13 Replies Latest reply: Aug 31, 2010 8:05 AM by Pondini
Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
"Checking Time Machine backups..."

I just returned from having a new hard drive put in my iMac. Also, OSX 10.5 was reinstalled. At startup the iMac runs through the initial startup video. I get to the restore from Time MAchine backup and enter in password for Time Capsule, then I get nothing but the above message. I just re-did this but it had run about 90 minutes on the first pass. ???
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    That sounds like your backups may be corrupted.

    Try backing-out of +Setup Assistant+ to the initial window that asks if you want to transfer your data. Select "Do not transfer information now" and set up a temporary user account (different from any on your backups).

    Once your Mac reboots, try to repair your backups, per #A5 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting. As noted, connect via Ethernet cable if at all possible.

    If that finds and fixes things, use +Migration Assistant+ (see #19 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions) to transfer everything, then delete the temporary user account.
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    So here's where I stand now:

    RE-installed OSX. Tried to do full restore from the Time Capsule - started but was taking 100+ hours. Aborted that and tried to restore full disk from Time Machine. Did not like that as Users could not be altered. Am now restoring each user individually from Time Machine off the Time Capsule, then will restore all system and other files in the main menu.

    1. The files on the Time Capsule work fine, I can see them and I can use them if downloaded individually.

    2. I have seen something pop-up in the roots of the time capsule files that says blah blah blah from iMac (2). Is this a second copy or something? Is this what's jamming up these restores?

    3. The first User folder to restore is 15.5gb and taking about 6 hours - that does not sound right.

    4. I am afraid to try to repair the Time Capsule as it is my only full backupand backs up 3 machines. Can you save the entire sparsebundle for this computer from the Time Capsule to another drive and be OK?
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Douglas S wrote:
    So here's where I stand now:

    RE-installed OSX. Tried to do full restore from the Time Capsule - started but was taking 100+ hours.


    Via Ethernet or WIFI?

    Aborted that and tried to restore full disk from Time Machine. Did not like that as Users could not be altered.


    Correct. That will put your system back exactly the way it was. Why is that a problem?

    Am now restoring each user individually from Time Machine off the Time Capsule,


    Do you mean via +Migration Assistant?+

    then will restore all system and other files in the main menu.


    The only way to restore OSX is via the full system restore, if that's what you mean.

    2. I have seen something pop-up in the roots of the time capsule files that says blah blah blah from iMac (2). Is this a second copy or something? Is this what's jamming up these restores?


    Without some clue as to what the message actually says, I have no idea.

    3. The first User folder to restore is 15.5gb and taking about 6 hours - that does not sound right.


    Again, is this via Migration Assistant? Ethernet or WIFI? Yes, it's slow either way, but if you have a bad WIFI connection and/or corrupted backups, anything's possible.

    4. I am afraid to try to repair the Time Capsule as it is my only full backupand backs up 3 machines.


    I don't understand that, either. You can't repair the TC's disk; only a sparse bundle on it, as detailed in #A5. Each Mac has a separate sparse bundle. If it's corrupted, it's corrupted, and you may not be able to restore everything from it.

    Can you save the entire sparsebundle for this computer from the Time Capsule to another drive and be OK?


    You can "archive" the TC's internal HD to an attached USB drive. It's slow, and copies the entire disk, but can be done. See: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1281 But if something's corrupted, the copy may not work; even if it does, that won't fix the problem.

    If the backups aren't corrupted, you can copy the sparse bundle. See #18 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Pondini wrote:
    Douglas S wrote:
    So here's where I stand now:

    RE-installed OSX. Tried to do full restore from the Time Capsule - started but was taking 100+ hours.


    Via Ethernet or WIFI? Ethernet

    Aborted that and tried to restore full disk from Time Machine. Did not like that as Users could not be altered.


    Correct. That will put your system back exactly the way it was. Why is that a problem? Could not continue with the restore as Time Machine said it could not alter or delete users.

    Am now restoring each user individually from Time Machine off the Time Capsule,


    Do you mean via +Migration Assistant?+ Tried Migration Assistant. Just as slow. Am doing this via Time Machine and restoring individual users.

    then will restore all system and other files in the main menu.


