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  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    Unfortunately you were.

    *Using a Time Machine Hard Disk (or Time Capsule) for Other Files*
    Here is Apples’ line on this: “Time Machine works best if you use your backup disk only for Time Machine backups. If you keep files on your backup disk, Time Machine won’t back up those files, and the space available for Time Machine backups will be reduced.” [http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/11430.html]

    So basically, what you want to do is "unsupported". But that hasn't stopped others from successfully partitioning external hard disks and storing data on other partitions. As long as the Time Machine backup has its' own partition, you should be OK.

    However, this is not an option for Time Capsule users as there is not an easy way of partitioning the Time Capsules’ internal had disk without elaborate effort. In this case, use the Time Capsule hard disk solely for Time Machine backups. Then attach an additional hard disk to the Time Capsules USB port and store additional files there. This added disk will still be available to all Macs that can access the Time Capsule. (Note though, that any USB disks attached to the USB port of the Time Capsule can not then be backed up to the Time Capsule via Time Machine. Time Machine will only backup your Macs internal hard disk or any external hard disks physically attached to the Mac. Time Machine can not backup one remote device to another remote device.)

    Hope this clarifies things.

    Cheers!
  • disconnekt Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
    Thanks to all those who have posted advice here. I'm having the same endless "preparing..." issue since updating to 10.5.5 (left the computer for 24 hours and it was still preparing). BTW I have TM set not to backup system files, so the fact that I updated to 10.5.5 should not be a big issue in terms of having to backup all the updated files.

    I've tried looking for the inprogress files to delete but I can't get Finder to open the backup folder. I can navigate to it, but the contents are never revealed (the progress wheel at the bottom of the Finder window spins endlessly).

    I'm currently verifying the volume using Disk Utility and it's taking ages...
  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    Yes, verify/repairing a disk image with Disk Utility will take some time.

    When attempting to do so, or when attempting to access/open the disk image itself, make sure you have stopped the backup process. It may be taking forever for the disk to open because it is in use.
    And of course turn OFF Time Machine via the prefs when attmepting any of this.

    Cheers!
  • disconnekt Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
    Thanks Glenn. I made sure to turn off TM, but only after realizing the repair was taking forever (i.e. about 5 hours after beginning). Now that the TM has been turned off for about an hour, it's telling me that 15 hours remain. YOW!

    How annoying that 10.5.5 messed up my TM on my TC, after so much time and effort spent to get it working right! I hope the repair fixes things, because I don't relish the idea of erasing the disk (therefore losing all of my incremental backups) and starting over (another 24+ hours to complete the first backup).
  • blufire Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am attempting my first TM backup to Time Capsule. and have been stuck at "Preparing..." since yesterday. After reading everyone's tips, here's what I've dealt with:

    -I see the inProgress file in the TM disk image on my desktop, but I cannot delete it. I hear the Trash can sound but the file path doesn't change. I am logged in as Admin, and even tried the "root user" option, but still can't delete.

    -If I reboot my computer and try restarting the backup with the sparsebundle file still inside Time Capsule, I get an error.

    -Can't open the sparsebundle inside the TC. Says something like "Resource unavailable". Tried using Disk Utility, but it won't recognize it.

    The only way to reattempt the backup is by rebooting, then deleting the sparsebundle from TC. Unfortnately that leaves me where I began - stuck again at "Preparing..."

    I am getting desperate here - any help will be appreciated!
  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    blufire,

    You can reformat the hard disk in the Time Capsule.

    Go to Airport Utility --> Manual Setup --> Disks --> Highlight "Time Capsule Disk" on the left --> Click "Erase" on the right.

    Rename the disk and select the level secure erasure. You're done and ready to begin backing up again.

    Now for this next try, I would suggest connecting the TC directly to your Mac via ethernet. It goes much faster and doesn't fail nearly as often as trying to do the initial backup wirelessly.

    Hope this is helpful. Cheers!
  • blufire Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, i was hoping not to have to reformat my TC, since I have a ton of stuff there not currently on my Mac, but I guess I'll gave to consider that option, unless there's an alternative I can try.

    Anyway, thanks for the quick response, Glenn!
  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    blufire,

    Do you have another HD or room on your Mac to move the stuff over? That's one reason why it's not a good idea to have other files on the same drive/partition as the TM backups.

    *Using a Time Machine Hard Disk (or Time Capsule) for Other Files*
    Here is Apples’ line on this: “Time Machine works best if you use your backup disk only for Time Machine backups. If you keep files on your backup disk, Time Machine won’t back up those files, and the space available for Time Machine backups will be reduced.” [http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/11430.html]

    This hasn't stopped some from successfully partitioning Time Machine hard disks and storing data on the other partition. As long as the Time Machine backup has its' own partition, you avoid any potential opportunities for conflict.

    However, this is not an option for Time Capsule users as there is no easy way of partitioning the Time Capsules’ internal hard disk without elaborate effort. Granted, the Time Capsule is advertised as being able to perform both as a Time Machine backup destination and as a shared network drive [Apple Store (U.S.) - Time Capsule - 500 GB]

    Nevertheless, some have experienced problems with maintaining files/folders occupying the same disk as Time Machine backups. In this case, they use the Time Capsule hard disk solely for Time Machine backups. Then attach an external hard disk to the Time Capsules USB port and store additional files there. This added disk will still be available to all Macs that can access the Time Capsule. (Note though, that any USB disks attached to the USB port of the Time Capsule can not then be backed up to the Time Capsule via Time Machine. Time Machine will only backup your Macs internal hard disk or any external hard disks physically attached to the Mac. Time Machine can not backup one remote device to another remote device.)

