I HATE Time Machine

lockerc18

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2012
491
180
Time Machine is just plain terrible. I've been struggling with an error saying it can't delete the backup and then it fails. This has been going on for months. So, I dug into this and found out how to delete the backup, which I did, and which took forever. Then it took 2 DAYS doing a fresh backup, which worked. And lots of subsequent backups have worked over the past week. But now TM tells me all backups were verified, and it has to start a new backup, then I get this stupid error message again, and it dies.

I use a WD MyCloud NAS and it has NO problems. This is a TM problem. I am sick and tired of this stupid tool. I backup my Win10 system to the same NAS and it takes 18 minutes and I've NEVER had a problem with it. I backup my iPhone to iCloud, not the NAS, and it takes about a minute. Why the heck does TM take so long to backup, and then is so darn unreliable on top of that???

Apple should be ashamed to ship an app like this. Doggone, this is maddening.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
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The WD MyCloud is the cheapest and dirtiest NAS on the market isn't it?

I use Time Machine to a NAS and it's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good. In the last 3 years I've had probably 3 or 4 instances where I've had to nuke my NAS based backup, and from recollection I don't think I've ever had to do that since I replaced my old ZyXEL NAS with a newer Synology NAS.

I also use Time Machine to some external HDDs too, I don't backup exclusively to my NAS so if my NAS based backup craps itself it's not great loss.

Number 1 to make life easier is to get a wired Gigabit Ethernet / USB interface for those initial backups. They're only $30 or so.

If you're intent on keeping the WD MyCloud I would see if a different protocol is more stable. If you're using SMB3 maybe try SMB2 or SMB1. Or AFP if that works? I never saw anything substantial but when Mojave first came out there were a few questions about the SMB3 reliability. Again, I never saw anything substantial.

Certainly it's not the epitome of perfection, but I think you should be getting better reliability than you are.

You could also look at your network too. I think there's a solid argument that Time Machine should be able to work around any minor network niggles, but you know... I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that in one of my instances of having to rebuild the backup on my NAS it was because I'd kicked off a shutdown on the NAS but hasn't checked whether TM was in the middle of a backup (it was).


Again, I would use a NAS with TM for convenience, but I also keep a minimum of 1 external HDDs as a TM target too.
 

lockerc18

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2012
491
180
The WD MyCloud is the cheapest and dirtiest NAS on the market isn't it?

I use Time Machine to a NAS and it's not perfect, but it's pretty damn good. In the last 3 years I've had probably 3 or 4 instances where I've had to nuke my NAS based backup, and from recollection I don't think I've ever had to do that since I replaced my old ZyXEL NAS with a newer Synology NAS.

I also use Time Machine to some external HDDs too, I don't backup exclusively to my NAS so if my NAS based backup craps itself it's not great loss.

Number 1 to make life easier is to get a wired Gigabit Ethernet / USB interface for those initial backups. They're only $30 or so.

If you're intent on keeping the WD MyCloud I would see if a different protocol is more stable. If you're using SMB3 maybe try SMB2 or SMB1. Or AFP if that works? I never saw anything substantial but when Mojave first came out there were a few questions about the SMB3 reliability. Again, I never saw anything substantial.

Certainly it's not the epitome of perfection, but I think you should be getting better reliability than you are.

You could also look at your network too. I think there's a solid argument that Time Machine should be able to work around any minor network niggles, but you know... I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that in one of my instances of having to rebuild the backup on my NAS it was because I'd kicked off a shutdown on the NAS but hasn't checked whether TM was in the middle of a backup (it was).


Again, I would use a NAS with TM for convenience, but I also keep a minimum of 1 external HDDs as a TM target too.
See what I mean about how Apple should be ashamed to ship an app like TM? If I have to go through these kinds of hoops to get around a lousy Apple app, that's ludicrous.

I might look into getting a different NAS, but that's about it. I do appreciate the tips, but no way am I going to get involved with work arounds to get a system to work as it should. And as I paid for it to.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2012
2,074
754
I have only had one problem with TM and it was caused by an Delete Application app that admitted it on its web site and provided instructions on how to fix. I use it to backup and restore file and whole systems.
 

smirking

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
2,182
1,591
Silicon Valley
I might look into getting a different NAS, but that's about it. I do appreciate the tips, but no way am I going to get involved with work arounds to get a system to work as it should. And as I paid for it to.
You paid for the Time Capsule, which is a router and a hard drive. Time Machine itself is actually free. Most of the time, Time Machine works pretty well. It does fail once in a while and once it starts failing, it's probably in your best interest to delete the whole backup and start over because it'll spend forever gnashing on trying to repair the failed backups which will lead it to fail even more frequently and eventually become unrepairable.

I never had Time Machine backups fail on me until I started backing up over WiFi. Back when I had a MacPro with lots of hard drive bays, I had a big backup drive installed in one of the bays. Backups were quick and error free. Now that I'm using a MacbookPro and backing up over WiFi and even when backing up over Ethernet, I have a lot of backups that get interrupted. I went from never having a corrupted Time Machine archive to averaging 1.5 years between having to start over. Consequently, I also use Super Duper to get a complete image of my hard drive at least every other month.

Those of you recommending Carbon Copy Cloner, how's the snapshot support in it compared to Time Machine? Does it work well and is it less prone to corrupting your entire backup volume than Time Machine is? I'm sticking with Time Machine for now, but I want to have an option to consider in my back pocket if I need it later.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,705
1,976
See what I mean about how Apple should be ashamed to ship an app like TM? If I have to go through these kinds of hoops to get around a lousy Apple app, that's ludicrous.

