Time Machine Encryption of 1.2GB data on a 2016 MBP 15" i7 2.9ghz: *10 days in*, 90% done

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by MareLuce, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. MareLuce, Mar 29, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018

    MareLuce macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #1
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    with 2TB drive.
    My first MBP after ~ 10 Thinkpads.
    Time Machine drive = a shiny red Seagate 4TB Backup Plus external hard drive labeled "MyTimeMachine"

    I've never felt confident in this Time Machine thing. Time Machine did not work until High Sierra. Known bug. With High Sierra, the Time Machine backup completes fast enough. But I've had to remove the external drive after several days before encryption completed. This is the longest my patience and time has held out.

    At this rate it will take more than a full week to encrypt < 1.5 TB.

    Why is it taking so long.

     
  2. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    Your screenshots show a 4TB backup drive, but you mention it’s a shiny new 2TB drive. Are you sure you’ve selected the right disk, and that there are no hardware issues related to that drive?

    Also, have you tried using Disk Utility to format the external drive as MacOS Extended (Journaled/Encrypted) before setting it up as a Time Machine disk?
     
  3. MareLuce, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018

    MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #3
    Thanks @duervo you are correct - The external backup drive is indeed a 4TB backup drive. (my Thinkpad backup drives are 2TB) . I corrected my post.

    I read a couple online articles about how to use this drive for Time Machine,
    Looks like I formatted it as
    MacOS Extended (Journaled)

    From a GetInfo on the drive
    [​IMG]

    This is today's status
    [​IMG]

    How long does it take your TimeMachine backup drive to encrypt?

    If I had formatted it as
    MacOS Extended (Journaled and Encrypted)
    would I not be in this Time Machine Marathon?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote:
    "I've never felt confident in this Time Machine thing. Time Machine did not work until High Sierra. Known bug. With High Sierra, the Time Machine backup completes fast enough. But I've had to remove the external drive after several days before encryption completed. This is the longest my patience and time has held out."

    My opinion only:
    STOP using Time Machine.

    Download CarbonCopyCloner (FREE to download and use for 30 days) and give it a try.
    It's child's-play easy to set up and use.

    If you don't want to use your TM backup drive, use another external drive for the time being.

    A CCC backup is an EXACT COPY of your internal drive and it's FULLY BOOTABLE TO THE FINDER, too. It will serve you better in a "moment of extreme need" or an "I can't boot!" moment, than will TM.

    You won't understand how well it works until you've actually tried it.
    Then get back to us with your impressions.

    If you don't like it, just erase the CCC backup and it will have cost you nothing.
     
  5. robvas macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I like TM and have never had any issues with it. I like having versioned copies of my files instead of just one backup
     
  6. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #6
    Do you encrypt? How long does it take for how many GB?
    --- Post Merged, Mar 30, 2018 ---
    That sounds really useful.
    Will it also give me access to individual files when connected as a simple USB drive?

    With my Thinkpads I've used GoodSync for eons and love it.
    https://www.goodsync.com/
    killer feature for me:
    It allows a file change on 1 laptop to instantaneously sync with another laptop running on same WiFi.

    Great for people like me who travel a lot to grab the smaller laptop and be confident both work directories have all my files are there without a single extra step.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP asked:
    "Will it also give me access to individual files when connected as a simple USB drive?"

    Yes. Absolutely.
    Just mount the CCC cloned backup in the finder. Then...
    - Copy one file
    - Copy several files (or folders)
    - You can even RE-clone the ENTIRE BACKUP back to the internal drive (or another drive).

    CCC can also save "older versions" of files (instead of deleting them) if you use the "safety net" feature. (I don't use this, but it IS there).
     
  8. Starfia macrumors 6502a

    Starfia

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #8
    I’ve used Time Machine as my only backup since Leopard, sometimes with encryption (which is indeed much slower, including for recovering files).

    Aside from just knowing I have a backup, my main uses for it have been migration to new Macs and recovering previous versions of files or projects I’d been working on for some reason or another – there it’s particlarly good.

