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Leopard applications all hang while Time Machine prepares for backup

1909 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2009 8:32 AM by Pondini RSS
grtgrfx Calculating status...
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Sep 20, 2009 3:17 AM
I'm sure others have posted about this but I can't find a usable solution. I have the most recent version of Leopard, a 1TB external FireWire drive dedicated to Time Machine storage and about 400GB of backups on it. Every day at some point, Time Machine starts a backup, pauses while preparing, and the entire Mac grinds to a halt. New processes won't launch, open applications hang, Finder becomes unresponsive, menus and dock freeze in whatever position they were in at the point of launch, and I can't cancel the backup process.

The only solution is to turn off the backup drive while its running and wait for the Mac to wake up again (which it does in under a minute). I have no virus protection running. I have erased the drive and started fresh at least once to no avail.

Since I am effectively breaking a live connection every time I turn the drive off without unmounting it first (an obvious no-no), the data has great potential to be getting more and more screwed up. What can I do?
'08 2.66GHz Intel twin Dual-Core Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 6GB RAM, 2.6TB HD, BT, NVidia 8800GT, Boot Camp w/Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    grtgrfx wrote:
    I'm sure others have posted about this but I can't find a usable solution. I have the most recent version of Leopard, a 1TB external FireWire drive dedicated to Time Machine storage and about 400GB of backups on it. Every day at some point, Time Machine starts a backup, pauses while preparing, and the entire Mac grinds to a halt. New processes won't launch, open applications hang, Finder becomes unresponsive, menus and dock freeze in whatever position they were in at the point of launch, and I can't cancel the backup process.


    No, this doesn't seem to be a common problem.

    Try excluding your TM disk from Spotlight indexing, at least temporarily (System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy).

    If that doesn't help, try the other things in item #D2 of the Time Machine - Troubleshooting *User Tip* at the top of this forum.

    If still no help, copy and post the TM Buddy messages (from #D2) here. There's likely a clue hiding in there.
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    grtgrfx wrote:

    Time Machine errors from the current System log:

    Oct 12 01:43:25 Erics-MacPro /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[9202]: Backup failed with error: 18

    Oct 12 16:46:51 Erics-MacPro /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[758]: Backup failed with error: 18


    There should be some messages before each of those, detailing just why the backups failed.
    Either use the +Time Machine Buddy+ widget, copy and post all the messages from either backup here, or (better) look in the log for the entire period of the backup, starting with the very first message from backupd. The actual cause might not be a backupd message, but something like +*I/O error, Failed, exited,+* or something else dire-sounding.

    The errors are probably the result of my turning the drive off to disconnect it from the Mac. Doing anything but powering off simply results in a spinning beach ball and unresponsive Finder.


    That can corrupt your backups. Before trying again, do a +*Repair Disk+* (not permissions) on it, via Disk Utility, in your Applications/Utilities folder.

    When a TM backup hangs, and you try to cancel it, and it won't cancel for quite a while, start the +Activity Monitor+ app (same place). Look for the backupd process name, click on it, and choose +Force Quit.+
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    grtgrfx wrote:

    Volume at path /Volumes/Racer BU does not appear to be the correct backup volume for this computer. (Cookies do not match)


    You got that a couple of times. Do a "full reset" of Time Machine, per #A4 in the Time Machine - Troubleshooting *User Tip* at the top of this forum.

    Are you absolutely sure your TM drive is set-up properly? Double-check via #C1 in the Troubleshooting Tip.

    Event store UUIDs don't match for volume: Racer X
    Node requires deep traversal:/ reason:kFSEDBEventFlagMustScanSubDirs|kFSEDBEventFlagReasonEventDBUntrustable|


    Probably the result of a forced disconnect.

    The long periods between backups are when it is "preparing for backup" and nothing is happening.


    When you see "Preparing" on the TM Preferences panel, TM is doing a "deep traversal," probably the result of an improper disconnect of the TM drive. It's comparing every folder on your system to your backups, so will take a long time under the best of circumstances.

