11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2008 11:33 AM by sneebish
Wayne M. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
For the second time, my Time Machine backup partition reports errors when I try to mount it (exists on my external hard drive via USB).

As soon as I plug in the USB external, I get this error:
*Disk Repair*
The disk "Backup" was not repairable by this computer. It is being made available to you with limited functionality. You must back up your data and reformat the disk as soon as possible.

I tried looking at it through Disk Utility, and I found "Repair Disk" grayed out, and when I click on "Verify Disk", the output is:
Verifying volume “Backup”
Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
Checking Extents Overflow file.
Checking Catalog file.
Checking multi-linked files.
Incorrect number of file hard links
Checking Catalog hierarchy.
Checking Extended Attributes file.
Incorrect number of Extended Attributes
(It should be 29855 instead of 29853)
Incorrect number of Access Control Lists
(It should be 29855 instead of 29853)
Checking multi-linked directories.
Incorrect number of directory hard links
Checking volume bitmap.
Checking volume information.
The volume Backup needs to be repaired.

Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.

Its worked fine for about 1.5 months since it did this last. My other partition on the external hard drive has always been fine.

Any ideas on the causes of this, or how to fix this aside from reformatting every 1.5 months?

Thanks in advance for your help!

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2 GHz CPU, 1 GB SDRAM
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    Do you properly eject the disk before unplugging it?
    Do you use the drive on any other machines?
    It could be that your external drive has some bad sectors and should be checked independently of your machine.
    When you reformatted it did you erase the free space?
    Does the drive have S.M.A.R.T capability? DU will show you if it does.
  • Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,805 points)
    The volume Backup needs to be repaired.
    Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.


    I think this may well mean that filesystem is corrupted to an extent that Disk Utility ( and fsck) cannot resolve since the repair button is grayed out. For 10.4 Diskwarrior could be recommended as a repair utility, but it isn't very compatible with 10.5 and so is very much try at your own risk. This may well mean you are back to square one.
  • Wayne M. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the responses!

    To answer some of your questions...

    re: Do you properly eject the disk before unplugging it?
    If you mean right click on eject all partitions to unmount, then yes. And unless its by coincidence, the other partition (FAT32) is fine and always has been. The external has also worked for months in Tiger, which is why I was suspecting a Time Machine issue.

    re: Do you use the drive on any other machines?
    Nope.

    re: When you reformatted it did you erase the free space?
    Hm, I'm pretty sure I just did the default format which may not have over-written everything with 0's. If I do end up formatting again, I'll try a full format.

    re: Does the drive have S.M.A.R.T capability?
    It does not. The drive is a WD2500KS.
  • Wayne M. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I wasn't able to find a band-aid solution, so I zero'd out the entire disk, and repartitioned. This time I used the GUID partition map scheme, which an Apple doc mentioned to use with Time Machine and Intel-based Macs as opposed to MBR type...if this works, shouldn't Time Machine have a check for that??

    Thanks again for your thoughts.
  • Peggy Lynn Level 4 Level 4 (2,470 points)
    +if this works, shouldn't Time Machine have a check for that?+

    Yes, it should. There was a fix for some drives in the 10.5.1 update. That might be the explanation if you started using Time Machine before the update:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306907
    Addresses formatting issues with certain drives used with Time Machine (specifically, single-partition MBR drives greater than 512 GB in size as well as NTFS drives of any size and partition scheme).
  • Ewen Level 6 Level 6 (11,805 points)
    I wasn't able to find a band-aid solution, so I zero'd out the entire disk, and repartitioned.


    I know, Leopard breaks all the popular solutions, e.g. Diskwarrior .

    This time I used the GUID partition map scheme, which an Apple doc mentioned to use with Time Machine and Intel-based Macs as opposed to MBR type...if this works, shouldn't Time Machine have a check for that??


