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time machine won't backup

2810 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 30, 2013 9:38 AM by Eric Root RSS
arizonadonn Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 22, 2013 4:22 PM



I updated the OS X today and erased my external hard drive.


Time machine doesn't seem to want to run properly.


It says 'preparing backup' for at least 25 minutes and just keeps working.


Is this normal?


The computer appears to still be indexing and says it's going to take another three hours.


Should I wait until that completes and then re-try Time Machine?



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4 (2,745 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 22, 2013 4:23 PM (in response to arizonadonn)

    Mine did that too.

    Turn TM off in your System Prefs.

    Erase the disc again.

    Unmount it.

    Remount it.

    Open TM Prefs.

    Choose it again

    It'll begin the backup.

  • Scott Player Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Oct 22, 2013 4:24 PM (in response to arizonadonn)

    Just be patient

  • Bob Gold Level 4 Level 4 (1,360 points)
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    Oct 29, 2013 12:10 PM (in response to arizonadonn)



    For what it's worth, I had the same problem...TM seemed to hang in the preparing backup mode. 


    I opened Console, and saw a message:


    BLM[187] ( Throttling respawn: Will start in 9 seconds


    This process kept repeating itself, and seemed to keep Time Machine from properly preparing...  A google search showed that the was trying to update an HP help file after the update to Mavericks...


    I went into the HD/Library/LaunchAgents folder, and deleted the plist file, rebooted my computer.  The respawn message went away, and my Time Machine backup began normally...


    Normally your Library folders are invisible, since you really ought not muck about in them.  However you can make them visible by clicking on View>Show View Options and check the "Show Library Folder" box...


    Hope this helps...



  • cohete loco Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2013 12:14 PM (in response to arizonadonn)

    I had the exact same problem. I even got the message that Bob referenced (though with a different plist). I tried his solution, but the problem just moved to a different file.


    Mine did take forever though... I think it took 12 hrs preparing backup at one point... and then it would run and seemingly hang for hours with nothing listed in console. 

    Eventually, the backup did complete. It's worth noting that for the next several (SEVERAL) backups, it seemed to take forever. The external drive is a 3TB, USB3 drive. The internal drive is a 1TB drive. My latest backup comparitively took no time at all. 7 minutes including pre and post work. (~200MB)

  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (14,035 points)
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    Oct 29, 2013 12:53 PM (in response to arizonadonn)

    There have been a lot of discussion threads about how slow Time Machine is in Mavericks, especially when starting a new backup. For some it has gotten faster with time. Turn it on and let it run overnight after Spotlight stops indexing. For what it is worth, the clock in the menu bar doesn't work on our 2 computers??


    Send Apple feedback. They won't answer, but at least will know there is a problem. If enough people send feedback, it may get the problem solved sooner.


  • KLasc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2013 12:58 PM (in response to arizonadonn)

    same problem: Mavericks installed, Time Machine won't exit Preparing Backup. None of the proposed solutions work for me...

  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (14,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2013 9:38 AM (in response to arizonadonn)

    I guess that starts the SAFE mode.




    Safe Mode


    Safe Mode - About


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