Big Time Machine Back Up Problems/Issues - Please Help!

Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Hi All,

I have been more than a little naughty & did not back up two portable HD's with Time Machine for quite some time. I have a Late 2011 17" MBP running High Sierra & have recently bought a 2015 model. I need some older files that are on both HD's via Time Machine Back-Ups as well as needing to now Back Up my data on the 2011 MBP so I can ensure all is update before I transfer data over to the 2015 rMBP.

On both external HD's - I am experiencing problems - they both take ages to appear on the desktop & quite often do not. They are both Seagate 2TB Portable Drives. I think the Back-Ups may be on Mavericks, High Sierra or a mix of both - I am really not sure

To make matters worse, one of my Time Capsules has suddenly stopped working - no light at the front when plugged into the wall socket - I changed the fuse in the plug to a new one but still would not power up - does that mean it is dead? Is it likely just the Power Supply or can it be something else? I hope my data on it is safe?

1st Drive: There is an inProgress folder in the Backups.backupdb which I simply cannot delete as per normal - never ever had this issue before - no delete option by right clicking nor under edit or file - This file originally had a lock on it but even when unlocking it via Get-Info, I still cannot delete it & this is stopping me from using it to access older files & backing up via Time Machine.

Once I got a message stating that to improve reliability, a new back up must be created & that all my existing back up will be lost but strangely, this message does not show up anymore?

2nd Drive: It mounted OK & I left it overnight to do a Time Machine Back Up but in the morning, it was still stuck on the "Preparing Back Up" stage so I cancelled the Back Up & expected that there too would have been created an inProgress file on this Drive too that I would have to delete.

However, when I tried connecting the Drive again to the MBP, I first got a Warning Message stating that MacOS cannot repair the Back Up but I can still open/copy files but cannot save any changes & to Back Up the Disk & reformat soon.

I ejected the drive - it would not eject for ages but then finally did so after many attempts. Upon connecting it to the MBP again & got the same Warning Message again. The HD mounted on my desktop. I clicked it to try & find any inProgress file to delete but when clicking on the Sparsebundle file, I got another, different Warning Message stating that the Disk could not be opened due to no mountable file systems? Sometimes, this Drive makes a small beep sound - why is that?

Can anyone please kindly tell me what is going on here & how I can make both Drives normal again so I can access the Time Machine Back Ups, remove the inProgess files & then use the Drives again for Time Machine Back Ups? I am not that computer problem solving savvy so please bear that in mind!

Someone, PLEASE kindly help!

Many Kind Thanks!

DRIVE 1:
Screen Shot 2019-03-29 at 12.32.37.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.34.27.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.34.56.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.35.45.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.36.18.png



DRIVE 2:
Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 13.42.24.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 14.44.46.png










 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
I just have to say it:
IF you had been using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create/maintain your backups, you would not be in trouble now.

Go forth from this day and learn -- a wiser man!
 
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Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
I just have to say it:
IF you had been using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create/maintain your backups, you would not be in trouble now.

Go forth from this day and learn -- a wiser man!
Hi!

I do also use SuperDuper & I think you were also kind enough to help me in the past when transferring data on my Late 2011 17" MBP on to a Samsung 860 Evo Pro SSD that I had bought to eventually put inside the laptop.

I went with the advice of all & used Super-Duper instead of TM/Migration Assistant at the time to do the data transfer & even contacted Super-Duper for some clarifications just to be absolutely sure I would not have any issues.

I did exactly as prescribed but ended up with a ton of issues for which I sought help for over here - some issues were sorted but others not so & some very strange things happened to my filing system & initially the laptop was even worse performing with an SSD than what it was with a HDD. I have never ever been able to put all the files right, the Mail App is still messed up & certain apps like Safari just do not work properly etc & I have spent ages & over a year trying to find out why & seek help but no joy.

I also wanted to cover my bases by having more than one type (& number) of back ups which is why I had Time Capsule, TM on 2 Portable External HD's & a Super-Duper Back Up also on external HD.

Due to the issues I last faced when doing a Super-Duper Transfer, I at least now wish to save both the external portable HD's and also the TM Data on them so I have options in case things go wrong again.

Can you tell what is going on with the drives & how to resolve things please?

Many Thanks!
 

Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Hi All,

Can anyone please kindly help?

Many Thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
Sorry, can't help with TM issues in any way.
I've never used it and (of course) don't recommend that others use it.

Can't understand why you had problems setting up the internal SSD.
This isn't hard.

Could you list ALL your drives?
Provide the type of drive (USB, etc.), capacity, how its formatted, and what's on it?
 

Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Sorry, can't help with TM issues in any way.
I've never used it and (of course) don't recommend that others use it.

Can't understand why you had problems setting up the internal SSD.
This isn't hard.

