Best Practices for Time Machine and Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by StanleyYelnats, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. StanleyYelnats macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    I purchased my first MAC about 3 years ago. An Imac. Since the IMAC, i now own:

    2 mac book pros

    mac air
    mac mini

    and time capsule

    I still have a Dell PC which I'm using now.

    Time Capsule and Time Machine are less than as I believed them to be. I had always believed that you buy a MAC because MAC's work

    Well, say it ain't so Joe.

    The time capsule is not working well. I've had to reformat 2 times and the 3rd time has been no better.

    So I will take the blame because I don't know what I'm doing.

    Are there any best practices on how to make the time capsule and time machine work? Something to help me determine what I'm doing wrong.

    Like, will the backup work if the MAC goes to sleep? I shut my time capsule down everyday. Good Idea?

    I don't back up the computers everyday. Sometimes the time period between the backups could be a week or longer.

    etc, etc.... at this point I'm disappointed with the results of the time capsule. But, I'm willing to blame my lack of understanding.
  2. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    You really don't need to be shutting down your Time Capsule. It works best if it just sits there and does a Time Machine backup every hour. As a matter of fact, why would you shut it down at all? Are you not using it as a router?

    Actually, you CAN'T format the disk in the Time Capsule without taking it out. Disk Utility doesn't recognize it as a disk when it's connected you your network. I'd be interested in knowing how you are doing this. Are you calling an erase a "format"?

    Your Mac will not back up if it goes to sleep (unless you have a new MBA or MBP running Mountain Lion and have Power Nap activated); however, it doesn't need to back as presumably you aren't creating content or editing documents while it's asleep! ;-)

    Best practice - set up the Time Capsule as the Time Machine backup disk and just let it do its thing every hour. No need to intervene, or turn backups off and on, or force it to do a backup. It will do it on its own. I've been using TM for over 4 years via attached storage. I just got my first Time Capsule a month ago and have 3 Macs (2 iMacs and an MBA) backing up to it. Simple as pie - they do their backups without a hitch.

    Finally, if you try this and it still is giving you trouble, you may have a defective one. By all means, take it back and get a new one. There is no reason why you should be struggling with an Apple product that is only 3 months old.
  3. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    Backup failed....


    Time Machine could not complete the backup.

    The backup disk image "/volumes data-1/stanleyyelnats's macbookpro.sparsebundle" could not be accessed (error -1)

    I just now notices that the volume is data-1 and that is incorrect. the volume is simply data. How do I rename?
  4. Mike in Kansas, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012

    Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    It looks like at some point during a backup your TC was unavailable and somehow it created a different name for your volume (Data-1). Then, when the volume became available again, it reverted back to the "Data" name, while your backup was on "Data-1".

    I have experienced this in the past when working with other attached storage, and short from completely creating a whole new backup set, I don't know how to fix it.

    This person is frequently referenced on the Apple forums when dealing with TM/TC issues - maybe he has something in his tips:

    Just read through his site - maybe this will help:
  5. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    4 th attempt

    I erased the sparsebundle and I'm creating a new backup.

    The initial backup works OK, but the incremental backups don't appear to work very well.

    Oh well....
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Don't turn the time capsule off every day. I'm not sure why you would want to do this. You're probably jacking up all of the incremental backups.
  7. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    Erased, new sparse bundle created....

    I erased the hard drive using Airport Utility.

    I created a new backup of the computer (33 gig).

    I used ethernet.

    Backup (sparse bundle) created OK.

    I waited an hour and a timed backup occurred.

    I powered everything down and went to bed.

    I'm now up drinking coffee and waiting for the next timed backup to either succeed or fail?

    The next scheduled backup is at 11:09AM eastern.
  8. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    Backup at 11:09 worked OK

    Backup at 11:09 worked OK
  9. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    Including the TC? If so,I still wouldn't power down the TC versus just the computer. I don't see what powering down the TC will do for you. If you are in the middle of a backup while you power it down you could get back into the problem you had before, depending on what you power back on first and when another TM backup starts.

    If you mean just your computer, then never mind!
  10. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Time machine is not a process that is supposed to be micro managed. It's quite the opposite really.
  11. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    Thanks for all the Replies...

    And there is some truth to every reply.

    I have now managed to string together 4 successful backups on my macbook pro.

    I am backing up 5 macs to the time capsule. I erased the time capsule last night and now have one computer working to my satisfaction.

    I power every thing down at night. I don't have all 5 of the macs turned on everyday.

    One thing I did last night before I powered everything down is switch Time Machine to the OFF position.

    I don't power all the computers on every day and because my environment is not the same as everyone else, there may be some subtle differences.

    One this computer is stable then I will add another.
    This web site was helpful.
    I found in this forum.

    Maybe I have resolved the issue I'm having.
  12. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    You asked about best practices. Time Capsule should be left on. Time Machine can be left on.

    Turn off any machines when you feel like it. Of course it's more convenient to simply let the machines sleep naturally unless they need to be stored away b/c your cats will tear them up or whatever.

    That's best practice and that won't endanger your backups.

    But hey, some people just need to be difficult. My father-in-law has to turn off and unplug his TV and DVR/satellite box every time he is done watching TV. He's constantly bitching about how long it takes for the DVR to re-acquire all the satellite information, but he refused to stop unplugging the stupid thing. In his mind, it's just poor design.
  13. StanleyYelnats thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    6 successful backups today...

    ... but I have removed all the other computers.

    I have only one computer backing up to the time capsule.

    I will add one more computer today.
  14. joythekid macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2012
    Managed to resolve the issue

    I had the same error. I went in to airport utility, entered my time capsule, clicked on the tab 'Disk' and deleted the old data.I started the back up again, took me 2 days to back up but the issue was resolved.

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