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backups and Time Machine
 


2016-07-29 at 07:53 #2229   (1)
I saw a new dialog today for the first time, which popped up on my wife's MacBook Air. It said something like Time Machine has attempted to verify your Backup on the disk "disk_name". For security reasons a new backup must be created. This will destroy your backup history on the disk "disk_name". Click 'Backup now' to create a new backup, or click 'Backup Later' to be reminded tomorrow. No new backups will be created until the new backup is created. This may take several hours.

I have never seen this before, despite using TM since it first came out. I was curious to see what would happen to her old sparsebundle, as I don't want it sitting there taking up space if it can't be accessed, and I remember how awkward it was the last time I had to delete a sparsebundle (I remember it involved using the Terminal to first compact it and then to delete it, which was a slow item-by-item scrolling text experience that took hours - this is on a Time Capsule with wi-fi connection). So I opened the Time Capsule's disk on my MacBook Air and found the name of her backup had already changed from MBA2.sparsebundle to MBA2.purgeable. It seems Apple has some other sneaky way of dealing with old TM backups. Anyone know about this?


2016-07-29 at 10:02 #2234   (2)
(2016-07-29 at 07:53)Christopher Moss wrote:  ... So I opened the Time Capsule's disk on my MacBook Air and found the name of her backup had already changed from MBA2.sparsebundle to MBA2.purgeable. It seems Apple has some other sneaky way of dealing with old TM backups. Anyone know about this?
Marking the bundle ".purgeable" means that Time Machine does not have to erase it in order to continue backups but may erase any or all of the purgeable bundle as space is needed for backups.


2016-07-29 at 10:14 #2235   (3)
Guest
An update for the sake of clarity: Within 10 minutes I checked again and the backup file was now named MBA2.sparsebundle again and only 6GB in size: a new backup was being laboriously created. So it does seem Apple has some way of deleting a backup that is much faster than anything I know of.

For those who haven't tried, deleting a sparsebundle via the Finder takes hours or days to complete. It is a little quicker to mount the backup disk, Show Package Contents of the bundle you wish to delete, open the folder called Bands and select and delete the files several thousand at a time. This is still very slow.

While I was investigating this issue, I decided to remove another sparsebundle that belonged to my son and hasn't been updated in the last two years (evidently he doesn't switch on Time Machine when he visits). So I started out using a Mac Mini connected by ethernet to the Time Capsule, selected about ten thousand 0f his 67,000 bands and deleted them. An hour later about 100 had actually gone, so I quit that. Then I turned to a method I found on the old Mac OS X Hints site, which I have used before and alluded to above. In Terminal type:

for i in {0..1000000}; do rm -rv
then drag the sparsebundle you want to get rid of into Terminal to get the right path and type immediately after it:

/bands/$(printf "%x" $i); done
Press Return and wait a few minutes while it thinks, then the bands will be deleted one by one, and the print command will show you it happening. This is set to do up to one million bands, but once all the actual bands are gone it will go on scrolling as it deletes non-existent bands, so once you get to this stage, you kill it with ctrl-X. This has worked for me in the past and it is doing its job again at present. I don't pretend to understand the script, which is described at this link:
  http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?st...9152257934


2016-07-29 at 10:37 #2238   (4)
I recently had a somewhat similar message, and discovered that Time Machine hadn't backed up at all for several days. After trying Disk Utility on the sparsebundle without success, I finally decided to try DiskWarrior 5 on it. At first it seemed to be progressing fine, but after a while a red bar showed up across the window and it slowed wayt down. It took about 24 hours to rebuild the sparsebundle directory, but since finishing, Time Machine has been working even faster than it had been before. The sparsebundle is well over two years old but still has 980 MB available on a 3TB drive.