Could you list ALL your drives?
Provide the type of drive (USB, etc.), capacity, how its formatted, and what's on it?
Hi,

I have two Time Capsules (old style - USB 2.0) each 2TB. One now no longer responds at all - no light & the other has gone off connection & I am finding it very hard to reconnect it. Both have TM Back-Ups - I cannot say for certain how they are formatted but assume both are MacOS Extended Journalled. These would have Back-Ups made on Lion all the way through to Mavericks/High Sierra.

I have a USB 3.0 1TB Portable LaCie Porsche Design 2.5" Hard Drive - this is used for the Super-Duper Back Ups. This is formatted as Mac OS Extended Journalled.

I have a USB 3.0 2.5" 2TB Portable Seagate Expansion & a USB 3.0 2TB Seagate Back Up Plus Hard Drives - these were formatted with MacOS Extended Journalled & are each used for Time Machine Back-Ups. These would have Back-Ups made in Mavericks & High Sierra.

My Late 2011 17" MBP has High Sierra Fresh Installed & Data Transfer was done via Super-Duper Clone that was in Mavericks. For some reason the file system stayed as MacOS Extended Journalled instead of APFS & had major problems with the laptop operation despite following to the letter the instructions given here & by Super-Duper. Issues still remain & Super-Duper could not explain why they had occurred.

I have just recently got a Mid 2015 2.8Ghz 15" rMBP which has a fresh install of Mojave. To avoid the nightmare that I experienced when last transferring data from a Back-Up Drive that had Mavericks to a MBP that had High Sierra (This time it will be from a Back Up Drive that has High Sierra To a rMBP that has Mojave).

In order to avoid these issues again, someone suggested that to manually transfer all the files/folders etc that I could from my High Sierra 17" MBP to the Mojave 15"rMBP. I would need to then find a way to transfer all my Apps as well which I why I need I believe eith TM or Migration Assistant if correct?

Either way, I would still really wish to access both the Seagate Drives as I need Data from them & also do not wish to loose two separate Drives - they are both fairly lightly used & not abused.

When I tried to Back Up each of the portable Seagate Drives, I faced the issues as described in my initial post.

I have managed to get the info from each of the Seagate Hard Drives incase this might help somehow - please see images attached below:

Many Thanks,
Bazzy!

1st Drive - Portable 2TB Seagate Back Up Plus HDD:

Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 20.12.03.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 20.12.46.png


2nd Drive - Portable 2TB Seagate Expansion HDD:

Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 20.16.00.png


Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 20.17.24.png









 
Last edited:

kboller07

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2007
65
1
Is it a beep sound or a clicking noise? A clicking noise means that the hard drive is dying. As for your time capsule not powering on, I would think that the drive should be fine because the time capsule itself seems to have died. I've never gone into the time machines backups folders to delete anything because time machine files are very finicky and are easily corrupted. Have you just tried to restart your MacBook and then plug in the drive that's not making a noise and see if it backs up?
 

Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Is it a beep sound or a clicking noise? A clicking noise means that the hard drive is dying. As for your time capsule not powering on, I would think that the drive should be fine because the time capsule itself seems to have died. I've never gone into the time machines backups folders to delete anything because time machine files are very finicky and are easily corrupted. Have you just tried to restart your MacBook and then plug in the drive that's not making a noise and see if it backs up?
Hi,

It is Drive 2 - the Seagate Expansion Media 2TB one which makes a beeping sound (not clicking).

On the Time Capsule that has died, would it likely be the power-supply & if I was to have another working one put in, would that likely bring it back to life?

I have tried restarting a few times but Drive 2 still beeps & I still get the same messages. Drive 1 still does not allow any way to delete the inProgress file even though things are unlocked.

Any clues there as to what might be going on please?

Many Kind Thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
Bazzy wrote:
"On the Time Capsule that has died, would it likely be the power-supply & if I was to have another working one put in, would that likely bring it back to life?"

The time capsules have a history of failing because there wasn't adequate cooling for the heat generated by the drive and electronics inside.

The best thing you can do with the time capsules is to PRY THEM OPEN, take the drives out, and throw the rest away. DON'T waste any money on these things again.

Then, see if you can revive the drives using either a USB3/SATA docking station or perhaps some kind of USB3 dongle adapter.

One course of action to take if you have several "problem drives":
DISCONNECT them ALL.
Then, try working with only one drive connected at a time.
 
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Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Bazzy wrote:
"On the Time Capsule that has died, would it likely be the power-supply & if I was to have another working one put in, would that likely bring it back to life?"

The time capsules have a history of failing because there wasn't adequate cooling for the heat generated by the drive and electronics inside.

The best thing you can do with the time capsules is to PRY THEM OPEN, take the drives out, and throw the rest away. DON'T waste any money on these things again.

Then, see if you can revive the drives using either a USB3/SATA docking station or perhaps some kind of USB3 dongle adapter.

