Time Machine loops forever until it eats all my harddrive...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by williamli, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. williamli macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2011
    I am making a backup to a USB hard drive. The drive I backup is 1TB in size but I have set exceptions to limit the content for backup to around 200GB.

    When I start making the TM backup, it will shows a status window (since it is the first time) and it will tells you how many GB out of 200GB is done... but ever since a few days ago, it started looping and now, even after formatting / resetting everything in TM, it will keep looping... and the status window will show it taking up more than 200GB, going to 300GB -> 400GB, and eventually gives me an error saying that the harddrive is not big enough... this happened to be a few times over the pass years and somehow it always works again after resetting TM... but it doesn't work this time... so I am just wondering if anyone is experiencing the same problem...
  2. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    What do you mean by setting limits to 200GB? Did you partition?
    How much data do you have on the disk you are backing up?
  3. awer25 macrumors 65816


    Apr 30, 2011
    Are you excluding the TM drive in your backup? If it's trying to backup the Time Machine data, it would probably loop like that.
  4. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    That made me think of another thing, is that drive set under the exclusions for spotlight indexing?
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Bingo. This is a huge deal. If Spotlight is indexing the drive you are backing up to, Tm goes all cuckoo. A few weeks back when I was upgrading my HDD, I decided to change my backup destination from a Time Capsule to a firewire drive as I figured it would be easier to migrate. Only later did I learn I could have picked the Time Capsule backup when I restored. But that's ok. I like having more than one backup. Anyway, the backup hung. It just sat there going at a rate of about 1K an hour. I did some googling and found out Spotlight was the culprit. I stopped the backup, deleted the backup file with a paltry 13 gig in it. Shut down Spotlight indexing of the firewire drive. Restarted Time Machine backup and the whole thing finished in a few hours. Before shutting off Spotlight, I had left it running for several hours and it would get stuck at about 13 gig and sit there f-o-r-e-v-e-r. This is something Apple really should fix. Judging by the number of posts on the internet about this and the date range, Apple should have known by now to shut off Spotlight indexing (automatically) when the little clock is spinning. I guess they want us to be able to use Spotlight to find stuff inside Time Machine but they really should figure out a way to make it work properly rather than just sit there and hang.

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