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Time Machine Failing Over and Over

441 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2011 9:08 AM by PieroF RSS
Rippnlips Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 22, 2011 7:37 AM

So I am backing up my EX HD with Time Machine for the first time and it keep failing. It stops between 3 gb and about 20gb (I have 180 total). Keeps giving the error "The backup was not performed because an error occurred while copying files to the backup disk ". The HD I was using is a brand new Western Digital that I formatted two partitions. One for my old windows machine and this MBP. I formatted it exactly several times and it keeps failing.


My neighbor said I need to have a HD that is completely clean, so i went and bought a brand new Iomega HD just for Mac. It also failed over and over! I have read about every thread out there and cant seem to find a possible cause other than my internal HD is toast.


Has anyone else had this experience before?



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2.4 Intel Core I5
  • Mrguidogenio Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)
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    May 22, 2011 7:44 AM (in response to Rippnlips)

    Check this guide where it says "Fix unrecognized disks"

  • PieroF Level 5 Level 5 (4,275 points)
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    May 22, 2011 7:53 AM (in response to Rippnlips)

    How large is your external backup disk ?


    It'd better be quite larger than 180-200 GB... Time Machine doesn't behave well when the backup disk isn't large enough.


    My rule of the thumb is to have a backup disk of the same size of the startup disk, unless in the Time Machine Options you exclude some significant part of it from the backup set: e.g. large movie folders, Parallels Virtual Machines, and so.



  • PieroF Level 5 Level 5 (4,275 points)
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    May 22, 2011 8:46 AM (in response to Rippnlips)

    OK, the point is how much of your startup drive you want to backup using Time Machine: that size + a good amount (30-40-50% ?) for future use is what you need as an external disk.

    If your Documents folder is larger than 400-450GB, an external 500 GB disk might not be enough, if not now easily in the near future.


    If you moved your videos and photos to another disk, you'd better delete them from Documents, if you do not want them in the TM. Or as an alternative you can keep them on your startup disk but you must then prevent TM from backing them up by using TM Options in its Preferences panel: just add yourHome/Documents/Images and yourHome/Documents/Movies to that panel.


    Parallels is not a problem by itself. But if you don't disable TM over its many GB virtual machines files, TM will backup these files by unnecessarily slowing down your system at any even minor change in the VM. Personally I disable TM over the Parallels VMs, and back them up manually when I feel useful.



  • PieroF Level 5 Level 5 (4,275 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2011 9:08 AM (in response to Rippnlips)

    Sorry I'm not sure I understand your question now.


    Let me try: if you excluded your Documents folder and TM now works, your backup size was likely the problem.


    So if you simply remove Documents from the TM exclusion list you will run back into the size problem... no good.

    If you first delete the large contents from the documents folder on your startup disk, then you can ask TM to backup again the Documents folder by removing it from the TM exclusion list, but obviously only what remains there (not the deleted material) will be saved by TM.


    In other words, if you want to keep your 80 GB files on your startup disk, either you do not backup them or you use a larger backup disk. Otherwise you may remove the 80 GB from your startup disk; but now you probably want to keep 2 copies of them in 2 different external disks, for safety reasons, without using TM.


    Did I answer your question ?




    Message was edited by: PieroF


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