I purchased a new iMac running Snow Leopard. I have been attempting to back it up via Time Machine to an external hard drive (Western Digital My Book Essential) for several days now. I'm not a technical person, so please bear with me as I try to describe my issue.
I have 104GB of stuff on my computer. The WD hard drive holds 999GB. I reinitialized the external drive before beginning, and I verified it through Disk Utility. I have repaired permissions using Disk Utility and Onyx. The only thing I've excluded from the backup is the backup drive itself.
I have tried three times to back up with TM. Each time, TM tells me it will need between 27 hours and 3,000 days to do the job. I let it work overnight, and, when I check on it the next day, the progress bar tells me that the task will be completed in 5 seconds.
It will sit on "5 seconds" for hours, although the number of files changes:
If I restart the computer and try to begin a manual backup, TM tells me that there has never been a backup, but, clearly, something is being recorded onto the hard drive, because space is getting used up.
What am I doing wrong?
I've been looking through threads for this issue, and I can't find it, although I have seen experts requesting for a sample from the log. Here is part of the log on the latest backup that I cancelled. I don't understand log language, so please forgive me if I included irrelevant stuff:
1/6/13 11:03:55.214 PM com.apple.backupd: Starting manual backup
1/6/13 11:03:56.292 PM com.apple.backupd: Backing up to: /Volumes/MyBook/Backups.backupdb
1/6/13 11:03:57.331 PM com.apple.backupd: Forcing deep traversal on source: "Big Sister" (mount: '/' fsUUID: B5CB7EC3-145D-3164-A7E3-2BD90A6DEB1C eventDBUUID: 71D4E79C-74C5-49D3-9AE2-C7E5FE3EF38C)
1/6/13 11:03:57.423 PM com.apple.backupd: Warning: Bytes to copy estimate was negative (-1783297686)
1/6/13 11:03:57.424 PM com.apple.backupd: Found 573831 files (104.9 MB) needing backup
1/6/13 11:03:57.443 PM com.apple.backupd: 104.9 MB required (including padding), 870.26 GB available
1/6/13 11:06:44.437 PM System Preferences: Could not connect the action backUpOnBatteryPowerPressed: to target of class TMOptionsSheetController
1/6/13 11:08:28.550 PM com.apple.backupd: Copied 209 files (299.8 MB) from volume Big Sister.
1/6/13 11:08:28.563 PM com.apple.backupd: Backup canceled.
Thank you to anyone who can help me do this correctly. I've been using TM for years on two other computers and have never had this perplexing problem.
The screenshots are very helpful.
Apple states that formatting the drive with Disk Utility is a requirement for Time Machine. I recommend you do not use Western Digital SmartWare regardless of prior experience with it.
The 131.8 GB of so-called "Additional Files" is clearly data put there by TM.
I agree but that is not likely to matter.
I suggest you do the following:
- Turn off Time Machine for now.
- Boot your Mac using OS X Recovery. At the OS X Utilities screen, select Disk Utility. At the Disk Utility screen, select your source volume ("Big Sister") and click Repair. Let it repair the volume.
- Still using Disk Utility, erase the backup volume. Select your backup volume ("MyBook" - be sure it is not your source volume), select the Erase tab, and next to Format select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
- When it is finished quit Disk Utility, quit OS X Recovery, and restart your Mac.
- After it restarts, force Spotlight to erase and re-index your source. There is an Apple KB article that explains the procedure but it does not specifically indicate its applicability to Mountain Lion, so to be certain the Spotlight index is correctly erased and rebuilt, do the following instead:
You must first be logged in as an Administrator.
In Terminal, type the following:
sudo mdutil -E /
and press Return. At the Password: prompt, type your Administrator password followed by the Return key. The password characters will not be echoed, not even with ••• characters.
This will erase and rebuild the Spotlight index, which may take several hours.
You will know it has finished when clicking the Spotlight menu icon no longer shows a progress bar. When it does, re-enable Time Machine and select the backup volume.
I believe the cause of this problem is a corrupt Spotlight index, which may have been the result of using WD SmartWare, Onyx, or other unknown. Reformatting your backup volume and repairing your source volume are simply additional steps to ensure there is no obvious file system corruption that may have contributed to this.
Do not use Onyx to do anything. It may be harmless, but it cannot possibly help with anything.
Also, be sure to address questions 3 and 4 above. Anti-virus junk can interfere with Time Machine, and virtualization software can cause very slow backups.