive, Time Capsule.

danny_w
Feb 23, 2008, 01:34 PM
Admittedly I haven't used TM much, and only on one computer (my iMac at work). I haven't seen any of the issues that others have talked about - it just ran for me. I guess I am just lucky so far. I haven't yet attempted TM at home, and I may run into these issues when I do. When I do I will remember this thread!

RedRoy
Mar 1, 2008, 07:58 AM
Glad I found this thread.
TM extremely slow until I turned Sophos Anti-virus off.
Thanks.
R

tampaappleman
Mar 3, 2008, 11:31 PM
Reading thru this thread I would like to add, that even if you are using Time Capsule for your initial Time Machine backup - make sure that your virus scanner is turned off. In my case it's Intego's Virus Barrier which was scanning in the background and holding up the entire backup process to TC vehemently. Once background scanning was turned off, the entire process went from snail to train speed. Improvement factor must be 100 x.
Great forum - love it.:)

richard.mac
Mar 4, 2008, 02:36 AM
antivirus scanners cause more trouble than they are trying to prevent in OS X. my recommendation is uninstall them as they have no use. if you dont believe me search up on the many anti virus discussions in this forum.

James9000
Apr 6, 2008, 04:16 PM
My timemachine drive is an internal one in my Mac Pro.

Adding this drive to Spotlight's Privacy list seemed to make the initial backup run much faster.

I have no anti-virus software installed at all and it was glazier slow before I tweaked spotlight.

RexCat
May 10, 2008, 08:33 AM
I have found I don't have to turn Norton's off for Time Machine. I am using V11.0.

Open "Norton Antivirus", Goto "Automatic Protection", Select "Auto-Protect" Configure..., Select tab "Auto File Scan", Select Button "Don't Scan", Add 'the name of your Time Capsule from the SHARED column on the popup finder menu' and the file "Backups.backupdb" (might be different on your machine) from the DEVICE column on the finder popup menu.

To speed up other file transfers you would likely have to do the same routine to tell Norton to ignore the other directories on Time Machine.

FYI, Stopping Spotlight on Time Capsule also added a speedup for me. :)

RexCat
May 10, 2008, 01:53 PM
To add 'the name of your Time Capsule from the SHARED column on the popup finder menu' and the file "Backups.backupdb" (might be different on your machine) from the DEVICE column on the finder popup menu - TIME MACHINE MUST BE RUNNING a backup to see this file.

FYI, Stopping Spotlight INDEXING on Time Capsule also added a speedup for me.

shawnuff
Jun 20, 2008, 08:00 PM
My initial Time Machine back up was painfully slow. After letting it run about 12 hours only 58GB of 128GB were backed up from my iMac!

The problem was the USB 2.0 hub to which the LaCie 750GB HD was connected. I stopped the backup up, unmounted the drive, connected it directly to the iMac, and began the Time Machine backup again. I didn't erase the disk and start over, just started the TM backup.

In 10 minutes about 17GB have been backed up. I had stopped and restarted the backup before and 17GB would have taken about 45 - 60 minutes before!

Orthogonal
Jul 2, 2008, 03:41 PM
I recently purchased a 1TB Time Capsule to use as my external drive using Timemachine. After 6 attempts I managed to get an initial backup done (took about 12 hours to move about 65GB of data).

Since then Ive been encountering problems with the hourly backups - the process launches, seems to backup successfully but then stalls indefinitely in a "finishing backup" mode (as displayed on the timemachine preferences window). I'm not sure how to interpret that..

I have diasabled Noton AV as previous posters have advised and excluded my external drive from spotlight.

Thoughts...?

RedTomato
Jul 2, 2008, 04:27 PM
Since then Ive been encountering problems with the hourly backups - the process launches, seems to backup successfully but then stalls indefinitely in a "finishing backup" mode (as displayed on the timemachine preferences window). I'm not sure how to interpret that..

I have diasabled Noton AV as previous posters have advised and excluded my external drive from spotlight.

See my post above re 'error -36'

Certain files seem to cause TM to hang.

