Is Time Machine too unreliable to use?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Cave Man, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I have had lots of troubles with Time Machine since the "upgrades" to Lion and Mountain Lion. I have several Macs and only one has not had this problem with Time Machine that requires a reinitialization of the hard drive. The message is:

    I have repaired the disks with Disk Utility, restarted the computers, reinitialized the Time Machine hard drives, turned them off and back on, but nothing seems to fix this problem.

    Are there alternatives to Time Machine that are more reliable? I have to have a backup system in place and Time Machine simply is not the solution because it cannot be trusted to work.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What are you using for backups?

    I ran into intermittent issues when I had an NAS. Now that I use a Drobo Mini, I've not incurred any problems.
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    I've been using Time Machine since it was first introduced with either a FireWire or USB connection to a single hard drive and it's always worked without error for me.

    Oh, on the MBP I use an external USB3 SSD to do TM backups and that works well too.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I use clones created by SuperDuper...I have 3 on separate physical external disks.
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I've used TM since 2007 and moved my backup to its third successive drive and second computer. Plenty of restores, nary a problem.
    TM seems to do badly when it runs out of space, and the network implementation isn't great.

    Other options: front-ends for rsync, like Chronosync; the old favourite Retrospect (often included on Mac-formatted externals, though I could never get it to register itself); CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper: there are almost certainly others.

    I use Chronosync for ... syncing purposes, though it can be used as a fully fledged backup tool. It's really smart and quite cheap.
  6. Cave Man thread starter macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Mercury Pro Elite enclosures with Seagate drives connected by FW800.

    It worked great for me, too, until Lion. It seems to work for several weeks, then this error message crops up.

    Does SuperDuper do incremental backups and is it automated?

    There are hundreds of gigabytes still available on each drive; one has 2 TB available.

    I'll check into CCC since I already use it for cloning.

    I'll give this one a look-over, too.

    Thanks to all for the replies.
  7. Baculo macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2005
    Time Machine issues

    I just recently purchased a new 27" iMac running OS10.8.5. I have been using Time Machine for years, backing up to LaCie drives. It has worked flawlessly.

    However, recently, on my new system, I have noticed that when Time Machine was performing its regular hourly backups, my computer would slow to a crawl or even freeze up. Last week, the hard drive disappear from the desktop and was no longer accessible. Attempts to repair it with Disk Utility and DiskWarrior were unsuccessful. Finally, I contacted LaCie tech support and they suggested that the drive had become corrupted and needed to be reformatted. This worked, allow it meant that all data was erased from the drive. Thinking this was a one time problem, I turned Time Machine on again, and did a complete backup. Now, again, I am noticing that during backups (even very small ones of a few mbs), my computer slows down, and apps freeze until Time Machine finishes. If I turn off Time Machine, everything returns to normal.
    After reading many posts, it seems that there are issues with Time Machine and Mac OS 10.8. Are there any fixes, other than going to a different backup system app?
  8. SandboxGeneral Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Orbiting a G-type Main Sequence Star
    I'm more inclined to believe, based on your description, that the problem is with the hard drive. It probably has some bad sectors or is beginning to fail mechanically. Formatting it can sometimes help, but if the computer keeps trying to write to bad sectors, the same problem will occur.

    Try swapping the drive out with a different one and run Tim Machine and see if the problem persists.
  9. DianeK macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2013
    We have two computers on 10.8.4 and have had no problems with Time Machine whatsoever. We've been using Time Machine with successive Time Capsules for years without a hiccup. I'd be more suspicious of your backup drive's health.
  10. ChristianJapan macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I have two dead TC (1TB and 2TB). I like :apple:, but TC is not part of that else positive relationship.

    For me it's copy data with rsync or scp to NAS and externals disks. Don't know why TC/TM failed on me; I baby my devices; they had enough air ventilation, never moved while spinning. I wanted them to work. Just didn't happen twice so I gave up. :(
    But glad for those who have more luck.

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