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Time Machine backup very slow in Lion

189629 Views 488 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2014 2:11 PM by ishadoe RSS
  • Dan Creswell Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2011 10:35 AM (in response to Michael Newbery)

    I don't think it has much at all to do with large disks. I have been closely monitoring Time Machine whilst it's been running a backup and seen a number of undesirable pieces of behaviour:

     

    (1) Any modification of data seems to cause Time Machine to re-run the backup process - i.e. it loops.

     

    (2) During the most recent backup, a loop occurred and it took 1hr 20 minutes to write a total of 600Mb of data. During this time many Gigabytes of data were transferred (both read and written) - I could understand the reading, I really cannot see any justification for all the writes which brings me to this:

     

    (3) Having taken an hour to perform (2) above, "Finishing Backup" takes a further 20 minutes during which an additional couple of Gig was written and at least that much read.

     

    There are no errors in the logs, I've run repair on all volumes including Time Machine regardless the amount of data being shunted around seems completely out of proportion with the small amount of data being backed up.

  • Yi2011 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2011 11:41 PM (in response to petewaw)

    The backup is slow but it works, so I will just let Apple take care of this.

  • Steven Richason Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 22, 2011 4:13 PM (in response to petewaw)

    I wonder if it has something to do with Filevault and/or using an encrypted HD as your backup. I got 39MB into a backup (out of 228GB) out of an hour and a half. I miss my fast Snow Leopard backups.

  • Michael Newbery Level 4 Level 4 (2,360 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 22, 2011 4:36 PM (in response to Steven Richason)
    I wonder if it has something to do with Filevault and/or using an encrypted HD as your backup.

    Neither case apply to me.

     

    Can we create a matrix to eliminate what doesn't seem to cause it?

    Possible CauseVerified/Busted
    Filevault/Encrypted diskBusted
    Large disks (>1TB)Busted
    Upgrade from Snow Leopard?
    Multiple Disks?

    I.e., if the slow down happens with a single disk, or someone is getting good speed with multiple disks, we can mark Multiple Disks as BUSTED.

  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 12:25 AM (in response to Millone64)

    Millone64 wrote:

     

    Hi,

     

    has someone tested this solution:

     

    http://maurodelrio.com/2011/07/24/fix-lion-slow-timemachine-backups/

     

    I am asking because we need several results to understand if this is really working.

     

    Thanks

     

    I tried it and it didn't work, TM is still very slow - but at least it seems to work. The only suspicious thing I find in the logs is:

    Aug 23 05:48:45 aroma mds[69]: (Error) Volume: Could not find requested backup type:2 for volume

  • Michael Newbery Level 4 Level 4 (2,360 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 4:01 AM (in response to Espen Vestre)

    I tried it too. All it did was add another day while Spotlight rebuilt the index on my disk. TM was no faster.

  • JoeJofus Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 5:07 AM (in response to petewaw)

    I have had the same issue, after installing Lion and a new 1tb hard drive in my MacBook Pro I wanted to carry on using time machine, but there seemed to be an issue with the cloned drive not being the same and it was an issue for time machine.

     

    I started a new external hard drive and time machine. It was going to take 3 days to back up 260gb!!!

    I let this run for a 2 days and a night and it only got to 80gb. I then stopped it, did something else and when I re-attached the hardrive it said it would take 2 hours. I left it overnight and it was done by the morning.

     

    I can't explain it, but that was my experience.

  • c2oxide Calculating status...
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    Aug 23, 2011 5:23 AM (in response to JoeJofus)

    I've got 2 Macbook Pro's (2008 and 2009 models) that upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion.  Both took a LOOOONG time to get through the initial round of Time Machine backups, spotlight indexing, time machine indexing, etc... now, a few weeks later, the backups are working flawlessly.  Nice and quick.

     

    I also have a buddy's 2011 iMac, new installation of Lion (no upgrade) and it backed up the entire 40gb drive in about 20 minutes over a 1GBPS network connection to a new time capsule.

     

    So for me, both methods are working fine - new Lion installations, and Snow Leopard upgrades...

  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 7:12 AM (in response to c2oxide)

    c2oxide wrote:

     

    So for me, both methods are working fine - new Lion installations, and Snow Leopard upgrades...

     

    You mentioned a new Time Capsule - were both backups to entirely new TM volumes? I'm backing up on top of my previous Snow Leopard backups. What's interesting, though, is that my new mac has two internal drives (iMac with 256GB SSD + 1TB HD). The SSD has the same name as the SL hard disk, so that backup is "on top of" the old backup from Snow Leopard. But the HD, which then only has been backed up since Lion, also takes unreasonably long time, despite the fact that it contains only about 230 GB of data that virtually never change.