Ah, I'll just quote myself below, save you the hassle of searching:

(as previously posted)

- if it hangs again, start Console, (in Utilities folder) and click on show all, then search / filter for 'backupd'. Make a note of any 'error -36' messages and exclude the folders they occur in from Time Machine. (on mine, it was the Warcraft III folder)

- Let it run again. See above if it stops again.

Orthogonal
Jul 2, 2008, 10:46 PM
Thanks - forgive any naivete on my part - I'm new to Mac and TC/TM

I perused console messages as you suggested and don't see any error-36 messages.

It appears that all of the files on my hard drive are being backed up successfully but for some reason the backup process is not terminating itself - I have to force quit the process manually.

Any other ideas or is this a "feature" I'm supposed to live with?

everfangomanga
Jul 12, 2008, 05:33 PM
Under the Apple Menu, go to System Preferences, then in the Systems area click Accounts, select the appropriate account, click the Login Items tab and deselect all items that will "open automatically when you log in."

That did the trick for me. I was going at about 10MB a minute (Sweet Moses...) before this, and after this I was seeing almost exactly a gig a minute. Talk about a time saver.

shakenmartini
Jul 12, 2008, 10:53 PM
Also time machine will hang if you have badly behaving non-N netowrk device connecting to to TC.

It seems best to dedicate the TC to wireless-n devices only during the initial backup and only add devices back that behave OK.

My wife's work Cisco Aironet card literally brings the WPA network to its knees. However, without WPA there is no problem, but this is risky with your whole backup going over wireless hourly.

splott
Aug 21, 2008, 04:38 AM
Found this thread while experiencing snail-pace first backup to a 1TB Time Capsule. So far it's been running about 11 hours and has only managed 46GB (of 260GB). I didn't see the bit in the manual about running the first backup via ethernet, so it's running wirelessly. The transfer speed started out jumping around anywhere between 1KB/s and 1.5MB/s.

This morning I checked Console and found Little Snitch to be the culprit. It was continually causing exits (code 255) and throttling respawn (whatever that means), so I throttled it. I also put the Firewire 800 external HDD the backup is currently reading from onto Spotlight's privacy list.

However neither of those moves seem to have made much difference to the transfer speeds. Any suggestions?

cwolynez
Aug 30, 2008, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the antivirus tip. I also disabled Sophos and the backup is now running at normal speed (don't blast me for using AV, I'm running a mail server.)

bobr1952
Sep 22, 2008, 01:04 PM
Something interesting concerning my Time Capsule and Spotlight. I really didn't realize Spotlight even indexed my Time Capsule. Regardless, the other day it was taking forever to do a routine hourly backup--it finally finished after an hour but the Time Capsule did not dismount. I finally looked in the log and saw that Spotlight was reindexing the Time Capsule drive--and 5 hours later it finished--and dismounted. The thing I am wondering is that it seemed that Time Machine was looking for the index and was not happy that it couldn't find it--perhaps it got corrupted? Once the drive was reindexed, all is working fine again.

brass7
Nov 22, 2008, 07:06 PM
I bought a 1TB time machine about a month ago. I followed all solutions offered on this forum: excluding time machine from spotlight indexing, doing a forced quit on Sophos Antivirus, connecting my macbook air directly using USB ethernet, setting USB ethernet as the first connection (system preferences, network, and moving usb ethernet to the top of the list), etc. Nothing seemed to be solving the problem. Even with all this, the activity monitor was showing data transfer at a very slow 55-65KB/sec range.

Today, I checked in Activity Monitor for all the programs that were sucking up CPU and discovered one titled "intercheck." I did a search for this and discovered that this was related to my Sophos Antivirus program. I went back to system preferences, and stopped Sophos from running. Voila - the backup speed went up to the 3-4MB/sec range in activity monitor. TM was taking 2 days for just 1.6GB; now it got the entire 70GB done in a few hours!!!