I should say that I rebuilt the directory over Wi-Fi at about 300 Mbps. DiskWarrior put up a message that it wouldn't work over Wi-Fi, but I tried anyway, figuring that the worst that would happen was that it would stop. It didn't; I left my MacBook Pro on, with all sleep features disabled, and DW finished the process in exactly the same way as it has for wired drives that are attached to my MacBook Pro.


2016-07-29 at 13:42 #2261   (5)
I saw this quite a bit after Time Capsules were first introduced. I think it basically means the directory of the sparsebundle is damaged. At that time, DiskWarrior could usually fix it. I always did it over Ethernet rather than waiting for Wi-Fi.

Another way to get rid of these things quickly, assuming there's nothing else on the disk you care about keeping, is to simply reformat the disk.


2016-08-14 at 16:17 #3253   (6)
Temporarily Speed Up a Time Machine Backup With a Terminal Command
This isn’t useful all the time, nor would you want Time Machine working like this normally, but it’s handy when you’re just trying to push a backup before you walk out the door.


2016-08-14 at 23:55 #3269   (7)
(2016-08-14 at 16:17)Colleen Thompson wrote:  Temporarily Speed Up a Time Machine Backup With a Terminal Command
Nice. Looks like a golden opportunity for someone to publish a nice trivial script that will set this preference, trigger an immediate backup and then reset the preference when the backup is done.

It would also be interesting to see how TM benchmarks with and without this option (taken on an idle system, one with a moderate load and one heavily loaded) to see how significant this is. Especially "when you’re just trying to push a backup before you walk out the door" when you're probably not running anything CPU intensive at the same time.


2016-08-17 at 19:33 #3471   (8)
(2016-08-17 at 17:51)rogercohen wrote:  I have multiple Time Machine destination disks on my two Macs. During the period that the Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule stopped (8/11/2016), Time Machine backups to the other Time Machine disks worked properly. I.E., the problem was between the Time Capsule and my network, not between the Mac and Time Machine.
Hey, I was curious - can Time Machine back up non-system drives? For example, for me, I don't need to back up my internal SSD - none of my important data is on it, and the documents are already backed up to an external drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. If Time Machine can do the same thing for my external HD, where my data is, I would consider trying it. If not, I'll stick to CCC managing my backups. It is reliable and keeps things up to date. It only copies changes, once the initial backup is done.

I've always implemented my own backup techniques, as it's safer not to rely on the OS.


2016-08-17 at 22:21 #3478   (9)
(2016-08-17 at 19:33)iFrog wrote:  Hey, I was curious - can Time Machine back up non-system drives? For example, for me, I don't need to back up my internal SSD - none of my important data is on it, and the documents are already backed up to an external drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. If Time Machine can do the same thing for my external HD, where my data is, I would consider trying it. ...
Time Machine can be confusing and also buggy, and I trust Carbon Copy Cloner much more, but here's a webpage that answers your question about TIme Machine backing up from external drives:

http://www.danielsato.com/blog/2014/08/2...nal-drive/


2016-08-18 at 12:12 #3496   (10)
(2016-08-17 at 19:33)iFrog wrote:  Hey, I was curious - can Time Machine back up non-system drives? ... If not, I'll stick to CCC managing my backups.
A great reference for all things Time Machine is Pondini. Sadly, James Pond (its author) died in 2013, so the site hasn't been updated since then. Fortunately, it is still on-line and full of good information.

(FWIW, I have made a personal archive copy of this site which I keep on my home computer. I have no clue who is providing for its hosting at this time or for how long that hosting will be maintained.)

Your question is answered by Pondini's FAQ #2 and FAQ #32.

By default, Time Machine will back up all internal (and eSATA-attached) drives and will exclude all external drives. If you have directly-connected (that is, not networked) external drives you want to be backed up, you can access TM's options configuration page and remove those drives from the exclude list and it will start backing them up. If there are any drives/folders you don't want backed up, you can add them to that exclude list.

The only real catch here is that the drives must be Mac volumes - formatted as "Mac OS Extended" and not some other file system. It will also refuse to back-up a USB thumb drive or (as I previously mentioned) any network volumes.

