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  • Mavik Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks so much for this, the backup runs a lot faster now!

  • qqallan Level 1 (0 points)

    Mavik, there have been quite a few suggestion on this thread. Which one ended up working for you?

  • GiancaGentile Level 1 (0 points)

    I also use a MBLDuo (2 x 3TB) and simply gave up using it with TM. It works great with Windows and Linux but it makes you want to kill yourself when you try to mount the Public volume to access your stored files.



    TM backups are now being performed in a Seagate Free Agent (1TB) USB external drive. And this fact shows us that we can use non-Apple devices to perform TM backups... I used to have a 600GB Samsung USB external unit, but I ran out of space...



    The MBLD I use only to store some movies and some old stuff. But every time I need any of these files I go through a nightmare.



    As you may know, WD offers 3 years warranty (and they honor even here in Brazil for a unit bought in the US), which is awesome. But it's not enough... I agree with Rick that the proprietary software is cool... you can (at least are supposed to) access you files anywhere you are, as long you have an Internet connection. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. And I simply cannot see any reason because there is no repeated behavior, meaning that I cannot see anything wrong.



    I used to have a WD MBL 3TB (one HD only) and got through the same issues.... One of these days, the unit simply "didn't wake up"... As I mentioned, WD honored the warranty and, because they didn't have a similar unit available here in Brazil, they just gave me my money back!Once again, it awesome, but not enough. I want a NAS unit working along with my iMac and others iDevices...


    This is something I have to get out of my chest, more the anything...

  • vpcllc Level 1 (0 points)

    I have several of the same problems for about a year.  Apple blames WD.  WD blames Apple.


    What is the best one button, no troubleshooting, don't need to be a programmer back up solution for a MacBook Pro?

  • Ruadh2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I wouldn't be as negative you about the WD MBL.  Unlike yours, mine has never died, but beyond that essential requirement, the WD MBL, after initial teething problems (see my previous posts in this forum), has settled down to be a reliable backup and recovery package with TM.  It now only rarely (once every two months or so), loses the sparse bundle, and this can be easily fixed using Garth Gillespie's Unix repair  routine.  If it ever has a problem with being extremely slow (again, it now does this only rarely), I shut down everything and reboot the WD MBL and speed returns to normal.  Of course, I don't know whether these are WD MBL or TM problems. 


    However, for vpclic, I couldn't recommend this for someone who wants a one button -  no trouble shooting backup.  I need to occasionally get TM working with some Unix code in OS X Terminal which is not everybody's cup of tea.  


    However, I use SuperDuper to complement my TM data backup with a bootable backup, and Crashplan for offsite backup (eg. in case my house burns down). 


    • TM is far superior to SuperDuper for data recovery, but SuperDuper could still be used to avoid the TM-WD MBL problems if you're not technical, and say, want to keep it simple and do a full recovery whenever you need to use your backup.  If you are prepared to go marginally beyond  the "one button" solution, you can also drag and drop individual files, but it's not quite as intuitive or as up to date as TM. 
    • Crashplan is not easy to recover, with CD delivery the probable best option, but that's not the point of the service.  A few days delay is neither here nor there if you've lost everything. 


    I guess my bottom line is that after getting solutions for the major problems with TM on WD MBL, I now find it a quite workable and responsive backup system, but this will not suit everyone.  SuperDuper may be a simpler but less responsive alternative. 

  • TimPowell11235 Level 1 (0 points)

    By far the easiest and cheapest solution is a simple external hard-drive connected by USB or Firewire. You can pick up the enclosure and disk separately to ensure that there is no silly software in between Time machine and the disk. There is one button: its the power button on the enclosure.


    Amazon has lots of these available - get a disk at least as big as your MacBook drive to keep plenty of history.


    Then plug it in, let it settle (can you see it in Finder?) and turn on Time Machine. As long as you plug it in reasonably frequently it will have a good backup history for you. If you are doing some intensive and error prone work leave it plugged in for instant restoration of earlier versions of you files.


    All the grief comes from trying to work with a NAS which needs a certain level of built in software.

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,335 points)

    Apple does not support use of a NAS as a backup destination (unless it is an Apple Time Capsule) you can choose to ignore Apples recommendations, but the problems will then be yours.

    vpcllc wrote:


    I have several of the same problems for about a year.  Apple blames WD.  WD blames Apple.


    What is the best one button, no troubleshooting, don't need to be a programmer back up solution for a MacBook Pro?

    Good luck.

