Skip navigation

time machine very slow with mountain lion

167574 Views 650 Replies Latest reply: Feb 11, 2014 4:45 PM by Booker T. RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • MorrisC Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 8:56 AM (in response to John Baughman)

    John,

     

    What a mature response! Thank you.

  • LegalGeek Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to John Baughman)

    While I would have phrased it differently, I concur with John's general message. All computer OSs have problems. I've used many over the years and every single one has issues. It doesn't matter if it's Mac, Windows, or Linux. I have come to the conclusion that there is no perfect OS. I stick with the one that I like the best, which is currently OS X.

     

    I am not happy about the problem I experienced with TM. But, I dealt with it in a rational/logical way by contacting AppleCare and working with them to solve the problem. Ever since they suggested a complete wipe of my hard drive, TM has been working for me. While I was having the problems and working to get them addressed by AppleCare, I used CCC, which worked for me.

     

    Hopefully the problem will be addressed in 10.8.3, which should hopefully be out soon.

  • MorrisC Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 10:36 AM (in response to LegalGeek)

    We are now having adults join this. Thank you, too.

  • jshrager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 11:03 AM (in response to 1tombhome)

    I guess I have to politely disagree with all this ad hominem politeness. Consider that there are 450 messages in this thread alone, and it's not nearly the only thread on this topic. Reformat my drive?! Maybe a little moral outrage is needed. ("Please calm down, Dr. King. Your issues will be dealt with by the powers that be in due course." :-)

     

    Regardless, I believe that backups are a different kind of animal than almost anything else in OSs because they deal not only with proximal data integrity, but with the integrity of ALL of your data, including (by definition) the data on the backups. Releasing poorly working backup software is, to my mind, a far worse problem than anything I can think of, maybe short of releasing a disc driver that wrecks your data -- but even that, if it just wrecks your local data, you always have your backups ... oh, but wait! ....

     

    I'm not even asking for the thing to be fixed -- maybe it's not even broken -- maybe it really does take this long, although in that case an explanation would be nice; a message to the effect of: "This may seem like a very long time, but it's because of initial indexing, and it's only the first time, so please bear with it, and it'll get better." (I'm making this explanation up, I don't know the real reason.) And: "Please reformat your disk, and reload all your software to make backups work." is not, to my mind, an acceptable answer.

     

    A very good friend of mine used to work for Apple pretty high up in software engineering, and he once personally forced a release to be stopped because of a problem similar to this one. He had to go to Jobs to do it, but he did it, and Jobs stopped the release. Somehow I can't imagine that Jobs, if he had any say over it, would have allowed backup software to go out that didn't at the very least try to explain itself when it thinks it's going to take 400 hours to complete a backup.

     

    ------------------

    ps. Just to dispense with the anatomical comparisons: I have been programming Apples since the Apple ][; I owned one of the very first Macs -- literally the very first model -- and I've actually used a Lisa, although didn't own one. And I have used (and extensively programmed) Apple/DOS/Windows/Unix/Mach/and pretty near everything else since about 1970, so I'm extremely experienced with everything invovled here.

  • John Baughman Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 11:35 AM (in response to jshrager)

    jshrager wrote:

     

    Maybe a little moral outrage is needed. ("Please calm down, Dr. King. Your issues will be dealt with by the powers that be in due course." :-)

     

    You can't be serious!  You are equating this trivial problem with TM to Dr. King's historic struggle for equality and human rights? I'm not sure what you mean by the "smiley" notation. But I hardly see how this raises to the level of an issue justifying "moral outrage".

     

    JOhn

  • jshrager Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 11:40 AM (in response to John Baughman)

    Of course I'm not serious. That's what that little thing with the colon-dash-close-paren means. It's called an emoticon. You can read about them here:

     

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoticon

  • LegalGeek Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 11:46 AM (in response to jshrager)

    @jshrager: Even if you are correct in your beliefs (although I seriously disagree, particularly with your comparison of the civil rights movement to TM problems), posting such is not helpful here. If you are indeed as experienced with Apple/DOS/Windows/Unix/Mach/and pretty near everything else since about 1970, then you should know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that no OS is perfect. The Mac is not the only system in history to experience problems with the built-in backup solution. Google "windows backup error" or "linux backup error" for example.

