Trouble with Timemachine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rpg51, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. rpg51, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    rpg51 macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #1
    I have my two MBA's running timemachine. Backups are ordinarily made to a Time Capsule wirelessly. It has been working flawlessly. Yesterday I noticed that the time machine was reporting that the back up failed. I don't recall the precise error message language - something to the effect of your such and such parsbundle is in use or busy. I tried manual back up , same result. I checked the other MBA - it too was not making back ups and giving the same error message - but then last night it started making back ups properly with no troubles. I rebooted the Time Capsule, now TM runs through the back up process, reports it has prepared the back up and then reports that it has backed up most of the 65 mb or so of data it needs to back up and then seemingly stalls - or more accuarately keeps running but never finishes the last bit of the back up. Also it seems to run waaaaay slower than it always has in the past.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    I should note that I stopped the apparently stalled back up manually after an very extended period of time but I could let it go overnight or something - only it did not move at all for about an hour and it had only a few mega bites to finish up which usually takes seconds. I should also say that at about the same time that this happened I was connected to my TBD with one of the MBAs and it has a wired connection to the home network and I did mess around a bit with the network settings at that time trying to turn off the wired connection and then the wireless connnection in preferences alternately as I ran some point to point speed tests. I believe all was put back in place the way it was at the start and both connectons appear to be working fine now - its just this time machine problem.

    I could also make a wired TM back up on the machines through my TBD if you all think that might change something. But the wireless connection is working well at this point - only TM is not working.
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I had the same error this weekend. I decided to abandon the old backup and start a new one. You do this by turning off time machine, then browsing to the drive with your backup and renaming whatever.sparsebundle to whatever.sparsebundle.NOT. Just say ok when it complains about the file type. Next you go in time machine preferences and pick the disk for your backups all over again. This is starting from a clean slate. If this doesn't suit you, other options involve a spending a LOT more time using disk utility to check and repair the sparsebundle. I've never had good results after wasting all that time hence my suggestion you get a new backup started right away.

    Also, don't let time machine be your only backup. This is not a good idea. When TM works, it's great. I've had TM fail miserably and luckily I had things backed up to crashplan or my wife would have lost all her files. A few years ago, the power supply in our 1st gen TC died. Apple replaced it for free but the new TC came back empty so all my daughter's files were lost because she had a disk wipe during the time the TC was out for repair. That was the last time I relied on a single backup solution.
     
  3. DoctorCrap macrumors regular

    DoctorCrap

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Location:
    Penang, Malaysia
    #3
    This could possibly be your Network having problems.
    Not something to worry about really.
    You just need to make sure your Mac device is turned on throughout the entire process of the back up.
    And if all else fails, get a hard drive and do it on that.
     
  4. rpg51, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #4
    Thank you -

    Is it possible to have TM automatically make two separate back ups - on two separate hard drives?

    I take it you think it is some sort of a corruption of the back up file that is causing the issue?
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Yes... with Mountain Lion you can. It just takes turns with each disk if they are both attached.
     
  6. rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #6
    I guess it is time

    to upgrade to ML. Thanks for the input.
     
  7. rpg51, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    rpg51 thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #7
    Update

    So I got home from work and tried to make a TM back up to Time Capsule. No go. Then for some reason I checked to see if there were any software updates that I had overlooked and low and behold there is a Lion update that specifically says it fixes a bug that makes TM back ups take excessively long. I installed the update and tried again. Worked like a charm!

    Why is it that you all think that relying on my TM back ups to TC is not a good idea? What are the chances that my MBA hard drive and the TC hard drive will go south at the same time?
     
  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #8
    That is exactly what happened to my daughter's files. That is exactly what happened to my wife's files except by the time the TC monster ate my wife's files, I had learned the lesson from losing my daughter's stuff and I had already invested in another backup solution so nothing was lost.

    The issue is that TM is still a work in progress and when it works, it's great. It may have been introduced with Leopard but it's still not quite right. It doesn't always work.

    Heck this weekend my Macbook Pro told me it was time to start over which is a nice way to say my 197 GB TM backup was now crap. Ok fine. I let it start over. Only it failed. I came back in the morning to a login screen. My MBP had crashed overnight and never finished the TM backup. I was staring at an all-too-familiar clock icon with an exclamation point on my menubar.

    This time I forcibly renamed the sparsebundle so it could create a fresh one and the backup succeeded. If you think these stories are opinions, then you go ahead and rely on TM and TC for your only backup. Perhaps 5 months from now we will be reading a thread about how you "lost everything" and "nobody warned you". Well some of us are trying right now.

    And no this isn't intended as an indictment of Apple quality. It's common sense not to rely on only one safety net for something that's really really important... like the contents of Macintosh HD.

    BTW, that new ML feature to allow multiple backup destinations is a big deal. It's unlikely both of them will be borked at the same time, especially if one is a local USB or FW drive and the other is a network drive so we might be arriving at a time when TM can be your "only" solution as long as you have no fewer than 2 active backup destinations.
     

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