    The only way to restore OSX is via the full system restore, if that's what you mean.

    2. I have seen something pop-up in the roots of the time capsule files that says blah blah blah from iMac (2). Is this a second copy or something? Is this what's jamming up these restores?


    Without some clue as to what the message actually says, I have no idea. Would need to get back to the machine after work for complete message.

    3. The first User folder to restore is 15.5gb and taking about 6 hours - that does not sound right.


    Again, is this via Migration Assistant? Ethernet or WIFI? Yes, it's slow either way, but if you have a bad WIFI connection and/or corrupted backups, anything's possible. Time Machine/Ethernet

    4. I am afraid to try to repair the Time Capsule as it is my only full backupand backs up 3 machines.


    I don't understand that, either. You can't repair the TC's disk; only a sparse bundle on it, as detailed in #A5. Each Mac has a separate sparse bundle. If it's corrupted, it's corrupted, and you may not be able to restore everything from it. The individual files appear to be working fine on the backup. Could there be a bad file arrangement or something? There are 3 users that share iTunes music files in their own libraries. The most important thing in the backups are the music and photos at this point.

    Can you save the entire sparsebundle for this computer from the Time Capsule to another drive and be OK?


    You can "archive" the TC's internal HD to an attached USB drive. It's slow, and copies the entire disk, but can be done. See: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1281 But if something's corrupted, the copy may not work; even if it does, that won't fix the problem.

    If the backups aren't corrupted, you can copy the sparse bundle. See #18 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Douglas S wrote:
    . . .
    Aborted that and tried to restore full disk from Time Machine. Did not like that as Users could not be altered.


    Correct. That will put your system back exactly the way it was. Why is that a problem? Could not continue with the restore as Time Machine said it could not alter or delete users.


    And this was doing a full restore, starting with the Install Disc? Did you note the exact wording? I've never seen a message like that, or seen one reported here. It sounds more like you may have been using the "Star Wars" display, which won't work for an entire user home folder.

    Do you mean via +Migration Assistant?+ Tried Migration Assistant. Just as slow. Am doing this via Time Machine and restoring individual users.


    If you mean via the normal "Star Wars" display, that's not going to work.

    I don't think we're on the "same page" here. Take a look at #14 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions. That's how you do a full system restore, and is the best way to put everything back.

    But you may need to repair the backups first.
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Pondini wrote:
    Douglas S wrote:
    . . .
    Aborted that and tried to restore full disk from Time Machine. Did not like that as Users could not be altered.


    Correct. That will put your system back exactly the way it was. Why is that a problem? Could not continue with the restore as Time Machine said it could not alter or delete users.


    And this was doing a full restore, starting with the Install Disc? Did you note the exact wording? I've never seen a message like that, or seen one reported here. It sounds more like you may have been using the "Star Wars" display, which won't work for an entire user home folder.

    Do you mean via +Migration Assistant?+ Tried Migration Assistant. Just as slow. Am doing this via Time Machine and restoring individual users.


    If you mean via the normal "Star Wars" display, that's not going to work.


    I do mean from the Star Wars display. Have tried the restore from the disc, that's the one that got 5% done in 6 hours!

    I don't think we're on the "same page" here. Take a look at #14 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions. That's how you do a full system restore, and is the best way to put everything back.


    Can I do this Full System Restore now that some items have been put on the hard drive? How long should it realistically take to do 260gb? It's via ethernet.

    But you may need to repair the backups first.


    So, it appears the backup probably needs repair, but should I be nervous about the repair actually erasing or further corrupting the backup? The files within the backup (music and photos) appear to be OK, I have been able to open them from Time Machine. We are talking about a family's worth of music and pictures here.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Douglas S wrote:
    . . .
    I do mean from the Star Wars display. Have tried the restore from the disc, that's the one that got 5% done in 6 hours!


    Can I do this Full System Restore now that some items have been put on the hard drive?


    Yes. But it will erase the disk entirely and start over.

    How long should it realistically take to do 260gb? It's via ethernet.


