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Troubleshooting Time Machine Backup common Problems

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Old 17-05-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 120
Troubleshooting Time Machine Backup common Problems
  

Hey friends I am starting this thread to share the troubleshooting methods for the Time Machine Backup common Problems.

Initial Backup Failed

The cause of this issue is mostly when the Time Machine drive/partition is not formatted properly so here one can use the Disk Utility for verifying the setup:
  • First select Macintosh HD which will probably be the second line for your Startup drive and then check out the Format status below which will be Mac OS Extended (Journaled), on lion it can be Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled).
  • So after checking that select the line for your Time Machine partition and then check out the status of the Format below and it should be same as your Startup drive, if it is not same then you will have to change the Format by erasing the partition and then selecting a different format.
  • For formatting the disk so as to use it with Time Machine follow the below steps:
  • Start the Disk Utility and then select the new drive and then select the Erase tab, this will be erasing the whole disk, if you want then you can also select Security Options> Zero-Out Data for erasing the whole disk by writing over everything, one has to perform the same on new disk and it is necessary as well, if the drive is set up with a non-Apple Partition Map Scheme then this won’t work, so if you have the same case then proceed with the below step.
    1. First Select Partition tab and then from the pop-up menu which will be below the Volume Scheme select the number of partitions from the pop-up, there are possibilities that you won’t be able to change the MBR drive to GUID or APM as well as the number of partitions simultaneously, so if you come across the same case then make sure that you are making a single partition with GUID or APM and after that re-format the drive with the number of partition you want, when you are done until here then click on each partition and then give it a name along with the size and after that just set the Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled), after that click on Options and then select the GUID or Apple Partition Map and then click on apply and then wait for the process to get completed.
    2. If at all you get an error message saying "Could not unmount disk then close the other processes that might be running in the background and using the disk like anti-virus software by excluding it from Spotlight indexing by going in to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy, if you are having any software that might have come with the disk then uninstall the same and make sure that you are restarting the system as well.

  • Now just select the top line of the Time Machine drive and then check out the status of the Partition Map Scheme and it should be Apple Partition Map or GUID, here I will like to inform you that the Apple Partition Map is preferred for a PPC Mac where as the GUID is preferred for an Intel Mac, if it is something else than GUID or Apple Partition Map then you will have to completely erase the disk and reformat it and for that you can refer to the steps that has been mentioned above For formatting the disk so as to use it with Time Machine.


“The backups was not performed because of an error occurred while copying files to the backup volume”

If you get the above error message then check out the Time Machine Buddy messages and then check out for the below message(s) about a file which you are not allowed to copy:
Error: (-nn) SrcErr:YES Copying {a file path} to {"null" or another file path}
or Indexing a file failed. Returned -12 for: {a file path}, {another file path}
or Error: (2) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.SnapshotVolumeUUID . . .


If you are not aware of the file "paths then you might face some difficulty in checking out the above messages, they should appear like:
/Users/<Name>/iMovie Events.localized/clip-2008-04-02.mov to /Volumes/TM Backups/ . . . etc.
The file might be indicated with " to " or just a comma, if you are sure that the issue is because of the file then you can delete it but then if you are not sure whether it is required or not then you can exclude it from backups for now. I order to do so just go in to Time Machine Preferences> Options> and then click on the plus sign and then select the computer name, internal HD and then move to the file then select it and then click on Exclude and then click on done. Now you can do a Back Up by right-clicking the Time Machine icon in your dock or even from the Time Machine icon in your Menubar.

If it is failing again then check out the new messages and if you are getting it for some other file this time then better Exclude your Time Machine disk from any anti-virus scanning temporarily by going in to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy and after that Repair your backups as well as the original file if it is on external disk, verify the file if it is on internal HD.

If you face Error: (-36) SrcErr:NO Copying ... errors then try connecting the HD to some other port and also check out if the connections are snug and secure, you can try out other interface if you are having a multi-interface drive.

If you are getting “Error: (2) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.SnapshotVolumeUUID” then check out the name of the volume and see if there is any slash then you will have to remove the slash and replace the same with space or comma or different name and for doing that right click on the volume in a Finder sidebar and then chose the rename option and then save the same after removing the slash. Actually the slashes are not allowed in volume names.

The backup disk is full (almost full)( too large)
  • You might get the The backup disk is almost full message when your backup disk gets full nearly, at this time the time Machine will be deleting the old backups and for that you will have to check mark the “Notify after old backups are deleted” box by going in to Time Machine Preferences > Options.