     

    By the way, ad hominem would more accurately describe your post than others on this topic:

     

    1 (of an argument or reaction) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.

    • attacking an opponent's motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain: vicious ad hominem attacks.

  • John Baughman Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 12:29 PM (in response to jshrager)

    Thanks for the invaluable education. :-)

    John

  • Tech Harmony Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 12:34 PM (in response to LegalGeek)

    Come on people, calm down. (I almost said "keep your eyes on the prize" lol)

     

    I think most positions here are rationalize-able at the end of the day. "This sarks!" "it's happened before" "it's happened elsewhere" "it'll happen again" "it's unacceptable" ... all are fair.

     

    I think the thing I'm most tired of are all the "me too" posts here lol. Although I understand that people think if more people complain, Apple will do something. Maybe. The main thing this thread is up against is that Time Machine is (probably) working for lots of people under 10.8.2... so in Apple's eye, they will see your troubles as anomalous.

     

    Apple has released some horrible updates in the past ... mid 10.3.x saw battery life drop to 15 minutes on laptops, never to recover completely; late 10.4.x saw external USB drives destroy their own data; 10.5.x was the cluster-F of MobileMe (although they did a generally good job with 10.5's); early 10.6.x failed during update and required people to learn how to boot their Macs to safe mode (something only PC people ever had to do); and now 10.7.x and 10.8.2 killed Time Machine. 

     

    I suppose we can always say "well, at least we don't have viruses" (with a few exceptions, for those who remember) but that's little comfort.

     

    I advise my clients not to update unless something is broken -- and always with the warning/caveat that some other things might not work afterwards. Even if a debacle happens once or twice in the 9 update cycles per Big Cat OSX, you're bound to get screwed by an update sooner or later...especially early on in the update cycle. And how spectacular a failure that these things sometimes trash our backup systems -- the one thing we actually need to function during updates.

     

    But we shouldn't be surprised that updates don't always work right... especially on early OSX releases.  Most of the time I only update a Mac OS to the Big Cat prior to the newest. In this case, they managed to screw up Lion and Mountain Lion at the same time lol. So it broke my rule... but luckily they acknowledged and fixed Lion backups pretty fast.

     

    Otherwise, this is totally consistent Apple behavior... pre and post-Jobs. We can be frustrated but we can't be surprised. Does Apple "owe" us functional backups? Sure! Sort of! It's hard when they give you something and then take it away (or break it) but such is "progress." It's insulting for them to blame our setups (they've played both sides of this in the past vis-a-vis, for example, Adobe/Finder interaction.... and USB power.. tales for another time) This won't be the last time.

     

    I do wonder about quality assurance at Apple... it's mindblowing that these things aren't caught prior to release. I probably oversee around 30-40 Macs (and as many Apple devices) in various environments and I see crap happen all the time, especially when I let people follow the Apple release plan. I had to "fire" a couple clients because they insisted on updating/doing things on Apple's "genius" schedule and I was tired of fixing those kinds of messes. (ironically, the Macs I built myself can run happily for months without restarting, just like the old days...kinda awesome but kinda sad). I could save Apple a lot of headache if they just sent me releases ahead of time Yeah right, like they'd listen to me.

     

    So anyway, @LegalGeek did a pretty thorough job of listing out how to reformat your way to a new Time Machine (although there was some extra steps that would make your life more difficult) -- yes, it feels tragic to have to do this and it's not like a nice straightforward reformat but a deep clean install from scratch with no automation... worth doing in life, but lame to have to do in general; there are various network toggling/settings kludges that people have had luck with (wireless, wired, manual IP addresses); some third-party candidates (Dropbox interference?); and rolling back the drivers that control ethernet/networking (this is the most interesting one to me but also the most difficult to pull off... Even for local backups, Time Machine is interwoven with some networking drivers and I believe that rolling these back is the most intriguing solution... I just don't have an extra Mac lying around right now (or time) to make a busted Mountain Lion to test on but I will try to over the holiday)

     

    Then of course we have the people chiming in about Time Capsules (a whole other clusterF** in itself due to radio interference with neighbors, other equipment like wireless phones, choosing channels, radio band; and just general Time Capsule time machine corruption [basing this off of experience with 5 Time Casules]) ... and finally the original Spotlight fixes that repaired things for 10.7.x users before Apple release the supplemental fix.

