I tried a whole host of the things mentioned in the latter part of this thread and nothing worked.
I then removed all the utilities running in the menu bar and it was like a turbo boost. Suddenly the backup started to perform as it should.
Whether is was a combination of the earlier efforts and the removal of the utilities, I can't say but having spent days trying to resolve this I wasn't going to spend more time recreating it. But I did feel I should spend some time sharing this with the group. Incidentally, I had things like a Router monitor, dropbox, and audiogalaxy app in there.
I've not noticed this issue on my MBP but after that was stolen I got this issue on a now 2 week old i7 Mac Mini. I have however made the following observation on my machine.
When time machine is backing up lot's of little files it crawls, when they're bigger it speeds up to something half decent.
This could be brought about by file system changes in Lion / Mountain Lion or it could be something to do with that way it caches files while writing to disk. It may even be caching while reading from disk in the case of a network drive.
Of course this is only my experience so it may not be the same for others. I'm going to go see what I can find out about HFS and caching in mac, just to see where it leads....
You can turn spotlight off, and then turn it back on after time machine is done, using terminal. I just did it and my estimated time went from 2 days (and rising) to 3h. Actually took about 20min.
It takes a long time to backup your data because you have a 1TB drive.
Did you check the Encryption option?
I did and my WD 1TB Drive has been encrypting for 3 days and counting now.
It has got to the point where I don't know what to do
I'll just let it run to its hearts consent since I don't feel like starting it all over again also people on here said after the horrendious week of the process backup it works much faster in the future. *Fingers crossed