    Any reputable tool seems fine if your main goal if just a failsafe.
     
  9. MareLuce, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018

    MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #9
    @Starfia I've always created 2 types of backups for my systems
    Both:
    1) the built-in OS approved type
    2) a file-based incremental type

    Like for my Thinkpads - I used both Windows Backup for a disk image and GoodSync for incremental file update syncing to external hard drive.

    When going to a new laptop I always start from clean OS install. Then GoodSync my created data.

    So for my MBP I will always do TimeMachine even though I don't trust it cos of all the problems and flakiness. But I'll definitely try CCC and probably GoodSync too.
    (it would be so cool to get the immediate auto-sync working between directories on Thinkpad and MBP)

    All that said, I would rather clean toilets than do backups. But I've had too many drive failures to not.

    2 questions:

    Is there a way to test if the Time Machine backup is even working? (without having a second laptop or doing a full restore to my only MBP?)

    Does TimeMachine continue encrypting after my screen goes blank?
     
  10. Starfia macrumors 6502a

    Starfia

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #10
    Testing if it’s working:

    I mean, you could always enter Time Machine (the main interface through whith you browse and restore files) – if you get anywhere at all, then implicitly there’s at least a current backup if not retrogressive ones as well.

    Time Machine also reports the time of its most recent backup in its Preference Pane, as well as its menu if you have that toggled on.

    If your screen is black, your Mac is either letting the display sleep (in which case everything is still allowed to run normally), or the Mac is sleeping, in which case either nothing is running, or system processes supporting Power Nap are still running. Time Machine is one of those, so it can perform backups automatically at night, for example, provided Power Nap is enabled. These settings are found in System Preferences > Energy Saver.
     
  11. duervo, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018

    duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #11
    Install macOS in a virtual machine (can use 30 day trial version of VMware Fusion or Fusion Pro.) Then, connect external drive for TM use to the VM, and test away.

    I have a test running right now in my MacOS 10.13.3 VM. I attached a 500GB USB3 drive I had laying around to my VM running in my MacBook Pro, used Disk Utility to erase it and format it as MacOS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted), and then setup Time Machine to use it, and to encrypt the backups.

    My backup size for my test is 27.51GB, and it started 9 minutes ago. It has so far backed up 4.59GB, and is estimating that there is about 44 minutes remaining (I don’t give a lot of weight to those time estimates though. They tend to jump around all over the place.)

    When it’s done, I’ll wipe the external drive again, format as MacOS Extended (Journaled) and then tell TM to use it and to not encrypt. Once that backup is done, I will change TM option to tell it to encrypt, and then see what happens.

    5.16GB backed up now.

    ———————

    1st backup complete.

    - MacOS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) + TM-Encrypted

    54 minutes to complete 27.51GB to a 5400 RPM 2.5” drive in a third-party (Vantec) USB3 enclosure.

    ———————

    2nd backup in progress

    - MacOS Extended (Journaled) + TM-unencrypted

    4.44GB backed up with “about 36 minutes remaining”, so encryption doesn’t appear to be making much diff at this point.

    Note: Unless I can find a way to list a completion time for individual backups, I’ll probably have to restart this one, because in half an hour I have to leave for a couple hours, and the backup will probably still be going when I head out.
     
  12. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #12
    Thank you @Starfia !

    Dang! That is SO unfair! I bought an expensive, new 4TB external Seagate that had a lot of positive reviews from Mac-types.
    4tb - 2.8tb = it's only backing up 1.2 TB !

    [​IMG]

    Yours is done and meanwhile I still have had to carry my external drive / colostomy bag around everywhere since Monday !
     
  13. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #13
    You’re backing up 43x more data than I am. I’ll round up my time to 1 hour for every 28GB of data, just to keep things simple for me (it’s late.) Thumb-in-the-Air estimate is that it would take me about 43hrs to backup your data. Keep in mind, my drive was formatted as MacOS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted,) and TM encryption was on. So, it’s possible that if your drive was configured the same, then you might see better performance.

