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HT3275: Time Machine: Troubleshooting backup issues

Learn about Time Machine: Troubleshooting backup issues

HT3275 Time Machine error. Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying files to the backup volume. Tried restarting, remounting external WD drive. Still cannot backup.

3936 Views 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 3, 2014 10:37 AM by noglider RSS
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Jeffrey Freeman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 29, 2013 7:34 AM

Time Machine quit backing up files. Bought a new WD external drive. Worked for awhile, then quit backing up. Tried restarting computer, remounting drive. Message: Time Machine Error. Unable to complete backup. An error occurred when copying files. Suggestions?

Leopard, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Hi Jeffrey,

     

    Open Disk Utility & try repairing the external drive.

     

    Have you looked through Pondini's extensive TM help site?

     

    http://Pondini.org/TM/FAQ.html

     

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

     

    Can't imagine something not being covered there.

  • David Strumsky Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Here's the Pondini site link that helped me with a similar Time Machine external drive problem:

     

    http://pondini.org/TM/A4.html

     

    Very simple help, practically fool-proof instructions (this, from an old fool).

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Jeffrey Freeman wrote:

    . . .

    Time Machine Error. Unable to complete backup. An error occurred when copying files.

    Not exactly one of Apple's better messages. 

     

    Most likely, there's a problem with a particular file. See #C3 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.   It will show you how to locate the message(s) that describe the problem, then help you fix it.    If that doesn't help, post back with details, including all the messages, what you've done, and the results.

  • David Strumsky Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Ohh, I spoke too soon. The re-set of Time Machine didn't help me. Could anyone help or advise?...

     

    My error message is "Time Machine could not complete the backup. Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup folder." (It's the same error message showing on pondini.org/TM/C2.html, but unfortunately it's not specifically addressed there other than that, that I can see.)

     

    I pulled up the log message from Time Machine Buddy and it seems to me even more vague and unhelpful:

     

    Starting standard backup

    Backing up to: /Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb

    Error: (22) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.HostUUID path:/Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb/David’s iMac size:37

    Backup failed with error: 2

     

    This is a iMac OSX 10.7.5.

    It's my first attempt at using Time Machine.

    I bought a new Buffalo USB-connected external 2T drive, used DU to reformat the drive, and partitioned it into two equal-size sections (GUID): "TMBackups" and "Buffalo Stuff".

     

    Reading the pondini.org site's pages, I re-set TM preferences by tossing out the old file. I've "excepted" any P2P areas (which I don't use anyway), and the Dropbox folder, from backups.

     

    If I reboot the computer and use DU to fix preferences, I can resume doing backups - I'm not sure which if any of those procedures makes the difference.

     

    Could the external drive be somehow "falling asleep" and blocking the backup process? These failure notices happen daily to me, usually in the mornings (while I'm away at work) - note, I disabled the power-saving system preference so the main drive's not falling asleep.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    David Strumsky wrote:

    . . .

    My error message is "Time Machine could not complete the backup. Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup folder." (It's the same error message showing on pondini.org/TM/C2.html, but unfortunately it's not specifically addressed there other than that, that I can see.)

    #C10 does, but may not have a permanent fix.

     

     

     

    Error: (22) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.HostUUID path:/Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb/David’s iMac size:37

     

    That's Apple's tech-speak for: TM can't update an extended attribute on an existing folder on the backup drive.

     

     

    I re-set TM preferences by tossing out the old file. I've "excepted" any P2P areas (which I don't use anyway), and the Dropbox folder, from backups.

     

    Good try, but unlikely to help.   Seems to be some sort of access or hardware problem between your Mac and the TM drive.

     

     

    Could the external drive be somehow "falling asleep" and blocking the backup process?

     

    Possibly.  See below.

     

     

     

    These failure notices happen daily to me, usually in the mornings (while I'm away at work) - note, I disabled the power-saving system preference so the main drive's not falling asleep.

     

    Some externals respect that setting, some do not.  I have no idea whether the Buffalo does.

     

    One thing that might clarify the situation is to use the Console app to look directly at your system.log, as there may be other messages sent by a low-level process that caused TM to send the one above.  If you're not familiar with your logs, see the tan box in OSX Log Files to locate your system.log, then the blue box to decipher it.  Look for the messages you saw in the widget (at about the time shown in the widget's toolbar), then see if there are other messages with dire-sounding things like I/O error, failed, exited abnormally, etc.  If so, copy and post them here (not pages of stuff).

     

    Message was edited by: Pondini

  • David Strumsky Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Thanks so very much for your help!! I'm boggled by it and now just about ready to dump the whole idea of Time Machine and backup using a cloning program. Maybe TM is only guaranteed to work well with Time Capsule these days?

