9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2013 10:23 AM by BDAqua
bking99 Level 1 (0 points)

After backing up successfully over extended periods of time I start getting error messages that the scheduled backup failed because of a difference in case sensitivity of backup device and the files being backed up. What goes?

Mac Pro, iOS 7
  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Hmmmm, is one or more of your volumes formatted Case Sensative?


    That generally leads to problems & is not recommeded by Apple as I recall, the problem is, a Case Sensitive volume could have both a file called test.jpg & Test.jpg on it & tell the difference, a Case Insensitive would see both files as the same one.

  • bking99 Level 1 (0 points)

    When the problem first occurred I reformatted my backup disk to make it case-sensitive like the disk that I was backing up. Each time I change it, after a while it gets changed back to what it was before. For me the issue is how can case-sensitivity get changed all by itself after working properly for months. Mind you, during formatting I see nothing about case. The option that I select is "MAC OS Extended (Journaled)"


    The specific error message that I keep getting is:


    "A Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup to “WD20EARS”.


    "A disk you are backing up is case-sensitive, but the backup disk is not."


    "Open Time Machine preferences to select a different backup disk or to choose not to back up the case-sensitive disk."

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    So, you never formatted a drive Case Sensitive at all?

  • bking99 Level 1 (0 points)

    That is the question. My backups were working well until the error message suggesting that backup disk was not case-sensitive. If it was not why was it working well before? Taking the error message as correct (that the backup disk was not case-sensitive), I reformatted the backup disk as "MAC OS Extended (Journaled)" thinking that this was making it case-sensitive. Was it not?

    Here is where I am. Your interaction has helped to focus me on the main issue. Instead of making my backup disk case-sensitive, perhaps I should make the disk being backed up case-insensitive. Now, how do I do that?

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    I think you cannot do that without erasing it!


    I'd get another drive & clone it myelf.


    Get carbon copy cloner to make an exact copy of your old HD to the New one...




    Or SuperDuper...




    Or the most expensive one & my favorite, Tri-Backup...


    I'm in no way sure of this, but what I suspect is that you recently made/saved some file on the case sensirive volume that had the same name but different capitalization as a previous file.

  • bking99 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I clone my case-sensitive disk and then reclone it back as case-insensitive?

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Yes, I think cloning to a Case Insensitive disk will work... never tried it.

  • bking99 Level 1 (0 points)

    I discovered that I had not been formatting my backup disk as case-sensitive afterall. So, rather than take a chance on cloning my case-sensitive disk and recloning it back as case-insensitive, I simply reformatted my backup disk as case-sensitive and that solved the problem. I realize that making all my disks case-insensitive is the recommended solution but I will wait for a catastrophic failure before going that route. Your advice brought me to this resolution of my problem. Many thanks! Bill

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Great news Bill, thanks!