Time Machine STUCK on PREPARING :(

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Liberalguy, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Liberalguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone, I've been reading forum posts and googling about this the past few days. I'm not a computer expert, so bare with me..

    I have a Core 2 Duo iMac and I use a My Book Home Edition 750Gb external drive to back up using Time Machine.

    It hasn't successfully backed up since Monday. it's been stuck on "Preparing" ever since. I did quite a bit of deleting files and then some iphoto work and downloaded a TV series in itunes Monday night. I have restarted, added "do not back this up" folders, and checked my system Log in Console.app.

    There is no mention of the word "traversal" or "deep traversal." When I start a backup, I get a nice progress bar going from 0 to 1.2GB, then switches to "Preparing" but hangs there. I let it go for 48 hours, never completed, never crashed, never got a failure message. The harddrive appears NOT to be doing anything once I get to the "Preparing" message (the light doesn't go up and down, if you know the drive I'm talking about). I downloaded the firmware update for the drive that I read on one of the forums - and that did NOT fix anything.

    In my system log in console.app I get teh following message every 1 minute (currently trying backup with "preparing" message"):
    Apr 10 11:44:34 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)
    Apr 10 11:45:04 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)



    Here is everything from the log leading up to that repeating every 1 minute message:
    Apr 10 11:20:06 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Backup requested by user
    Apr 10 11:20:06 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Starting standard backup
    Apr 10 11:20:07 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Backing up to: /Volumes/Brian's My Book/Backups.backupdb
    Apr 10 11:20:42 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: No pre-backup thinning needed: 1.84 GB requested (including padding), 356.07 GB available
    Apr 10 11:20:52 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Copied 366 files (53.6 MB) from volume Brian's iTunes drive.
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexCI in _ContentIndexSyncIndexBulk:Caught mach exception. Fun Fun Fun.
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexCI in _ContentIndexSyncIndexBulk:Skipping because index is shut down
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexGeneral in notify_lowspace:low space for device 234881033 (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (Error) Volume: LOW DISK SPACE device:234881033
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Error: Flushing index to disk returned an error: -918
    Apr 10 11:23:29 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Copied 12258 files (1.2 GB) from volume Brian's iMac HD.
    Apr 10 11:23:34 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: No pre-backup thinning needed: 100.0 MB requested (including padding), 354.80 GB available
    Apr 10 11:23:34 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (905 > 0)
    Apr 10 11:23:54 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexCI in _ContentIndexSyncIndexBulk:Caught mach exception. Fun Fun Fun.
    Apr 10 11:23:54 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexCI in _ContentIndexSyncIndexBulk:Skipping because index is shut down
    Apr 10 11:23:54 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)(Error) IndexGeneral in notify_lowspace:low space for device 234881033 (/Volumes/Brian's My Book/.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Stores/EF6963FE-3615-4CA8-B55E-25E5F72C8A2E)
    Apr 10 11:23:54 c-69-181-228-59 mds[32]: (Error) Volume: LOW DISK SPACE device:234881033
    Apr 10 11:23:54 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)
    Apr 10 11:24:24: --- last message repeated 2 times ---
    Apr 10 11:24:39 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)
    Apr 10 11:25:09: --- last message repeated 1 time ---
    Apr 10 11:25:34 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)



    Does anyone have any idea what to do? Oh, I also ran Disk Utility to verify disk, and it found no problems with the drive. I saw someone say to delete a file called something like "com.apple.timemachine"... but I did a search for my entire computer and there isn't the file there at all. My Time Machine was working fine until Monday.

    ps. Before I started using the drive last December, I formatted it to GUI partition.
     
  2. wwooden macrumors 68000

    wwooden

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #2
    I've been having the exact same problem starting this week two. My time machine has been working perfect for the last month and now all it does is "prepare". Here's hoping there is a simple fix.
     
  3. Cerebrus' Maw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #3
    That file you are looking for is in:

    MacHD/Library/Preferances/com.apple.timemachine.plist
     
  4. Liberalguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #4
    Yep, I looked in the correct library/preferences, but I don't have that file.

    I also did a search for "com.apple.timemachine" just in case I wasn't looking in the right place. No results. I broadened my search further for simply "com.apple" and got results for com.apple.calendars.Calendar.db and one for contacts, ical, typhoon, etc but nothing with timemachine or anything related.
    :(
     
  5. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #5
    It looks like it might be splotlight failing that's causing a knock on effect on Time Machine. Try excluding the drive in the Spotlight preferences and trying again.
     
  6. Liberalguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #6
    I designated my TM drive to be private in spotlight preferences as you suggested Tyr. Unfortunately, no change, still stuck on preparing:

    Apr 11 13:38:07 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: Backup requested by user
    Apr 11 13:38:07 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: Starting standard backup
    Apr 11 13:38:07 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: Backing up to: /Volumes/BrianTM/Backups.backupdb
    Apr 11 13:38:39 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: No pre-backup thinning needed: 1.85 GB requested (including padding), 351.12 GB available
    Apr 11 13:38:39 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)
    Apr 11 13:39:09: --- last message repeated 2 times ---
    Apr 11 13:39:09 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[662]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)
     
  7. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #7
    This Apple Discussion looks like it might be relevant. I'd at least consider removing the apostrophe from the Time Machine disks name.
     
  8. Liberalguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #8
    Ya, I read that post too, and I already renamed all of my harddrives to be only 1 word each without any non-letter characters. Still stuck. :(
     
  9. Gentile macrumors regular

    Gentile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    I had the same problem, but let it "prepare" for an hour or two. Then it began to backup normally.

    I don't know if this is due to a lot of large files I recently deleted or added or to the most recent Leopard update.
     
  10. Liberalguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #10
    Gentile, during that 1-2 hour "preparing" was your external drive running or dorminant/sleep-mode? Mine goes dorminant when I get to the point that the same log entry "Apr 10 11:25:34 c-69-181-228-59 /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[170]: Waiting for index to be ready (915 > 0)" appears. Like I said before, I let it "prepare" for over 48 hours, no progress, no resolution, no failure message or anything, just stuck preparing forever I would guess.
     
  11. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    I'm getting a different error :

    Time Machine failed "Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup directory."
    It started happening 2-3 days ago.
    Rebooting the computer doesn't help.
    Any thoughts?

    KK
     
  12. Gentile macrumors regular

    Gentile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    #12
    It was running during that time. My backup worked fine then stopped about a week ago.

    I let it run a couple hours. The only other thing I did was exclude a few folders in Time Machine. Could your hard drive be full? Perhaps excluding a few folders would reset the Time Machine?
     
  13. Liberalguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #13
    My external drive has 750gb and over 350gb are free.
     
  14. GR33NIE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    If anyone has anymore insight to this it would be much appreciated :D

    Mine has now gone from the 'preparing' stage but won't start the actual backup? In the console I can see the message:

    ''Waiting for index to be ready (95 > 0 ):confused::rolleyes:
     

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