Your luck with TimeMachine?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IceMacMac, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    I hate TimeMachine. Love it in theory, but hate it in practice.

    My latest woe? I've got a brand new SSD boot drive. I'm backing up from my primary Data RAID to to a very new backup RAID. I killed my TM preferences and reformatted the backup volume.

    It took a day to backup my 4 gigs of stuff...and already it's back to hellish performance....

    It will stall for hours at a time. Spinning...Spinning....

    Did I mention I ran disk utility and disk warrior on all my drives before my latest effort?

    Anyone relate?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    For me, TM blew through 200GB backup in a few hours. I have a Drobo mini hooked up via thunderbolt. I'm seeing great performance for Time Machine, thanks to the thunderbolt interface
  3. sailmac macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2008
    I've been using TM for several years without issue. Currently it's backing up a 1.2 TB RAID0 (bays 1+2) to a drive in bay 3. The SSD boot drive (located in the spare optical drive bay) is excluded from TM (as is a nightly clone in bay 4).

    How are your RAIDs connected? Any other quirks apart from TM?
  4. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I too have been using Time Machine for years with no issues ... and I have had no problems recovering files from it when needed, or restoring a complete backup to a new drive.

    I currently use Time Machine to alternate backup to 3 separate drive-systems on the hourly time slots.

    The source drives are a SSD/HD Fusion drive, a media hard drive, and a RAID-0 SSD on a PCIe card.

    The destinations are internal RAID-0 hard disks for fast backup/restore ... followed by a eSATA attached RAID-5 external drive system ... followed by a Synology NAS system on the local network.

    I also do a nightly CCC clone of the system boot disk to a partition on the eSATA RAID-5 system.

    It works great for me and I have multiple redundant copies of everything.
  5. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    I had an issue recently with TM as it would not allow me to restore a copy of the AirPort utility. There had been an update that would not allow me to "see" a new AirPort. I spent a few hours with an Apple support person diagnosing the problem. He confirmed that TM would not allow a restore.

    I'm not sure what good a backup is if a restore is not possible. Anyway, it gave me a rather creepy feeling.
  6. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    The RAID enclosure is Connected via SeriTek SATA Card.

    When running Disk Utility the singular negative detail I see is:
    "ACL differs on "Users"

    All my drives seem to be OK.
  7. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    Creepy indeed! Trying t research my problem I've read a lot of hurt related to TM and what you are talking about.
  8. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    So I don't rely on TM much at all, really. I rely on image copies.
  9. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    I'm beginning to think I need to expand my strategy. I currently have two TM onsite and one offsite.

    I own SuperDuper...but wasn't using that with my data volume.
  10. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    My set up; 2TB three-year-old TC for the Mac Pro ML boot drive, three internal 4TB drives CCC to external 4TB drives in an OWC Mercury Rack Pro. I also occasionally clone the boot drive.

    Alternate SL Boot Drive (for when I just can't stand ML's beach balls any longer) TMs to a 2TB drive also in the Mercury Rack Pro.

    Time Machine works like a dream except on crappy, old File Vault 1.
  11. sailmac macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2008
    That may have no connection... or it might. Sometimes strange things happen if user permissions or ACLs have gone astray. That might happen for instance if you have been migrating a user account across various machines and OS versions over time.

    Unless you have purposefully altered the access control lists, it might be worth resetting home directory permissions and ACLs and see if your problems go away. It's easy enough to do. I've done it using Onyx > Maintenance > Permissions.

    I use SuperDuper to do a scheduled clone nightly. In my backup scheme TM helps me a) recover something very recent (hours), or b) very far back (weeks to months). But I don't rely on it for disaster recovery. I depend on the clone for that. And periodically I make an external clone which I keep somewhere away from the computer.
  12. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    My backup infrastructure is nearly identical to the one above. Time Machine has worked ideally for my preferences. I'm on my second Synology NAS, as I outgrew the first one. I place a very high priority on backup, and it's really paid off.
  13. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010

    I'll give that a crack. Thanks for the tip.
  14. glutenenvy macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2011
    My first thought is your backup drive is going to sleep with its internal settings, ignoring os settings. My second is bad cable? Third is interface speed.

    I have used it to restore files and and complete wipe and restore. However you always need a good copy of your data. Since you don't know your backup is good until you use it, a copy of your data besides your time machine backup is necessary.

    If Apple included BluRay, large and relatively permanent data snapshots would be easy for the data you care about. You can do BluRay but in isn't a "just works" at first. Semi-permanent external flash disks and hard disks are easy for large data backups beyond time machine.

    Where it would look like TM is completely screwing you is when you have a failing backup drive but you find out only when you try to recover with TM. It is not a TM problem but a hardware problem.

