Time Machine - 15 Hours & Counting

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
I am attempting to move my Time Machine backup from a full 320G drive to my new partitioned 2T drive. I am copying all the old backups to the new drive and it has been "preparing" to copy for around 15 hours now. It is processing 1,424,368 files and still counting. Does this sound right? My old TM was in the process of deleting old backups to make room for new ones, so I decided on the move. Can there really be that many files? Seems to me that if it is only preparing the files, that when it is done it will take another 15 or more hours to write them.

My iMac has 100GB left of a 350 GB drive. Could there really be that many files? If so, I'm glad I will not be doing this again any time soon. If not, there may be a problem.

Thanks for your input.

Steven
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
305
Canada
Normal as far as I have seen on here couple of times when others have asked like you. I gave up after couple of hours of that and just did a fresh backup on the drive I was trying to move too, I had had enough of that foolishness.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,892
1,954
Canada
I agree with the person who gives up after a few hours. If you really do rely on needing a full archive, I would use different methods of backing up. Time Machine is nice and easy in case of product failure to get a replacement device up and running quickly. If it's currently working, then a new backup should suffice.
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
27 Hours

It is now 27 hours. The progress line reads - "preparing to copy 1,765,245 items.
Is this for real? I don't know how I could have so many files. Has anyone ever heard of this taking so long?
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
Backup to a Larger Drive

Following directions from a mac related site I found by Googling the question I:
Prepared the new drive into partitions and named one Time Machine Backup. I turned off TM. I opened another Finder window and dragged the old backup to the new drive. It has been preparing the backup for 27 hours and almost 1,800,000 files. What could be going on? If I do stop it, I am still left with the problem of transferring the old to the new.

Any suggestions other than to simply stop it? Any idea what is going on?
 

ultraspiracle

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2012
93
4
I agree. Turn it off, and use your new drive as new. Keep your old drive around if you have important info on it, move the important info to your new drive, or just reformat the old one and use it as something else. Are you encrypting, by any chance? For god's sake don't do that - if you're not doing it already. That will take an additional eternity.
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
Gonna Wait

I have been searching the Internet and find many other anecdotal tales about Time Machine taking as long as a week. In all the time I have had my Mac - since early 2009, I have never had the need to go backward. However, I like the security of having it all there in case I need it. If I do just make the current back-up on the new drive, how would I find older stuff if needed? Sounds like it is getting a bit complicated.
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
Time Machine - Preparing 2 Million + "Items"

My time machine has now been preparing items/files for over a day and a half. It is up to 2,066,000 and counting. No one has yet to tell me where these 2,000,000 files have come from. If my backup files have that many "items" than that it is slow is distressing, but makes sense. On the other hand, is it preparing the same files over and over again and recounting them?

Also, it has not actually started to copy them to the new drive, or so it seems. It is just "preparing" items (as it calls them) for copying.

If this is normal for a 2008 computer with an older drive on USB, than I am okay with waiting. However, if this is indicative of something gone wrong - I will stop it. Any ideas?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,313
10,050
California
My time machine has now been preparing items/files for over a day and a half. It is up to 2,066,000 and counting. No one has yet to tell me where these 2,000,000 files have come from. If my backup files have that many "items" than that it is slow is distressing, but makes sense. On the other hand, is it preparing the same files over and over again and recounting them?

Also, it has not actually started to copy them to the new drive, or so it seems. It is just "preparing" items (as it calls them) for copying.

If this is normal for a 2008 computer with an older drive on USB, than I am okay with waiting. However, if this is indicative of something gone wrong - I will stop it. Any ideas?
If I understand what you are trying to do, you are just using the Finder to copy a Time Machine backup set to a new disk yes?

If so, this has nothing to do with Time Machine, you are just copying files in the OS and yes, that can take a long time to copy files from one external drive to another. The reason you are seeing so many files is Time Machine keeps versions of files, so there can be many times the amount of files you actually have on your system.

I would just format your new disk and start with a fresh Time Machine backup and set aside the old disk if you want to keep those old backups.

If you are intent of copying that TM backup from disk to disk, download the free 30 day trial version of the app Carbon Copy Cloner and use that to move the files over. CCC uses a system utility called rsync that is much better at copying files like this.
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
Yes - It Is A Finder Copy

Yes, I am doing just that. I found a Mac related blog which described a simple drag and drop from one finder window to the new drive (already formatted and partitioned) The next step would be to point TM to the new drive for continued backups.

Have I already invested too much time in this project to simply stop it and just backup the computer as it currently exists? Also, what would the procedure be for finding and or restoring old files if they reside on a second older time machine drive with the current backup on a different drive?

As of now, the computer does not seem to have even begun writing the files to the new drive - it is still "preparing the "items" for copying."
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
...

Have I already invested too much time in this project to simply stop it and just backup the computer as it currently exists? Also, what would the procedure be for finding and or restoring old files if they reside on a second older time machine drive with the current backup on a different drive?
...
It's not too late to stop it.

As for how you got to other drives, hold down the option key and you get different menu items from the Menu Bar, there will be a "Browse Other Backup Disks..." option.
 

GovtLawyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 6, 2008
294
9
Almost There

Finally, after over 2,000,000 files, the TM has started to copy files to my new drive. It says there are 14 hours left. I can live with that. It has copied 14 GB of 430GB.

I'll wait this out. Thanks to all who helped.

Steven
 
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