Gray-Wolf
Nov 22, 2008, 07:10 PM
Have you tried just a USB connection to a external hard drive? No ethernet connection needed.

brass7
Nov 22, 2008, 07:19 PM
Have you tried just a USB connection to a external hard drive? No ethernet connection needed.

Thanks! I'll try that. If it works, I would be saving myself some money by returning the USB-ethernet adapter.

Bloake
Dec 11, 2008, 03:32 PM
I unchecked my Symantec AV auto protect on System prefs and my initial backup sped up to 1.5gig/min from 10mb/min. Thanks for the tips!

bobr1952
Dec 12, 2008, 03:37 PM
I have kind of accepted that sometimes Time Machine just gets lost--especially if you have a system crash. It sometimes needs to rebuild the index to find its way--which can take a long time where all it shows is "preparing" You can often find some additional information on what exactly it is doing in the system log. I hate waiting for it to find its way but it eventually does and then runs fine and speedy again during the next run.

tonyl
Dec 22, 2008, 06:22 PM
My backup stopped at 16.7GB and it's been one hour. The first 16GB was fast. But my USB external hard drive still shows data transfer.

TonyTerjeson
Dec 29, 2008, 10:56 PM
Time Machine is being really stupid!

Okay i have a mac book pro, 200 GB, interal hard drive, 2 GB of ram, 2.4 GHZ

WD 1TB exernal hard drive, i have partitioned the external hard drive in to two parts, one that has 250GB named "time machine" the other of 750 named "My Book"

Time machine i let run all night for 12 hours, and it only copyed 58GB, this external hard drive is brand new, running on fire wire 400

formatted for mac os journled

i have no anti virus programs, and have deleted all back ups, excluded my other external drive named "My book" and it still takes for ever.

BTW i have no anti virus programs,

Help!

TonyTerjeson
Dec 29, 2008, 11:16 PM
Time Machine is being really stupid!

Okay i have a mac book pro, 200 GB, interal hard drive, 2 GB of ram, 2.4 GHZ

WD 1TB exernal hard drive, i have partitioned the external hard drive in to two parts, one that has 250GB named "time machine" the other of 750 named "My Book"

Time machine i let run all night for 12 hours, and it only copyed 58GB, this external hard drive is brand new, running on fire wire 400

formatted for mac os journled

i have no anti virus programs, and have deleted all back ups, excluded my other external drive named "My book" and it still takes for ever.

BTW i have no anti virus programs,

Help!

Continued....

so i did some looking in actitity monitor, there was a program called 360demion or demion360, that was takeing up a lot of my cpu i just force quited that program and now data is transferd around 6-9MB per sec, :)

Go :apple:

damianjoe
Jan 9, 2009, 11:42 AM
I found this post very useful, not because I had an autoprotect with my antivirus software, but instead because for whatever reason I had to MANUALLY format the external hard drive rather than letting time machine do it for me.

This changed my transfer rates from Mbs per minute to closer to 1 Gig per minute.

Manually formatting the drive was done by going to applications>utilities>disk utility

and then erase > volume format > mac OS extended (Journaled)

as was said above, partition data as needed. I didn't do any partitions.


thanks for the tip!!!!

thomaus
Jan 11, 2009, 11:04 AM
I figured out I was doing something that was slowing it. I had the Finder window open to the Backups.backupdb folder, but I also had turned on Calculate All Sizes checked in Show View Options. Unclicking that made the pace of the backup speed up immensely.

monstordh
Jan 14, 2009, 09:13 PM
I had a similar problem, which was caused by Spotlight indexing my external backup drive at the same time that TM kicked in. Over the course of 3.5 hours, TM had only backed up 32MB of data. After reading through this thread, and ruling out all of the things that were not applicable to my circumstances, I pinpointed it to a corrupt indexing (or something) of my previous Backups.backupdb. Since it was a fairly new complete backup, and I just make an identical duplicate of my HD only a few days ago, I deleted the Backups.backupdb and started TM again. It seems to be working well now, backing up 4 GB or so already (it's not been very long).

mac.the.knife
Apr 11, 2009, 01:13 AM
renault4,

I joined macrumors just to thank you (and everyone else) for your post.

