Painfully slow Time Machine backup.

maflynn

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I know there's a lot of factors that go into performance when it comes to TM backups, including the bandwidth of the medium, how fast the drives are, how much has changed but man alive I'm backing up 300GB of data and its been going on for over 3 hours and its only at the 200GB point. I'm estimating that I have at least 2 maybe 3 more hours until it finishes.

The backup appears to be a full backup, given that I had run a TM backup (been using CCC) for a few months and so TM cleaned up the external drive and the amount of data seems to correspond to the total amount of data on my system disk.

By comparison, Carbon Copy Cloner ran for about 60 minutes backing everything up on a different external drive

I'm about to pull the plug on this, as I was planning on wiping my drive and reinstalling OS X. The way its running, I'll be waiting all day for it, and I'll not have the time to do the actual work.

I'm just posting to vent btw. Seems too slow. I'm thinking its the Drobo DAS that I have, but it never used to be that slow
[doublepost=1514733956][/doublepost]The performance is going down. Unless things improve, its running at 100 MB per 5 minutes which translate to about 50 minutes per gigabyte. The sad thing is that it's actually slowing down.
 

maflynn

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Just an update.
I gave up on the Time Machine backup after about 5 hours of letting it run. I'm thinking its somehow related to Drobo Mini DAS, as CCC was able to backup the entire contents in about an hour. I think I may be looking to replace the drobo, as its given me nothing but headaches anyways.
 

MacGizmo

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Apr 27, 2003
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Time Machine. It works great when it's working great. Unfortunately, it's been my experience that it rarely works great. I've had experiences like yours several times. And I've had even more times where entering Time Machine is quick, but getting files to show up in the window older than a few days took so long I gave up waiting.
 

LarryJoe33

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I have also found that TM is intermittent. Sometimes it would flawlessly in the background and sometimes it seems impossible to kick start it. Not a very good feeling. So, I do use it via a Time Capsule on a MBP and an iMac, but I also CCC with great regularity. I have never gone to TM to restore the system or any files. I tend to just restore a CCC image if something isn't right or I have messed something up and just want to "go back in time".
 

Partron22

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Every 4 or 6 months, Time Machine slows down on me. I exclude a lot of folders from its purview, and suspect without evidence that that's part of the problem. Files do actually disappear.
When thing start going wonky, I do a full SuperDuper! backup, reformat my Time Machine partition, and then let it start doing it's job as usual again.
That seems to last about 6 months.
-Never found a way around the problem, but at least when I'm working on something important, I can be reasonably sure that Time Machine is actually doing its hourly backup thing correctly.
Just to be safe, I Test it every couple days.
This method is a lot less of a pain than setting SD! to do hourly total backups, and I have at least some chance of getting the incremental stuff back.

The Darn App should JUST WORK, but fact of the matter is it DOES NOT.
I hear rumors that people are doing TM to Network or Cloud, but would not even dream of doing anything that risky.
 

LarryJoe33

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Every 4 or 6 months, Time Machine slows down on me. I exclude a lot of folders from its purview, and suspect without evidence that that's part of the problem. Files do actually disappear.
When thing start going wonky, I do a full SuperDuper! backup, reformat my Time Machine partition, and then let it start doing it's job as usual again.
That seems to last about 6 months.
-Never found a way around the problem, but at least when I'm working on something important, I can be reasonably sure that Time Machine is actually doing its hourly backup thing correctly.
Just to be safe, I Test it every couple days.
This method is a lot less of a pain than setting SD! to do hourly total backups, and I have at least some chance of getting the incremental stuff back.

The Darn App should JUST WORK, but fact of the matter is it DOES NOT.
I hear rumors that people are doing TM to Network or Cloud, but would not even dream of doing anything that risky.
I TM to a network via a time capsule. I am pretty certain TM to a cloud is not doable. Maybe with a hack? I do CCC to my TC (in addition to an external drive). Between TM and CCC backups to external drives and to TC, I have backups coming out of my ass.
 

tx4app

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2015
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Austin TX
I know there's a lot of factors that go into performance when it comes to TM backups, including the bandwidth of the medium, how fast the drives are, how much has changed but man alive I'm backing up 300GB of data and its been going on for over 3 hours and its only at the 200GB point. I'm estimating that I have at least 2 maybe 3 more hours until it finishes.
...
My next step is to purchase a new external drive and perform a full backup to it, then see how it goes incrementally (while still holding on to my current backup drive for a bit). Assuming I get some kind of decent backup speed, I'll just hang tight until the thing slows to a crawl again after which I'll reformat the old drive and start a full backup on there.

As I compose this I'm attempting to backup 10GB and it's taken over an hour so far to backup 7.5GB, and that is with the "trick" of using sysctl to set debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0 (after which I always re-enable it). Previously, that seemed to work pretty well. It sat at 7.5GB for about 10 minutes saying I just had "4 minutes remaining". *eye roll*
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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maflynn wrote:
"I gave up on the Time Machine backup after about 5 hours of letting it run. I'm thinking its somehow related to Drobo Mini DAS, as CCC was able to backup the entire contents in about an hour."

