12 Replies Latest reply: Jun 21, 2010 4:18 PM by Pondini
Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Greetings and thanks for any helpful suggestions.

I am backing up a MacMini in service about three months that has replaced a PC.

When I first got the Mini I tried to configure a TM backup on an external WD HD formatted HFS+ Journaled GUID in a FW enclosure. It consistently failed with error 11. After deleting the files and subdirectory where it stopped and having it continue to fail and knowing the disk to be good I made a SuperDuper clone instead (with no problem) and carried on with my transition.

Now, having made the transition, I am attempting another TM backup to a different disk formatted the same in a FW enclosure. The disk has two partitions, one dedicated to the TM files.

The backup failed in the same way and the same place:

Jun 18 11:06:12 DSR-MacMini com.apple.backupd[323]: Stopping backup.
Jun 18 11:06:12 DSR-MacMini com.apple.backupd[323]: Error: (-41) SrcErr:NO Copying .......
Jun 18 11:06:12 DSR-MacMini com.apple.backupd[323]: Copied 180253 files (14.2 GB) from volume Macintosh HD.
Jun 18 11:06:12 DSR-MacMini com.apple.backupd[323]: Copy stage failed with error:11
Jun 18 11:06:18 DSR-MacMini com.apple.backupd[323]: Backup failed with error: 11

I have redacted the directory where it failed with '.....' as it needs to remain private but it is a 'deep' subdirectory structure as noted by poster SOLONGPC (I like that) here:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=11429549&#11429549

TM tries again later and immediately fails again for the same reason.

I excluded the whole directory structure where the error occurs and TM has restarted and is proceeding.

I have not found definitive information on a resolution for this error, if it actually is a bug or related to string length, etc.

But I am interested in a resolution. This is not an isolated problem. (well, as far as I am concerned anyway)

Thanks again.

iMac 2 Ghz Intel, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • 1. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    . . .
    I made a SuperDuper clone instead (with no problem) and carried on with my transition.


    That's because cloning apps do not examine files internally, the way Time Machine does, to index them (using the same process that Spotlight uses). The downside to TM's method is, your TM backup fails. The upside is, TM catches the problem, so you can fix it.

    I have not found definitive information on a resolution for this error, if it actually is a bug or related to string length, etc.


    Yes, something is wrong with that file. Without some idea what the file is, we certainly can't tell what. See the pink box in #C3 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), for some possible fixes.
  • 2. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Previously, that is three months ago when I first ran into the problem, it was not related to just one file. Then, I deleted the file listed in the log, restarted TM and it stopped on the next file. I repeated that a few times before I just deleted the whole sub-directory. TM then stopped on the next sub-directory in line.

    Back then I did not have the time or inclination to mess with it and just went to something that worked so I could get done. But, I could open the files, there was seemingly nothing wrong with them.

    However, I can play with it now if someone wants me to try different things.

    As in just now:

    The file it stopped on was a .ds_store file. I deleted the whole sub directory containing that file, restarted TM and it stopped on a .jpg file in the next sub directory. I opened the file in a editor without problem, trashed it, restarted TM and it stopped on the .ds_store file in that sub directory.

    I think I could go on but you probably see what I mean. It is not just one bad file that hangs TM.
  • 3. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh, and thanks Pondini. I have read several of your replies to similar posts and they are direct and helpful.
  • 4. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    Previously, that is three months ago when I first ran into the problem, it was not related to just one file. Then, I deleted the file listed in the log, restarted TM and it stopped on the next file. I repeated that a few times before I just deleted the whole sub-directory. TM then stopped on the next sub-directory in line.


    That's exactly what the pink box in #C3 of Troubleshooting addresses.
  • 5. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I looked over that site (yours I gather, thanks) previously.

    I can go down the list but none of them are germane to what is happening here. These disks have been formatted, partitioned, and verified several times and had a TB or three of data written and read from them in the last three months without error, except TM. The disk in question was just repartitioned, zeroed, and verified. The TM session that failed was the first to an empty partition three times the needed size.

    The only thing I have not done in the pink box is turn off spotlight, no AV etc.

    I have not been able to find what Error 11 means. Presumably there is at least one programmer somewhere that coded that message for a particular reason but that particular reason does not seem to be documented.

    Anyway, once I excluded the big/deep directory structure, TM ran to completion. Since I have several backups and it is archived data I don't need it to be in TM and can carry on.
  • 6. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    . . .
    written and read from them in the last three months without error, except TM.


    Most likely, those processes did not attempt to index the contents of the file(s) as TM does.

    The only thing I have not done in the pink box is turn off spotlight, no AV etc.


    Why not? That's listed there because it's solved similar problems for a number of folks.

    Did you also look at the things in #D2, per the last suggestion in #C3?

    I have not been able to find what Error 11 means. Presumably there is at least one programmer somewhere that coded that message for a particular reason but that particular reason does not seem to be documented.


