6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2009 6:30 PM by Pondini
MeatTenderizer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Time Machine worked perfectly for about 10 months. 2-3 months ago, I forgot to backup for maybe two weeks, and when I finally did, it got halfway through the back up and then said that "time machine was unable to complete the backup." I tried a bunch of fixes including deleting the semi-completed backup and repairing the partition or whatnot but none worked. Still like two-three months later it would get halfway through backing up (now several gigs) and fail.

So yesterday I formatted by external hard drive figuring that would solve everything. I go to back up, and the same thing happens. It gets half way through (my entire hard drive this time!) and it fails.

Any idea how I can fix this? I really want to get my stuff backed up...

Help would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

(White) Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • 1. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    MeatTenderizer wrote:
    So yesterday I formatted by external hard drive figuring that would solve everything. I go to back up, and the same thing happens. It gets half way through (my entire hard drive this time!) and it fails.
    Any idea how I can fix this? I really want to get my stuff backed up...


    Hi, and welcome to the forums.

    We really need some more information. First, when you "formatted" your TM drive, just how did you do it -- erase with with Disk Utility? Then set to Mac OS Extended (journaled)? Using the GUID partition scheme for an Intel Mac?

    How do you know it got halfway through?

    What error did you get? Usually the place to start is to go to TM Preferences and get the exact error message, then look here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3275

    If that doesn't help, download the +Time Machine Buddy+ widget. It shows all the messages from one TM backup at a time in a small window. If nothing there gives you a clue, copy and post them here (be sure to get them all, as sometimes they overflow the little window).

    Also, tell us how big your HD is, and how full it is. And how big is your TM drive/partition?

    For future reference, two weeks without a backup is much too long. After a period (I think it's 10 days), TM will no longer do an "incremental" backup; it will do a full backup of your entire HD. This will, of course, take lots of space, possibly filling-up your TM drive much too soon.
  • 2. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    MeatTenderizer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey thanks for the help.

    When I did format my drive I did it with Disk Utility using the settings you stated.

    I know it always got halfway through as I began watching the progress of the backups. It tells how much of how much it has backed up (as in 102 mbs of 2 gigs), and it would always be right around halfway that it would fail.

    The error I got was "Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying files to the backup volume." I followed the instructions at that link (twice) but that failed to work so I decided to format.

    My HD is 500 gigs (though it's obviously a bit less when formatted). The entire HD was devoted to Time Machine. Before I formatted I still had around 380+ gigs left, so I had plenty of space, now it's pretty much empty.

    You know, I don't think it did a full backup. It would say "preparing" for a long time (a LONG time, though I assume that was due to my negligence) but eventually would begin performing an incremental backup (or so I assume from looking at the amount of data that it said it was backing up).
    I just downloaded the Time Machine Buddy widget like you mentioned. I think I’ve tried backing up twice (maybe three times) since reformatting the drive. But anyway, here is the message it gives me – I believe this is from the second time I backed up, which would explain why it is backing up nearly 53 gigs, that would be about half way through my total data:

    Starting standard backup
    Backing up to: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb
    Event store UUIDs don't match for volume: Macintosh HD
    No pre-backup thinning needed: 52.88 GB requested (including padding), 418.37 GB available
    Error: (-36) SrcErr:YES Copying /Users/Name/Movies/movie.avi to (null)
    Error: (-36) SrcErr:NO Copying /Users/Name/Movies/movie.avi to /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/Name Lastname’s Computer/2009-01-25-222535.inProgress/C1E4FB60-0CC2-4B5D-B75F-3F2CA5AE6DE5/Maci ntosh HD/Users/Name/Movies
    Stopping backup.
    Error: (-8062) SrcErr:NO Copying /Users/Name/Movies/movie.avi to /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/Name Lastname’s Computer/2009-01-25-222535.inProgress/C1E4FB60-0CC2-4B5D-B75F-3F2CA5AE6DE5/Maci ntosh HD/Users/Name/Movies
    Copied 195 files (698.6 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.
    Copy stage failed with error:11
    Backup failed with error: 11
    Stopping backupd to allow ejection of backup destination disk!


    Thanks again to anyone who can help me.
  • 3. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    Craigwd_2000 Level 4 Level 4 (1,300 points)
    According to an older Mac book that describes Error 11 or Type 11 Errors as they're otherwise known it typically indicates that the application causing a Type 11 Error is buggy & that it needs to be upgraded: since you're already running 10.5.6 which is the current version of Leopard you may want to file a bug report with Apple so that they can fix this important Time Machine bug: http://tinyurl.com/2bhbn3. Since you already have an Apple ID you can sign up for a free ADC account too if you don't already have one (ADC is free to anyone who has an Apple ID).
  • 4. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    MeatTenderizer wrote:


    Error: (-36) SrcErr:YES Copying /Users/Name/Movies/movie.avi


    Aha! You found the culprit! There's some sort of problem with that file.

    If you know what it is and don't need it, just delete it and try TM again.

    Otherwise, you need to exclude it from TM now, and fix it later. Go to System Preferences, Time Machine, and select Options. Click the plus sign at the bottom, then navigate to that file, select it and click Exclude, then Done.

    Try a TM backup again -- it may be another lengthy one, and you might have another corrupt file, but it will probably run ok.
  • 5. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    MeatTenderizer Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Wow, thanks a lot Pondini, I excluded that file and that fixed it. Man it feels nice knowing I have a backup again.

    ...I just wish I had asked here before formatting the drive - but oh well, I don't need the old stuff anyway.

    Again - thanks a ton.
  • 6. Re: Time Machine won't work anymore
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    MeatTenderizer wrote:
    Wow, thanks a lot Pondini, I excluded that file and that fixed it. Man it feels nice knowing I have a backup again.


    Cool! Glad it's fixed. And thanks for the star.

    Don't forget to deal with the file -- however it got corrupted, could happen again.