Unable to backup via TimeMachine - "The backup disk image .. already in use"

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by idyll, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Ever since upgrading to Sierra, I keep receiving the following notification from TimeMachine:
    "Backup has failed.
    The backup disk image "/Volumes/Data/Name.sparsebundle" is already in use."

    I am trying to backup to a WD MyCloud NAS.

    I have tried the following:
    • Restart computer and NAS
    • Remove and re-add NAS drive to TimeMachine
    • Delete previous TimeMachine backup from NAS and start a new one
    Removing and then adding the NAS drive back to TimeMachine fixes the problem for a few hours, but then the notification comes up again. Any advice?
  2. heiber macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    --- Post Merged, Feb 22, 2017 ---
    I had the same problem. Restarting the computer solved my problem. I suspect, but not based on any evidence, Crashplan created a conflict. Prior to this starting I was browsing my share with Crashplan to set files to backup.
  3. machrism macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2017
    Have exactly the same issue. Rebooting of either Mac of Nas helps - but problem reappears shortly after.
    Anybody with a solution?
  4. sawguy macrumors newbie


    Jun 2, 2015
    I experienced this problem with my Macs backing up to a Synology NAS. I tried all those suggestions too and the problem would just return in a few days.

    I was using SMB to connect to the Synology (DiskStation Manager 6.1) and switching back to AFP solved the problem. I know that AFP is deprecated, so going forward this solution may not be feasible but it works good for now.
  5. QuotesUK macrumors newbie


    Jun 4, 2017
    United Kingdom
    I have the same problem with Time Machine running on Sierra and WD Cloud NAS

    The problem occurs when the iMac is left overnight and goes into sleep mode as per energy saver

    I am unable to remount the volume manually. A restart of the Mac is my only known solution.
  6. jagooch macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2009
    Denver, co
    I have the same problem with my Macbook Pro. I did recently move my WiFi AP to another location , but that shouldn't be a problem.

    I get the "backup file in use" ( paraphrase ) message and the backup fails. Rebooting my Macbook Pro fixed it.
  7. jagooch macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2009
    Denver, co
    It's back again . I reconfigured my WiFi so backups for my iMac and Macbook Pro which go over WiFi were interrupted. this time rebooting the computer did not fix the problem.

  8. diamondsw, Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017

    diamondsw macrumors newbie


    Oct 25, 2005
    I've been struggling with this for weeks! Problem combination has been macOS 10.12.x, Synology DS1817+, DSM 6.1.x, over SMB. I also backup to a Mac Mini running 10.13.1 over SMB without issue. I've found that manually mounting the SMB share on the Synology, then mounting/unmounting the sparsebundle will sometimes allow a backup or two to proceed (and also verifies the image isn't corrupt).

    Strangely, the Mac Mini that serves as a secondary target backs itself up to the same Synology without any complaint (and did under 10.12, so it's not a High Sierra fix). I've restarted the backup from scratch so many times and it makes no difference.
  9. sunsetblow macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2013
    Same problem on High Sierra. Ugh.

    This did start after I partitioned my Time Machine (AirPort Extreme) though.
  10. Albschmidt macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2017
  11. George254, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018

    George254 macrumors newbie


    Mar 31, 2011
    Same problem here. Mac Book Pro, High Sierra with Synology NAS.
    (note: after Reboot of MBP a backup was sucessful. Will see how it goes and report)
  12. Albschmidt macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2017
    I found a solution on the Synology forums (create a blank file with a certain name).
  13. phlarp macrumors newbie


    Feb 19, 2018
    Can you elaborate on what this blank file is named and where it needs to be placed on the synology? I am having this exact issue.
  14. Albschmidt macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2017
  15. Jorn22 macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2018
    Same problem. Nothing works, rebooting NAS or MBP several times. It appeared out of nowhere. Did it perfectly well. After missing several backup dates I tried a new NAS profile, but did not make any difference.

    Anyone a solid solution yet?

    I find all of the Mac products to be highly unstable these days. And the number of updates are nearing the Windows amounts now too. The only difference, the poor service at Apple. Never any spot available for service, poor problem solving...
  16. Lynjon macrumors newbie


    Apr 30, 2018
    I have the identical problem with the same WD MyCloud NAS drive. I tried Apple Tech Support and after much trial and error they said they couldn't help because it had to be a MyCloud problem. After many very tiresome emails with WDMyCloud they wanted me to delete everything from the Mac and the Drive and reinstall!
    I have not followed this latter advice but after restarting and relocating both Mac and WDMyCloud Time Machine stared working again. But after a couple of backups the problem came back.
    Did you ever find a stable solution?
  17. Fratotec macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2018
    Have you already tried do exclude the NAS Drive from Spotlight Indexing ?

    This is an old issue which has been re-introduced in Sierra.
    Spotlight doesn't automatically ignore Time Machine volumes on third party hosts.
    • Restart system and start time machine backup
    • Wait until time machine volume is mounted in `/Volumes`
    • Go to Spotlight privacy settings and add the time machine volume to ignore list

  18. Lynjon macrumors newbie


    Apr 30, 2018
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2018 ---
    I have been battling this issue with so-called customer support experts at Apple and WD for weeks and weeks without success. And now Fratotec you have provided the very simple solution which has solved the problem. I am deeply indebted to you! Many thanks.
  19. jagooch macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2009
    Denver, co
    I haven't had the issue for some time, but I went ahead and add the time machine share to the exclusion list in Spotlight privacy settings. It can't hurt anything, so why not?
  20. zokime macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2007
    --- Post Merged, May 16, 2018 ---
    i've had the same problem, the only resolve is to restart my MacBook Pro, then backup works fine, it happens about once a month, can't figure out what the problem is.
  21. Winterflags macrumors member

    May 18, 2015
    I'm unable to add /Volumes/timemachine to Spotlight Privacy. It says "Privacy List Error: The item couldn't be added or removed because of an unknown error". Running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6.

    I was however able to add the AFP mount to the privacy list: afp://xxxx.local/timemachine/
    Not yet sure if it helps with the issue at hand.

    A sidenote, but there seems to be some anecdotal indications around the web that Apple doesn't really want one to exclude Time machine backups from Spotlight: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH21902?locale=en_US and https://eclecticlight.co/2016/06/20...otlight-indexing-on-your-time-machine-backup/.

    But I don't see the harm in trying, if it potentially helps to get rid of the "Unable to backup" problem.

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