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Time Machine failure or broken hard drive?

1216 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2012 9:24 AM by Eric Root RSS
Arthur Poireau Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 29, 2012 6:02 AM

(1) The Background

I have a 2009 13' MacBook Pro running OS X 10.8.2

I'm using a WD MyBook Studio 2To hard drive as my TM backup drive. For quite some time, I couldn't simply eject the drive and had to "force eject" it was apparently always in use, even though no application was running.


Two weeks ago, I dropped the drive from my desk. It wasn't a big drop and I ran disk utility to make sure everything was fine. It looked OK. This might have no link with my current problem but I felt that it happened too near to it not to mention it.



(2) The problem

Yesterday, my hard drive started acting strangely. It wasn't behaving properly, especially with Steam. I ran checks with Disk Utility and it looked OK, again.


Today, I had a power loss and my hard drive - that was plugged to my laptop - shut down. I received a prompt that "the disk wasn't unmounted correctly" which was normal. But the TM icon started showing a warning sign "Backup failed..."


I plugged the hard drive again but it failed to appear on the desktop. It appeared in disk utility but when launching a verification, it would state the need to be repaired. When lauching a repair, it says almost instantly "Volume repair complete" then gets stuck on "updating boot partitions for the volume as required". After a little while, I get a prompt telling me that the disk can't be repaired and I have to restore and back up my files.



(3) The questions

I am wondering whether or not it is a TimeMachine failure or my hard drive is broken. It is fairly recent and still under warranty. When I checked today, the metallic enclosure of the drive appears to be a little stilted. I hadn't noticed before. I am familiar with Time Machine being hard on my drives so it might be TM's fault too. I'm not completely sure and would like someone else' opinion.


In any case, I need to back up my files and erase the drive. But will it solve everything?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,860 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2012 1:51 PM (in response to Arthur Poireau)

    I compliment you for the detail in stating your problem.


    If the drive no longer mounts, Time Machine won't be able to use it.


    Is the drive appearing in the Time Machine Preferences panel?


    If it does mount, have you tried writing other files to the drive to see if anything will write to the drive? If not, then it appears the drive may be bad.

  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,860 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2012 5:06 PM (in response to Arthur Poireau)

    Based on my experience with three LaCie drives, since it is under warranty, I'd send it in for a check/repairs. Something isn't working correctly if you can't add files or delete anything from the hard drive. Even if your Time Machine backup works, something doesn't right.

  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,860 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2012 9:24 AM (in response to Arthur Poireau)


    How should I proceed? Is there a format that works better than others with OSX?


    Are there any tips about Time Machine to preserve the integrity of backups?

    I'm not sure I understand your first question.


    I've had some Time Machine backups fail, but not too often.


    If you look at the bottom of your original post there are some tags. I would try searching through the threads that come up for information. I'm not as knowledgeable as many others are, so perhaps you can find what you want to know.


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