Your solution lies within the response you made above.

When something works well, use it.
When something DOESN'T work, don't use it.
Works for me.
 
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crjackson2134

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Very pragmatic... I was still on the trial version of CCC with nearly a full month to go as of yesterday morning.

By yesterday afternoon I purchased the full license and now am using the registered product. I ordered another SSD as well, just to serve as my CCC backup clone. The 500GB Samsung 860 EVO's are cheap right now, so I grabbed one on the quick.
 

jasimon9

macrumors regular
Mar 11, 2009
184
3
Saw this somewhat older thread, but thought I would jump in to share my experience. I had TM running like molasses. So long that most backups would be skipped because the last one was still running. Then "Enter Time Machine"--takes several minutes for every UI action. That is, every click. Nearly unusable.

My solution--I had Sophos AV running with on-access scanning. After a tip from somewhere, probably the Sophos forums, turned off on-access scanning. Since then, TM runs acceptably, for both backups and "Enter Time Machine". Night and day difference.

The point is that there might be some other software that people have running, which effectively kills TM. Other than Sophos. Although I did see something on the Sophos board about changes that prevent that interference. But have not gone back to try it out. Instead set up daily AV scans and just forget on the on-access scanning.

It seems the on-access scanning did not play well with the TM need to do file comparisons, and vast amounts of scanning were triggered. Or something like that.

In any case--a potentially useful troubleshooting approach would be to "disable 'all' other softwares, then re-enable one by one until you find the culprit."
 

crjackson2134

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Thanks for your contribution, but in my case, the other software is the OS itself. There is a bug in the OS that causes intermittent failure of th bless command. All the data was restored to the drive, but TM had no ability to bless the drive. It’s probably related to APFS, but that’s a guess.

The solution for me is CCC, and you can test it instantly without risking your primary boot drive.
 

jasimon9

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Mar 11, 2009
184
3
Thanks for your contribution, but in my case, the other software is the OS itself. There is a bug in the OS that causes intermittent failure of th bless command. All the data was restored to the drive, but TM had no ability to bless the drive. It’s probably related to APFS, but that’s a guess.

The solution for me is CCC, and you can test it instantly without risking your primary boot drive.
Interesting approach. I also use SuperDuper which is similar to CCC. Does your problem (failure to bless) also cause the extremely poor performance?
 

BigMcGuire

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Jan 10, 2012
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Another complaint about Time Machine backups. I have an encrypted 4TB drive as my TM backup - direct USB C to USB 3.x cable (to my WD 4TB drive).

Backups are consistently getting slower and slower. It takes hours to do 300-800MB backups. I have a 3.6GB backup, after the last Mac OS update that is estimating 18 hours. It goes down to about 9 hours if I don't touch the mouse and let the laptop "idle" - but this is insane.

I've noticed it getting slower and slower. I know it isn't the drive because I can use Arq backup and it'll write 17mb/sec to the drive. I can run apps off the drive and do iTunes backups to the drive, no problem.

These time machine backups are just getting slower and slower. It's at 97% encryption too (which has taken weeks to get to).


So, I just found out about 2 Mac commands that seem to have made a pretty big difference:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0

and

sudo renice -n -20 -p #### (I had to use: ps -ax | grep TimeMachine to find the -p value)


This has, after my system idles, taken my time machine backup from 18 hours (for 3.63GB) to 1-2 hours remaining. It starts counting up if I actually use the MacBook tho.

Kinda annoying, would love for it to just chug away at max resources when I do a Time Machine backup.


I see a Bombich.com Carbon Copy Cloner 5 - you all recommend this? I guess for this to work, I need to find a 1TB external drive I can set aside as a "bootable" replacement (I have one).

I'm fed up with Time Machine backups taking forever and only starting when the computer is idle. I have a MacBook. If the computer is idle, I shut the lid!
[doublepost=1531244752][/doublepost]5 minutes and Carbon Copy Cloner 5 is already at 800MB. Already 16x faster than Time Machine! :p I like! (Trying the trial now).
 
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crjackson2134

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Another complaint about Time Machine backups. I have an encrypted 4TB drive as my TM backup - direct USB C to USB 3.x cable (to my WD 4TB drive).

Backups are consistently getting slower and slower. It takes hours to do 300-800MB backups. I have a 3.6GB backup, after the last Mac OS update that is estimating 18 hours. It goes down to about 9 hours if I don't touch the mouse and let the laptop "idle" - but this is insane.

I've noticed it getting slower and slower. I know it isn't the drive because I can use Arq backup and it'll write 17mb/sec to the drive. I can run apps off the drive and do iTunes backups to the drive, no problem.

These time machine backups are just getting slower and slower. It's at 97% encryption too (which has taken weeks to get to).


So, I just found out about 2 Mac commands that seem to have made a pretty big difference:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0

and

sudo renice -n -20 -p #### (I had to use: -ps aux -O started | grep TimeMachine to find the -p value)


This has, after my system idles, taken my time machine backup from 18 hours (for 3.63GB) to 1-2 hours remaining. It starts counting up if I actually use the MacBook tho.

