Time Machine issue, auto backups stop

Paco II

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Original poster
Sep 13, 2009
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Anyone else experiencing Time Machine issues, specifically where the auto backups just stop after a while? It's strange. It'll work fine for a few days, and then automatic backups just stop. Manually triggering a backup works fine. The temporary fix is to reboot, but after a few days it will once again stop. Never had this issue in El Capitan.
 

Paco II

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Original poster
Sep 13, 2009
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So an update to this. It appears that it hasn't actually stopped, but seems to not actually update hourly. Does Time Machine work differently in Sierra?
 

Paco II

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Original poster
Sep 13, 2009
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So I'm reviving this thread of mine, because my post #2 was incorrect. Still experiencing the same original issue. Basically, after about 2-3 days, Time Machine backups just stop. Nothing interesting in the logs. Everything is backing up correctly, and then backups simply stop. This is happening on a Mac mini that is running 24/7 as a media server, so it does not get 'regular' restarts. When TM stops backing up, I'll restart the computer and then it'll work again for a few days, then again, just stop. Note, this is not the issue some have with it getting stuck at 'preparing backup'. I'll also add that Manual backups work correctly. It's like the chron job just poops out for some reason.

My current workaround is to use a calendar automator shell script to force Time Machine to backup once a day, so that I at least get a daily backup.

Is anyone else having this issue?
 

TofSanity

Cancelled
Oct 29, 2010
685
91
I am having the same issue, but I didn't notice it until I got a 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I don't remember having this issue on my 12" MacBook. Both ran Sierra, but I hadn't update to the last version on my old 12". I had started to think it was the new machine. May be its the software
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,711
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192.168.1.1
I am having the same issue, but I didn't notice it until I got a 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I don't remember having this issue on my 12" MacBook. Both ran Sierra, but I hadn't update to the last version on my old 12". I had started to think it was the new machine. May be its the software
Same here. 2016 15" MBP won't reliably back up to my Time Capsule over wifi. I can get it to complete over ethernet if I connect directly to the Time Capsule (though anything else fails), but even then it takes forever to get through "preparing backup..."

Didn't have this problem with any other machine, and my wife's 2015 rMB is still running Time Machine backups reliably.

I get the following error consistently:
The backup disk image “/Volumes/Time Capsule/MacBook15.sparsebundle” could not be accessed (error 16).

The TM volume appears to be good as far as I can tell.

Edit: forgot to mention that backups connected over Thunderbolt (to a different volume, obviously) complete without errors.
 
Last edited:

mpainesyd

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
642
156
Sydney, Australia
I am having the same issue, but I didn't notice it until I got a 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I don't remember having this issue on my 12" MacBook. Both ran Sierra, but I hadn't update to the last version on my old 12". I had started to think it was the new machine. May be its the software
Software ... Sierra is having problems automatically connecting to external drive - the keychain password does nto seem to be working correctly. So if your Time Capsule is password protected this could cause problems. Try manually mounting the Time Capusle drive with Finder, before using Time Machine.

Having said this, my Time Capsule is dropping off the network after a few minutes of connection (reported by several Macs on the network). I am assuming it is "sick".
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
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Arizona
Time Capsules have a long history of cr@pping-out in 2 years or less. Particularly the storage drive portion—although the Wifi appears to cut-out frequently for a lot of people as well.

Now that Apple has dropped the entire Airport line, it's probably time to find alternate routers/external drives. I hated to do it, but I got a Netgear router and a 3TB external storage drive for less money than the Time Capsule. The Wifi range is significantly better, the signal strength is significantly better, the hard drive is faster, and I can easily swap out drives once the current one fills up if I want to.

And surprisingly enough, the setup was actually easier than using Apple's Airport Utility.
 

Paco II

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Original poster
Sep 13, 2009
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For anyone having the 'Time Machine backup poops out' issue, my applescript fix is working great. Threw together a quick AppleScript application that triggers Time Machine every X hours (I use 8 hours). Runs invisibly (other than the dock icon, which I could hide, but it doesn't bother me), with no impact on the system.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
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Until the bug is fixed (and perhaps even afterward as well), I've switched to Carbon Copy Cloner.

Network file transfers are quick and always completed without errors. I only need my data backed up anyway. I don't need apps or system OS files backed up as I can reinstall all from scratch anyway.
 

Paco II

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Original poster
Sep 13, 2009
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The Time Capsule issues some have mentioned here sound like a different issue to the one I started this thread about.
 

awang

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2015
10
7
Berkeley
I updated to the latest beta, I have to power off and on the device (hard wired) to backup stuff, experiencing this problem since update to beta 6/7 from 12.12.1, seems that mine is worse than yours since my computer cannot even find the backup disk.
 

mpainesyd

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
642
156
Sydney, Australia
Software ... Sierra is having problems automatically connecting to external drive - the keychain password does nto seem to be working correctly. So if your Time Capsule is password protected this could cause problems. Try manually mounting the Time Capusle drive with Finder, before using Time Machine.

Having said this, my Time Capsule is dropping off the network after a few minutes of connection (reported by several Macs on the network). I am assuming it is "sick".
MacOS 10.12.2 seems to have fixed the server bug and now my Time Machine backups are working without my intervention. BTW - my "old" Time Capsule was sick and has been replaced.
 

neliason

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
398
636
I've had this problem of Time Machine simply stopping backing up. The only thing possibly tricky about my set up is I have a Thunderbolt dock. I actually use multiple external hard drives and run an alternating backup pattern. One drive is connected directly into the Mac and one into the dock. Both drives are still connected and accessible when a backup should occur but doesn't.

I filed a bug report on this a long time back and supplied diagnostic information. I had hoped that 10.12.2 would fix it but it didn't. One thing that first attracted me to switch to Mac was Time Machine and its hourly backups. I would think something so simple as that should be very reliable.
 

ahwman

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2007
60
1
For anyone having the 'Time Machine backup poops out' issue, my applescript fix is working great. Threw together a quick AppleScript application that triggers Time Machine every X hours (I use 8 hours). Runs invisibly (other than the dock icon, which I could hide, but it doesn't bother me), with no impact on the system.
I'm also having this identical issue. Would you please provide your AppleScript to force TC backups? And if possible, how to hide it in the dock...

Thanks so much!
 
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