    Have you done the other things in #D2, in particular checking with the maker for firmware/driver updates?

    This really does look like some sort of problem with it. Is this the same drive you've posted about 2 or 3 times before?
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS
  • KingofWu Calculating status...
    I am having the same problem and I am getting frustrated. When it starts "preparing" it locks up everything. I can't force quit...nothing. The only thing I can do is hold down the power button. Any suggestions?

    Please?
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    KingofWu wrote:
    I am having the same problem and I am getting frustrated. When it starts "preparing" it locks up everything. I can't force quit...nothing. The only thing I can do is hold down the power button. Any suggestions?


    Hi, and welcome to the forums.

    First, do a +*Repair Disk+* (not permissions) on your TM drive, via Disk Utility (in your Applications/Utilities folder). You must do this any time you've done an abnormal shutdown, as that means OSX cannot "close out" the disk properly, possibly corrupting your backups.

    Then double-check your setup. See #C1 of the Time Machine - Troubleshooting *User Tip* at the top of this forum.

    Once you're sure everything's correct, do ALL the things in #D2 of the Troubleshooting Tip (don't just pick one or two, as some others have).
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    grtgrfx wrote:
    I thought I got rid of the problem after I set the internal drive to never go to sleep, and it did not have trouble for several days. And yet...now it's going on again. TM's been preparing for backup for over half an hour, and I didn't previously disconnect the drive. Whew, what a pain.If I do a reset, will I lose archives?


    No, the only ways to lose old backups are for either you or TM to delete them, or if you erase or reformat the disk.

    Any idea why it's dong the deep traversal? (some common reasons are in #D3 of the Time Machine - Troubleshooting *User Tip* at the top of this forum.)
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS
  • KingofWu Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello all,
    Last night TM started backing up my drive. It started late in the night. The time now is 6am and It still didn't finish. It said it was "finishing" for about 3 hours but never did. After about 8-9 hours total time I decided to push and hold the power button on my Mac. I have followed the instructions and I do find them very helpful. I plugged in my laptop to the TM instead of wireless. I downloaded the widget. I verified and repaired both with no errors or fixes. I think I am doing it right. I do know that the last back up I successfully had was in april or may. And a ton of stuff has changed on my computer but 8-9 hours seems a bit much. So this is the traffic that I got off of the widget. Any suggestions.

    Pro/Backups.backupdb
    Event store UUIDs don't match for volume: Macintosh HD
    Waiting for index to be ready (906 > 0)
    Node requires deep traversal:/ reason:kFSEDBEventFlagMustScanSubDirs|kFSEDBEventFlagReasonEventDBUntrustable|
    No pre-backup thinning needed: 6.17 GB requested (including padding), 769.12 GB available
    Copied 4469 files (4.7 GB) from volume Macintosh HD.
    No pre-backup thinning needed: 539.8 MB requested (including padding), 764.80 GB available
    Copied 289 files (290 KB) from volume Macintosh HD
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    KingofWu wrote:
    . . .
    I do know that the last back up I successfully had was in april or may. And a ton of stuff has changed on my computer but 8-9 hours seems a bit much.


    If you're only going to back up every few months, you're obviously willing to lose several months of changes. Time Machine is not the best backup app in those circumstances.

    The two most popular alternatives are probably CarbonCopyCloner (which I use in addition to full, hourly Time Machine backups), and SuperDuper. These make full "bootable clones" of your internal HD, meaning when your internal HD fails (and they all do, sooner or later), you can boot and run from it immediately.

    CCC is donationware, so you can try it for a while before sending them some $$ so they can keep it up to date; SD has a free version, but to do an update (rather than a full replacement) you'd need the paid version (about $30). You can find either (and others) via Google, VersionTracker.com, or MacUpdate.com.
    24" iMac 9,1 2.66 GHz Intel; 4gb; 640 gb, Mac OS X (10.6.1), AEBS

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