     

    It's possible Apple will fix this, it's possible they won't. I've always used another program for backing up in addition to Time Machine because I've had TM fail just often enough to mean I have to double or triple up on backups. Let this force some good habits on us: redundant backups, resist updates, learn how to reformat your computer from scratch... etc. I do feel for non-tech people who have to suffer this but maybe their ignorance is sometimes bliss.

     

    Remember kids, it's only 2012. We don't have hover cars and things don't always (often) "just work" ... proceed accordingly

     

    <Edited By Host>

  • David Schwab Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 1:39 PM (in response to John Baughman)

    John Baughman wrote:

     

    I can understand your frustration.  But your post displays such an infantile response to this issue .  "Fix this problem now Apple or I won't love you anymore".  I've been using Macs since 1985.  Guess what?  For the vast majority of those years Apple didn't offer Time Machine backups.  Yet I somehow survived.  I don't think anyone should depend on TM as the sole means of backing up important data.  It is a very useful adjunct but not an essential feature of the OS that must be working perfectly for someone to stay with the fairer platform.  If TM is such a killer deal for you then I bid you farewell. Otherwise, calm down and back up your data with SuperDuper or Carbon Coppy Cloner.  This issue will eventually be resolved.  This is a normal part of life.  This is not the last issue that will pop up.  After this is resolved there will be something else.  Otherwise there would be no need for the Apple Discussion forums.

     

    John

     

    I didn't read all the posts leading up to this, but I have to agree that while it's frustrating, it's certainly nothing new. For anyone who used Macs a while, as wonderful as they have always been, think back to System 7.5. At any point while you were working, you risked the whole thing locking up on you! Remember startup extension conflicts? Etc., etc.

     

    I think the bottom line here is Time Machine is broken. For some of us nothing was able to fix it. Now I went for years without a regular backup of my drive. I made backups of files and folders, but not the whole thing. I didn't start using Time Machine until fairly recently. I thought it was pretty cool, but when I went for three days without an hourly backup, and nothing seemed to fix it, I decided to move on.

     

    I already had Carbon Copy Cloner, and had recently bought the paid version (just out of gratitude for the many times it saved me from loosing everything), and it's been working better than TM has since I have been on Mountain Lion. It doesn't have the cool interface to viewing archives, but that's OK because it's dependable. It's also a bootable copy and works with Apple restore utility.

     

    At this point I doubt I'd go back to TM even when Apple fixes it. That's OK. I'm a fan of Apple's products, and have been using them since the early 90s, but sometimes third party apps were and are better. I'm certainly not going to jump ship for Windows because a free backup application doesn't work. That would be like cutting off your noise to spite your face!

  • Jardar Abrahamsen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 1:59 PM (in response to BiknSwans)

    BiknSwans wrote:

     

    I tried excluding /.DocumentRevisions-V100, and it didn't help me at all. Have you checked your performance recently?

     

    Yes, and I have experimented a little as well.

     

    So, as you already know, when I make a backup, my Time Machine uses a lot of time to read /.DocumentRevisions-V100, more than an hour every time. And when I added /.DocumentRevisions-V100 to TIme Machine's exclusion list, the first backup used a lot of time to inspect the previous backup of that folder, but the second one did not, nor did the third or fourth backup. And it seems like this solved my problem.

     

    But then I decided to include /.DocumentRevisions-V100 again to see what happened. The first backup was pretty fast. Alas, the second one, and the third one, took more than an hour each.

     

    So once again I have now added /.DocumentRevisions-V100 to the exclusion list. And once again the first backup took more than an hour, but all subsequent backups have been fast. Perhaps I should leave it like this without any more experiments for a while.