Listing the partition on my external dedicated to Time Machine as private in the spotlight preferences did it for me.

Thanks again.


and p.s. I'm pretty sure all these anti-virus softwares people are worse for system performance then most actual viruses.

sgmiller
Apr 12, 2009, 03:02 AM
It was crawling (12 hours and only 20 gigs) so all I did was check this forum and then exclude the volume from Spotlight (thought I had done that but I only excluded the other partition on the drive, smacks head!).

Anyway, the indexing immediately accelerated and its done 10 more gigs in the last 10 minutes or so, so it looks good.

Excellent forum!

donkaye
Apr 22, 2009, 11:38 PM
I just spent the last two days trying to get Time Machine to do an initial backup in a reasonable time frame. Since I had just bought my new Mac Pro, I called Apple support for some assistance. They had several ideas, but non worked. They did try, however.

A quick Google Search a few hours ago led me here. After reading the previous posts, I disabled spotlight, and for the first time Time Machine actually worked and did my first backup of 101 GB in about 40 minutes.

Thank you all very much!

seriouscolor
Jun 14, 2009, 06:08 PM
Hello,

I have just started my initial TM backup with a brand new WD My Book Studio Edition II 2 TB drive. I am backing up from a MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz via FW800 and the external hard drive is configured to RAID 1 (mirrored). I'm getting speeds around 2-3 GB/min, which is considerably lower than what the FW800 port should allow for. Could this apparently slow speed be related to the fact that I am doing a mirrored backup?

Thanks!

RedTomato
Jun 15, 2009, 06:54 AM
3 gig/min is perfectly fine for TM. It's not making a simple copy. What's going on is a lot more complicated than that. Even Apple says the first backup is probably better done as an overnight job.

x T

Hello,

I have just started my initial TM backup with a brand new WD My Book Studio Edition II 2 TB drive. I am backing up from a MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz via FW800 and the external hard drive is configured to RAID 1 (mirrored). I'm getting speeds around 2-3 GB/min, which is considerably lower than what the FW800 port should allow for. Could this apparently slow speed be related to the fact that I am doing a mirrored backup?

Thanks!

cjeeper
Jul 11, 2009, 09:55 AM
very useful thread (although i haven't seen my own problem yet)

i have TM backing up to a TC. it worked fine for several months. BUT - hasn't backed up for 2 weeks. when it tries to back up my laptop (macbook pro) sits there with the tm icon spinning around, and if i click on it I see "preparing backup", which it does ad infinitum.

i tried turning off virus checking, excluding the TC from spotlight, etc., other items posted here. but to no avail.

i've also unplugged & reset teh tc.

any other thoughts?

mysterytramp
Jul 11, 2009, 11:44 AM
very useful thread (although i haven't seen my own problem yet)

i have TM backing up to a TC. it worked fine for several months. BUT - hasn't backed up for 2 weeks. when it tries to back up my laptop (macbook pro) sits there with the tm icon spinning around, and if i click on it I see "preparing backup", which it does ad infinitum.

i tried turning off virus checking, excluding the TC from spotlight, etc., other items posted here. but to no avail.

i've also unplugged & reset teh tc.

any other thoughts?

This thread (http://www.trajiklyhip.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/5/18/A-Fix-for-Time-Machines-Backup-Failure) should give you some ideas. In a nutshell, something interrupted Time Machine in the middle of a backup, maybe your machine went to sleep or there was a power outage, whatever. The result was a corrupted "inProgress" file.

I had a similar problem not long ago and I was able to make the fix. I don't remember whether I needed all the steps listed here. I think I just deleted the inProgress file then chose "Back Up Now" from the Time Machine menu. From there, I was good to go.

good luck

mt

Gargantua
Sep 6, 2009, 06:09 AM
Well, I have a completely fresh installed Snow Leopard on my iMac 2.16 GHz, 250 GB harddisk and a newly formatted HFS (journaled) myBook (1TB) external USB2.0 connected directly to the iMac. No virus scanning software.