  • c2oxide Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 7:17 AM (in response to Espen Vestre)

    For the new iMac that went onto a new Time Capsule, this was a new computer, new time capsule, Lion installed from the factory, it was super fast.

     

    For the Macbook Pro's that were upgraded from Snow Leopard, these backups were done onto an existing time capsule drive.  I'm guessing they took such a LOOONG time to backup because:

     

    a.  The OS upgrade itself, Lion's system files needed to overwrite SL on the time machine drive.

    b.  Lion includes the versioning / backups / "locking" features as well, so it must have added some extra baggage onto Time Machine backups now that Lion keeps multiple copies of files, self-contained... and I'm guessing these are also backed through time machine somehow.

  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 7:48 AM (in response to c2oxide)

    c2oxide:

    So the backups that were done to the existing time capsule drive were done on top of the backup of an old computer, so backups from before the Lion install are accessible in the "space flight" interface of TM on the MacBooks? (You can have multiple backup volumes on one TC, so I just have to check if I understood you right)

     

    About your point b) - this does not apply to me, I had no versions database at all before you reminded me of that feature right now. The versions database was created when I saved a document from TextEdit.

  • c2oxide Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 23, 2011 8:15 AM (in response to Espen Vestre)

    Yes, with my MacBook's, I can access both Snow-Leopard and Lion backups through the "space flight" interface... my time capsule backs up 3 computers and I just checked to see how far back they go... it gave me back to February 2011 (6 months) which was well before Lion came out.

  • Espen Vestre Level 1 Level 1 (140 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 24, 2011 1:34 AM (in response to Espen Vestre)

    Espen Vestre wrote:

     

    I tried it and it didn't work, TM is still very slow - but at least it seems to work. The only suspicious thing I find in the logs is:

    Aug 23 05:48:45 aroma mds[69]: (Error) Volume: Could not find requested backup type:2 for volume

     

    Still trying to figure out this error. In the meantime, I've discovered that TM is hunting phantoms: I had a look at

     

    /Volumes/<my TM disk>/Backups.backupdb/<my machine>/<time of last backup>/.Backup.log

     

    And discovered that one of the reasons that it's constantly re-iterating backups is this:

     

    "Needs new backup due to change in /Volumes/Dinosaur/More Userdata"

     

    But "More Userdata" doesn't exist anymore. I might have renamed it, but the last time that folder had that name was a week ago.

    It also discoveres changes in the main disk ("/") which is OK, since even when I'm away from the machine, some files will be changed there. What's NOT OK, is that each of the copies from each of the two disks takes 40-50 minutes

  • zedkay Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 5:25 AM (in response to petewaw)

    I am a graphic artist, and have a lot of large files. For example, a wall mural that I am currently working on now is a 1GB Photoshop file. Here is my experience with Lion and Time Machine.

     

    Prior to two weeks ago I was using a Mac Pro (2008), Snow Leopard, and Intego Personal Backup to do my backups. I have used Personal Backup for years. I decided to start using Time Machine, and used it for about seven months, with a 1TB Western Digital external drive. No issues. Seemed to run fast enough. Backups after the initial backup were relatively quick. Only minutes.

     

    Two weeks ago I bought a NEW iMac. It had Lion already installed. I purchased another 1TB drive, same as the first one on the Mac Pro. I was not using Personal Backup. Decided that Time Machine was sufficient. The first back up was slow, and expected to be so. But, now, two weeks later, they are  still VERY slow. It takes at 45 minutes to do a backup. What used to take only a few minutes. And with an hourly schedule of backups it seems that Time Machine is almost always running.

     

    Here is my system:

    OS Lion 7.1

    iMac 27 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 with 8GB RAM

    Internal 250GB SSD

    Internal 1TB SATA Disk

    External 1TB Western Digital (Time Machine backup)

     

    I had really come to like Time Machine under Snow Leopard. Under Lion? Well, I think I for one am going to abandon Time Machine and go back to Intego Personal Backup. The time it takes for Time Machine to do its thing is ridiculous!

  • EarthBased Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 25, 2011 5:50 AM (in response to petewaw)

    Everytime you change that 1GB file TM will back it up anew.   That is your problem if you are working with VERY LARGE files.   TM is great for regular files and system backup; crash recovery is very simple with TM.   So I suggest you exclude your "media files" directory from TM backup in OPTIONS and then use your other tool to backup only "media files".  You should have the best of both worlds then.   Cheers.

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