Time Machine - Extremely Slow (100 MB an hour)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Amnesiac1, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Amnesiac1 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I recently picked up a portable SeaGate 1 TB HD. It uses USB 3.0, although I doubt my 2007 MBP can take advantage of it (the HD is still compatible with USB 2.0).

    Anyways, I am doing my initial back up via Time Machine and it is going very, very slowly. It is backing up 122.97 GB and I usually only transfer approximately 100 MB of data an hour...

    What should I do? I already removed my HD and the SeaGate HD from Spotlight indexing.
     
  2. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #2
    I also had such issues when I made my initial TM backup. After half an hour, only 6 MB had been copied. But suddenly, there was a strong acceleration.

    Yes, it might say 100 MB. But that will take a lot of time if it's like 80,000 small files...
     
  3. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I haven't gotten a boost, though... only errors, which prevent me from being able to leave the transfer on indefinitely. Errors inevitably crop up. I can resume the transfer once said errors appear, but they make it so that I can't leave the transfer on unattended.
     
  4. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #4
    Make sure the disk never goes to sleep in the power settings.
     
  5. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    My HD or the external HD? If it is the latter, then how do I do that?
     
  6. kidwithdimples macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    TM sucks. I hate it.

    CCC or rsync is the way to go :)
     
  7. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Was the drive formatted as OSX's JFS, or is it something like NTFS? That would cause some major slowdown.
     
  8. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Also, just so everyone knows, I'm backing up 745, 889 items.

    It's currently 'stuck' on 34.3 MB out of 122.65 GB. It should move up ever so slightly in five minutes, and if I'm lucky, I'll make it to 100 MB in an hour. If I'm lucky.

    Strangely enough, the transfer was quite fast when I first started... then it crawled down to a snail's pace!
     
  9. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    When I go to the info for the external HD, it has the following listed beside 'Format': "Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled)".
     
  10. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #10
    Your HD. Not the external one.
     
  11. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I did that. For some reason, it still goes to sleep! Why?
     
  12. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #12
    Are you sure you have unchecked "Turn off disks when possible" too?
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    #13
    If you just drag and drop a few GB in files to the external how long does it take? You could just have a bum drive.
     
  14. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    BTW, this acceleration occurred after just a half an hour?
     
  15. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I am, yeah.

    I fixed it, though. I needed to disable the screensaver separately, apparently.
     
  16. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I tried that. It goes much faster. More like 50 MB a sec.
     
  17. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    That looks right. Do you use bootcamp at all on your machine? I ask because I've noticed behaviour similar to what you're experiencing whenever OSX has to deal with NTFS formatted partitions.
     
  18. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    No Bootcamp.

    I did drop my laptop last week, though. Ever since, it's been making an intermittent clicking sound. That's why I'm backing everything up -- I'm having my internal HD replaced soon. I notice that when the back up is in progress, the clicking is more frequent.

    So, normally, I'd chalk up the slow pace to the evidently damaged HD. However, two factors make me doubt this: a lot of other people have experienced extremely slow TM progress, and the HD transfers quite well when I manually drag a few GB worth of files over to the external HD.
     
  19. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  20. bluespaceoddity, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011

    bluespaceoddity macrumors regular

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    #20
    That sound from the HDD isn't good after a drop. Neither is it good that you're getting errors during the Time Machine backup. It is quite possible that running Time Machine -or any cloning routine- puts too much strain on the internal disk if that disk was damaged in the fall. Depending on the errors, it is possible that even if the disk survives until the eventual completion of the Time Machine transfer, the resulting Time Machine Data Base will be corrupt and can be nearly useless as a straight back up to do an automatic restore later on.

    If your External drive is big enough -to accommodate a large amount of individual files transferred separately as well as a clone or Time Machine back up - I would stop the Time Machine transfer for the time being (Given the amount of data transferred you will loose little but time by halting the process right now). I would first perform a sort of triage. Concentrate on transferring the most vital personal files manually in relatively large chunks in order of priority. Only after the transfer of these irreplaceable personal files has been completed would I attempt another cloning operation or Time Machine back up from that internal drive.

    (Straight Cloning seems more logical to me at this point -after saving your personal files- since Time Machine is more for preserving incremental changes to the files over time and you are going to replace the internal drive soon. Cloning can be done with Disk Utility and doesn't require additional software. I would start using Time Machine from scratch after the Mac has a new internal drive and is running smoothly again)

    If the disk was damaged the risk is also there that System files are "damaged" or "corrupt". I would not trust a full restoration to a replacement drive based on a Time Machine Back-up or a clone created from a potentially damaged internal drive like that. System files can be recreated from a OS Installation onto the new drive and it seems like a wasted effort -to me- to try to transfer those to the External Drive at this point.
    The only reason to perform a clone right now would be to preserve preference / plists / settings etc that are easily overlooked during a manual transfer of files for back up but most of these settings -to me- have lower priority than personal files that can't be replaced even with time consuming re-configuration of Applications. That's why I would go the route outlined above before I'd do a clone or TM backup where you don't have a say on the order of the file transfer and can't set your priorities.

    If you have a way to start the Mac from another start-up volume then you could run the "Repair Disk" routine found under "First Aid" in Disk Utility. That repair may improve the internal drives' performance during back up as well. Couldn't hurt to have a hardware check after a machine is dropped. (Cable connections can become loose, RAM modules can get unseated etc)

    P.S.

    [At the risk of sounding crude, insensitive, sanctimonious and pedantic ... I'm sure the people who advised you above would agree that info about dropping the computer changes things. I'm sure they would have liked to have that info about dropping the Mac in the OP at the start of the thread - as well as more info about the errors you were getting.

    Sorry to say that -as you've now no doubt realized - the incremental Time Machine back-ups should have been made prior to the drop. But you're working to get your files to safety now so Good Luck salvaging your files from a drive that could fail catastrophically at any moment. (Best to presume the worst and be wrong about being "over" cautious. IMNHO.)]
     
  21. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #21
    How about if you're backing up with CCC? Still slowly? The reason why I'm asking is that for your needs - I.e. to save your files - it doesn't matter which one of the systems you choose.
     
  22. bluespaceoddity macrumors regular

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    #22
    Assuming CCC is already installed. Otherwise it requires download and installation of new software (On a drive that may be failing as a result of being dropped.)

    Why not advise to use the MAC OS built in cloning abilities of Disk Utility in a situation like this?
     
  23. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #23
    Because I forgot about it, that's why.
     
  24. PUMMYUK macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2010
    #24
    Assuming you already had a backup in place before the drop, could you not just take a backup of the files you do not already have backed up and try a restore from your last TM backup, then move the files back across onto a new hdd? Or is this your first TM backup?
     
  25. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #25
    According to the OP it's his "initial backup". That's why there is so much to copy and nothing to recover from.
     

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