I made a complete backup, all external harddisk excluded.

It took two days to backup 67 GB from my internal HD to myBook. This is way too slow.

Any new aspects?

Greetings, Ronald
---

AZREOSpecialist
Sep 6, 2009, 01:45 PM
Why are people ruining their Macs by running Norton and other anti-virus programs? Are all of you people "switchers" who think you need that kind of horrible software to protect your system and give you crappy performance? Macs don't need anti-virus software! Just use a router with a good firewall, or utilize the built-in firewall in Snow Leopard.

In the many years I've owned Macs, never once have I installed anti-virus software and never once have I ever had anything bad happen. Anyone who tries to sell you anti-virus software for a Mac is scamming you. In my small office I have a Mac Pro (for myself) and my two office mates have Dells. They are constantly performing virus scans, registry fixes, and god knows what else while I happily continue working and producing. Windows software is nothing more than a conspiracy among IT folks who want job security.

RedTomato
Sep 6, 2009, 03:02 PM
It took two days to backup 67 GB from my internal HD to myBook. This is way too slow.---

Two days is a bit long, but the first backup does take a long time. After this, it should be much faster as it will only backup anything that's been changed.

If it's a fresh install, then as you install large apps eg Adobe CS or MS office, there'll be a couple more long backup events.

Joe Cartwright
Sep 17, 2009, 11:28 AM
I was shocked to discover on a new Time Machine backup to a new Seagate 1TB Desk Agent Firewire drive, that TM had only backed up 40 gigs over 9 hours overnight. I found this thread, but since I was not running any anti-virus, I broadened my thinking to turn of any extra "processes."

After I turned off Little Snitch and Spotlight, I am now flying on TM backup. Probably running 10 times faster. Thanks all.

-- Jeff

ncdasa
Feb 10, 2010, 04:40 AM
WOW!:eek: Seems like spotlight is the culprit. I have waited to upgrade my mac for almost two years and was eager to be able to use FW800, but seeing my first TM backup :mad: WTF?!?!

Anyway, read this thread a bit, disregarded the anti-virus stuff (on a mac :confused: ), and tried turning off spotlight. My transfer went from averaging out at 7.5 MB/s to 51 MB/s immediately.

Hopes this helps others in a similar situation.

Also on a side note, and maybe this needs another thread, does anyone know why FW 800 can be so irregular? I get speeds ranging from usb2 speeds (40MB/s) to almost double that (76MB/s) from the same drive to the same computer, transferring the same files. I have done things like repair permissions or repair the drive, and for the most part it doesnt seem to make a difference. i.e sometimes it is faster and sometimes it isnt, maybe a coincidence? I dont know.

Anyway, if anyone has an idea how i can get this FW 800 to run fast all the time, please let me know.

aceaceace
Apr 11, 2010, 12:27 PM
My 2 cents with TM. Here it is 2010 and still have similar issues with TM.

Finally got around to hooking up my FANTOM DRIVES G-Force GF1000EU 1TB USB 2.0/eSATA External Hard Drive Retail @ $100.99 purchased July of 2009 (9 months ago) from zipzoomfly.com. Oh well, at least I am backing up now.

Snow Leopard v10.6.2 + circa 2006 model Macbook white A1181 13 laptop" upgraded 2GB memory (MAX for this model) + a 500GB internal SATA drive. with 355GB of data used, 60% of it photos.

Very disappointing how slow the initial Time Machine backup was. TM backed up about 4GB per hour for 6 hours :( with 330 GB to go it would take another 80 hours. Yikes! Then found this thread.

I only did a few things, 1) Turned off Time Machine. 2) Using the built in Disk Utility, reformatted the external drive to FAT, then reformatted again to two partitions with the first one being FAT and the 2nd one MAC OS extended (journaled). Not sure if this step was necessary or not, but one other person said to do this so I did. Reformatted the external drive 1 final time to MAC OS extended (journalled) no partitions, just one big 1TB drive. 3) Found the spotlight software in system preferences, clicked the privacy tab and excluded the 1TB external Fantom Drive from being searched by Spotlight. I don't have any virus software running. I think step #3 was the only thing I really needed to do, but I did the other reformatting steps just in case.