  • You will get the The backup disk is full message when the “Notify after old backups are deleted” is check marked, you will get this message once the Time Machine deletes some backups, you don’t have to do anything about this but then you can either uncheck “Notify after old backups are deleted” by going in to Time Machine Preferences > Options or simply click the “Do not show this warning again box in the message”

  • You will get the “This backup is too large” message when “Warn when old backups are deleted” is checked, when this option is checked then the Time Machine will not delete old backup so if you want then you can uncheck the “Warn when old backups are deleted” by going in to Time Machine Preferences > Options and then try out another backup.


"You do not have appropriate access privileges to save file ".<nnnnnnn>" in folder <name of TM Drive>"
  • Here the <nnnnnn> is a string of 12 numbers.If you get the above error message then go in to Applications/Utilities folder and then open the Terminal app and enter the below command:
  • sudo chmod 644 /volumes/"TM drive name"/.xxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Make sure that you are entering the name of your Time Machine volume in place of TM drive name and enter string of numbers in place of xxxx and then Press Return, if you get any kind of warnings or your Administrator's password then enter the same and then press Return again, when you are done with the same then try a Back Up Now.

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Old 17-05-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 120
Re: Troubleshooting Time Machine Backup common Problems


"The backup volume is read only."

  • If you get the above error message then disconnect the drive along with the power supply wait for some time and then Restart your Mac and connect the drive again, if that is not helping then there are possibilities that the Time Machine backups are corrupted and you will have to repair them out.


"Error: (-50) Creating directory" or "error ... while creating the backup folder."
  • If you get the above error message then there are there are possibilities that the Time Machine backups are corrupted and you will have to repair them out. If that is not helping and you are not getting any error in the Disk Utility then disconnect the drive along with the power supply wait for some time and then Restart your Mac and connect the drive again, if you get errors which are not getting fixed by the Disk Utility then there are possibilities that the disk may be failing.



Drive does not appear to be the correct backup volume for this computer (Cookies do not match)
  • You can try fixing this just by re-selecting your Time Machine drive in Time Machine Preferences, here you can first select the "none" drive and after that select the correct drive, this happens mostly on Leopard, if one gets a new Logic Board or switches time Machine drive from one Mac to another, also in cases where a new Time Machine drive is connected with the same name as compared to that of the old. If the suggested solution is not helping then you will have to do a full reset.


"The Backup disk image ... sparsebundle ... is already in use."
  • If you face this then check out the Disk Image and make sure that the you have not mounted network backups, if the mounted disk is not appearing in the when you are clicking in a empty area on your desktop or in the Finder window then elect Finder > Preferences > General and make sure that the External Disks is checked, if it is there in the Finder sidebar then right click on the same and eject it, if that is not helping then you will have to disconnect all users and for that just start the Airport Utility and then click on Manual Setup after that click on Disks icon and now you should see connected disks and partitions, so just select the same and then click the Disconnect All Users button, when you do this then every user who might be connected to the disk will get a notice.


"Backup volume could not be mounted."

If you are getting the above error message after you have changed the network volume's password then you wonít be able to carry out the back up. Here you can refer to the below article.
Mac OS X 10.5.3 or later: Time Machine - "Backup volume could not be mounted" after changing network volume's password


The identity of the backup disk has changed
  • If you get the above message then the time machine will be thinking that backup disk or network location for your backups has changed and below are the possible cause of the same:
    • If a backup is on directly-connected external HD then either you might be having a different disk having same name as that of the backup disk connected to your system or the Time Machine disk/partition was erased or reformatted.
    • If a backup is on a network then either the network configuration might have changed or sparse bundle disk image containing your network backup might have got deleted.
  • If you donít think that you are not having the above case then click Use This Disk and make sure that the location is correct if you are not sure about the same then click Don't Back Up and then select correct destination by going in to Time Machine Preferences.


The network backup disk does not support ... AFP features
  • If you are getting the above message then there are possibilities that the your 3rd-party NAS does not support the version of OSX your Mac and you will have to contact the manufacturer of the NAS, I have found that Western Digital , LaCie NAS, Iomega do not work well with Lion.


Sparse bundle could not be accessed (error -1)
  • There might be a number of causes for this error so you will have to probably check out and perform the below possible things:
  • Make sure that the drive is not mounted by other macs or users, if it is then eject it manually by selecting it form the Finder sidebar.
  • Try repairing the backups as there are possibilities that it might be corrupted.
  • You might be having some other drive having the same name as that of the backup drive.
  • Check out if the network volume's password has been changed or so, try rebooting the system and see if it is making any difference.

Try disconnecting all users by going in to Time Machine Preferences and then re-select the backup destination.
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