    Yes, the GUID partition scheme is recommended by Apple on the support site now. You could argue that it should have been picked up earlier (it isn't mentioned in 10.5 help files), though by making these types of post and sending Apple bug reports/ feedback they may well try to improve the situation.
  • Wayne M. Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This problem was solved for a solid amount of time, but on Feb 1, I got the same error again just in my regular use of my external harddrive. So I reformatted my Time Machine partition (note that my other partition on the same external as FAT32 has been perfect since I bought the external harddrive). And tonight when I upgraded to 10.5.2, the first thing I get when I plug in my external is a message saying "Disk Repair Error" on my Time Machine Partition. My FAT32 partition is fine.

    Here is Disk Utility's output:

    Verifying volume “Backup”
    Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Incorrect number of file hard links
    Checking Catalog hierarchy.
    Checking Extended Attributes file.
    Invalid node structure
    Volume check failed.

    Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.

    Honestly, what is the deal? Time Machine is getting pretty useless, not to mention ridiculous. Am I the only one facing this issue?? I'm not crossing out the possibility of a faulty drive, but my one snag is that the FAT32 partition has worked without issue since my purchase.

    Thoughts?
  • Darth Level 3 Level 3 (630 points)
    I'm still on 10.5.1 and just noticed very similar errors tonight. Time Machine had been behaving appropriately up until now. I was able to repair the disk with Disk Utility but the next backup also failed. I'll probably wipe the drive and start over, although I agree with you, this significantly reduces the utility of Time Machine if I lose the last 2 weeks worth of backups. We'll see.

    Darth
  • llee Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    I've been continually plagued by the same problem since I first began using Time Machine and Leopard, although I am able to repair with Disk Warrior 4.1 and successfully run Time Machine again. But I suspect that restoring an entire partition from a Time Machine backup might yield unexpected results, because the error appears whenever I use Disk Utility to try to repair the Time Machine volume. I have many files on the boot partition I'm backing up (over 650,000) and I suspect that the Time Machine routine may not be robust enough to successfully manage a hierarchy so complex.

    Laine
  • Corey McNabb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've had a very similar problem. When I tried to put Leopard on the first time, it wiped out my hard drive directory... Disk Warrior to the rescue. I then bought a brand new internal SATA drive and an external firewire drive for the back up. I formatted both drives and did a fresh install of Leopard on the internal. So far so good-ish. All other weird Leopard bugs and issues aside for now, I am now getting the error message that my Time Machine backup drive (which has been working fine) is irreparable and needs to be formated as soon as possible.

    I have the back up drive partitioned and the non-Time-Machine-backup partition, that is the normal simply-storage partition is working fine. The Verify Disk Permissions, Repair Disk Permissions, and Repair Disk are greyed out in Disk Utility. Here's what I get when I Verify Disk.

    Verifying volume “G5 Backup”
    Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Invalid catalog record type
    Volume check failed.

    Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed.
    Verifying volume “Scratch”
    Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Checking Catalog hierarchy.
    Checking Extended Attributes file.
    Checking volume bitmap.
    Checking volume information.
    The volume Scratch appears to be OK.

    Is a re-format of the back up drive my only option? How did this happen? and How can I prevent this from happening again?

    Thanks!



    Message was edited by: Corey McNabb

    Message was edited by: Corey McNabb
  • sneebish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you to everyone who has posted about this issue -- it just happened to me AGAIN this morning (this is my 3rd time), after I installed the 10.5.2 update. The first two times were right after I hooked up my external Iomega 500GB drive to use with Time Machine and I thought it was something I was doing. Then it seemed to work fine for a couple months so I thought the problem was over. Guess not! It is frustrating because I just lost about 2 months worth of backups. So finally I searched Apple's discussion forums and saw that I am not alone. However, no one was really posting a solution other than to say "reformat the drive".

    So I did a Google search about this topic and encountered the following article. I have just gone through the steps he outlines and although I won't know for awhile if it works, I figure at this point it can't hurt to try. I hope this proves useful to others as well. (One note -- in his article, he says to skip the Erase tab and go right to the Partition tab. If you don't see the Partition tab, first erase your corrupt Time Machine backup disk and then follow his steps.)

    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/apple/leopard-disk-utility-format-issue-screws-with-t ime-machine-but-theres-an-easy-fix-316573.php

    Cheers ~