All this being said, I would recommend you use TM in addition to CCC, not instead of it. These two tools have different strengths and weaknesses and solve different problems:
  • TM is great for "snapshot" type activities. It runs every hour so (assuming circumstances allow it to actually complete a backup every hour), you can quickly recover from your own mistakes and never lose more than an hour's worth of work. This is especially great for recovering older versions of documents (e.g. you deleted an important paragraph from a paper and realized a week later that you want it back. You can go copy an older version of the document up to the present and then copy/paste the paragraph back into the current version.)
  • TM's biggest advantage is that it is totally automatic. And your Mac's Recovery partition includes tools to restore an entire system from a backup. I've used this on occasion to restore a system from a botched upgrade - I could restore it from a backup made before the upgrade.
  • But TM backups are not bootable. If your hard drive dies, you can't boot from TM as a quick stopgap solution. You need to first install a new drive and then restore your system from TM. CCC's backup, on the other hand, is bootable. In an emergency you can boot from it and keep working.
  • CCC has no problem backing up from or to network volumes, thumb drives or anything else you point it at. It can also back up any kind of file system that your Mac can mount - including FAT and NTFS. (If this is important, however, see CCC's KB articke on the subject. Non-HFS+ volumes and network volumes can not be used to backup/restore system files and non-Mac system volume backups won't be bootable.)
On my home server, I use both. I have a TM volume that is mounted at all times (for hourly backups.) I also have two separate USB drives that are normally powered off. I power them on to manually make clones of my system with CCC and then power them off again. (I could leave them powered on and run CCC on a schedule, but I don't like the idea of my backup volumes being powered all the time. Malware can't infect a drive that is powered off.)


2016-08-18 at 12:56 #3501   (11)
(2016-08-18 at 12:12)David Charlap wrote:  A great reference for all things Time Machine is Pondini. Sadly, James Pond (its author) died in 2013, so the site hasn't been updated since then. Fortunately, it is still on-line and full of good information.

(FWIW, I have made a personal archive copy of this site which I keep on my home computer. I have no clue who is providing for its hosting at this time or for how long that hosting will be maintained.)
There are +40 copies of the site over time available on the Wayback Machine.

Full Disclosure: I work at the Internet Archive (a non-profit, which owns the project.


2016-08-18 at 13:54 #3508   (12)
(2016-08-17 at 19:33)iFrog wrote:  Hey, I was curious - can Time Machine back up non-system drives? ... If Time Machine can do the same thing for my external HD, where my data is, I would consider trying it. If not, I'll stick to CCC managing my backups. ... I've always implemented my own backup techniques, as it's safer not to rely on the OS.
  • Yes, Time Machine can backup non-system volumes ("volumes" being the named part of the drive you see and use.)
  • Even when using Time Machine, keep on using CCC. Preferably with offsite copies.
  • Relying on the OS (e.g., Time Machine) is quite safe, but different from relying on CCC.
  • Those who value their data and time use multiple backup methods, such as Time Machine & CCC.


2016-08-18 at 17:51 #3532   (13)
(2016-08-18 at 12:12)David Charlap wrote:  A great reference for all things Time Machine is Pondini. Sadly, James Pond (its author) died in 2013, so the site hasn't been updated since then. Fortunately, it is still on-line and full of good information.

(FWIW, I have made a personal archive copy of this site which I keep on my home computer. I have no clue who is providing for its hosting at this time or for how long that hosting will be maintained.)
A Whois lookup shows that the expiry for Pondini.org is November 8, 2018. It still shows Jim as the registrant, so I suppose that his heirs are maintaining it for now.


