Problem With Time Machine Backup Using AirPort Disk on Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by OmegaRed1723, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    Update: "Magically," the backup is working over AirPort Disk. I'll chalk it up to a Snow Leopard ghost.

    I have been backing up to a WD My Book 1TB drive connected to my Airport Extreme router without any problems. Yesterday I upgraded to 10.6 (installed over 10.5.8, not a clean install) and have been having problems with Time Machine since.

    After the OS finished installing, I attempted to perform a wireless backup. Everything mounted properly, and it began a 10GB backup. When it got to around 5.8GB, Time Machine came up with a network error message (not sure which one exactly) and stopped the backup.

    At this point I just connected the drive directly to my computer to perform the backup, and it did so without any hiccups. But now I can't even connect to the AirPort disk, let alone try to backup to it. Time Machine says it's not configured, and when I try to browse for my Time Machine Backup Disk it won't let me select it, even though the drive shows up in AirPort Utility. I've enclosed a screenshot of what I'm seeing.

    Does anyone have any tips to help me get this mounted and working again? This is not turning out to be as painfree an update as advertised. [​IMG]
  2. ajborda macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2009
    I'm having a similar problem. Time Machine starts then stops about half way stating there is a problem to try again later. This is to in internal hard drive in my Mac Pro. I never had this problem until Snow Leopard.
  3. nniicckk macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2008
    Uhh, huh. I am getting the same issue. Setup is Airport Disk connected via AE.

    After the SL upgrade, everything seemed ok at first but when I entered time machine, it would not show any of the backups on the timeline as if I had only one backup (the latest). However, in the finder, I could navigate to the disk and see the old backups. The disk also shows up in airport utility and I can mount it in the Finder. But in TM options, I cannot see the disk. It would show "none" as the disk. I switched TM backups off and then tried to reenable. Now the TM options window shows nothing. AE was at 7.4.1 so I upgraded to 7.4.2, but that's not helping. (7.4.2 had created problems with disk mounting with Leo so I had reverted to 7.4.1)
  4. cmarshall macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2007
    TM Network Backups to Non-Apple Disks Fail Repeatedly

    This is 100% repeatable in my environment.

    I have a pretty robust network that involves 3 macs: 2 MacBooks that usually connect via 802.11n, and a wired iMac that connects at 100MBps wired.

    I have 2 Drobos. One is a standard NAS, using a DroboShare, and the other is connected to an Airport Extreme. The AE has its wireless turned off. I use another router for my wireless. The Drobo on the AE is the backup Drobo.

    Everything is way up to date. The three Macs all have 10.6 on them.

    If any ONE of the Macs is using the TM backup; no problem. However, if more than one hits that puppy at the same time, I get a network error, and the sparsebundle sometimes corrupts (It always does, after a while).

    Since this has already nuked months' worth of backups, I am NOT HAPPY.

    I know someone with a Time Capsule. No problems.

    Isn't that...interesting?
  5. oddjones macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2009
    Yup. Same Here

    17" Unibody MBP connecting to 1TB Iomega Drive via Airport Extreme. Called Applecare who talked me through rebooting the AEBS with the Mac connected via ethernet cable. This worked briefly (connected up via wireless for about a day and performed a few backups) - then back to the same issue again. [Am wondering if maybe it was the 10.6.1 update which broke it?] ... Some forums reporting errors fixed by updating airport config utility - not working here. Airport Utility is at latest version: 7.4.2, Snow Leopard 10.6.1 installed - still not working. More annoying is that I can't access the attached drive at all - which contains all my media. Grr
  6. cmarshall macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2007
    Your Sparsebundle is Probably Damaged

    Try taking the disk off and running DiskWarrior, then Disk Utility. I run them from the root user on my machine (Enable Root, then log in as System Administrator -root).

    It MAY work, but these network errors end up with unrepairable corrupt sparsebundles, eventually.
  7. chucksense macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2009
    Similar problems

    I am having similar problems, but I've been having them since about 10.5.8 and they continue through 10.6.1.

    Any significant data usage (ie Time Machine) causes the AirDisk to drop off (causing errors in any program using it and eventual sparse bundle corruption and sometimes even filesystem corruption!).

    My setup
    Gen 2 AEBS (100Mbit wireless-n) using a Gen 2 Drobo as an Airdisk connected through a powered USB hub.
    Both have the latest firmwares.

    2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB
    1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB
    All three have been upgraded to the latest firmware due to a freezing issue, which I thought was the root cause of this. The Drobo now works much better when directly connected, but still drops when on the AEBS.

    I have the wireless-n set up to be in N-only mode.

    Failed attempts at fixing the issue
    1) Disk Utility on the Drobo: When I finally was fed-up with the issue, I tried running Disk Utility on the Drobo per Data Robotics customer service rep's advice. Disk Utility found errors and rendered the drive read-only. I then had to reformat the Drobo and start over.

    2) Upgrading drive firmwares: The Seagate drives I'm using unfortunately have a documented issue with freezing that a newer firmware supposedly resolved. See this for more info, but note that after contacting Seagate support I found out it is not limited to just the 1.5TB drives and my two kinds of drives were also impacted: Seagate Responds to Freezing HDDs
    Also here for more info on the fix for this: Seagate Knowledge base
    I think I was, in fact, having issues with this too because I was having problems with the Drobo directly connected as well. Now it seems to be ok directly connected and only has issues with AEBS.

    Things I am going to try
    (stopping of course as soon as I find one that works). I would love suggestions here and will of course post back if any one of them is successful!!!

    1) Per this article, I have tried setting IPv6 to Link-Local Only mode (under Advanced) and also have reformatted the Drobo to HFS (not journaled).
    USB Disk access "Extremely" Slow
    It will take a few days to see if there are problems.

