How to Tell if Time Capsule Drive is Failing?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Aragornii, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Aragornii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #1
    I think my Time Capsule's hard drive is going bad. Without taking it apart and taking out the disk, are there any utilities that can run diagnostics on the drive and see if it is failing?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #2
    Just restart it and that will do a check disk. If non-repairable errors are found you will get a flashing amber light. See this.
     
  3. Aragornii thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #3
    Thanks. I restarted and the light is no green with no errors reported.

    The reason that I suspect the drive is failing is that I'm trying to do a first time back-up of a 2 TB drive onto a 3 TB Time Capsule. Time Machine starts the backup saying XX GB of 1.9 TB backed up and it will run for a day or so, but before it finishes the Time Capsule drive will run out of space and the Time Machine backup will hang.

    Any suggestions as to what else may be causing it? I'm currently backing up a smaller portion of the drive to a smaller Time Capsule and it is working fine, but I do not have another 3 TB drive laying around to test a full backup.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    Have you checked the Time Capsule drive to see how much space is left on it? You can see free space in this screen in Airport Utility.

    [​IMG]

    Just to confirm, you are referring to Apple's Time Capsule router/backup combo device yes?
     
  5. Aragornii thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #5
    That's correct.

    I started by freshly erasing the Time Capsule drive using Airport Utility, so roughly the full 3 TB is available.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Hmmm... okay. So after formatting when you try to backup a 2TB drive you are getting the full error?

    Let's try a couple things.

    command-r boot to recovery then start Terminal from the Utilities menu. Now type resetpassword (all one word) in the Terminal window and hit return. You will get the window below. Select your user name in the drop down then click reset in the lower right.

    [​IMG]

    Go ahead and quit Terminal then launch Disk Utility while still in recovery and select your disk then click repair disk. When it is done reboot back to normal mode.

    Now start Terminal and paste in the line below and hit return to rebuild the Spotlight index. You will be asked for your password. Wait for the Spotlight reindex to finish then try a new Time Machine backup. Time Machine uses this index to ID files, so this may help.

    Code:
    sudo mdutil -E /
     
  7. Aragornii thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #7
    Thank you very much. I am leaving on a two-week trip tomorrow and due to the time it takes to complete a backup I won't be able to do this until I get back. I have one more question before I go.

    The way that my iMac is set up is it has a 250Gb SSD and a 2 TB hard drive. In total they contain about 1.9 TB of data which I am trying to back up. Before Mavericks the backups ran smoothly onto the same Time Capsule I am having problems with, and since I installed Mavericks I haven't been able to complete a backup, even after erasing the Time Capsule and attempting to start over. (On all my other Macs, Time Machine continued as normal after upgrading to Mavericks.)

    Since I've had the problem with my main Time Capsule I have been using Time Machine to back up just my 250GB SSD to an older, smaller capacity Time Capsule. That is working perfectly.

    Knowing all that, do you think there is a problem specifically with my iMac's 2TB hard drive, and if so would that change the approach you outlined above?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    That should not change anything, assuming the 2TB drive is okay. You should run a Disk Utility repair disk on that drive also.

    I have seen several forum posts from users with this problem after a Mavericks upgrade, but everybody seemed to be okay after starting a new Time Machine backup (starting over).

    Enjoy your trip and let me know how this goes when you get back. :)
     
  9. Aragornii thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #9
    Have completed a full backup and everything is now working as normal.

    When doing that I found something that must have been contributing to the problem. When you upgrade iMovie after upgrading to Mavericks, it creates a new "iMovie Library" folder while leaving in place your iMovie Projects and iMovie Events folders, which Apple says you can trash if you no longer want to use the old version of iMovie.

    Here's where it gets weird. Both my iMovie library file and iMovie Events folder showed in Finder as being 1.4TB, which is impossible because together they could not fit on a 2TB drive. Mavericks or the new version of iMovie must be doing something to make each of those packages think they include all those clips, while not really keeping multiple copies of them. HOWEVER, I think Time Machine was fooled into backing each package up at its full size and then running out of room. In any case, after trashing the old events folder and rebuilding spotlight everything works as normal.

    Not sure if that's entirely clear but it may shed some light for others who run into this problem.
     
  10. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2008
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    USA (Virginia)
    #10
    Excuse me for jumping in here, but this is interesting.

    It seems that when you "upgrade[d] iMovie after upgrading to Mavericks", the contents of the old iMovie Events and iMovie Projects folders were moved to the new iMovie Library, and filesystem symbolic links were placed in the old locations. Symbolic links work like "pointers" at the filesystem level, and the old iMovie version would not even know that the events files had been moved. There would be two folders that "contained" 1.4 TB of files, but in reality only one copy of the files actually exist on the hard drive.

    I'm just guessing here, but it appears that Time Machine saw the symbolic links and backed them up as files, which would result in two copies of the files being backed up, thus overflowing the target disk. This is not what I'd really expect of Time Machine, though!

    If I'm right, I'd expect this to be a problem for anyone with a large iMovie Events folder, which would seem to mean a lot of people!
     
  11. ender78 macrumors 6502

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