Kinda annoying, would love for it to just chug away at max resources when I do a Time Machine backup.


I see a Bombich.com Carbon Copy Cloner 5 - you all recommend this? I guess for this to work, I need to find a 1TB external drive I can set aside as a "bootable" replacement (I have one).

I'm fed up with Time Machine backups taking forever and only starting when the computer is idle. I have a MacBook. If the computer is idle, I shut the lid!
[doublepost=1531244752][/doublepost]5 minutes and Carbon Copy Cloner 5 is already at 800MB. Already 16x faster than Time Machine! :p I like! (Trying the trial now).
I moved to CCC a few weeks back. I love this app. Saved my bacon a couple of times already.

It fits my needs well. I purchased it after 2 days of trial.
 
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Naiera

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Jul 14, 2017
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It took my highest-end 2017 iMac over 40 hours to recover 200-250GB from my Time Machine the other day. Had to roll back from Mojave beta because too much stuff simply didn't work.
 

BigMcGuire

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I moved to CCC a few weeks back. I love this app. Saved my bacon a couple of times already.

It fits my needs well. I purchased it after 2 days of trial.
Just purchased CCC after using it for a day on trial. Really appreciate the info about it from you and others here (OP). It took awhile to do the first backup but nowhere near as long as Time Machine. Love having a bootable replacement --- and it didn't wipe out the data I already had on the disk, which is a HUGE plus. So I'm using my 4TB Drive for Time Machine, photo storage, and CCC Backups.

Seems like my 4TB is really slow when dealing with a lot of files. I took the drive out of its WD Passport enclosure only to find out it's not Sata, it's USB 3.1. :( Was going to put it in a UASP enclosure.

I dislike a LOT how Time Machine won't do ANYTHING unless the computer is 100% idle. I usually close my laptop lid when my MacBook is idle... :/
 

monokakata

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Just purchased CCC after using it for a day on trial. Really appreciate the info about it from you and others here (OP). It took awhile to do the first backup but nowhere near as long as Time Machine. Love having a bootable replacement --- and it didn't wipe out the data I already had on the disk, which is a HUGE plus. So I'm using my 4TB Drive for Time Machine, photo storage, and CCC Backups.

Seems like my 4TB is really slow when dealing with a lot of files. I took the drive out of its WD Passport enclosure only to find out it's not Sata, it's USB 3.1. :( Was going to put it in a UASP enclosure.

I dislike a LOT how Time Machine won't do ANYTHING unless the computer is 100% idle. I usually close my laptop lid when my MacBook is idle... :/
SATA is the drive interface (to anything) and USB is the enclosure's interface to the rest of the world. A drive itself is never USB anything. Only an enclosure.

So you may be making a decision (about the other enclosure) based on incorrect information.
 
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BigMcGuire

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SATA is the drive interface (to anything) and USB is the enclosure's interface to the rest of the world. A drive itself is never USB anything. Only an enclosure.

So you may be making a decision (about the other enclosure) based on incorrect information.
Yeah, what I'm saying is that most drives come with a sata interface. This WD 4TB Passport Drive has a unique electronic board going directly to a Micro-B 3.1 interface only (when I took it out of the enclosure). Usually you take those drives out and they have the ability to be plugged into any Sata enclosure. Not this WD 4TB Passport Drive. :(.

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Passport-Portable-External-Drive/dp/B01LQQH86A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1531327601&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+4tb+drive ---- This is the drive I purchased.
 

monokakata

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Ah, OK. I see what you mean. But I have to ask -- are you sure? WD is a big company and they can make drives the way they want of course. There's no way to disengage/slide out the USB circuit board and get to the traditional SATA dual connections?

If not, then I've learned something about drive configurations. Always good but I was hoping to help.
 
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BigMcGuire

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Ah, OK. I see what you mean. But I have to ask -- are you sure? WD is a big company and they can make drives the way they want of course. There's no way to disengage/slide out the USB circuit board and get to the traditional SATA dual connections?

If not, then I've learned something about drive configurations. Always good but I was hoping to help.
Yeah, check it out - I lucked out and found a pic on Amazon Reviews (I should have taken a pic of mine when I had the drive apart):

This is what it looks like (see attached) when you take it out of the enclosure. I was very surprised too.

I appreciate the assistance either way :D


Amazon Review from another customer (not me): "It worked great for a year. But I got careless and carried it with the cable attached. I'll speculate that the cable got torqued and put too much pressure on the connector. When I got home it wasn't recognized by the PC. I popped it open to see if I could fix it. The connector is soldered to a very thin and fairly flexible PCB, i.e. it isn't supported particularly well. I'm guessing that I cracked the pcb or lifted a pad where the connector solders down. My data was backed up, not the worst mishap. I was hoping that behind the dead USB i/f would be a SATA i/f to allow me to still get some use from the drive. No luck. "
 

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monokakata

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Damn. I had no idea. Well, as I said -- WD is big enough to make drives with custom interfaces.

I always buy bare drives and empty enclosures, so I've never noticed anything like this.

Sorry not to have been able to offer useful advice.
 
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