2016-08-19 at 14:53 #3578   (14)
I would like to encrypt my 2nd Gen 4-Bay FireWire 800 Drobo (Drobo 800FS I think it is named) but the information out there is sparse:

This says do not do it with FileVault, updated 09/01/2015:
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01370

This says it is supported:
http://www.drobo.com/downloads/products/...ief-TM.pdf
Encryption such as OS X FileVault is supported on a Drobo Time Machine Backup Volume

This says all kinds of things from 08-13-14 9to5Mac:
https://9to5mac.com/2014/08/13/drobo-upd...ored-data/

Perhaps it is only for newer Drobo's like this 5N?
http://www.drobo.com/downloads/how-to/HT...ide_5N.pdf

And there is this Word document from Drobo with all kinds of (mis) information? With information about creating a SparseBundle that has the following properties Created 12/26/2012 last modified 03/20/2013 by Erik Pounds
http://support.drobo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/688

This pretty much says no encryption on older units, I think:
http://support.drobo.com/app/answers/det...robo-(das)

This put it too succinctly perhaps:
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01813

If anyone else out there has some more definitive/conclusive data on whether the 4-Bay DroboFS supports encrypted Time Machine, I would be grateful to hear it.

Specifically:
  1. Does the Drobo allow for FileVault 2 driver-level encryption?
  2. If FV2 is a no no, then does it allow and work with making a sparse bundle with encryption?

At presen,t I have four 4-TB drives (16TB) that format down to 10.88 TB usable, according to the Drobo - if I recall correctly, you are not supposed to go above 80% of that, so 10.88*.8 = 8.7 TB usable set as a limit for the sparsebundle with 256-bit AES enabled and a solid passphrase.

Should this work? Is it simply not possible to use encryption in any major form on older Drobos? I know I can make my own vaults etc. but would prefer a more high-level solution if its possible. The information out there now, as linked to above, is contradictory and about useless IMHO.

Any help gratefully accepted,

-Sofa


2016-09-28 at 20:19 #6306   (15)
As part of a recent trouble-shooting exercise, I needed to do a complete restore of my system to how it was a couple of days ago. As luck would have it, automatic Time Machine backups were turned off, so I was easily able to reset my system to the last backup by starting in Recovery, selecting Restore and then the source and destination. Though I am proud of the fact that I have a complete set of Time Machine backups going back 7 years, I have never actually done this before. I was pleasantly surprised that it took only about an hour.

What did concern me, however, is that I was never given an opportunity to select one of the hundreds of backups to be restored. The only choice appears to be the most recent one. I was sure that in the past I had read of the ability to make a choice and, indeed, the FAQ by the late great Pondini shows a selection panel that I was never offered. Much searching of the web turns up nothing about this.

Is the ability to choose the restoration date and time another victim of the the UI simplification in Mac OS, or am I missing something? The only options I can think of are (1) boot from an ancient installation CD, which may or may not be compatible with a modern Time Machine image or (2) laboriously delete any more recent backups using tmutil, until the desired one becomes the most recent.

Of course I know that an image backup is always preferable, and I always have at lease two to choose from, but I was under the impression that one of the advantages of Time Machine was the extra choice among many hourly, daily or weekly backups.


2016-09-29 at 14:06 #6348   (16)
(2016-09-28 at 20:19)kevinp wrote:  As part of a recent trouble-shooting exercise, I needed to do a complete restore of my system to how it was a couple of days ago. As luck would have it, automatic Time Machine backups were turned off, so I was easily able to reset my system to the last backup by starting in Recovery, selecting Restore and then the source and destination. Though I am proud of the fact that I have a complete set of Time Machine backups going back 7 years, I have never actually done this before. I was pleasantly surprised that it took only about an hour.

What did concern me, however, is that I was never given an opportunity to select one of the hundreds of backups to be restored. The only choice appears to be the most recent one. I was sure that in the past I had read of the ability to make a choice and, indeed, the FAQ by the late great Pondini shows a selection panel that I was never offered. Much searching of the web turns up nothing about this.

