Upgrading Macbook HDD - Timemachine Backup SLOW!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lovelldr, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. lovelldr macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    Hey guys.

    Have a 500gb hdd lying around that I took out of something else, and thought that it would be nice to have the extra storage on my macbook, so decided that I would upgrade the hdd to this one. From what I've read, there are conflicting stories on this hdd (it's the WD Blue Scorpio 500gb), so I'll find out on whether I'll get the problem when it's installed. But that's the problem, getting round to getting it installed...

    I decided that I wanted to do a complete fresh install of snow leopard to the macbook on this new drive, so I could have it nice and fresh again. So, I thought that I'd do a time machine backup to save all the data, and then add on just the data that I wanted to the new hdd.

    Anyway, this was yesterday morning. Started the backup about 10am, and started off quite nicely. Got to around 15gb backed up out of 97gb within the first hour or so, then it was painfully slow backing up the rest. When I left it about 5pm last night, was at about 22gb backed up. This morning, at 9am, it was at about 45gb backed up. Not been back to it yet (as am currently out), but that's really badly slow is it not?! I'd expected that by this morning, it should've completed!

    Anyway, I was wondering, if it's still not completed by the time I get back (in about an hour), would I be ok to cancel the backup, and can I restore the data by putting the old hdd in an external case, and just copying the files I'd need back over?

    I want to restore my itunes, iphoto, documents and downloads. Don't think there would be anything else I'd need to restore is there?! Apps I'll just install again the ones I actually want (as had loads that I installed to try, but never use, so no need - hence the reason of a fresh install). So, my question is, can I just restore these things easily? Is it a case of drag & drop them over from the old hdd to the new one? Or will that screw up the faces database in iphoto and artwork in itunes etc?

    Also, I've heard that when you choose to cancel a time machine backup, it takes forever to just cancel it Going from my experience of trying to cancel a "secure erase files" from the trashbin, it has taken forever to cancel that, so I guess that it would be just as bad with cancelling this time machine?! If I just pulled out the usb, or shutdown the machine (if a graceful shutdown will work), would that corrupt the data on the machine's current (250gb stock) hdd?

    Many thanks in advance. Needing as much help as possible :)

  2. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006
    Are you copying the data to the new HDD or is this another drive? In any case, you could use SuperDuper or CCC to clone the drive. Install the new drive, install OS/X then copy the files back to the freshly installed drive. It might be slightly more of a pain, but it will accomplish the same thing.
  3. lovelldr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    I am currently backing up the data to an external hdd via usb in time machine. Then, what I intend to do is to put the new hdd in to the macbook. So, all the data from the old macbook hdd should still be available in the old hdd.

    What I was then going to do, is to install the snow leopard on to the new hdd in the macbook, and then copy what I wanted from the old hdd backup (to the external hdd) back on to the new fresh install.

    But, since this backup is taking forever, I was just going to cancel it, go ahead with the fresh install. Then, put the old hdd in to an external enclosure, and copy over the files I need. But, since I have never restored or worked like this, wondered whether that would be possible? What about permissions? Could this be a problem with the macbook? As I stated, a bit of a mac noobie :p

    Just that I can't be bothered to wait another day or 2 for the final 45gb or so to copy over!

    Cheers :)

    Well, just got back in now, and it looks like it's been a bit busier since I'd been gone, as it's finally copied over a fair chunk of it. It's now at 86.44 of 92.75. So, hopefully it won't take much longer than another 30-60 minutes to copy over the finaly 6gb (since it's done 40gb or so in the past 3 hours).

    Cheers again. Although would be good if people could answer my questions so I know for next time, or others who may find my thread in a search in the future will have answers :)
  4. itommyboy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Titletown USA
    Hi David and welcome to the fold.

    First time machine backups are always painfully slow no matter how you are connected to your backup drive whether that is via USB, Ethernet, FW, WiFi etc. Since you are backing up via USB the long slow process that you are going through is actually very normal. If you stick with Time Machine and start to see daily incremental backups you'll notice it works very well and seamlessly in the background once set up.

    My suggestion to you at this point would be this. Wait it out and stick with your plan to backup completely (you should have a complete backup in your network anyway) and then migrate what you want and need to your fresh install.

    As for hard canceling the backup there are possible side effects but chances are if you kill everything all would still be fine. That being said use at your own risk.

    Finally just to give you more options (sometimes not always a good thing) you could indeed do a fresh install and then just bring over your itunes, iphoto, documents and downloads that you want. If you choose this path be sure to bring any/all library folders that may be needed along for the ride and run Disk Utility (in your applications - utilities - folders) or something like Onyx, and repair all permissions after you are up and running (permission repair is never a wasted step after bring any data back into a new HDD or a fresh install). Google search transferring/migrating iTunes, iPhoto databeses etc there are a plethora of good tut's out there to step by step you. In fact I think there are a few around these forums.

    Good luck and let us know which way you go and how things turn out.
  5. lovelldr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    Cheers for that insight.

    Well, am sat here waiting it out, and it seems to be, that because I'm sat here, it's just not going to move on!!!

    I wrote in previously reply, that it was at 86.44, and that was nearly 40 minutes ago. Now, just looking at it, and it's been stuck on 86.88 for the past 5-10 minutes. So that means that it's only managed to copy around 400mb in the last 40 mins or so... Can't believe this is so slow!

    Wouldn't mind as much if I were doing it as a backup to keep, but since when it comes to doing backups on the fresh install it'll probably take just as long, I think it's a complete waste! In the 2 mins it's taken me to write this message, the copied amount has not moved!!! Grrrrr

    Can't you tell I'm impatient :p hehe

    Forgot to press the send button, so this was about 20 minutes ago. It's now moved on to 86.89gb copied over (isn't that another 10mb copied over in 20 minutes, how slow?)!!! Here was me hoping to be able to format and install this afternoon?!?!?! :(
  6. itommyboy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Titletown USA

    Lol don't just sit there and watch it! Go to the gym. Go outside and take a walk. Run your errands. Throw the dog a bone...you get my drift. Didn't you say you had 97 GB total to backup? That's only 10 GB more to go and yes it's like molasses on a January day in Wisconsin but it will get there! You'll be working on your fresh install later today, not to worry mate.

    Now get away from your computer and just forget about it already! :D As for backing up your your fresh new install once it happens, you won't care nearly as much as it will just be running in the background, over night, etc and you can do your thing on your computer as it's running (but I suggest starting it in evening and letting her run all night and not worrying about it). If money is not tight might I suggest picking up a new external hard drive that has Ethernet or Firewire (faster than USB). As I type this I think to myself does that Macbook have a FireWire port?
  7. Jayomat macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2009
    When I started using TM, I backed up ~350GB via USB... It took approx. 24 hours... after this initial backup, the rest was "fast".. some minutes, depending of the amount of new data...
  8. lovelldr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2010
    lol, cheers for all replies.

    Anyway, can't go out to the gym or take a walk. Unfortunately though, I managed to go away and do some work. Was doing work whilst watching it also, but was more fixated at watching it :p hehe.

    Anyway, it finished 10 mins ago (whilst I was off doing a job on someone elses computer :p).

    Right, computer shut down. Give it a few mins to cool down, and then dismantling :)

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