    As the message says, an error occurred while copying files. Here's the text from: System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Loca lizeable.strings


    // BACKUPFAILED_COPYSTAGE
    RESULTCODE11HEADER = "The backup was not performed because an error occurred while copying files to the backup disk.";
    RESULTCODE11MESSAGE = "The problem may be temporary. Try again later to back up. If the problem persists, use Disk Utility to repair your backup disk.";


    That's a "catch-all" message anyway. The underlying one is the "Error: (-41) SrcErr:NO Copying ....." It usually has Error 36, which seems to be a disk I/O error, as there's usually a separate message to that effect in the logs. Error 41 is less common, and, like all OSX error codes, not defined in a nice list somewhere.
  • 7. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank-you.

    I agree with you that I get an error message that says there was an error that does not help me (us) zero in on a solution.

    I turned off Spotlight.

    I ran TM and it stopped right away on the .ds_store file where previously it stopped.

    I deleted the sub-directory containing that file and reran TM

    It stopped on a .jpg file in the next sub-directory. That file was the same as in the previous sub-directory so I found that file wherever it lived and trashed it.

    I reran TM which stopped in the next sub-directory on .ds_store. This sub-directory held, before trashing, one of the .jpg files.

    I deleted the sub-directory and reran TM. It then stopped on an html file in another sub-directory branch unrelated to the others. I opened that file and saved it with another name, deleted the original, and reran TM.

    TM stopped on the .ds_store file for that sub-directory.

    Having read you previous post regarding a slash in a directory name I notice that the files causing a problem have special characters in their name. The .jpg files had commas and this html file has a /.

    TM is stopping on the .ds_store file for the sub-directory where such a named file is and on the file itself.

    Is that the issue?
  • 8. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    . . .
    Having read you previous post regarding a slash in a directory name I notice that the files causing a problem have special characters in their name. The .jpg files had commas and this html file has a /.


    A slash in a directory name isn't a good idea, but shouldn't be a problem; I just tested one.

    (There was a post a few months ago where a "deep traversal" had a problem with a slash in a partition name). Are your backups doing "deep traversals" (that would be in some of the messages you didn't post)?
  • 9. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I do not have any slashes in partition names, or spaces or non alpha characters either.

    If you mean by 'deep traversal' you mean deeply layered sub-directory structures, yes.

    I tried to indicate that when I posted: I have redacted the directory where it failed with '.....' as it needs to remain private but it is a 'deep' subdirectory structure as noted by poster SOLONGPC (I like that) here:

    These files are in sub-directories 12 or 15 layers deep. There are under_scores and .dots in the directory names but nothing else.
  • 10. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    I do not have any slashes in partition names, or spaces or non alpha characters either.

    If you mean by 'deep traversal' you mean deeply layered sub-directory structures, yes.


    No. When TM can't use the log of changes that OSX keeps on each HFS+ volume, it does a "deep traversal" to figure out what's been changed and needs to be backed-up. If it does that, there will be a message in your logs. See #A6 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), for a sample and more detail. But if you don't have any slashes in volume names, it doesn't apply anyway.

    I tried to indicate that when I posted: I have redacted the directory where it failed with '.....' as it needs to remain private but it is a 'deep' subdirectory structure as noted by poster SOLONGPC (I like that) here:

    These files are in sub-directories 12 or 15 layers deep. There are under_scores and .dots in the directory names but nothing else.


    As posted in that thread, there's no problem with that many subdirectories.

    This looks like a problem with your Time Machine drive, or the connections to it.

    But apparently you've ruled that out, so about all that's left is something corrupted in your installation of OSX. I'd suggest downloading and installing the 10.6.4 "combo" update. That's the cleverly-named combination of all the updates to Snow Leopard since it was first released, so installing it should fix anything that's gone wrong since then, such as with one of the normal "point" updates. Info and download available at: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1048 (or http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1017 if you're still on 10.6.3). Be sure to do a +Repair Permissions+ via Disk Utility (in your Applications/Utilities folder) afterwards.

    Don't erase the update. If that doesn't help, reinstall OSX from your SL disc, then apply the update again.
  • 11. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Condrake Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No. When TM can't use the log of changes that OSX keeps on each HFS+ volume, it does a "deep traversal" to figure out what's been changed and needs to be backed-up. If it does that, there will be a message in your logs. See #A6 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), for a sample and more detail. But if you don't have any slashes in volume names, it doesn't apply anyway.


    Then, that should not apply since this was a new TM backup and there is no log entry.

    I applied the 'Combo' update with no change in TM behavior.

    By excluding the directory branch where TM trips on errors I am able to successfully complete TM backups. Since this data is archived data kept in several places it is not something I am worried about. I was primarily interested in why TM would stop on a 'bad' file and not log it and move on and/or identifying a verbose description of error 11.

    So, thanks for all your help but in this case I think the error is an anomaly of TM.
  • 12. Re: Time Machine Backup Failed Error 11
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Condrake wrote:
    . .
    I was primarily interested in why TM would stop on a 'bad' file and not log it and move on and/or identifying a verbose description of error 11.

    So, thanks for all your help but in this case I think the error is an anomaly of TM.


    You can call it whatever you want, but if it can't back something up, it sends a message and fails (as do most backup apps). If it didn't, folks would complain that it didn't back everything up.