One course of action to take if you have several "problem drives":
DISCONNECT them ALL.
Then, try working with only one drive connected at a time.
Hi,

Thanks for the info - I may very do as you say now but the thing I loved most about Apple was the automated wireless back ups - for me a it a really major thing.

I think I read somewhere that there might be other ways/options to do wireless back ups with a Mac - something like Synology/Drono etc but I know nothing about them - so you & what would you recommend that is stable & reliable?

Many Thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
I don't do "automatic" backups.
ALL my backups are done "manually".
That way, I have control.

I'd suggest that you try that.
Looks to me that relying on "automated" backups has gotten you into the mess you're in now!
 

Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
I don't do "automatic" backups.
ALL my backups are done "manually".
That way, I have control.

I'd suggest that you try that.
Looks to me that relying on "automated" backups has gotten you into the mess you're in now!
Hi,

That may very well be partly true! In this case, due to a number of reasons, I did not back up the portable hard drives for quite some time - they were disconnected & left alone & problems happened as described earlier when I simply tried to connect them to the MBP to do TM Back Ups - lazy of me I admit but hardly a crime - it is not like I messed with anything inside the drives or messed with the filing system or any settings etc?!!

Many Thanks!
 

kboller07

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2007
65
1
One of my old first gen Time Capsules failed because of the heating issues the previous poster referred to. You can take the bottom rubber piece off of them because it’s just glued together and access the drive. I did just what the previous poster said and put it in a sata USB dock and was able to mount it just fine to my MacBook Pro and access it’s contents.

I can’t say I know what’s happening with your Seagate drives but if you’re planning on trying to do future backups without much hassle. I like the scheduled carbon copy cloner ones. I set one to archive deleted data alongside the backup on a larger drive like a hgst 6tb drive (backblaze hdd testing showed them as being very reliable) put into an enclosure and then have my daily mirrored copy on an ssd drive because they are much less likely to fail. I also backup to a newer Time Machine for a last resort type deal but you’re unable to purchase those anymore. Perhaps sign up for something like backblaze.

As for you, I would suggest you go the time capsule route with the one not powering on and remove the drive. Make sure before you mount it that you restart your computer without any of the other drives attached to it. And that you set all time machine units to not backup while you deal with getting data off of the drive.
 
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vkd

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2012
886
277
Here's my backup procedure (for reference):

Plug the USB External HDD in.
Open SuperDuper. It immediately recognises the drive as a SuperDuper Backup.
I perform a backup which modifies the previous one by updating only changed files.
When it finishes I close SuperDuper and eject the External drive.
I mark the date on a piece of paper I sellotaped to the underside of the drive so I can quickly see when the last backup was done.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
vkd "has it down".
CCC will do the same as SD. Different apps, same routine.

For me...
Sunday is "backup day".
I turn on the Mac, sit down with some breakfast, and "run through" my backups.

Sometimes during the week, I just run a backup on my "main data drive" whenever the thought occurs... "hey! I need a backup!"

EDIT:
After posting this, I mounted my backup SSD on the desktop, opened CCC, and did an incremental backup of the cloned volume that contains my "main" data.
It took.... 7 seconds.
Done.
 
Last edited:
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Bazzy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
224
5
Here's my backup procedure (for reference):

Plug the USB External HDD in.
Open SuperDuper. It immediately recognises the drive as a SuperDuper Backup.
I perform a backup which modifies the previous one by updating only changed files.
When it finishes I close SuperDuper and eject the External drive.
I mark the date on a piece of paper I sellotaped to the underside of the drive so I can quickly see when the last backup was done.
vkd "has it down".
CCC will do the same as SD. Different apps, same routine.

For me...
Sunday is "backup day".
I turn on the Mac, sit down with some breakfast, and "run through" my backups.

Sometimes during the week, I just run a backup on my "main data drive" whenever the thought occurs... "hey! I need a backup!"

EDIT:
After posting this, I mounted my backup SSD on the desktop, opened CCC, and did an incremental backup of the cloned volume that contains my "main" data.
It took.... 7 seconds.
Done.
Hi,

Thanks for the two posts above - I am grateful & have taken note - I too always used Super-Duper so was fully following advice but since having major problems with it last time when transferring data, I may now also get CCC instead - issue is I do not know what went so wrong when I last used SuperDuper & why despite following instructions from the company to the letter & could find no answers afterwards.

In the meantime, my issue regarding the two external hard drives still remain & need resolving so please can anyone kindly help to resolve?

Many Thanks!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
"In the meantime, my issue regarding the two external hard drives still remain & need resolving so please can anyone kindly help to resolve?"

Try resolving the problems "one drive at a time".
Take ONE of the drives, and put the other one aside for now.

What happens when you mount the drive "in the finder"?
What do you see?
Does it appear on the desktop?
If not, are there error messages?
If there are error messages, what do they say?

BTW, once created a cloned backup from either SuperDuper or CCC will look the same. You could create a clone using CCC and then "clone it back" using SD...