Time Machine - Slow Backup Then Fail

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kolax, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Time Machine will backup at a rate of 0.5KB/s (rough estimate) then start to speed up a little bit, then just fail. I have tried restarting my Mac, repairing permissions etc, and I've attempted about 10 times to get it to backup.

    I have spent about 20 minutes on Google trying to see if there is anyone with similar issues - closest I found was someone who's Time Machine would fail once a week.

  2. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I gave up trying to fix this and decided I'd just delete my Time Machine backups and start again (since I just need it to be an exact backup of my hard drive, not the "opps I deleted a document I shouldn't have".).

    However, I have other stuff on the hard drive that I need, so I can't just format it. But when deleting the backups, it just stalls on this:


    Argh! Extremely frustrating - how do I get myself out of this bloomin' mess?
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Have you accidentally asked for a secure delete?

    Also, is it the case that you don't have a partition dedicated to TM, as apart from the other data you have on the disk? It sounds as though you don't, but if you do, you can use Disk Utility to clear out the TM partition, while leaving the partition with your other data alone.

    You might consider moving the data you want to keep to another drive temporarily, and then erasing your TM drive. If you do that consider creating a partition for TM alone, so you won't have this problem in future.

    There was a thread -- still continues -- here about TM errors. I get them regularly, but the next backup works properly. No one seems to know what causes them...people have offered fixes (one in the last few days, even) but usually the fixes turn out to be temporary ones.
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    There are two main causes for this behaviour: 1. The disk you are backing up is dodgy. 2. The disk you are backing up to is dodgy.

    "Repairing permissions" is voodoo. It won't help you. Quite the opposite: The only thing it _could_ do is changing permissions on some files, which just make more work because Time Machine has to back them up. And if your hard drive is starting to get messed up because of some hardware failure, anything that modifies your hard drive can only make things worse.

    I would recommend buying a second backup disk, copying the things you want from the first one, then put the first one into a safe place and use the new disk for Time Machine backup. There are two possibilities: If everything works fine (remember the first Time Machine backup always takes ages), then your first backup drive was at fault. If things don't work, then your built-in drive has problems. In that case, hope that you can backup your home directory or that the Time Machine backup on your first drive is still ok.
  5. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Thanks for the replies.

    I left it to delete (empty Trash) and it took forever, but it did delete it. I'm doing my first backup and it is going full speed.

    Really don't know what caused that problem - my hard drive works fine for everything else - just an odd problem with Time Machine.

    Hopefully it'll work this time.

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