     

    sudo fs_usage | grep backupd (or even better: fs_usage -w with a very wide Terminal window) will tell you what Time Machine is doing and where things are slow. Am I the only one where the problem is (the previous backup of) /.DocumentRevisions-V100? I even have this same problem on both my Macs.

     

    My wife doesn't have this problem, but she has another problem. At home we have the same backup disk, my Mac is backed up to one partition, hers to another. When she makes a backup, her backupd actually works its way through my backups without doing anything else than using a lot of time. And when I say "works it way through my backups" I mean all the backups, starting with April 2011. And yes, my partition is in her exclusion lists, both for Time Machine and for Spotlight. Even after a backup has finished, her backupd keeps inspecting my partition.

  • Tech Harmony Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 3:23 PM (in response to David Schwab)

    That's a really interesting exclusion trick @Jardar ... and thanks for the tip on checking where Time Machine is slow... Maybe this will help other people and we will finally get to the bottom of this!

     

    ....

     

    A note on other backup apps. Carbon Copy Cloner is great but it's still only as good as a) your setup and b) your redundancy and c) your backup program.

     

    For (b) redundancy, the goal, in my mind, is to have everything/anything important in three places at all times: 1) the main drive 2) primary backup 3) secondary backup.

     

    Personally, I wouldn't count a rotated backup as being current enough to qualify as the secondary backup...But it depends on what will satisfy this question: How sad will you be if you lose a week's worth of data? A day's worth? An hour's worth?

     

    For me, I'll take a day... having backups run hourly annoys my processors so I don't do that. I use Gmail in Apple Mail and my email drafts get saved often enough. If I'm working on an important project, I might force more frequent backups.

     

    ....

     

    Time Machine was great because it was easy to set up. It was going to be great under Mountain Lion because you could back up to multiple drives to build toward your own redunancy. Recovering from Time Machine is OK. It's good for a hard drive failure because it will recover everything it was. If your OS is going bonkers, you don't really want to recover everything as it was but there are some good recovery methods you can still use with TM. I rarely had to go back an hour or day to recover something (universal undo lost on me in this case) and I never used the cosmic interface to recover something (I just went to the folders and found the date that I needed).

     

    I use a helper called TimeMachineEditor to force Time Machine to run only once a day (it can be schedule to run however often you want).

     

    One major problem is that Time Machine is not very communicative when it fails or why it fails... it will warn you after some days and that might be sufficient for most.

     

    The other problem is that I've had Time Machine fail me a small handful of times ...meaning, I got all the way to the point of needing to recover a computer from it, only to find it was unusable, unmountable, and generallly inaccessible.

     

    Carbon Copy Cloner is great because you can schedule it, it will email you failures or errors (successes too, if you'd like at first)... I liked being able to create a bootable clone of my computers that I can literally boot to within minutes of a hard drive failure. I like being able to create disk images of my main machine that I can more easily copy to other drives. For awhile I was imaging my machines and then duping the images to another resource that I took offline. Or once you get your computer set up perfectly, you can image it somewhere else and then if anything goes to pot, you can resurrect your computer to the pristine state, adding back only those files you created later. CCC also offers good garbage/deletion handling. I just really like the creator of the program... it was free for the longest time -- a real gift for us users -- and so now I'm happy to pay for it.

     

    Personally, I've always used Chronosync which does scheduling, emails you detailed failures, warns of data corruption (it has an extra verify step that takes twice as long but doesn't bug me at 4am in the morning ) ... I don't use Chronosync to back up the operating system or Applications folder (which is why CCC is so good) but I love knowing I have a pristine copy of my user folder that checks itself. The scheduling, alerts, and fitlers have been robust (you can exclude things in powerful ways, etc). I feel much more trusting of this with massive external media towers than Apple's proprietary Time Machine that is obviously doing a lot of fancy stuff it can't keep up with itself. Chronosync also gives you detailed archive/old-file management where you can thoroughly dictate when deleted files should be destroyed.

     

    ....