Started TM again, at first it was processing super fast, maybe half a GB per minute, then after 2GB it slowed down to about 10GB per hour. Which was still 250% faster than before. When I went to sleep last night I had 250GB left to backup and figured it would take 24 more hours, but when I checked this morning, I has happy to see that Time Machine had completed almost all of the 250GB overnight in under 9 hours at about 30GB/hr which is 600% faster than before! Only 5GB remained but it took 30 minutes to finish the last 5GB (back to 10GB per hour).

Not sure why TM was fast overnight, maybe some process sleeps after awhile and allows TM to speed up at night? So I'm happy now with my TM backup. :D

munkees
Jun 13, 2010, 09:50 PM
Just found this tread, I tried to restore my back up using the migration on the utility menu and was getting 35hours to restore. I then did a reinstall of the os , turned off spotlight and now I am getting 2.5 mb/sec though put compared to the 4mb/sec. But now the install is down to 2.5 hours for 234GB.

Mehuge
Aug 4, 2010, 11:59 AM
My backup was running slowly.

Perhaps because Spotlight was not switched off for the USB drives when I started the backup, but switching off Spotlight did not improve the speed of the already running backup.

I then found that Finder was eating 60% CPU and was the top user of CPU, even though I wasn't using it, so I killed Finder and the backup immediately speeded up by a significant factor with backupd now being the top CPU user.

tiwassie
Sep 8, 2010, 05:48 AM
I have use TM all the time and it is great BUT the slow initial backup is sooooo frustrating.
Here is how to fix it.
Delete the TM pref file from your library
Delete any previous TM file from the back-up disc, and empty trash
Open Spotlight and go to 'Privacy'
Add every drive you have!
Un-tick every selection box as well, don't need to, but it makes me feel better.

Now it should be fine.

I had TM running for 10 hours and it did 33GB only!!!!
With the above in place it is up to 10GB in 5 mins. That's more like it.

Don't forget to change spotlight back again later if you want to be able to search for docs, but there may not be a need for you to allow searching of the backup drive, so leave it in the 'Privacy' window.
:)

arsoncarson
Feb 15, 2011, 09:43 PM
My initial Time Machine back up was painfully slow. After letting it run about 12 hours only 58GB of 128GB were backed up from my iMac!

The problem was the USB 2.0 hub to which the LaCie 750GB HD was connected. I stopped the backup up, unmounted the drive, connected it directly to the iMac, and began the Time Machine backup again. I didn't erase the disk and start over, just started the TM backup.

In 10 minutes about 17GB have been backed up. I had stopped and restarted the backup before and 17GB would have taken about 45 - 60 minutes before!

WOW! I can't believe I didn't even notice this on my end. I'm sitting here on this forum for like 2 hours searching desperately for an answer as to why my TM is going SO SLOW (10GB/hour)! I had done EVERYTHING right!

Western Digital Mybook 500GB External Hard Drive
- Turned OFF my antivirus (which I'm definitely never installing an antivirus on my MAC again)
- Turned OFF Spotlight completely
- Deleted old backups
- Zeroed out the drive
- Partitioned it (GUID)
- Verified/Repaired it

And still it was SLOW (10GB/30min), not as slow as the first time but still extremely slow and unacceptable. I searched this forum more for another answer and BOOM; I notice that my external is ALSO connected via USB 2.0 HUB! So I disconnected it, replugged it back directly into my MPB and restarted the TM backup and now I'm getting around 10GB/5min.