     

    Today there again was no backup. I did as you suggested, looked into Console. It showed many lines of "(Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup" and also repeatedly "(Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch...".

     

    So I created a marker and attempted to initiate a backup, keeping Console open and refreshed. Here's what I got:

     

    8/19/13 5:18:40.385 PM Console:  Marker - Aug 19, 2013 5:18:40 PM

    8/19/13 5:19:48.844 PM com.apple.backupd: Starting standard backup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.484 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.484 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.484 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.494 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.502 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.506 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.508 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:38ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.510 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:40ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.511 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:41ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.511 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:41ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:00.511 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:41ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    8/19/13 5:20:20.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58091.976          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:20:51.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58122.985          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:21:22.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58153.992          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:21:53.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58185.  2          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:22:24.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58216. 14          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:22:55.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58247. 25          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:23:26.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58278. 41          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:23:57.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58309. 51          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:24:28.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58340. 59          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:24:59.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58371. 68          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:25:30.275 PM xpchelper: for uid: 501 -- timeout while waiting on FSEvents flush; clearing cache.

    8/19/13 5:25:30.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58402. 82          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:26:01.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58433. 96          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:26:32.027 PM com.apple.backupd: Backing up to: /Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb

    8/19/13 5:26:32.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58464.112          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:27:02.653 PM com.apple.backupd: Error: (22) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.HostUUID path:/Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb/David’s iMac size:37

    8/19/13 5:27:02.657 PM com.apple.backupd: Error: (22) setxattr for key:com.apple.backupd.HostUUID path:/Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb/David’s iMac size:37

    8/19/13 5:27:03.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58495.121          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    8/19/13 5:27:12.668 PM com.apple.backupd: Backup failed with error: 2

     

    During this 9-minute timeframe Finder also was inoperative - according to Activity Monitor: "Not Responding".

     

    I'm thinking it's the standalone Buffalo backup drive not waking up, and so everything comes to a screeching halt. Do you also think I should abandon TM and just do manual backups every day using a clone program?

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    David Strumsky wrote:

     

    Thanks so very much for your help!! I'm boggled by it and now just about ready to dump the whole idea of Time Machine and backup using a cloning program.

    It's always prudent to make "secondary" backups, and more so if your main ones are suspect.  So by all means do that anyway.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #27.

     

     

    Maybe TM is only guaranteed to work well with Time Capsule these days?

    No, it works just fine on all supported destinations -- at least absent other hardware/software problems.

     

    8/19/13 5:19:48.844 PM com.apple.backupd: Starting standard backup

    8/19/13 5:20:00.484 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    That's coming from mds, the works behind Spotlight.  Looks like some sort of indexing problem, likely on the TM drive.   Try erasing and reformatting it again, but take the time to do a 1-pass "zero-out" erase.  Doubtful that will catch anything, but if it's unable to write zeros to the entire disk, you know there's a problem.  Unfortunately, if it succeeds, that doesn't necessarily mean the drive is ok.

     

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask: 0x7fd15ce03400>{taskID:0x0000103a age:37ms} (not live not complete) _kMDItemQueryPath=418546

    Ditto.

     

     

    8/19/13 5:20:20.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58091.976          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    Out of my comfort zone, but looks like some data not being confirmed as received properly on a USB channel.

     

     

    8/19/13 5:26:32.027 PM com.apple.backupd: Backing up to: /Volumes/TMBackups/Backups.backupdb

    TM has contacted the drive, found the backups, decided what needs backing-up, etc., and should start actual copying. 


    8/19/13 5:26:32.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58464.112          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

    But immediately, these start again.

     

     

    I'm thinking it's the standalone Buffalo backup drive not waking up, and so everything comes to a screeching halt.

    Sure looks like the drive is involved, but exactly what it's doing isn't clear.  Sounds like it's awake, though.

     

    Have you tried different ports, cables, and combinations of the two?  Sometimes a plug that works fine in one port may not make good contact in another.  It may also be the drive or enclosure -- like anything mass-produced they're sometimes defective "out of the box."

     

    Do you have another drive you can try?  If not, you really should have one for those secondary backups anyway . . .

     

     

    Do you also think I should abandon TM and just do manual backups every day using a clone program?

    No.  If this is really a hardware problem, anything you try to do is suspect. 

  • David Strumsky Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Wow, thanks for taking the time! It's really a stress relief for me.

     

    Your comment about Spotlight is something I can jump on, by re-indexing perhaps too. Although I thought TM backups are excluded from Spotlight...? That whole partition is dedicated to TM. Hmmm

     

    So I will also erase as you prescribed and reformat the Buffalo external drive, too.