     

    Still, you have to set things up so that you know when they are working or not working. There's nothing you can really trust completely. There's a case to be made for using an offsite/online backup service (although that seems like it would be super-slow and somewhat harrowing for security/privacy reasons) but any way you cut it, you can't rely on one single backup plan. Set up two! I mean, you CAN and obviously most people will -- they just started using Time Machine after all -- but eventually you will get burned, and possibly badly. The problems I've seen over a relatively small sample size make me certain of this.

     

    I didn't even mention good old hard drive failure. Say your backup drive goes belly up...I've had more than a few situations where both the backup drive AND the main drive choked! Or that a given backup system faithfully reproduced the corruptions from the main drive! Maybe this doesn't seem possible or common but that's the fallacy of the future. We're not there yet. Always cover your bass.

  • Joe White Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 9:10 PM (in response to ep77)

    Have a client who just upgraded to new (2011) iMacs, TM over Gigabit Ethernet was painfully slow. Found this thread, and as soon as I hit Apply on the switch from DHCP to Static (same address), the throughput shot up to 22MBs.

  • David Schwab Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 18, 2012 9:26 PM (in response to Tech Harmony)

    Tech Harmony wrote:

     

    A note on other backup apps. Carbon Copy Cloner is great but it's still only as good as a) your setup and b) your redundancy and c) your backup program.

     

    Carbon Copy Cloner is the backup program! It will do multiple backups to different drives. I have it do a full backup of my hard drive to my backup drive, which is what Time Machine did. Then I also have it do a backup of my iTunes media folder to a different external hard drive. If I had a third external hard drive, I could have it do two full backups.

     

    What I do instead is back up different important folders. One to DropBox. Another to SkyDrive, and a redundant copy of those with Secure backup and Share which is part of Comcast service.

     

    The only thing carbon Copy Cloner does do that Time Machine did is;

     

    a) it doesn't have the cool interface for browsing backups

    b) it actually works, and works quickly.

     

  • BiknSwans Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2012 6:16 AM (in response to Jardar Abrahamsen)

    Jardar Abrahamsen wrote:

     

    sudo fs_usage | grep backupd (or even better: fs_usage -w with a very wide Terminal window) will tell you what Time Machine is doing and where things are slow. Am I the only one where the problem is (the previous backup of) /.DocumentRevisions-V100? I even have this same problem on both my Macs.

     

     

     

    Thanks Jardar.  I just did a Time Machine backup after opening Terminal and using the command "sudo fs_usage | grep backupd".  The backup stalled almost immediately after transferring just a few kb of data.  After several minutes the data moved rapidly.  Then it stalled again during "cleaning up".

     

    Whenever the data stopped moving, there were many lines in the Terminal window like this:

     

    09:00:40  unlink            /2012-12-18-075247/SwansiMacHD/private/var/spool/postfix/maildrop/D76742ED931     0.012423 W backupd    

    09:00:40    RdMeta[ST]                                                                                        0.009167 W backupd    

    09:00:40    RdMeta[ST]                                                                                        0.009687 W backupd    

    09:00:40  unlink            /2012-12-18-075247/SwansiMacHD/private/var/spool/postfix/maildrop/D769E2BDD2C     0.019133 W backupd    

    09:00:40    RdMeta[ST]                                                                                        0.009476 W backupd    

    09:00:40  unlink            /2012-12-18-075247/SwansiMacHD/private/var/spool/postfix/maildrop/D76C51522DF     0.009699 W backupd    

    09:00:40    RdMeta[ST]                                                                                        0.009990 W backupd    

     

    The lines above were copied from the section of the output when TM was 'cleaning up'.  The following lines are typical of the ones that appeared earlier during the backing up phase:

     

    08:52:00  link              /2012-12-19-064103/SwansiMacHD/private/var/spool/postfix/maildrop/B59F92000C7     0.020406 W backupd    

    08:52:00  getattrlist       -9015-23661B01F4D5/SwansiMacHD/private/var/spool/postfix/maildrop/B59F92000C7     0.000035   backupd    

     

    This doesn't help me, but it might ring a bell for someone on the forum.  I vaguely remember using a different email program to send customized emails to our club members and it used postfix.  This was something like 5 years and one computer ago.

1 ... 29 30 31 32 33 ... 44 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (24)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.