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SuperDuper back up fails repeatedly

9802 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2012 11:39 AM by jo lfrommo RSS
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jo lfrommo Calculating status...
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Jan 30, 2012 7:49 PM

I have a mid-2011 27" iMac Core i5, purchased in October, 2011. I've been trying to create a Mirror Backup from the latest version of SuperDuper (2.6.4 v89) to my external G-Tech drive — this used to work just fine — but now I keep getting  a message that says "failed to copy files from Macintosh HD..."


My iMac HD is 1 TB

External HD is 3 TB (2 partitions)

    – Mirror iMac: 1TB (used for SuperDuper mirror copy)

    – Archive: 2 TB (used by OS Lion Time Machine)


"About this Mac" says:

    – Mirror iMac: 985.73 GB free out of 1 TB

    – Macintosh HD: 800.68 GB free out of 999.35 GB


So it is not, presumably, a question of space.


I did all of the steps outlined in the SuperDuper Help page re: "Out of Space" errors

     – Ran Disk Utilities (booted from a flash drive, and ran DU on both the iMac and the external drive: no problems.)

     – I ran "Erase then Copy" files

     – I erased the Mirror iMac partition and reformatted with Mac OS Extended (Journaled)


The back up kept hanging up on a particular file. SO I sent an error report to Shirt Pocket and received this reply:


Lion - confusingly - is sometimes returning "disk full" errors when it can't read or write a file. In this case


Jan 30 15:36:27 macbook-pro SDCopy[365]: reading from /Users/jo/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/TV Shows/LOST/14 There's No Place Like Home, Pt. 3 (HD).m4v: Input/output error


the problem si reading from that particular Lost episode. This is likely because your internal drive is starting to fail.


Please navigate to that file in Finder and try to duplicate - not open or play - it. Do you get an error -36? If so, you'll need to delete it, empty your trash and give the copy another try.


I did try to copy the file, as suggested, and did get an "error -36". So I threw it away and retried the backup: it made it past the point where it had been failing, and copied almost all the files, but now is giving me a similar error message (same msg as before, but different file):


| 07:08:19 PM | Error | SDCopy: Error copying /Library/Application Support/GarageBand/Magic GarageBand/02. Rock.mwand/Media/Big Stack 1#1.caf to /Volumes/Mirror iMac/Library/Application Support/GarageBand/Magic GarageBand/02. Rock.mwand/Media/Big Stack 1#1.caf of type 8 due to error 28: No space left on device


I also tried to copy this file and it too gave me an "error -36."


I have looked through these forums and tried the only one that seemed to pertain (turning Time Machine off, which I did: no luck.)


Could my hard drive really be failing? I checked the serial no. of my iMac here:  and it says that my hard drive is not affected by this particular recall.


I am NOT technical, so if anyone has any suggestions for me, please be merciful when giving instructions. It has taken me hours to get this far...


Thanks so much!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,255 points)
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    Jan 30, 2012 8:08 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    Your first step is to contact shirt-pocket (the software publisher) and get their advice.


    I use the same software on my Mac Pro with no problems. ( I back up to one of my 4 internal hard drives.)

  • FangSuede Level 4 Level 4 (2,195 points)
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    Jan 30, 2012 8:37 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    Have you tried Carbon Copy Cloner?

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,505 points)
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    Jan 30, 2012 9:03 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    Shirt Pocket has given their opinion that you may have a HD problem. What I don't know is if they meant you internal HD or the EHD. If it's the internal then then you should run Apple Hardware Test in Extended Mode. If no errors are found the first time run it at least another 2-3 times to be sure. You can find instructions in your owners manual, if you don't have the manual click Support in the upper right of this page and then click Manuals and navigate to your manual.


    To check the EHD, run Disk Utility (Applications - Utilities - Disk Utilities) - select the EHD and click the First Aid tab and run Repair Disk. If there are errors run it until no errors come up and then try SD again.


    No amount of changing software will fix hardware failures so chasing after CCC is probably a waste of time.

  • snazawa Calculating status...
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    Feb 1, 2012 9:53 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    So, I never had any issues with SD before this last week but it kept failing to copy and it seemed fail on a different file every time. I did all the things suggested like repairing the disk, erasing, etc. Finally, I turned off Timemachine and that got me past the .mobilebackups fail issue mentioned several places. But then it failed on an iphoto photo in the iphoto library. I went ahead and deleted that and that took care of the problem. So after spending several hours trying to figure this out, I finally got a good backup.


    Confusing thing is that SD has never done this before. Perhaps it was a fluke.

  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,505 points)
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    Feb 1, 2012 9:57 PM (in response to snazawa)

    So what happened when you did what Shirtpocket told you to do?

  • FangSuede Level 4 Level 4 (2,195 points)
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    Feb 2, 2012 9:33 AM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    "This file is sitting on a bad section of hard disk media and is unrecoverable. Delete this file (ie.e. in the Finder) and restore it from a known good backup, then try the backup task again."


    CCC is a very nice product and running it told you basically what Shirt Pocket Support eluded to, the hard drive has problems.

    Using a hard drive utiliy like Prosoft's Drive Genius can isolate those bad sectors and defrag the HDD.

    If that iMac Hard Drive has bad sectors on it already I think using your warranty and visiting the Apple Store Genius Bar is a good plan.

    If there are a lot of bad sectors on that new HDD, it needs replacement.


    Might be a good idea to do a good clone backup before taking the iMac for service.

    Some folks wipe the iMac HDD so that any personal info/passwords is not seen by others working on it, your choice.

    iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.93GHz Quad
  • rkaufmann87 Level 8 Level 8 (40,505 points)
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    Feb 2, 2012 1:58 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    To be honest now that you have determined the issue is your internal HD you should work on getting it replaced. Then restore from your SuperDuper backup and be back up and running. Continuing to soldier on with a damaged HD is a waste of time and resouces.

  • iCare Level 4 Level 4 (1,705 points)
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    Feb 2, 2012 2:17 PM (in response to jo lfrommo)

    I agree with rkaufmann87 that you're just wasting your time to continue evaluating the drive, especially if you haven't already been backing up your data. You're operating on borrowed time. Get your system in for evaluation if there appears to be a problem with data integrity.


    If you're interested in taking one additional look at your drive's SMART status then give this application a try. I think it will confirm what you've already been told.


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