    Hope this clarifies things.
    Cheers!
  • Jung Yun Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Dear Glenn, thanks for all of your helpful advice on this subject. Unfortunately, my sparsebundle isn't mounting. When I follow your instructions for opening disk utility and selecting the sparsebundle, in the right window of DU, the four options (i.e., "Verify Disk," "Verify Disk Permissions," "Repair Disk," etc.) are all grayed out, so I can't even choose one as an option. (I've left the computer alone for over 90 minutes, hoping it might change (ha!), and still nothing.)

    If it helps, all of this began yesterday, when I brought home my new Macbook Air from the office and thought it would be worthwhile to back it up to the capsule. That backup worked fine. Then this morning, I started having the same problem as everyone else here - the endless preparing to back up - and the message I got when I clicked the info button in the preferences window was "Time Machine Error. The backup volume is read only." Please note - I've since deleted the Macbook sparsebundle, but am loathe to delete my desktop's... no change.

    Any additional advice you can offer would be greatly, greatly appreciated.
    June G
  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    Jung,

    For some this was cleared up with a simple reboot. For others it was not.

    *Cold Reboot the Hard Disk*
    First, unmount the drive from the desktop.
    Power it down.
    Unplug it from the wall socket.
    Disconnect it from the computer.
    Wait 10 seconds.
    Plug it back in to the wall socket.
    Connect it back into the computer.
    Power it back up.

    When it reappears on the desktop try backing up again.
    This simple step has worked for some in this situation.

    Unfortunately, I do not yet have a definitive an answer to the "Read Only" issue. This is an error message that has been appearing for many years, long before Time Machine and the Time Capsule were released.

    If it helps, all of this began yesterday, when I brought home my new Macbook Air from the office and thought it would be worthwhile to back it up to the capsule. That backup worked fine. Then this morning, I started having the same problem as everyone else here - the endless preparing to back up - and the message I got when I clicked the info button in the preferences window was "Time Machine Error. The backup volume is read only." Please note - I've since deleted the Macbook sparsebundle, but am loathe to delete my desktop's... no change.


    This is why I'm convinced that users who experience this error are not necessarily experiencing actual disk errors with their Time Machine drive. You say you get the error when attempting to backup one Mac, but NOT the other Mac. That doesn't make any sense if the drive was corrupted - then ALL of your Macs would fail to backup.

    That's why I'm investigating the possibility that it might be a certain .plist file that has become corrupt. It's an issue I am still doing research on. I wish I could get my hands on one of these drives, but alas, I have not yet experienced the "Ready Only" error.

    I hope this clarifies things for you.

    Cheers!
  • disconnekt Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
    An update on my Disk Utility repair progress: I let it run all night and found it showig 2 days, 17 hours remaining when I woke up, with the progress bar about 1/4 of the way across. It's been like that for the past 4 hours, hasn't moved.

    I dunno if this is worth it. It would probably be faster to wipe the sparsebundle and start a new backup even though I am LOATHE to do that. I love the theoretical simplicity of TM on the TC, but so far it has been nothing but a complete nightmare.
  • hypomorph Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Glenn,

    After a power failure one of two backups on my TC is in perpetual prepare mode. I tried mounting its disk image as you described but after a long wait it says the image cannot be mounted. I also tried using disk utility and it stops verification with a verification failure message (the same for repair).
    Any thoughts on how to rescue that huge backup??

    Thanks
  • Glenn Carter Level 4 Level 4 (3,360 points)
    hypomorph,

    First, since this thread is so long now, it may have been more helpful for you to have started a new post. That would attract more comments to your specific issue.

    First, a few question:

    How long had it been "Preparing..." when you initially stopped it? (A power failure would explain a long "Preparing..." phase.)

    Can you attempt another backup WITHOUT getting an error? (I would let it go about it's business. Sometimes, after a major system event such as yours, Time Machine needs to compare the location of every file because its' own index is not longer 'trustable'. If you're not getting errors then let Time Machine do its' thing, even if it days 24hrs.)

    If you do get errors when attempting backups, post the content of the errors here exactly as they appear. The wording is important in diagnosing the issue. (Post it in a new thread)

    After a power failure one of two backups on my TC is in perpetual prepare mode.


    So you have another Mac backing up to the Time Capsule? You might try verifying/repairing the disk image from the other Mac. Ultimately you may need to reformat and start over, but that is only a last resort.

    Let us know.

    Cheers!
  • petvas Level 2 Level 2 (275 points)
    This is a bug and Apple knows about it. If you like I can also post the Bug ID in the Apple Bug Report Database...
  • Sandra Andina1 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Glenn, good thing I didn't reformat my TC. You suggest connecting via Ethernet to do Time Machine backups? You're KIDDING, aren't you---why on earth would those of us (and I am not the only one by far) who previously had wi-fi routers and external portable hard drives spend $400 on a device advertised as a combination wi-fi router and wireless backup disk if we can't back up to it wirelessly? Isn't backing up wirelessly the whole point of the TC? D*ed if I'm going to go running up and down the stairs (the TC is upstairs, I use my Mac Book downstairs) every hour or two to back up! I'm back to using my old FireLite for TM backups--it's a PITA to keep it from coming loose from its little 1-ft. USB cable (the few times it came loose, it got corrupted and I had to reformat it and start TM from scratch) but at least it's small and light, doesn't hog an outlet, and I can keep it connected to the computer.

    I repeat, Apple advertised this product as a wireless router AND backup device--had I known it wouldn't work that way I'd never have bought it. <edited by host>