Is the ability to choose the restoration date and time another victim of the the UI simplification in Mac OS, or am I missing something? The only options I can think of are (1) boot from an ancient installation CD, which may or may not be compatible with a modern Time Machine image or (2) laboriously delete any more recent backups using tmutil, until the desired one becomes the most recent.

Of course I know that an image backup is always preferable, and I always have at lease two to choose from, but I was under the impression that one of the advantages of Time Machine was the extra choice among many hourly, daily or weekly backups.
I don't know about you, but I have a Time Machine icon in the top bar of all Finder windows; if I click on that, it takes me to what Pondini called the "Star Wars" display (for some reason, I think more of Mr. Peabody's Wayback Machine) that allows you to select a date for which you want to restore. You can use up/down arrows to the right of the overlaid windows, or the scale on the-right hand edge of the screen to select the date you want. Caution: I do not know if selecting a boot volume in this way will result in a bootable device. I can't think why not, just haven't had the occasion to try yet (and hope I never do).


2016-09-29 at 15:04 #6353   (17)
(2016-09-29 at 14:06)Joe Gurman wrote:  You can use up/down arrows to the right of the overlaid windows, or the scale on the-right hand edge of the screen to select the date you want.
Sorry Joe, that’s not what I was talking about. I certainly have the ability to restore individual files or folders from a chosen date in the way you mentioned. Over the years I have used this several times. But there is a quite different way of using Time Machine to restore an entire boot drive. You certainly cannot restore an entire bootable volume through this “Star Wars” interface; you do so by booting into the recovery partition and selecting Restore from Time Machine. In the past you used to be able to chose the date from which you wanted to restore, but I can’t find a way to do that any more.


2016-09-30 at 03:59 #6400   (18)
(2016-09-29 at 15:04)kevinp wrote:  Sorry Joe, that’s not what I was talking about. I certainly have the ability to restore individual files or folders from a chosen date in the way you mentioned. Over the years I have used this several times. But there is a quite different way of using Time Machine to restore an entire boot drive. You certainly cannot restore an entire bootable volume through this “Star Wars” interface; you do so by booting into the recovery partition and selecting Restore from Time Machine. In the past you used to be able to chose the date from which you wanted to restore, but I can’t find a way to do that any more.
I went through the motions of doing a Time Machine restore in recovery mode, from a NAS drive, and it does give you a choice of a particular backup session. I had to take a photo of the screen with my iPhone since screenshots are not possible in recovery mode.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2241...estore.jpg

The sessions are in about 2-hour intervals, because I’m backing up to two drives so Time Machine alternates between them. You can scroll down the list all the way back to the very first backup to this drive.

This is from macOS 10.12.1. I’m not sure if it will look exactly the same in earlier versions.


2016-09-30 at 11:25 #6412   (19)
While we're on the subject of Time Machine, I was planning on making a folder on my Time Machine disk for some files I don't need backed up but I want a second copy separate from the main computer. I used to be able to access the disk as a normal hard disk and copy to and from - not within the Time Machine sparseimage, but the disk itself, say into a folder called "extra files from Mac Mini" - but now I find I can't keep the disk open unless Time Machine is using it to back up. And if I do start a Time Machine backup, and the disk appears on my desktop, I can start to copy into the "extra files" folder on the Time Machine disk, but when the backup ends the disk is dismounted and so the copy procedure is terminated. Is there a simple way of mounting the disk?

Fred


2016-09-30 at 13:30 #6420   (20)
(2016-09-30 at 03:59)tonyaguila wrote:  The sessions are in about 2-hour intervals, because I’m backing up to two drives so Time Machine alternates between them.
That’s interesting, how does one do this?


2016-09-30 at 13:39 #6423   (21)
(2016-09-30 at 03:59)tonyaguila wrote:  I went through the motions of doing a Time Machine restore in recovery mode, from a NAS drive, and it does give you a choice of a particular backup session
Thanks so much, you’re absolutely right. I now realize my mistake. The thing is, after booting into recovery the system responds very slowly and my usual trackpad preferences are absent (of course). There is no visual feedback when clicking the “continue” button after selecting the time machine volume and I must have impatiently clicked it twice. I didn’t see the choice of backup snapshots so by default I picked the most recent.