I might look into getting a different NAS, but that's about it. I do appreciate the tips, but no way am I going to get involved with work arounds to get a system to work as it should. And as I paid for it to.

No worries. I get your frustration. For my, TM to NAS is about convenience, not absolute data protection. It should work way better than it is for you, but even once you get it all running great you should still be doing backups to external HDDs anyway.

I’m not wholly convinced that TM is anywhere near as bad as people say. I use it exclusively and it’s never let me down.
 

0009827

Suspended
Jul 15, 2018
111
113
The only issue i had with time machine, was that it uses the entire hard drive in no time at all. I have several macs backing up to a shared disk, and it gets out of control. On smaller SSD drives- the auto local backup that time machine insists on also uses up all of the system drive. Add that to the difficulty of deleting backups it made sense to me to try something else. CCC gives me more control over what is going on, with the added benefit of bootable clones.
I will add, time machine never corrupted anything for me, i could never say i HATED it. It is great software.
 

lockerc18

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2012
491
180
For all those who replied here that "TM works fine for me", well, that's good for you. I suspect it probably works well for most of its users. It used to work for me, too. But there are a lot of comments across the Web from people who've had very frustrating issues with it, like I have. For me, it has always been slow. I use 11ac for WiFi, which and that should be fast enough to do a full backup in under 2 days. I don't have a Time Capsule, but I do have a router that came from my telco. It's a Sagemcom, and I've never had problems with it, either reliability or speed wise. I have plenty of space on my NAS, too (almost 1.5 TB). I don't see why TM can't delete the backup bundle. If I can do it manually, which I can, then TM should be able to, too.

And no app in the Apple distribution is "free". You may not see an individual price broken out for them, but believe me, their price is buried in the cost of MacOS. So, yes, I do pay for TM, and yes, it darn well should work. Which, for me, it doesn't.
 

0009827

Suspended
Jul 15, 2018
111
113
Backing up can be slow no matter the software or the connection. By very nature it can take a long time.
 

calliex

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2018
93
34
Pittsburgh, Pa
For all those who replied here that "TM works fine for me", well, that's good for you. I suspect it probably works well for most of its users. It used to work for me, too. But there are a lot of comments across the Web from people who've had very frustrating issues with it, like I have. For me, it has always been slow. I use 11ac for WiFi, which and that should be fast enough to do a full backup in under 2 days. I don't have a Time Capsule, but I do have a router that came from my telco. It's a Sagemcom, and I've never had problems with it, either reliability or speed wise. I have plenty of space on my NAS, too (almost 1.5 TB). I don't see why TM can't delete the backup bundle. If I can do it manually, which I can, then TM should be able to, too.

And no app in the Apple distribution is "free". You may not see an individual price broken out for them, but believe me, their price is buried in the cost of MacOS. So, yes, I do pay for TM, and yes, it darn well should work. Which, for me, it doesn't.
MAC OS is free. I have used TM for the past 5 years. I do a clean install and use TM. Never had a problem
 
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fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
6,761
1,710
ny somewhere
i tried using carbon copy cloner (my preferred backup app), to my router, with an external drive. a nightmare to set up, and so slow as to be totally unusable.

the problem isn't time machine, it's using it with a NAS.
 

0009827

Suspended
Jul 15, 2018
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I have only ever backed up to networked drives with either TM or CCC, both work perfectly well.
 

lockerc18

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 17, 2012
491
180
MAC OS is free. I have used TM for the past 5 years. I do a clean install and use TM. Never had a problem
Really? I paid $2,300 for my MBP. Sure, that was only for the hardware because the OS was free.

Do you really think Apple doesn't tuck the OS cost into the hardware price? Believe me, you may not pay a separate cost for the OS, but it ain't free.
[doublepost=1548721277][/doublepost]Well, TM is now working on my system. I guess the backup fairies paid a visit. I didn't do a thing to my MBP or router or sparse bundles or anything.

Weird.
[doublepost=1548721544][/doublepost]
It is very likely a problem with using TM and that NAS. I have seen a lot of forum posts with people having trouble using TM with some NAS devices.
It may well be. I might end up getting a new NAS.
 
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old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,318
221
West Suburban Boston Ma
I tried Time Machine when it first came out, but it took too much time and didn't really fit my needs so I switched to SuperDuper (similar to CCC) and it fits my needs. I backup to multiple external disks and rotate them and it is all I need for the way I use my Macs.
 

monokakata

macrumors 68000
May 8, 2008
1,864
383
Hilo, Hawai'i
What we've learned in this house is that TM out of laptops on wifi to a Time Capsule is guaranteed to eventually fail -- needing to flush the backup and start a new one. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it's shorter but it invariably happens within 6-9 months.

I back up my iMac to a hard drive and TM has only failed once, but the fail was big time -- 4 TB, a couple of years of backups.

I use Super!Duper to clone system drives on all the machines here, but that's like "when I remember to do it."

Backblaze, Dropbox, etc. all in use.

We have a Synology NAS but I haven't bothered setting up TM for the laptops on it. Maybe I should.

Bottom line for us here is that TM/wifi/TC is basically a failure machine.
 

VictorTango777

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2017
412
451
When will Time Machine be updated to use APFS snapshots so we can get away from the current hard link trickery and the constant slow scanning/verifying?
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,128
442
Cascadia
Ah, sorry... I see now. A competing product.

I'd use it if Apple PAID for it.
So you're complaining about something that is free, while not being willing to pay for a replacement.

Have you contacted Apple Support or WD support about it? Apple doesn't officially support Time Machine on network-connected hard drives other than an Apple Time Capsule base station, or a hard drive plugged in to the USB port on an AirPort base station.