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Spotlight constantly indexing and Time Machine endlessly preparing backup

1734 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2013 9:28 AM by Linc Davis RSS
sanderfo Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 18, 2013 7:13 PM

Hi,

 

I have a Macbook Pro 5,5 and Mac OS X 10.8.4

 

Lately I noticed that Spotlight was pretty much constantly indexing, so I went to "System Preferences/Spotlight/Privacy" and I dragged my HD there to prevent Spotlight from indexing it. Then rebooted my laptop and removed my HD again, which caused my Spolight to start indexing again.

 

After a night of indexing, everything seemed to be working fine. Nevertheless, today Spotlight is once again constantly indexing my computer, and the bar just won't go beyond "Estimating Indexing Time". What could I do to solve this issue?


Related to this, I assume, is my inability to backup through Time Machine. I feel like Time Machine is waiting for Spotlight to complete its indexing in order to start  its backup-job, is that correct?

 

Thanks for your help,
Sander

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,380 points)

    If you have more than one user account, these instructions must be carried out as an administrator.

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:

    syslog -k Sender mdworker -o -k Sender mds | grep -v boxd | tail | open -f -a TextEdit

      

    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C).

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V).

     

    The command may take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear.

     

    A TextEdit window will open with the output of the command. If the command produced no output, the window will be empty. Post the contents of the TextEdit window (not the Terminal window), if any — the text, please, not a screenshot. The title of the window doesn't matter, and you don't need to post that.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,380 points)

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:

    mdutil -as | open -f -a TextEdit

      

    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C).

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V).

      

    A TextEdit window will open with the output of the command. If the command produced no output, the window will be empty. Post the contents of the TextEdit window (not the Terminal window), if any — the text, please, not a screenshot. The title of the window doesn't matter, and you don't need to post that.

     

    If any personal information appears in the output, anonymize before posting, but don’t remove the context.

  • nbar Level 5 Level 5 (6,480 points)

    On your second concern regarding TM, info from Pondini's Time Machine Tutorial:

    Backup is slow or seems "hung"

     

    "if indexing in progress, backups will be very slow.  It's often best to cancel the backup, and try again later when Spotlight is done."

     

    I would cancel the backup, disable TM. Reset spotlight and then reindex volume (see below). After that, do the time machine backup.

     

    From the terminal:

     

    sudo mdutil -d /           This will disable indexing completely on boot volume

    sudo mdutil -i on  /         This will reinable

    sudo mdutil -E /              This will erase and rebuild your index

    mdutil -s /                     This will print indexing status and confirm indexing is re-enabled

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,380 points)

    Rebuild the Spotlight index. If you try to search now from the magnifying-glass icon in the top right corner of the display, a pulsing dot will appear in the icon. When the dot disappears, the indexing is complete.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,380 points)

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:

    ls -n /.me* | open -f -a TextEdit

      

    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C).

     

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

     

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

     

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

     

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

     

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V).

     

    A TextEdit window will open with the output of the command. If the command produced no output, the window will be empty. Post the contents of the TextEdit window (not the Terminal window), if any — the text, please, not a screenshot. The title of the window doesn't matter, and you don't need to post that.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,380 points)

    That's normal.

     

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It’s unlikely to solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

    The purpose of the test is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party software that loads automatically at startup or login, or by a peripheral device.

     

    Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode and log in to the account with the problem. Note: If FileVault is enabled, or if a firmware password is set, or if the boot volume is a software RAID, you can’t do this. Ask for further instructions.
       
    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including sound output andWi-Fi on certain iMacs. The next normal boot may also be somewhat slow.

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.

     

    Test while in safe mode. Same problem?

     

    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode) and verify that you still have the problem. Post the results of the test.

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