It’s all very embarrassing but maybe it will help somebody else one day :-)


2016-09-30 at 15:44 #6426   (22)
(2016-09-30 at 13:30)Dan Weissman wrote:  That’s interesting, how does one do this?
Dan, I assume you were wondering about alternating backups to two (or more) drives?

Just open the Time Machine system preference, unlock with your password, and “Add or Remove Backup Disk…” will come up. Click and select the additional drive. Make sure to select “Both”, so that the old one does not get replaced. From then on, Time Machine should do the hourly backups back and forth between the drives.


2016-10-05 at 16:42 #6760   (23)
Issue: running Adobe InDesign CS6 on OSX El Capitan, CS6 prefs file corruption

Recently had an issue where InDesign CS6 became corrupt and forgot how to print, and crashed whenever I tried to export a PDF. This was after I had opened a series of .idml files, which may have been the source of the corruption.

After erasing the cache & prefs files a number of times, to no avail, I decided to simply use Time Machine to go back to when CS6 worked fine and copy the InDesign Prefs file from that saved backup. Now CS6 works fine.

Score!


2016-10-06 at 17:23 #6822   (24)
I would appreciate advice about data recovery from an apparent partially corrupted Time Machine backup.

I had been using TM to back up to an external drive one of my Macs,with data spanning a period of about three years. The drive began to fail, and I started using a new drive for subsequent TM backups.

I followed Apple's recommended procedure to try to copy the TM data from the defective drive, that is, copying the Backups.backupdb via drag and drop. I always received an error message near the end of the copy "The operation can't be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)".

I then used Carbon Copy Cloner's Block Copy command to copy the entire data to the another Seagate drive, and this worked without error. Yet I suspect the block-copied TM backup is still partially corrupt, because when I try to copy the block-copied Seagate data to another Seagate using the Finder, I get the same error message.

I can use the Finder with the TM backup and see my files, but I suspect some backups are lost.

Is there a way to determine which backed up files are recoverable and which are irrecoverable?


2016-10-07 at 03:32 #6853   (25)
Ever since installing Sierra, my Time Machine has not been working! I continue to get notices every little while telling me that my “back-up has failed”.

I ran Disk Warrior on all of my disks as well as my main internal startup drive, and Time Machine started working again, for a short time! The next day, the “back-up has failed” notices started up all over again. I even went as far as creating a new Time Machine disk, transferred my old Time Machine files over to it (took forever!) and once again, it seemed to work. Next day, failing back-ups started again!!!

I’m really hoping that Apple will have this fixed in the next update of Sierra, but I’m not holding my breath!

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Ralph


2016-10-07 at 13:41 #6879   (26)
(2016-10-06 at 17:23)Larry Lesyna wrote:  I would appreciate advice about data recovery from an apparent partially corrupted Time Machine backup.
...
Is there a way to determine which backed up files are recoverable and which are irrecoverable?
Have you tried any disk repair utilities on the drive? I had a similar situation and used Disk Utility (OS X 10.9.5) and, while it took a long time (lots of interconnected links), it did finally finish and reported several problems fixed. If you haven't done it, it is a cheap option to try.


2016-10-07 at 15:23 #6884   (27)
(2016-10-07 at 13:41)BigFootMN wrote:  Have you tried any disk repair utilities on the drive? I had a similar situation and used Disk Utility (OS X 10.9.5) and, while it took a long time (lots of interconnected links), it did finally finish and reported several problems fixed. If you haven't done it, it is a cheap option to try.
Yes I have tried both DiskWarrior 5 and Apple's Disk Utility before and after the block copy. Neither makes a difference.