    It sounds like you probably already know all these.

    What may possibly be of use in your situation is to turn off the time machine versioning on the local disk after you have verified that the hard disks are not dozing off.
  15. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    1. I use TM all the time. a two terabyte fresh backup takes only about an hour or so. If 4 gigs is taking yours a day then something on your machine is broken - I guess the destination (TM Backup) drive.
    2. Stalling for hours at a time also is an indication of something being broken.
    3. Whatever is busted disk utility and disk warrior obviously didn't catch it.
    4. Not really. I've never seen this happen nor heard of such a report. Other than drive errors I can't imagine what the trouble might be.
  16. tamvly macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2007
    Assuming that a "fresh backup" means a complete backup of a volume with TM, isn't it a bit far fetched that two terabytes can be accomplished in an hour?

    That would mean a sustained read data rate of over 550 megabytes per second and a corresponding write rate of the same.

    That said, stalling is almost certainly an indication that something is wrong.
  17. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 6, 2010
    Not 4 gigs...4+ terrabytes.


    Interesting theory about the drive itself going to sleep. Both the main data volume and also the backup volume is Mercury Elite Pro Qx2.

    I just remembered something very important. After I received the enclosure and drives from Other World Computing...there was something in the documentation about compatibility issues with the Barracuda drives and the Qx2. I shrugged it off and had early success with it. But maybe that's come back to bite me in the butt.
  18. applegeek897 macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    For me its been great, I have 4x VelociRaptors in Raid 0 Backing up to a 1TB in the optical drive bay, worked flawlessly with good speed.
  19. snarfquest macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2013
    I use Freenas for my Timemachine backup device. There was a time when it was crazy slow. I too blew it away and started over and again it was taking ages to backup. I too was blaming Timemachine and troubleshooting Jumbo packet frame sizes etc. If I had only looked in the S.M.A.R.T. logs at the get-go I would have noticed that one of the drives in a 6x2TB drive Array in the Freenas was throwing errors I could have saved myself hours of time. Once the drive was replaced Timemachine was very fast and stable again.

    Check your raid! :)
  20. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    "An hour or so..." :) Ya, fresh backup, and i guess I get about 300 to 350 MB/s average across the two RAIDs. But you got the point... It shouldn't be taking all that long and it's quite transparent in the BG.

    Ah.. For 4TB of data which is a lot, you can expect 6 to 8 hours if you're writing to or reading from a single drive. 4 to 6 hours if from a 2-Drive RAID0 to a 2-Drive RAID0, and 3 or 4 hours if from a 4-drive to 3 or 4-drive RAID0. A lot will depend on the file size. If you're transferring mostly 1 to 32k files (like maybe 6 or 7 operating systems, lots of SDKs, that sort of thing) then it can take many times longer than those estimates.
  21. Sodner macrumors 68020


    Jan 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
  22. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Which is why I recommend having more than one backup of your data. I actually swap between 2 Time Machine drives once a week, so in worst case, I only lose a few days of stuff if the TM drive fails.

    As it stands I've had to restore from TM twice and had no issues. Of course both drives I'm using for TM are both less than 2 years old.

    I might get a third drive for TM - one that stays connected all the time while the other 2 continue being rotated. Drives are rather inexpensive theses days - recovering or recreating lost data isn't.

    Me too.
  23. throAU, Aug 6, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Yes it's slow. I suspect it's intended to be used via WIFI with a time capsule, and then you just basically turn it on and forget about it - and it backs up eventually and just generally stays out of your way.

    My only beef with it is the abysmal speed, but other than that it does what it says on the box and stays out of my way. Which means I actually back up my stuff a lot more regularly - i just plug an external drive in on my desk and forget about it.

    I've used my TM backup several times to either move from one mac to another or restore after doing an OS reinstall. It has been entirely uneventful and just works...

    I too have 2 time machine drives, one stored at work, one at home, i swap once per month. I don't have any MAJOR stuff i can't live without on my Mac and the one at work will only be used in case the house burns down or is burgled...

    from what i can gather, time machine speed is highly dependent on latency between your mac and the disk in use. i.e., it sucks bad over 802.11 pre-N or low speed N, is pretty crappy over USB, works half decently over ethernet... haven't tried with firewire or TB yet...
  24. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Pretty much this. A good USB 3.0 drive on a USB 3.0 port should also have run decently. I use FireWire 800 for my Time Machine drives.
  25. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    Hit and miss with Time Machine. A few times it's really saved me, but once I did a complete restore and the OS was rather broken; Software Update and System Preferences wouldn't launch.

    Since TM doesn't support ZFS, I've moved to doing a CCC backup of my boot volume, and rsyncing my RAID-Z array over to a linux fileserver. Works very well :)

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