  • GiancaGentile Level 1 (0 points)

    I totally agree with you, Csound1. The point is WD claims MBLD is fully compatible with Apple, including Time Machine.  But, as we can see, it's not! And we are not talking about a "garage company"... WD is a big company!!! They should honor their products...


    I solved my issue installing an USB external HD. Works great! But I still own a NAS system and cannot use it as I'd like to...

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,335 points)

    GiancaGentile wrote:


    I totally agree with you, Csound1. The point is WD claims MBLD is fully compatible with Apple, including Time Machine. 

    But it is not, and it is not relevant what WD say, it is relevant what Apple say.


    And they say that it is not

  • Ruadh2 Level 1 (0 points)

    The point of a NAS is that it's networked, so it can back up multiple machines.  For a directly connected external HD to offer an equivalent solution, it either has to be disconnected and reconnected to your other machines periodically, or you need to have multiple external HD's one for each computer.  I agree that one external drive per computer can be a one button solution, but that's expensive.  I'll stick with the WD MBL, because, with some maintenance, it can deliver that functionality at a much better price.  

  • TimPowell11235 Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually I agree with Ruadh2, I managed to get my MBL to work and it is MUCH more convenient than an external HD. However, it takes some patience and exploration of the options in its menus. vpcllc wanted a one button solution and it seems a NAS is unlikely to be that.


    Check my earlier posts for what I did to make the WD MBL work.

  • GiancaGentile Level 1 (0 points)

    I've already improved the speed by connecting to MBL using SAMBA. Transfers are, now, much faster than before, when using AFP. I'll check your posts and try to speed up TM backups too!



  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,335 points)

    Ruadh2 wrote:


    The point of a NAS is that it's networked, so it can back up multiple machines.

    That's why Apple manufacture one, the Time Capsule.


    Ruadh2 wrote:


    it can deliver that functionality at a much better price.  

    When the day comes that you need to restore and find that you can't, what is your plan?

  • Ruadh2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Any hardware can fail at any time  As I explained above, I have multiple levels of backup, so my plan is that I would go to my SuperDuper backup if it was a program, and to my Crashplan backup if it was data.  In the meantime, I have the convenience of networked TM at a reasonable price. 

  • julianel Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been poking around in side the WD live using ssh (it's a pretty vanilla linux system with almost everything installed (though not tcpdump unfortunately)).

    WHat I see is that when it's going very slowly, the problem is competing reads on the drive.

    These sometimes appear to also be coming in over the appletalk connection that timemachine uses. I suspect that it is a problem that timemachine is forcing the lower software levels to do read-modify-write opertions which are dead slow.


    to understand the problem, here's how time machine works with a NAS.


    if you bacj up to a share, it creates a directory hierarchy in it called  {yourhostname}.sparsebundle.

    This set of files is in a known format and can be mounted as a group as  a DISK IMAGE.

    This image type is special because it is made out of thousands of small files in the "bands" subdirectory. I believe that the reason for this is so that if you want to do an incremental backup of your share, then hopefully only some of those bands will be changes and it will happen quickly. (there may also be a parallelism reason if you use all apple hardware, but I'm specualting here).

    It also measn that apple can format the image regardless of what format the NAS is in. The need a specific HFS+ format level before they can use it.


    These bands can be considered like "block numbers" in a regular disk.  each band (in my machine) is 8388608 bytes long or 16384 (2^14) 512 byte blocks.

    The trouble seems ot be that in some situations, the timemachine software (or maybe the disk image mounting layer) gets into a mode where it wants to read each block before it writes it. so it is reading data and  writing it.

    I'm guessing that in some cases it may be that not the entire block is written at once, so in order to add in the new data it has to read in the entire block, then write it back out again with the new data inserted..


    Obviously if you are trying to write 256K (watching the tcp stream in tcpdump on the apple suggests that and that it seems to be doing at least some operations on 256K chunks (due to tcp window size I think)) requires you to read 8MB and then write 8MB this is not very efficient.


    THis is not quite all ringing quite right, but I think this theory is heading in the right direction. The MBlive has 256MB of RAM in it according to /proc/meminfo, so it can cache a few of these 8MB blocks, but not enough of them.

    It seems to be thrashing, reading htem in and out of memory. Maybe memory contention is also a probkem. That may explanin why a reboot sometimes helps.  Might point to  a memory leak as well I guess.


    In addition I also kill the mediascanner process that sits there reading blocks and conending for the disk. that helps a bit..