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Time machine not backing up

4465 Views 37 Replies Latest reply: Sep 3, 2013 2:48 PM by Pondini RSS
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Pete1249 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Aug 28, 2013 6:24 AM

I have just noticed that TIme machine has not backed up to my external hard drive for nearly a year.  I have checked and time machine is on, when I ask it to back up it gives a message to say it is preparing for a few seconds and then nothing! Please help

iMac (20-inch Mid 2007), Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,505 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 6:33 AM (in response to Pete1249)

    TM as a lot do after a year...

    Open TM preferences and re-associate the TM-disk.

    http://www.apple.com/support/timemachine/

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 7:41 AM (in response to Pete1249)

    As Lex says, re-select the drive via TM Preferences and try again.

     

    If you're not getting some sort of failure message, a clue may be lurking in your logs.  Use the widget in #A1 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting to display the backup messages from your logs.  Locate the backup in question, then copy and post all the messages here.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 9:36 AM (in response to Pete1249)

    Pete1249 wrote:

    . . .

    Waiting for index to be ready (910>0)

    Formulating crash report for process backupd[1868]

    So it did crash.  That's likely a problem on your Mac, not the external HD.

     

    Start by Verifying your internal HD, per #6 in Using Disk Utility. Report what it says.

     

     

    But it's probably deeper.    Do you have your Leopard Install disc?  Either the one that came with your Mac, or the one you used to upgrade from Tiger or earlier?  You may need it.

     

    I couldn't work out how to cut and paste the whole message!

    For future reference, click in the mesage area of the widget, then press Cmd+A to select All, then Cmd+C to copy to your clipboard. Then you can paste here normally. 

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:13 PM (in response to Pete1249)

    Yup, it does sound like directory damage. 

     

    Try starting in Safe Mode, then Restart normally.  That may fix it.

     

    If it doesn't, are you still running Leopard, or have you upgraded?  If so, to what? 

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:41 PM (in response to Pete1249)

    Pete1249 wrote:

     

    Tried safe mode. It took quite a while to boot up. I tried disk verify again and got spinning ball

    Most likely, you've either got a badly-corrupted or physically-failing drive, although something else may be wrong with the hardware. 

     

    If you can find the Install disc, see if it will start your Mac (insert it and start up while holding the "C" key).  If it does, use the copy of DIsk Utility there to run Repair Disk on it.

     

    If it won't start, or Repair Disk fails, you need service:  Apple - Support and Service Options

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:46 PM (in response to Pete1249)

    Ah, that's good (and surprising).

     

    Try the backup again. 

     

    It will probably fail.  If so, try another port, cable, and combination of the two.  A frayed cable (you can't always see that) or slightly-bent pin in a port can cause all sorts of weird behavior.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 3:05 PM (in response to Pete1249)

    Pete1249 wrote:

     

    . . .

    Formulating crash report for process backupd[605]

    Ok, there might be a clue there.  You need to find the crash report.  See the tan box in OSX Log Files.  It shows how to find your system.log -- instead look for the crash reports (in the red boxes) in the sidebar.  There should be several with backupd in their names.   Expand the sidebar to see the full name.  Select one, preferably the most recent, but they're probably all pretty much the same.

     

    Then see the pink box in the link, showing what sections to copy and post here.

     

    Some aren't as long as the one in the sample;  if it's not several pages, copy it all, but not a "binary Images" section.

     

    The problems continue, I have put in the DVD and get the message

     

    "Mac OS X Upgrade DVD" could not be used as a startup volume.

     

    Should I try the DVD of the original operating system installed when I purchased?

    No.  That's a Tiger disc, and may not be compatible with the Leopard setup.

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