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#18750 - 10/28/11 09:06 AM Time Machine failing
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
MacBook 2.1 GHz Intel core duo. 10.6.8 4Gb RAM
I have a regular back-up schedule with TIme Machine that has been working ok (all be it just for 2 months!). Today I tried 'back-up now' because I have put a of of new data on the HD over the past couple of weeks. It started but after a couple of Gig said that it had failed because of a fault. It said that it might be temporary and that I should try again later. I tried later 3 times and got the same message. I reinstalled Snow Leopard but still got the same message. I have tried Disk Utility which verifies that he back-up (1TB external HD with 330GB free) is ok but I can't check or repair the permissions as they are greyed out.
Any suggestions gratefully considered.

Thanks

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#18752 - 10/28/11 12:51 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Can you tell us (word for word) what the error message says?
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#18764 - 10/29/11 07:20 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: tacit]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Hi there, it says;
'The backup was not performed because an error occurred while copying files to the backup disk.
The problem may be temporary. Try again later to back up. If the problem persists, use Disk Utility to repair your backup disk'

Thanks

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#18766 - 10/29/11 10:03 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Permission repair can only be performed on a bootable drive and your Time Machine drive is not bootable so that explains that "problem".

In the Utilities folder launch the Console application and in the search window select "All Messages" then enter the search term "backupd". This will yield a list of Time Machine messages and hopefully one of those will give you more specific information on the failure. If you wish you can copy say the last 10 to 20 "backupd" messages and post them here and someone should be able to interpret them for you.
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#18794 - 10/30/11 03:22 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: joemikeb]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Here's what I found:
29/10/2011 17:01:41 com.apple.backupd-auto[1517] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup - time machine destination not resolvable.
29/10/2011 17:35:48 [0x0-0xeb0eb].backupd-helper[1549] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
29/10/2011 18:25:57 com.apple.backupd-auto[1656] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup - time machine destination not resolvable.
30/10/2011 08:51:47 [0x0-0x103103].backupd-helper[1709] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
30/10/2011 09:16:18 com.apple.backupd-auto[1852] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup - time machine destination not resolvable.
30/10/2011 09:26:14 [0x0-0x118118].backupd-helper[1880] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
30/10/2011 09:26:19 [0x0-0x11a11a].backupd-helper[1884] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
30/10/2011 13:03:14 [0x0-0x121121].backupd-helper[1917] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
30/10/2011 23:13:39 [0x0-0x12a12a].backupd-helper[1948] Not starting Time Machine backup after wake - failed to resolve alias to backup volume
30/10/2011 23:19:27 com.apple.backupd-auto[2022] Not starting scheduled Time Machine backup - time machine destination not resolvable.

Thanks for looking.

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#18796 - 10/30/11 04:49 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
In English, it's saying it can't find your backup hard drive. Is it installed, and do you see its icon?
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#18799 - 10/30/11 06:22 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Try opening the Time Machine settings (in System Preferences), and click on "Select Disk..." to re-select where backups are supposed to go. There seems to be a mis-match between where TM thinks the backup is, and where it actually is. (At least, we hope it's still there.) Re-selecting the same disk should fix up the linkage.

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#18806 - 10/31/11 01:12 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: ganbustein]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Thanks for the suggestions, I have tried them but no luck. The Backup disk appears on the desktop ok and has the TimeMachine logo on it. The process starts and it says that it's scanning/preparing files, then it starts to backup and seems to get to about 3GB out of 29 then it all stops!
I have just tried again and this time got a different message saying;
"Time Machine could not complete the backup. Timer Machine hasn't backed up your computer in 17 days.
Make sure that your backup disk is available or open 'TM' preferences to select a new Backup disk"
The Backup disk is a 1TB, USB 2, external HD. It does contain an old folder of 'Apple Backup' files and some other miscellaneous stuff. It has 313GB free.


