Help! External backup SSD failing ("keys out of order")

Discussion in 'iMac' started by fatherom, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. fatherom macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    Please be patient with me, I'm a bit new to the world of Macs.

    I have a slightly old Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD that I want to use for Time Machine backups. For the last few days, I've had the SSD connected with a USB->SATA cable, just connected to one of the regular USB ports on the back of my new 2017 5K iMac. Time Machine ran fine for the last few days

    Today, I got an Oyen Digital MiniPro USB 3.1 enclosure. I put the drive in it, and reconnected it. Time Machine backup failed ("could not copy files").

    I've tried several Erase operations. I connected the drive to my Windows PC and wiped it clean, including the EFI partition.

    Basically, when I initialize the drive on the iMac, format it and then instantly run First Aid, it says "keys out of order" amongst other errors messages.

    Is it possible the enclosure is corrupting something? I have another enclosure of the same type, and it seems to work fine.

    Please help...this is frustrating.


    --- Post Merged, Jul 20, 2017 ---
    Going to keep an eye on it, but I switched the drive to a different enclosure and it worked fine. Hmmm...going to call Oyen Digital tomorrow and tell them I suspect one of the enclosures I ordered is bad somehow.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Oyen Digital MiniPro USB 3.1"

    Hmmm... I have an earlier MiniPro (USB 3.0 only) that has never given me a bit of trouble, runs fine.

    I'm wondering if it could be a controller issue with the "3.1" version of USB that was causing the conflict?
    Or perhaps some conflict between the Samsung drive and the controller?

    USB has never been "a perfect science", from time to time conflicts seem to arise.

    If you have the drive in a different enclosure that is working fine, I'd say, "go with what works for you" and don't worry about it.

    Before you return the MiniPro, do you have any other drives you could try with it?

    BTW, I don't see an SSD as a really good use for backup.
    It's fast, of course.
    But will it have enough room for the TM backup "to grow"?
    They usually become quite large, since they back up over, and over, and over, and over (etc.)
  3. KentuckyApple macrumors regular


    Jul 2, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Using and SSD for a Time Machine backup seems like a waste. How often are you restoring from backup?
  4. fatherom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    It's an ssd that I had lying around that wasn't being used for anything. I didn't have any other drives to try in the "bad" enclosure unfortunately.

    I vowed when I got this setup I would never buy a spinning disk for it. SSD all the way. :)

    The time machine backup isn't something I hope to ever have to restore from. ;). That's the point of a backup...To use in some catastrophic event.

    I know they grow, but time machine will delete old stuff to make room for new when the disk is full. It'd probably take me years to wear out the ssd anyway. It's more of a fun experiment than anything else.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 21, 2017 ---
    Also the other enclosure that DID work is the exact same brand and model. Hence my feeling that the one particular enclosure had something funky in the circuit board. Called Oyen Digital and they agreed.
  5. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    The enclosure likely caused changes the Mac perceived as corruption or was unable to compensate for. I'm not familiar with the enclosure but data could have been moved or rearranged or something. The keys are the pointers to directories, if they are manipulated from what the Mac is expecting you'll likely get this error.

    I think you will be fine now.

    You could do us all a favorite and try to replicate it again. :) Pull the SSD and use the SATA adapter see if it works, if it does do a back up, then swap it back in. Would be nice to know for future reference.

    As long as the storage used on the Mac doesn't exceed your back up disk size you'll be fine. While a fun experiment I would also consider another back up btw. I use an SSD myself but keep only important files that I manually move too it, then keep it in a safe. My TM is a Synology NAS using WD Reds in mirrored RAID.

    Good luck.
  6. fatherom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    Yeah I don't anticipate my internal ssd ever getting more full than the size of this external drive. If it does, I'll get something bigger.

    I can't do the experiment as I've already returned the bad enclosure. :(

    If I put the drive in a good enclosure of the same brand and model, I could format the drive and run first aid and have no issues. Then I swapped the drive into the "bad" enclosure, run first aid, and get errors. Then I would format the drive again while still in the bad enclosure, instantly run first aid, and get errors. The enclosure was definitely gumming something up.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 21, 2017 ---
    Oh and last night I did connect it to the Sata cable and formatted it and had no first aid errors. Put it back in the bad enclosure and instant first aid errors.
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Ahh I didn't realize you had a bad enclosure.

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