2016-10-13 at 16:38 #7211   (28)
[With Sierra and my last few weeks on El Capitan as well...]
No matter what folder I open - anywhere in the disk hierarchy - in order to restore a file therein, when I then enter Time Machine, I always (always) get a display of my home folder contents instead of the folder I want to restore to. I believe (it has been a while since I have needed to do this) that Time Machine used to open the folder trail of the folder I had opened as the target. In fact, I looked up how to use TM, and that is what I was led to believe was correct. Anyone know what is going on? TIA


2016-10-14 at 14:40 #7267   (29)
(2016-10-13 at 16:38)gmason wrote:  [With Sierra and my last few weeks on El Capitan as well...]
No matter what folder I open - anywhere in the disk hierarchy - in order to restore a file therein, when I then enter Time Machine, I always (always) get a display of my home folder contents instead of the folder I want to restore to. I believe (it has been a while since I have needed to do this) that Time Machine used to open the folder trail of the folder I had opened as the target. In fact, I looked up how to use TM, and that is what I was led to believe was correct. Anyone know what is going on? TIA
I may have stumbled upon the answer. I say "may" because, when I solved one problem, this one seems to have gone away. Here is my experience: Every new OS version causes me to experience folders that open new content in the same window (which I hate!). I can never find the reason - faulty memory perhaps - but always discover that by hiding the toolbar of the folder, the issue goes away, and newly opened contained folders open in a new window. I discovered this morning that when opening the disk holding the Time Machine data, it opened in a different place and was a different size than I had last left it. I then noticed that the toolbar on the display was present. I hid it and reconfigured the view as I like it. Then, just for grins, I opened a random folder and entered Time Machine. Voila! Time Machine opened in the folder I had intended it to, not my home folder. Perhaps this is coincidence, but I would rather think not.


2016-10-31 at 19:16 #8236   (30)
A couple of days ago, Time Machine stopped backing up. If I try "Back up now", I get a notification that the backup disk cannot be found:

"Backup Disk not available. Try again when <name of my Time Capsule> is available".
However it's visible in the sidebar. More importantly, if I choose "Enter Time Machine", I can go backwards, but only a few days (attempts to read older backups by clicking in the right hand margin, don't seem to do anything).

I can see the drive in the Time Machine preference pane but am afraid to delete and re-enter it. Any advice?


2016-11-01 at 08:26 #8262   (31)
(2016-10-31 at 19:16)dvhwgumby wrote:  A couple of days ago, Time Machine stopped backing up. If I try "Back up now", I get a notification that the backup disk cannot be found:
"Backup Disk not available. Try again when <name of my Time Capsule> is available".
However it's visible in the sidebar. More importantly, if I choose "Enter Time Machine", I can go backwards, but only a few days (attempts to read older backups by clicking in the right hand margin, don't seem to do anything).
I can see the drive in the Time Machine preference pane but am afraid to delete and re-enter it. Any advice?
I find restarting the Time Capsule will solve this.


2016-11-01 at 13:04 #8275   (32)
(2016-11-01 at 08:26)Christopher Moss wrote:  I find restarting the Time Capsule will solve this.
Thanks, that worked!


Christian Olsen Show this Post
2016-11-01 at 13:39 #8279   (33)
Christian Olsen
I, too, am experiencing backup issues with Time Machine after updating to Sierra. I have a Mac Mini Server with a 12TB RAID drive for art files. Also a 12TB WD MyBook Duo for backups. After upgrading to Sierra, I got the dreaded "Preparing Backup" but read that patience was the key and especially with large drives it could take a while. I gave it a week. After reformatting the backup drive, I finally got things moving (albeit excruciatingly slow) Three days later, success! Full backup complete. Subsequent backups worked for two days.

Today I was greeted with the Preparing Backup message again. And after an hour, it just gave up and said Next Backup in 1/2 an hour. I hold out little hope.

I do not have Sophos or any antivirus software. 16GB of RAM. MyBook has the latest firmware.