Edited by Rain (10/31/11 01:13 AM)

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#18810 - 10/31/11 06:55 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
It sounds like you are losing the connection to the USB drive when there is a lot of activity. Just as a first troubleshooting pass...
  • To the best of your recollection, have you installed any new or updated applications/utilities/extensions that effect, even indirectly, the USB. Something like a mouse driver or third party driver for another USB device. If so try disabling it. Depending on the driver you may have to uninstall it.
  • Is the external drive connected directly to your computer or is it connected to a USB hub? If it is connected to a hub try a direct connection to the computer.
  • Are there other USB devices connected to your computer? If so, try disconnecting everything but the keyboard, mouse, and external drive.
  • Try another USB cable connecting your drive. In general the shorter and more expensive the better. IMO this is definitely a case of you get what you pay for.
  • If your external drive has a firewire port, you might try connecting using it instead of the USB port.
This is a worst case scenario and I am not suggesting it to you — yet. My wife started having a similar Time Machine problem and because we were both backing up to the same Time Capsule and my backups were working I knew the problem was not in the TC itself. I finally solved her problem by deleting her backup from the TC and starting over. That was over a year ago and neither of us has had a problem since, however we lost all her backups prior to the restart.
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#18824 - 10/31/11 10:22 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: joemikeb]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Thans Joe this is interesting. Not sure about the new drivers I will try to figure that out. The backup HD is connected direct to the Mac and the keyboard is the only other connection. I will try another lead, it is USB only.
I would consider starting again as I only began the backups in Sept. My wife also uses the external so I can be sure that the problem isn't there.
Thanks for the ideas.

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#18826 - 10/31/11 11:25 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I had a situation once where trying to load a bunch of music on my iPod kept failing about halfway through. The console messages suggested that the iPod was disconnecting in the middle of the sync, but it wasn't and I could still see its icon in iTunes.

It turned out that the problem was a bad USB cable. This sounds similar enough to the problem that you're having that I'd try a different USB cable before anything else.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#18831 - 10/31/11 01:13 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Rain
then it starts to backup and seems to get to about 3GB out of 29 then it all stops!

This is just a shot in the dark, but that symptom rings a bell.

Look at the disk in Disk Utility. Specifically, select the disk itself, not one of its partitions. (Even if it only has one mountable partition, the partition and the disk are different things.) In the bottom of the window, you should see a line for Partition Map Scheme:.

Make sure the scheme is not Master Boot Record. You'll get this error if it is. GUID Partition Table (GPT) is the preferred setting, although for disks up to 2TB Apple Partition Map (APM) should work. (TM uses the volume's unique ID to make sure it's backing up to the right volume, and unique IDs are not completely reliable on APM disks, so GPT really is better. APM cannot handle disks bigger than 2TB.)

The only way to change the partition map scheme is to re-partition the drive. Click on the "Options..." button in the "Partiton" pane to select the desired partition scheme. You will lose all data on that drive when you do this.

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#18842 - 10/31/11 05:12 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Rain]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Rain
'The backup was not performed because an error occurred while copying files to the backup disk.
The problem may be temporary. Try again later to back up. If the problem persists, use Disk Utility to repair your backup disk'


Lord I hate unhelpful error messages like that. That's a catch-all error message for when something went wrong that they weren't adequately prepared for.
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I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#18912 - 11/04/11 03:23 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Virtual1]
Rain Offline


Registered: 07/17/11
Loc: London UK
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I am pretty sure that it isn't the lead because my wife's machine backs up fine to the same external HD withe same lead. Maybe it could be a partition but I think that I will just scratch the backup and start again. It's only a month old, and doesn't have anything critical on it.
Thanks again.

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#18922 - 11/04/11 11:59 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Virtual1]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Lord I hate unhelpful error messages like that. That's a catch-all error message for when something went wrong that they weren't adequately prepared for.


You and me both.

That's actually the one thing I dislike about Apple software: they do very little sanity checking and very little error trapping. So we get corrupt .DS_Store files that crash the Finder, and Time Machine errors that are beyond useless.

The only less helpful error I've ever encountered comes from an old version of Microsoft Outlook, and reads in its entirety (and I quote): "An error occurred, because an unexpected error occurred."

I will leave as an exercise to the reader what might constitute an expected error.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#19087 - 11/11/11 12:57 PM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: tacit]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: tacit
I will leave as an exercise to the reader what might constitute an expected error.

Quote:
User error. Replace user and retry operation
_________________________
I work for the Department of Redundancy Department

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#19257 - 11/18/11 07:22 AM Re: Time Machine failing [Re: Virtual1]
MG2009 Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: tacit
I will leave as an exercise to the reader what might constitute an expected error.

Quote:
User error. Replace user and retry operation



That was worth a chuckle or two. laugh

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