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Old Nov 6, 2012, 10:36 PM   #1
DaveTheRave
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Time Machine problem

I use a WD My Passport for Mac for Time Machine backup, and I had it plugged into my Macbook all day. No problems when I disconnected it. But when I plugged it back in and entered my password and click "unlock", nothing happens but the password window gets greyed-out and hangs, unless I remove the drive cable from the Macbook. After rebooting the MacBook, I still see the Time Machine error icon at the top of the screen (! within the circle). How can I get past this? Why is this happening? Very frustrated...

The Time Machine error is "Backup disk not available", probably because the password box is still open even though I'm typing the correct password.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:05 AM   #2
DaveTheRave
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I'm starting to think its a problem with the drive itself, which is dissapointing because its only 6 months old. Maybe I'll have yo buy a new one. I can't sleep if all my pics and music aren't backed up.

===================

Update: ran disk utility, and it says the drive has a problem. I tried to repair it but it says that it can't be repaired. Should I erase and reformat my external drive (losing all my TM backups?), and then do a fresh TM backup? Any advise? I want TM to work, maybe I should buy a new drive and toss this one out (its encrypted).

Last edited by DaveTheRave; Nov 7, 2012 at 09:06 AM. Reason: update
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 10:26 AM   #3
Weaselboy
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Originally Posted by DaveTheRave View Post
I'm starting to think its a problem with the drive itself, which is dissapointing because its only 6 months old. Maybe I'll have yo buy a new one. I can't sleep if all my pics and music aren't backed up.

===================

Update: ran disk utility, and it says the drive has a problem. I tried to repair it but it says that it can't be repaired. Should I erase and reformat my external drive (losing all my TM backups?), and then do a fresh TM backup? Any advise? I want TM to work, maybe I should buy a new drive and toss this one out (its encrypted).
Yes... I would try to reformat the drive and start over. After the reformat, run Disk Utility again to check for errors. If there are still errors after the format... toss that sucker in the trash!

Are you ejecting the drive in OS X before you disconnect each time? If not, that can cause corruption issues.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 12:43 PM   #4
DaveTheRave
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Yes... I would try to reformat the drive and start over. After the reformat, run Disk Utility again to check for errors. If there are still errors after the format... toss that sucker in the trash!

Are you ejecting the drive in OS X before you disconnect each time? If not, that can cause corruption issues.
Yes, but recently after ejecting I got the error saying I didn't eject properly...not sure why. And recently I've gotten the popup asking if I want to Eject or Eject All...again not sure why since there's only one partition. I made the mistake of removing it from the list of disks to backup to, so now its wasting hours trying to unencrypted it before try to back up again. Ugh...

I'm frustrated becuase the drive is about 6 or 8 months old and doesn't get moved too often, and never dropped. These things should be built with more durability.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Yes, but recently after ejecting I got the error saying I didn't eject properly...not sure why. And recently I've gotten the popup asking if I want to Eject or Eject All...
I think that is because when you encrypt it creates an encrypted sparse bundle that is encrypted. So when you eject it actually has to dismount the sparse bundle and the disk itself... so you want to eject all.

It does sound like maybe that drive it going to the disk graveyard.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:18 PM   #6
DaveTheRave
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The WD My Passport can be read by the MacBook and can pull up old backups, but cannot write to it. I guess this thread should be retitled "HD backup problem" since I think its a hardware issue and not the Time Machine software. Today I just purchased a brand new Seagate Backup Plus HD and Time Machine is doing its first backup. A few minutes in I got the "you didn't eject properly" error, which is odd since I didn't touch the HD. Now I'm starting the initial backup again. Very frustrating. Maybe my USB port is flaky?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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2 drives from different manufacturers having the same issue appears to be a computer related issue. I would try different USB ports if possible. Also, is this happening when the macbook is plugged in or not?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Don't forget that USB cables can be bad, too.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:08 PM   #9
DaveTheRave
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2 drives from different manufacturers having the same issue appears to be a computer related issue. I would try different USB ports if possible. Also, is this happening when the macbook is plugged in or not?
The macbook was plugged in. Now that I think about it, eject error might be a delayed error related to the first HD, not the new one. Today I was able to go into Time Machine and look at older files but in Finder there was nothing to eject. Going forward I'll try to do other backups using the second USB port, just in case.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:34 PM   #10
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Don't forget that USB cables can be bad, too.
Good point. My hand brushed against the new USB cable on the new HD, and I got the eject error again. Jeez...all I want is a HD that doesn't flake on me. Seems like thats hard to find, no matter who make them (including Apple...I've read some negative reviews about Time Capsule).
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Good point. My hand brushed against the new USB cable on the new HD, and I got the eject error again.
It might be the USB port in that case, if two different cables have a problem?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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Same problem with same drive

I have mid 2011 15'' MBP with a Crucial M4 SSD and full disk encryption. Backup drive is *ALSO* a WD Passport external USB2.0. Time Machine worked w/o issue for me for a year with this drive and all versions of 10.7.x. Upgraded to 10.8.0 and told Time Machine to encrypt drive… no issues at all. Starting with 10.8.1 even though I eject my drive, when I then unplug it I get the warning that it wasn't unmounted/ejected, etc. Did some googling and others were noting issues with many external USB drives with newer Mac's with USB 3.0. Apparently 10.8.2 addressed this issue, but I still have my issue. If I format the drive and leave it unencrypted, all works fine. All disk checks pass w/o errors as well. As soon as I encrypt it, the problem returns. Its not the cable as I've tried a replacement. It *appears* that its not properly unmounting both the encrypted sparse image or the drive or both. What's interesting is that we have the same drive. Could also possibly be that we need a firmware upgrade for the WD Passports. Going to do some research on that. If no firmware update available, then might try a new drive.
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