Final & vital step
- Unplugged external from USB hub
- Directly plugged external into USB port on my MBP

Thank you to everyone for showing me how stupid I can be at times! LOL :D
<3 :apple: <3

mjsmke
Feb 16, 2011, 04:23 AM
Its worth getting a FW800 case for youe TM Drive.

rJUUSO
Feb 26, 2011, 04:23 AM
I'm using TC for time machine backups. I have TC connected with ethernet. I was getting about 300 KB/s speeds when I was making first backup. Then i chanced TC setting with airport utility. I changed TC from bridge mode to "share a public ip address" mode. Now average speed is about 17 MB/s or 1 GB/min!

raffinux
Jul 29, 2011, 03:34 PM
Hi guys,

just want to share with you how I solved the very slow Time Capsule issue.
Today I've bought a TC 2TB 4th Generation and after connecting it via CAT6 cable directly to the switch port of the TC I started my backup. I was taking for ever....

The progress was like few KB at the beginning to move to few MB later. After 40 Minutes it managed to achieve an depressing 400MB ...

Luckily I've came across this post and the first reply caught my attention. Disabling the Antivirus did the trick but wait... I don't have an AV (as many of you) or do I???

And sure I did. The bloody Apple Malware Removal Tool Scanner MRT was running since the last security update. I thought it was a bad idea to remove it but then I've read this post:
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20068278-263/os-x-10.6-showing-high-cpu-usage-after-security-update/

The MRT is just there for temporary scan but sometimes decides to sit there and keep going, as it was indeed in my case.

My current backup speed, as I'm writing this post, is about 1GB/s.
Now it works as expected. Don't get tricked by the sentence: "the 1st backup will be slow but the next will be faster". Even the 1st backup can be a breeze.

Hope to help somebody else with this post.

Raff

MidWestMike
Aug 21, 2011, 10:26 AM
Looks like the new Lion update from Apple fixed the issue.

THANK YOU APPLE!! :)

jamieson
Sep 7, 2011, 07:14 PM
good advice . bring up activity monitor and find out what's consuming cpu. I found and hp utility at the top of the list along with a couple other "lp" processes. I forced quit them and backupd jumped to the top of the list and backup rate jumped signficantly.

bilbo--baggins
Sep 30, 2011, 01:50 PM
I'm currently looking into antivirus software because we need it for PCI compliance (otherwise I'd never use it, my only experience with antivirus is when VirusBarrier X5 which came free with .mac always crashed my Mac and I removed it).

Are people saying they switch off antivirus for the large initial backup then switch it back on - does that work ok? Or are you turning it off permanently in order to get Time Machine working properly.

alenico
Oct 19, 2011, 04:51 PM
i've read through this string and tried pretty much everything. i'm backing up 360GB onto my 1T TC. i've started and stopped a few times to check things given it's incredibly slow speed but all in all it's probably going to take 3 days. does this sound right to anyone ?

birdguano
Nov 17, 2011, 07:19 AM
My initial experiences with time machine were not great, glacially slow initial backup rate, left external HDD in unstable state that could not be repaired, stuck on "preparing" etc. The initial backup rate was minutes per Mb--unacceptable.

here are some steps I took, based on watching this and apple support discussion groups--this may not work for all problems being experienced.

turn off time machine

Although TM doesnt require exclusive use of an external drive and will use HDs that have other data, you are placing those data at risk:

before you turn on TM backup anything you have on your intended time machine external disk, partition ( as GUID) first, then erase (format as HFS extended, journaled) and check/repair permissions. (dont let time machine format the disk)

exclude the external disk from spotlight indexing (or turn off spotlight altogether); certainly do not commence initial backup while spotlight is performing initial index after leopard install

turn off any virus checking!!

remove TM plist file from any previous attempts and erase and trash any previous backup files

exclude any large frequently updated database files (Entourage, Parallels) from time machine.

If you have multiple drives that you dont intend including in your routine backup, make sure you exclude them in TM

avoid daisy chained FW drives for the initial backup, time machine disk should be directly connected.



that's about it, Time Machine backed up a ~90G system from a 2.4Ghz SR MBP to a LaCie 500G d2 (FW800) in about 120 minutes and has continued with hourly backups since.

good luck!

Thank you so much! Worked a treat.... :)