6 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2013 3:19 PM by legolas-woodelf
legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I’m having a few issues with Time Machine. I’ve noticed that backups seem to be getting progressively slower. Details are:

 

System:  17” 1.25Ghz iMac – PowerPC – 10.5.8

Data:  Around 140GB total data over two hard drives:

1st Drive: Internal hard disk

2nd Drive: Smartdisk CrossFire External Firewire 400 Hard Drive

Time Machine Drive: LaCie d2 Quadra Firewire 400 Hard Drive

 

Time Taken for Incremental backup:  Between 6 and 13 minutes, usually around 10 minutes.

 

I’ve tried all the usual things – permissions repair on all drives, deleting the V100 spotlight file on the TM drive in order to rebuild the spotlight database, I’ve tried copying files directly to the TM dive to check the firewire connection and it’s lightening fast.

 

A few days ago I even resorted to re-initializing my entire TM drive, zeroing it out and starting again completely.

 

At first this improved things slightly. Before I started again, my backups were taking 20 minutes plus, but afterwards it went down to between 6 and 8 minutes, but now it’s slowly creeping up again.

 

In terms of data, all I’m doing is checking emails and using the web and maybe the odd word processing. I haven’t done any heavy video editing for ages and don’t download music or movies so there aren’t massive amounts of data flying about. Backup sizes are often as low as1.5 megabytes.

 

Before I started having these problems, I’m sure a standard incremental backup would take little more than one minute and often even less than that.

 

So what can I do to fix this? The system really grinds when TM is backing up which is fine if it’s for one minute but a real pain if it’s spending 15 or 20 percent of the time churning though backups.

 

Any help or advice gratefully received. 


Mac OS X (10.5.8), 17" iMac PPC G4 1.25 GHz 10.5.8
  • 1. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (57,005 points)

    For all things Time Machine see Pondini’s excellent Information Here...

     

    http://pondini.org/TM/Troubleshooting.htm

     

     

    Question:

     

    How old is your LaCie...?

     

    Mine lasted 3 years and 4 months as a TM Drive before I had to replace it.

  • 2. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've had a look at Pondini's page and it is indeed quite comprehensive, but having tried everything on there that's speed related, nothing seems to have made much difference.

     

    As for my LaCie, it's about two and a half years old and is divided into five partitions of which TM is the last and largest. Unfortunately it doesn't support S.M.A.R.T status, but the fact that I can write and read to and from it at high speed outside of Time Machine suggests it's ok. (Note that I only do that for testing - the TM partition is TM and nothing else).

  • 3. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My backups are starting to crawl again; 17 minutes, 13 minutes, I even had one that took 38 minutes!

     

    Having started again from scratch and tried everything I can find on the web, I'm rather at a loss. The only thing I can do is alter the backup interval so that my system backs up less often. Very frustrating.

     

    To that end, I've tried TimeMachineEditor, but since that partially disables the control panel for TM it's somewhat inelegant.

     

    Looking on the web I can see there are some sudo terminal command lines that I can try, but I confess they scare me somewhat as I'm not well versed with programming.

     

    Which got me thinking - can't I just take a copy of the com.apple.backupd-auto.plist file from system/library/LaunchDaemons, edit it using TextEdit and alter the 3600 (1 hour) to 7200 (2 hours), then replace the original with the edited version, keeping the original in a non-system folder as a backup?

     

    Would that work, and if not why not?

     

    Again, any thoughts or advice gratefully received.

  • 4. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Still struggling with this one.

     

    Here's the log from the most recent backup, taken from Time Machine Buddy widget:

     

     

     

    Starting standard backup

    Backing up to: /Volumes/LC 5 Time Machine/Backups.backupdb

    No pre-backup thinning needed: 175.4 MB requested (including padding), 77.57 GB available

    Copied 5 files (15.7 MB) from volume CrossFire 2 Movies Photos.

    Copied 5933 files (37.0 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    No pre-backup thinning needed: 136.8 MB requested (including padding), 77.52 GB available

    Copied 5 files (0 bytes) from volume CrossFire 2 Movies Photos.

    Copied 5933 files (4.5 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    Starting post-backup thinning

    No post-back up thinning needed: no expired backups exist

    Backup completed successfully.

     

     

     

    As you can see, these are small amounts of data with no problems reported, but the backup took 12 minutes 31 seconds!

     

    Is there a reason it seems to be backing up twice each time?

     

    As ever, thoughts or advice most welcome.

  • 5. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Another backup report:

     

     

    Starting standard backup

    Backing up to: /Volumes/LC 5 Time Machine/Backups.backupdb

    No pre-backup thinning needed: 151.7 MB requested (including padding), 77.57 GB available

    Copied 5 files (0 bytes) from volume CrossFire 2 Movies Photos.

    Copied 6016 files (17.3 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    No pre-backup thinning needed: 137.2 MB requested (including padding), 77.54 GB available

    Copied 5 files (0 bytes) from volume CrossFire 2 Movies Photos.

    Copied 6016 files (4.8 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.

    Starting post-backup thinning

    No post-back up thinning needed: no expired backups exist

    Backup completed successfully.

     

     

    No problems reported, yet it took 21 minutes to complete!

     

    Something's wrong, surely.

     

    Stuff I've tried:

     

    Repair/verify permissions on all drives;

    Safe Boot;

    Clear out caches and tidy up using Onyx;

    Run Daily, Weekly and Monthly scripts;

    Erase TM partition, zero out completely and start again;

    Force spotlight database rebuilds on all drives;

    Delete com.apple.TimeMachine.plist from top level Library/preferences folder;

    Tell TM to ignore .dropbox file;

    Copied a 1gb file to the TM drive manually to check FireWire 400 data transfer. It took around one minute 20 seconds which seems ok to me;

    Told my antivirus VirusBarrier X6 (which I've been using without issues for years) to ignore the TM drive.

     

    I'm at a loss. Something must be wrong, but I'm completely out of ammo.

     

    Thoughts?

    Advice?

    Anyone?

  • 6. Re: Time Machine Getting Slower ... and sloowweerr ... and sllooowwe...?
    legolas-woodelf Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, it's early days, but I may have fixed it.

     

    In addition to the above, tonight I tried the following:

     

    Start a backup manually;

    Switch TM off halfway through;

    Delete the .InProgress file near the top level of the TM drive;

    Switch TM on again.

     

    Then, a little later, I logged out of another user account only to find that the login window didn't appear in front of the star backdrop (an ongoing issue but I seldom use other accounts on my machine so it isn't a problem) meaning I had no choice but to switch the computer off at the power button.

     

    Once rebooted, and a manual backup kicked off, it went to a "deep traversal" backup as you would expect which appeared to complete but the log in Time Machine Buddy just gives up halfway so I don't quite know what it did.

     

    But thereafter backup times have been much more realistic at:

     

    0'41"

    3'23" (though I was using the FireWire buss for other stuff while it was backing up)

    2'09"

     

    All the most recent ones prior to tonight have been around fifteen minutes, so the above durations are a huge improvement.

     

    As I say it's early days and I have no idea how what I did tonight could be more effective than wiping the TM drive and starting again (which I'd already tried several days ago).

     

    Fingers crossed that it will keep working.