Looking for a definitive answer for the time machine "Preparing" forever problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by madroadbiker, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. madroadbiker macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hi,

    I've searched all forums for a good definitive answer on the time machine "Preparing" forever problem and have not found one. I know these forums are monitored by experts so will an expert please tell me what this is all about?

    After initial install of my time machine and setting up three macintosh computers on it all went well for several months. Then, one of my laptops apparently hasn't been backup up for 56 days according to the message displayed when it started a backup. So I let it go, and go, and go...for a day and a half and all it says is "Preparing". Then I gave up and deleted the backup file on the TM like one post suggested and started the backup again. It has now been running for about 18 hours now displaying "Preparing".

    Please, there must be someone out there who has the definitive answer to this and can tell me exactly what to do if anything and whether it's going to take another hour, day, week, year, or what! When I contacted Apple, they won't talk to me unless I pay them. Well I refuse to pay Apple to answer a question as basic as this and that should be posted for all to see anyway.
     
  2. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #2
    Sorry to hear of your problem madroadbiker. How much data do you have to back up ?:)
     
  3. madroadbiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    I have a 120 G disk partitioned. One partition has about 38 used gigs and the other has about 18.
     
  4. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #4
    The reason I ask is that I have had my time capsule take a long time to "prepare" especially after it has had some sort of panic, however I don't think that it should take that long. I was hoping that you would say that you had a really large amount and that I could say that it would take a couple of days, but sadly not. Slightly more drastic but have you tried resetting you timecapule and starting from scratch?

    Sorry that I couldn't help more
     
  5. madroadbiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    I have not done that and don't want to resort to that unless I have to.
    Thanks for trying to help though.
     
  6. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #6
    I agree that it is a last resort. Best of luck finding the answer :)
     
  7. incandenza macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #7
    You can try taking a look at the log entries Time Machine produces. Run Console (in Applications/Utilities), then click on 'All Messages' on the left, and enter 'backupd' into the search box.

    Of course, whether or not you will find anything there that will help you solve the problem is another question...
     
  8. madroadbiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #8
    I did that and there are a lot of lines that read:

    /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)

    What does that mean?
     
  9. incandenza macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #9
    Hehe, well, that's the problem; I don't really know, and maybe no one does except for the developers of Time Machine.

    My guess is that, unfortunately, the only real solution might be to wipe the Time Capsule and start over...
     
  10. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #10
    Help

    To the OP. The same thing happen to me. I have a MBP and did not use TC for around 60 days till one day I thought I should do another TM backup. It stuck in the same mode as you and I narrowed it down to the fact I have two different versions of Mac OS X. 10.5.5 vs 10.5.6 (i think) I may be off on the build numbers but you get what i mean I think. I had to delete the original backup file and start over. The first time I backed up again it took a very long time even using the hard wired method. I don't recommend backing up the first time using wireless.

    Have you undated any software?

    Hope that helps?

    Edit* To explain in more detail I had done my last backup when I was using v10.5.5 and then when I went to backup again I was running 10.5.6 and for some reason I think it caused the problem. I may be wrong but thought I would throw it out there.
     
  11. madroadbiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    Yes I have done updates but updates have been done on my other computers too. However, they have been backed up regularly. According to that log, it looks like it's stuck there so I guess I have no choice but to delete and start over. :( Seems like a pretty weak system to me. The least Apple could do is provide some sort of error message instead of waiting forever. I do have it wired in BTW. I thought that might help too.
     
  12. madroadbiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    madroadbiker

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #12
    Okay I just deleted the backup and started a fresh one. Now it seems to be working! The "Preparing" went pretty rapidly and now I can see the backup size changing. So the lesson to all, well at least to me, is to make sure backups are performed frequently. Still seems like a flawed system to me. Do you know if Apple every updates the TM software because I don't remember ever getting one.

    Thanks to all who helped.
     

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