     

    You think it *is* awake, eh? I see what you mean, but that sure kicks my whole approach in the boot. The drive is directly connected so I'll go buy a replacement cable (for the one that came with the drive) and see if that helps, and switch ports on the back of the HD.

     

    It does seem like there is more than one thing messing up, here. But they all seem like such long shots. Oh well.

     

    Your suggestion is about a secondary backup made me laugh... I hate to be any more anal than I am, and have fought the idea of dual backups for that reason. After all, it's just my home computer not my business one. Amazing that half-baked technology encourages us toward anal-obsessive tendencies, isn't it? It's because we live so near the edge and aren't even aware of it usually.

     

    Thanks ever so much for helping! You're great!! I'll just try to keep figuring it out since it's too late now to take the drive back.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    David Strumsky wrote:

    . . .

    Your comment about Spotlight is something I can jump on, by re-indexing perhaps too. Although I thought TM backups are excluded from Spotlight...? That whole partition is dedicated to TM. Hmmm

    No, TM backups must be indexed to work properly.  You can exclude the drive/partition they're on (so any other stuff there will be excluded), but the actual backups will be indexed (usually as part of the backup process).  On later versions of OSX, you get a message to that effect when you drag it to System Prefs > Spotlight > Privacy:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 11.36.08 PM.png

     

     

    You think it *is* awake, eh? I see what you mean, but that sure kicks my whole approach in the boot.

    Not sure, but looks like it.

     

     

    The drive is directly connected so I'll go buy a replacement cable (for the one that came with the drive) and see if that helps, and switch ports on the back of the HD.

    In the meantime, try just swapping ends.  Might work.

     

    Your suggestion is about a secondary backup made me laugh... I hate to be any more anal than I am, and have fought the idea of dual backups for that reason. After all, it's just my home computer not my business one. Amazing that half-baked technology encourages us toward anal-obsessive tendencies, isn't it? It's because we live so near the edge and aren't even aware of it usually.

    "just my home computer" can have priceless pictures, home videos, etc.  While it's rare for both a Mac to fail or be lost or stolen, and a backup drive to fail, etc., at the same time, it does happen now and then.  Many of us have multiple onsite and offsite backups.  Having learned the hard way, my motto is Paranoia is Prudent!

     

     

    Thanks ever so much for helping! You're great!! I'll just try to keep figuring it out since it's too late now to take the drive back.

    Not if it's defective -- it should be in warranty for at least a year.  If we can't get it to work, you should contact the maker.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    You're blessed with the best TM helper on the planet, likely knows more about TM than Ap;ple does!

     

    I still vote it the worst most cantankerous backup app of all time though.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    Yeah, it just can't fix a failing HD. How tacky. 

     

     

    Seriously though, any idea if my speculation about this is anywhere in the ball park?

     

    8/19/13 5:26:32.000 PM kernel: USBF:          58464.112          AppleUSBEHCI[0xffffff800a927000]::Found a transaction past the completion deadline on bus 0xfd, timing out! (Addr: 7, EP: 1)

     

    Not to mention:

    8/19/13 5:25:30.275 PM xpchelper: for uid: 501 -- timeout while waiting on FSEvents flush; clearing cache.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Well, to possibly find out which USB/BT device that is, there should be an addy in System Report>Hardware>USB...

    USBLocationID.gif

    Though I didn't see Garmin ANT listed, it's caused a nearly identical message, so not sure if it's the Drive or not yet...

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3947420?start=0&tstart=0

     

    I wonder why Spotlight is involved with a TM volume?

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    BDAqua wrote:

    . . .

    Though I didn't see Garmin ANT listed, it's caused a nearly identical message, so not sure if it's the Drive or not yet

     

    Or the USB bus or port?

     

     

    I wonder why Spotlight is involved with a TM volume?

    8/19/13 5:20:00.507 PM mds: (Error) DiskStore: No block in wakeup

    Because the backups must be indexed for TM to work properly.   Usually, TM invokes the indexing via mds as it backs up each file (that's why it sometimes catches problems during a backup, rather than them turning up later).

     

    Or, if there's an abnormal disconnection, or the like, it will finish or re-index the backups if necessary.

     

    The indexing is also used when searching in the TM browser, of course.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,670 points)

    Thanks on the Spotlight info.

     

    So with these error, does it mean we should be clearing up problems on the Internal drive & with Spotlight first?...

    mds: (Warning) DiskStore: Ignored bogus fetch for <MDSQueryWithBlockTask

    Or the USB bus or port?

    Yes, it could be that, or...

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