Anyone having any ideas would be much appreciated. I'm loathe to reinstall Sierra (and downgrading is not an option, per the boss) but right now it appears the only option. Although from what I've been reading, that doesn't seem to help either. Sigh...


2016-11-02 at 17:31 #8363   (34)
(2016-11-01 at 13:39)Christian Olsen wrote:  I, too, am experiencing backup issues ... Also a 12TB WD MyBook Duo for backups.
Out of curiosity, have you run disk diagnostics on the WD MyBook? A few months back, I started having backup problems after updating to El Capitan. It turned out the WD MyBook drive I used for backups was going bad. A reformat fixed it temporarily, but after a few days, the sector errors started piling up.


2016-11-02 at 18:18 #8366   (35)
Guest
(2016-11-01 at 13:39)Christian Olsen wrote:  Today I was greeted with the Preparing Backup message again. And after an hour, it just gave up and said Next Backup in 1/2 an hour. I hold out little hope.
I don't use Sierra, but sometimes Time Machine weirdness can be alleviated by reformatting the target drive as an HFS+ volume. Of course this is assuming the target device isn't already formatted HFS+. But most external drives ship from the manufacturer formatted FAT or ExFAT.


2016-11-02 at 19:46 #8374   (36)
Lsig
I have had a WD My Book Live 4TB that has been problematic forever. We back up three Macs to it using Time Machine, and over a period of time that is fairly consistent on each computer, based on the amount of data on each computer, Time Machine detects problems and needs to create a new backup. This happens much sooner on the machine with the most data being backed up and less frequently on the other two. It also fairly frequently reports that the backup file is already open. Restarting the MyBook solves that problem, but not the other. Gave up on tech support a year ago.
Anyone else having this problem?


Christian Olsen Show this Post
2016-11-03 at 08:06 #8391   (37)
Christian Olsen
(2016-11-02 at 17:31)kswisher wrote:  Out of curiosity, have you run disk diagnostics on the WD MyBook? A few months back, I started having backup problems after updating to El Capitan. It turned out the WD MyBook drive I used for backups was going bad. A reformat fixed it temporarily, but after a few days, the sector errors started piling up.
Yes I ran WD Diagnostics and everything passed. Also Disk First Aid and Disk Warrior. No errors. Reformatted again last night and I am grinding slowly along to a new backup. Starting to feel a little "Groundhog Day" to me...


Christian Olsen Show this Post
2016-11-03 at 08:08 #8392   (38)
Christian Olsen
(2016-11-02 at 18:18)Guest wrote:  I don't use Sierra, but sometimes Time Machine weirdness can be alleviated by reformatting the target drive as an HFS+ volume. Of course this is assuming the target device isn't already formatted HFS+. But most external drives ship from the manufacturer formatted FAT or ExFAT.
Yes, reformatted first thing out of the box. Never had issues before upgrading to Sierra.


Ian Kennedy Show this Post
2016-11-03 at 09:20 #8394   (39)
Ian Kennedy
Sophos has acknowledged that it is a cause of Time Machine continuous "Preparing" message. Temporarily disabling the on-access scanning allows backups to be performed correctly. They are said to be working on a fix.


2016-11-03 at 16:29 #8435   (40)
(2016-11-01 at 13:39)Christian Olsen wrote:  ...
Today I was greeted with the Preparing Backup message again. And after an hour, it just gave up and said Next Backup in 1/2 an hour. I hold out little hope.
...
Anyone having any ideas would be much appreciated. I'm loathe to reinstall Sierra (and downgrading is not an option, per the boss) but right now it appears the only option. Although from what I've been reading, that doesn't seem to help either. Sigh...
I had similar problems (though not exactly the same) and discovered I had put the MyBook on an old 10/100 switch. Changing to gigabit moved my initial backup of 750 GB from 20 days to several hours. By any chance are you on an old switch? If not, have you checked the relevant cables? They should be Cat 5E or Cat 6.