    2) If that doesn't work, I'm going to try eliminating the USB hub. Perhaps I should have tried that first, but I didn't think of it until this morning.

    Any other thoughts?
  8. chucksense macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2009
    As I suspected, #1 was totally bunk. #2 however is showing promise. It's actually gotten through a single Time Machine backup. Dang I wish I had thought of that sooner... I'll update if it eventually fails again, but assume #2 was it unless you hear from me again.
  9. dyrck macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2008
    Snow Leopard has changed TM and AEBS

    I have been backing up to a drive connected to an AEBS for a year or so. Snow Leopard has broken this. To quote from the help page "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme, or to an iPod, iDisk, or disk formatted for Windows."

    I have checked the help on a Leopard machine and that line is missing.

    Thanks Apple.
  10. frankholdem macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2008
    according to the Time Machine help in Snow Leopard: USB drives connected to an Airport Extreme are not supported by Time Machine. The exact text that appears in the help is

    "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme, or to an iPod, iDisk, or disk formatted for Windows."

    Hopefully this is a temporary issue that gets fixed in an update. But for now its quite frustrating as it was working perfectly in Leopard.
  11. cmarshall macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2007
    Non-Apple Network Volumes Have Never Been Supported.

    As far as I know, this has never been supported. You always have to do the "Support unsupported volumes" hack.

    Once you do that, it has always worked. I've been backing up multiple machines to Drobos on my network since Leopard came out.

    The problems started when Snow Leopard came out, and the exact same setup that had worked for many months suddenly started failing (destroying said many months' worth of backups).

    I figured out (the hard way) that you need to have no more than one machine per network connection node. Multiple machines hitting an AFP node at once cause network errors, and inevitable network volume corruption.
  12. oddjones macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2009
    Working Again

    OK - got pi**ed off with the "Time machine could not perform backup" dialogs, so went and hooked my MBP up to the AEBS via ethernet and reconfigured it.

    Reset AEBS (pencil on the reset button for 20 secs)
    Rebooted MBP
    Launched Airport Utility

    It found airport with default settings.

    Set the AEBS up with a new network, minimal security and bingo.

    just completed first TM Backup. It may well flake out on me again but I'll keep you posted.

    I'm using a 17" unibody MBP running snow leopard hooked to 1TB iomega external HD via AEBS.
  13. Zhjuderink macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2009
    Airport Extreme shows Backup Drive but TM does not

    Having the similar problem as first post by OmegaRed1723. I'm running 10.5.8 on PowerBook G4 connected to AirportExtreme and trying to use Western Digital external drive for a TM backup. I never had a problem until the last month or so when it began to fail more and then last week I was getting an error saying that my password (?) was not being recognized (presumably this was happening after the last software update). Now, I can find the drive in Airport Extreme, but TM cant find it. It asks me to "Choose Backup Disc" but I am not given the option (just a blank selection list).

    I've tried changing the password option from device to choose one for disc, but that did nothing and went back to using the device password. I've tried ever combination of rebooting and unplugging.

    Based on the other posts there seems to be an issue with the latest software update, please let me know if you learn anything on how to fix.
  14. cadeon924 macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2009
    Possible work around?

    I simply could not get Snow Leopard to back up to my AirDisk- it just would not work. Wouldn't even start the initial backup. It would tell me that the "Time Machine Drive could not be found" or something along those lines and not back up at all. Very frustrating.


    Then I had what may turn out to be a flash of brilliance- and I've tested a bit with a few different drives and found this to be re-creatable-

    Time Machine works when using an AirDisk with a single word for a name-
    I.E. "Colbert" Works, whereas "Space Treadmill" does not.
  15. JBmac macrumors member


    May 19, 2008
    Eastern, PA
    I have to run time machine backup in Guest account

    I have a 1TB external hd connected to my powermac. I use an Airport Extreme (with no hard drive) and have no problems backing up my MacBook Air, or any other note book wireless. On my Powermac, time machine hangs at the point of starting the backup. This had been happening for about a year now, and I went 6 months one time without a backup, and just got lucky every now and then when it would back up. Now, if it won't back up, or time machine hangs under my account, I shut down the powermac, turn it back on, and log on under the Guest account. Then it backs up fine. I then use the quick switch to log in under my account.
    I don't keep time machine turned on backing up more then a day, and it keeps doing the hourly backup fine under my account, then I turn it off. This has occurred under Leopard, OSX 10.5 and I have backups going back to Oct 2007. I even transferred all the information from a 500gb drive to the 1TB drive and reconnected time machine without any problems. I think it has to be one of the applications I use is causing the problem.:rolleyes:
  16. chucksense macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2009
    Mine is failing again. Removing the hub and changing the drive to a name without a space seemed to work... briefly.

    Now I find that it fails every 2nd or 3rd time TM runs. If I then plug the drive in directly and run Disk Utility Repair Disk, it finds the wrong number of "Access Lists". It corrects the problem, and TM works again for 2-3 runs.

    Annoying. I've given up on this and started backing up plugged in directly only.

    Thanks Apple!
  17. esy034 macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008
    Airport Extreme troubles

    I have found the Airport latest firmware 7.4.2 to be the problem most of the time with the previous 7.4.1 working better and solving problems. Try to downgrade the firmware to 7.4.1 in the Airport Utility- it is easy to do.
  18. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    Been running 7.3.2 on my AEBSn+Drobo without any issues. Upgrading to 7.4.2 causes immediate slow downs and reboots.

    I recently updated the firmware of my Drobo so I don't know if that would mean that I could run now 7.4.2. Anyway, at the moment, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  19. OneMammoth macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2009
    Here what worked for me

    open terminal.

    defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    Good Luck

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