Getting rid of message "Time Machine could not complete the backup"?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Rogier, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Rogier macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hi all,

    I recently performed a clean install of SL and have had few problems so far. I deleted my old TM backups and started a new series; TM seems to work fine again. Actually, what disturbs me is that when my external HD is not connected, I keep getting this message "Time Machine could not complete the backup. The backup disk is not available" every hour or so. Not surprising on a portable computer, I would say. Is this an indication of a problem with my TM? In case this message is just a reminder to backup regularly: Is there any way to get rid of it?

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Repair your permissions with Disk Utility, it might help
  3. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2008
    How about just going to the preference panel and turning the time machine back-ups to off?

    You would obviously need to turn it back on again to back things up.. but it would stop the messages.

    It isn't indicative of a problem with the time machine back up, its just a reminder that you need to back things up. Turn it off if you aren't using it.
  4. Rogier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    Thanks for the reply guys!

    Tried this, unfortunately to no avail...

    Switching off Time Machine might help, but I think it is too much of an hassle to turn it on and off every time. In Leopard it used to be possible to keep TM on, only making backups every time the TM HD was mounted. Any other ideas?
  5. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Yeah that is weird. Usually if your backup drive isn’t connected, it just won’t do anything until it is. Maybe your computer THINKS it’s connected, so it tries to do backups and fails? Maybe plugging it in and then ejecting it and unplugging it would work. Can you post a screenshot of your Time Machine Preferences window? (If you don’t already know, to take a screenshot, either use Grab in your Utilities folder or press cmd-shift-4 to bring up crosshairs to select an area for screenshot, and then press the spacebar to switch it so it’ll take a shot of whatever window you click).

    Attached Files:

  6. Rogier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    that is exactly the way it used to work in Leopard, thought this could be a SL 'feature', but apparently not. please find my tm prefs enclosed. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  7. tongteh macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2008
    it is indeed very weird, i am on snowleopard now and TimeMachine is working fine.. my guess is its probably because of improper dismount of your backup drive? what external drive do you use for TM backup?
  8. Rogier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    I do not dismount it in any other way than I did under Leopard; I always eject the disk properly before dismounting. I am using a 500 GB LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface for TM backups.
  9. devburke Guest

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hm…have you successfully done a backup yet since installing Snow Leopard? That screenshot would seem to suggest not. It looks, from that picture, like you turned on Time Machine, but it doesn’t know what drive to do backups on. Next time your Time Machine drive is connected, click the “Select Disk” button in the Time Machine preferences and be sure to point it at the drive.
  10. Beetlebinkie macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
    Try this ...

    In adition to devburk try this in time machine preferences:
    - turn off TM
    - change disk to 'none'
    - change disk to your normal backup disk
    - turn on TM
  11. Rogier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    Yes i have, when my TM disk is connected, backups work perfectly fine!
  12. Rogier thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2004
    Will try this as soon as I am near my TM backup disk again. thanks!
  13. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Jul 28, 2010
    I had this problem, so I did a fresh install of OS X 10.6.3 from the CD, updated the OS, and still got the same error. Then I went into Disk Utility, selected the external drive I wanted to use, and did a Repair Disk on the external drive. When Repair Disk finished, Time Machine started on its own with no problem.

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