    I get, very roughly, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 GB/hour via Ethernet, for a full backup. A full restore will be similar (and the speed will vary as it progresses).

    But you may need to repair the backups first.


    So, it appears the backup probably needs repair, but should I be nervous about the repair actually erasing or further corrupting the backup?


    No. It may take quite a while, though.

    The files within the backup (music and photos) appear to be OK, I have been able to open them from Time Machine. We are talking about a family's worth of music and pictures here.


    I'm not sure just how far you've gotten, and I can understand not wanting to start over.

    One problem you may have doing it this way is permissions; if you've created new user accounts, you can't restore data to them from different accounts on the backups. OSX keeps each user's data separate, for obvious reasons; even if you're an Admin user, you generally can't access a different user's data. To be the same user, it must be identical; the short user name and also the (usually hidden) number that's assigned by OSX when an account is created.

    But if you've successfully gotten some or all of the user accounts created, and have been able to restore some things selectively, you may want to continue.

    As an alternative, if there are multiple users, you may be able to use +*Migration Assistant+* to transfer other user accounts and their data, preserving all the permissions. But that's an "all or nothing" thing for each user, so if you have a user account that you haven't restored anything to yet, you should be able to use Migration Assistant to transfer it. See #19 in the FAQ.
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    An update.

    I am now on hour 37 of Transferring Data from Time Capsule backup. Ended up RE-installing OSX doing an erase and install. Then checked the Time Capsule disk for errors, none found and got "Disk appears to be OK". After doing this I was able to get past the checking backups blue bar in Setup Assistant after telling it to Transfer information from a Time Machine Backup. I checked everything to transfer. There are three users on the machine. At about hour 32 the three individual User folders were done and it went to Applications then on to Files and Folders.

    We'll see how much longer this takes, I cant believe it takes this long for 260gb of info over Ethernet, but I am not going to touch it!
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Yes, that's certainly very slow. Something is definitely wrong.

    If you're running any anti-virus scanning, turn it off.

    Also exclude your internal HD from Spotlight indexing temporarily, via +System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy.

    Can anything else be using your network?

    Keep us posted.
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    There are 2 other laptops and iPhones using the wireless network of the Time Capsule throughout the day, but not during the overnight, and not accessing backups (I have turned off Time Machine on both for now).

    Can't get into the internal hard drive while this "transfer" is taking place, no menus pop-up.

    There is no anti-virus that I know of.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Douglas S wrote:
    . . .
    Can't get into the internal hard drive while this "transfer" is taking place, no menus pop-up.


    Do you mean +System Preferences+ won't open, or nothing comes up when you click the plus sign in the +Spotlight Privacy+ panel?

    There is no anti-virus that I know of.


    Good!

    But it sounds like it should be done soon . . .
  • Douglas S Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Another update.

    After about 96 hours, the transfer from the Time Capsule to the iMac completed. Looking through all users files, iTunes libraries and iPhoto libraries all looks good! Was amazed this actually worked. iTunes had a few errors, but once made sure everything was authorized with the correct id there has not been a problem. Had to have me.com populate the calendars and address books from the "cloud" but no big deal.

    Currently am having a full backup through Time Machine onto the Time Capsule. Again over ethernet. This appears about average as it has taken 11 hours to do 217 gb.

    So why can it backup at 20gb/hour but the transfer was averaging around 3gb/hour?

    I am just happy to have my iMac back. think I will go get another 1tb drive do do a weekly full backup on just to have it around..
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)
    Douglas S wrote:
    Another update.

    After about 96 hours, the transfer from the Time Capsule to the iMac completed.


    Yay!

    Currently am having a full backup through Time Machine onto the Time Capsule. Again over ethernet. This appears about average as it has taken 11 hours to do 217 gb.


    Yup.

    So why can it backup at 20gb/hour but the transfer was averaging around 3gb/hour?


    Good question. That's quite unusual. Some sort of communications glitch, something corrupted somewhere . . .

    I am just happy to have my iMac back. think I will go get another 1tb drive do do a weekly full backup on just to have it around..


    Excellent plan! See #27 in Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum) for some alternatives.