    However, it’s also possible there could be something else slowing things down, like maybe a bad cable or USB-C dongle ... which reminds me ... Are you using an original Apple USB-C cable/dongle, or is it a third-party one?
     
  14. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 26, 2010
    #14
    I'm using a cable that is USB-C on 1 end and USB-x (where x = the weird usb type that plugs into those external hard drives)

    [​IMG]

    That looks like 50% complete to my eyes.

    Since I have 1.2TB of data, if it's 50% done, it's encrypted 2TB of the 4TB.
    So it's just encrypting free space at this point. Right? So should it go faster now?

    Uncle !
     
  15. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #15
    Yes, that’s correct. Turning encryption on for a locally-attached external TM drive will convert the drive to a corestorage volume (like converting to LVM in Linux, for lack of a better example.) So, it’s encrypting the entire 4TB (the 4TB corestorage volume.)

    Unfortunately, it’s not going to go faster once it’s done encrypting the portion of the drive that contains your backup data.
     
  16. MareLuce, Apr 1, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018

    MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #16
    Setback:

    Last night after that last post, I sleepily plugged what I thought was the USB-C end of the Apple USB-C power cable. However, a lightning port ended that cable, not a power brick. :-(

    When I noticed this, I plugged it in, the battery was at 5%. Odd. I thought it would be at 0%. But the encryption had stopped.

    It did make a tiny amount of progress though. I'm calling it 55%

    [​IMG]
     
  17. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #17
    For my Thinkpad backups, I've always used the WD Ultra My Passport USB external drives.

    I started using the Seagate Backup Plus only because
    1) The Seagate was advertised to "work with Macs"
    2) My first choice was the WD My Passport Wireless Pro so I could do Time Machine without being tethered. (for 10 min at a time, let alone 1 week at a time)
    I had to RMA 2-3 drives and gave up. So unreliable. It would work fine then all the indicator lights would flash non-stop and the drive would seize.


    Update du jour: 1 week later, its past the "e"... 67%-ish done.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #18
    5 STARS reply!!! I highly recommend CCC too, saved my bacon many times! :cool:
     
  19. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    #19
    If I were to buy the small Macbook, would it be possible to finish the encryption with the drive hooked up to that machine?
     
  20. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 26, 2010
  21. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #21
    Sorry, no ideas what might be going on, but that is excessively slow encryption. I recently replaced some old drives for Time Machine with a mix of Seagate and WD portable drives, and encrypting 4TB on my old Mac "only" took about 4 days.

    Something with the controller chip in the drive? The USB-C cable?
     
  22. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 26, 2010
    #22
    Are your WD drives the Passport Ultras? If yes, do you use the built-in security / encryption on WD drives or do you have Time Machine perform an extra manual encryption?
     
  23. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #23
    I do not use any drive vendor's encryption options, just Apple's built-in encryption.

    With the Apple option, I use a random generated 25 character (upper, lower, digits, special) key that I let Keychain remember (and record in my password app for iOS). More secure, imo, than entering something that I can remember and might not be difficult to crack.

    Specifically to WD drives, they did have giant security holes with their security option. So big that it would only stop average Joe Blow on the street, not someone that really wants to get in. Assuming they fixed their issues, but why chance it?

    If you are using the drive maker's utilities, that could be why you are seeing slow encryption: everything is being doubly encrypted. But that's just a guess.
     
  24. friednoodles Suspended

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    #24
    The simple answer to the OP's question is: the initial encryption of a new Time Machine drive takes FOREVER. It's unfortunately just the way it is, and it has to encrypt the entire drive, not just the portion used by your initial backup. I actually gave up encrypting mine because I didn't have the week it was going to take to encrypt the drive.

    My brother recently bought a new drive as a TM backup drive and his took 4 days to finish the encryption when he set up the drive (I think it was a 2TB drive).

    So... what you're experiencing is unfortunately completely normal and by design. It'll finish eventually.
     
  25. trainwrecka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #25
    Yikes... I have an 8TB drive... It just broke 5% after a week.
     

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