I can absolutely confirm that it is a Spotlight related issue. After upgrade to 10.7.5 TM was immensely slower, 24 hrs to backup 276GB (after a few hangs and stalls).
After disabling Spotlight it returned to normal, 3 hrs to BU 276 GB. Here is a link which I followed to fix the problem: http://osxdaily.com/2011/12/10/disable-or-enable-spotlight-in-mac-os-x-lion/
There is no question some sort of relationship b/w Spotlight and Time Machine as I experienced a similar problem a while back with slow backups and Spotlight was the culprit then also.
Sorry, i could not do more until now.
1)I did the following minimal testing.
Removed a few file and did a TM backup.
The files had disappeared from the new Backup.
2) I added some new files did a TM backup.
The files appeared in the new backup.
3) I modified some file. Did a TM backup. Modefied the file again did a TM backup.
looked at these abckup and the modifed files had the appropriate contents when I restored them.
Essentially for simple use, Timemachine seems to work.
Remains to be seen if for more heavy stuff , this works or not.
For example, can migration assistant regenerate a user folder??
After removing all of the indexes, I started indexing the system disk. It look good, but it seems that no matter what, it tries to index the timemachine disk, and the estimated indexing time goes up.
So I ejected all disks , except the system disk, and started indexing again.
The indexing time indicates 3hours… but, will it really be 3 hours, I will tell you after a good night sleep.
The disabling of spotlight with the spotless utility app appears to allow my TM to back up at a normal/reasonable speed. Thanks so much for this!
So, for those that need to create a TM backup first and foremost, this is the best workaround that I could find.
As for a workaround for the underlying issue with Spotlight indexing... I got nothing. But at least I now have a backup (or will in about 3 hours).
I can confirm that disabling Spotlight allows time machine to complete a backup in what appears to be a normal amount of time.
Now just to see if re-indixing spotlight after time machine completes will cause problems again. I'd prefer to be able to use both, but backups are more important at the moment.
After I put my HD into the Spotlight privacy list, and then took it out, the indexer ran for about 9 hours and finally finished indexing my iMac HD. I then unloaded the Spotlight module with the Terminal command below, and ran Time Machine with no indexing. It backed up 5Gb in about 5 minutes. I then reenabled Spotlight with the second command below. I ejected my Time Machine volume. My iMac got busy indexing again, finished while I was composing this message.
Pretty clear that the Spotlight indexer is a problem, but at least I have a path to disable/renable Spotlight to do Time Machine backups till Apple comes up with a fix. If it gets too cumbersome I'll reinstall 10.7.4 using the installer. I've turned on my Time Machine disk again to see if it gets indexed.
Following commands are entered into Terminal and require Admin password:
Disable Spotlight: sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
Enable Spotlight: sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.metadata.mds.plist
Thanks for that link. Booting Lion is now faster. Even with Spotlight turned off for all connected partitions, mds and mdworker still ran during startup so it took longer for the HD to settle down. Now it's ready to go much sooner. And Time Machine still works.
I did notice that the long list of things I had not to index in Spotlight Privacy is now gone; the window is empty.
Hey KH, I have only tried with Spotlight disabled and I don't think I'll bother trying any other configuration as I don't really use Spotlight and I have now installed EasyFind per an earlier suggestion.
I'm hearing Mountain Lion people are having a similar problem, so I'll probably wait and upgrade to a fix version of ML (10.8.?).
Like you, after the upgrade to OS/X Lion 10.7.5 of my MBA 13" mi-2011 past yesterday, I've encountered same slow issue with Time Machine.
To try to solve this issue or to find a (temorary) workarond, I've do the following:
1) Check and repair disk of 'Macintosh HD'
2) Check and repair permissions on 'Macintosh HD'
3) A great cleaning with Onyx
4) Check and repair the Time Machien Sparsebundle disk
5) Stop and start Spotlight
6) Remove the Spotlight index of 'Macintosh HD'
7) Exclude the Spotlighting of the Time Machine Sparsebundle disk
8) Wait a lot of hours that Spotlight is finishing its full reindexing
9) Start 2-3 Time machine 'Save now'
After this, I've do also a test with a big file (the OS/X 10.7.5 Combo Update Disk) of 2GB:
1) Download the combo update
2) Start a save now of Time Machine
3) Waiting to finish ... and check with the Console and Time Machine Buddy. Result: backup time = 7 minutes through WIFI (5 GHZ WIFI network). 7 minutes is a normal time and speed for this kind of file.
I hope that this workaround will stay up and running or that Apple will provide shortly a official patch.
Have a nice sunday evenning,
I have exactly the same issue with Time Machine since I installed the 10.7.5 Combo Updater.
In my case, I found Time Machine was backing up at 10KB per 10 mins. Since I disabled Spotlight using the commands in the OS X Daily post, Time Machine has returned to normal speed.
Immediately following the installation of the 10.7.5 update and the reboot, I performed a back up using Time Machine; this executed fine. I Repaired Permissions on the hard disk which completed fine. The next, third, fourth and fifth backups slowed right down. Shut the machine day and booted up this afternoon, Time Machine was extremely slow from the off. Disable Spotlight and things went back to normal
As everyone in this thread, this issue is a problem caused by the 10.7.5 update. So lets hope that Apple release an update to resolve this. As I use Spotlight, as its useful.
Thanks Larry and others, for investigating this. But does TM restore after a Spotlight-free backup? I want to backup my system and upgarde the OS, but I do not want to put anything at risk!
I bought a new external hard disk on Staurday to backup stuff, but then the backup was really slow, as you found. I assumed the disk was faulty, but then I discovered that TM backups to Time Capsule were also slow!
Maybe I will put that upgrade off for a while!