Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2013 6:49 AM (in response to g_man_1)
My backups have become normal when I disabled Idle-time Scan. I could issue successive Back Up Now commands without any Time Machine delay issues. However, when I rebooted my computer, the delay resumed with Idle-time Scan still disabled. During these tests, Virus Protection was enabled. Spotlight is not indexing during this delay as indicated by clicking on the Spotlight icon. I then disabled Virus Protection and started antoher Back Up Now. Time Machine has been stuck in the mode of preparing the backup for about ten minutes now with no Spotlight indexing going on. I suspect that it is going to have to go through a long backup once again. I will then enable Virus Protection while keeping Idle-time Scan disabled without rebooting to see what happens.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2013 7:39 AM (in response to g_man_1)
Sorry for the trouble. Can you please run LiveUpdate until no more updates and restart the computer? Please let me know if that fixes the problem.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2013 12:23 PM (in response to Philippe Mingasson)
SOLVED at least for me.
After the thing with deleting Plist, formatting my ext HDD, thank you to whoever suggested letting Spotlight reindex my HDD. Took 4 days!! When done, less than an hour to backup 175gb.
Well, wasted 2 weeks but now, finally, it is back to work.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2013 9:34 PM (in response to bclemans)
I am Vineeth and I am from the Norton Support team. We've an update released recently which should probably fix this problem. Can you please run LiveUpdate until no more updates and restart the computer? Once you restart the computer, please turn on idle scan and then see whether the problem is fixed!
Currently Being ModeratedNov 21, 2013 10:20 PM (in response to NortonSupport)
I updated to version 5.6 (47) and then enabled Idle-time scan. The problem seems to be resolved for a relatively small backup.. Previously, this small backup would never complete. Keep in mind that my system was previously backed up successfully because Idle-time was disabled. Thanks.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2013 4:18 AM (in response to NortonSupport)
Norton: Live update updated itself, so it's up to date. Rebooted, turned on idle scan. Now 13 hours later, my hard disk is constantly running, like before. Time Machine seems to be working OK, but my entire system response has slowed by a lot. Opening any window takes 5 seconds (e.g., Finder); opening a folder in Finder takes 5 seconds. I For me, turning the new Norton update is not solving the problem. I'm turning off idle scan again.
It seems that idle scan restarts as soon as one is finished -- so it's always running. If Norton gave me the ability to program it myself, that might help.
I do remember that I used to use Norton in years past on Windows machines -- scanning always slowed down the system by a lot.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2013 4:53 AM (in response to NortonSupport)
I reported my previous results without a reboot being performed after updating and changing the Idle-time Scan to be enabled. Everything seemed fine. Then this morning after the iMac went to sleep mode, Time Machine once again is taking a long time with Spotlight indexing being active. I just switched back to disable Idle-time scan, rebooted, and I am now running Time-machine backup. It was still indexing but I suspect that is the case as a result of the failed backup attempt that I report here. It is currently in the preparing backup state although Spotlight indicates that indexing is complete. So, the problem does not seem completely resolved for all user scenarios. In contrast, my Mackbook did not have an issue. However, the machine did not go to sleep last night and I turned off Idle-time Scan prior to the next backup based on the results of the iMac.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2013 5:11 AM (in response to g_man_1)
One inportant point to help resolve this issue. Time machine is now backing up over 600 Meg of data in what appears to be at normal speed. Given that I did not do any work to update files on my system, it appears that significant file updates have occurred due to the failed backup attempt this morning.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 22, 2013 3:29 PM (in response to g_man_1)
Norton: I turned off idle scan this morning (12 hours ago). I still got the pop up of a scan being done during the day. My internal disk has been running non stop for 24 hours again, and response on everything in very slow. I do not know if the hard disk is being tied up by Norton or by Spotlight, as there is no reference to it in Activity Monitor.
This is a confusing problem. There is little consistency throughout this thread, except for Mavericks, Time Machine, Spotlight and Norton. But no combination seems to fix everyone's problem.
Bottom line? I can't tell if the latest Norton update fixed anything or not. Sorry.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 23, 2013 9:51 AM (in response to alaz0)
Aftr I turned off idle scan, and the disk stopped its non-stop activity, my iMac returned to normal. I believe that this is more consistent with idle scan, as the stoplight indexing was done some time ago, and is not re-initiating itself.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 24, 2013 3:35 AM (in response to Philippe Mingasson)
After migrating from Snow Leopard to Mavericks on my 2010 Mac mini, I also faced a similar problem with Time Machine - It showed "preparing backup" forever and refused to start the backup.
I found this solved the problem without having to reformat my older backups:
- Go to System Pref and switch Time Machine Off
- Go to Disk Utility and unmount the external drive that was linked to TM
- Remount the disk again in Disk Utility and click Repair Disk - may take upto 45 minutes for a 250 GB disk
- After it has been "repaired" successfully, go to Time Machine and link it to this disk again (do NOT choose the older Time Machine link that comes up)
- Once that is done, switch Time Machine On and give it about an hour to prepare and run its first backup on Mavericks OS
Once that is done, future backups will happen regularly and will not take exceptionally long.
Hope that helps...
Currently Being ModeratedNov 24, 2013 11:01 AM (in response to Philippe Mingasson)
Same for me. I have a 1st gen time capsule with a new 1 TB HDD and a Synology 413 NAS server with 3 1 TB HDDs. I used to have tow backups of my files. After updating to mavericks, time machine did not work properly any more. Automatic backup was not possible any more. Both time capsule and Synology NAS are connected by LAN (not WLAN).
When I try to configure a new backup disk, preparing time is extreeeeeem long (up to 3 or 4 hours). When time machine finally starts to backup my data, backup time is also extreeeeeem slow. Feels like to download a 1 GB file with a 14.4 k modem ...
I already deleted the com.apple.timemachine plists and I let spotlight re-index all the disks of my mac. Not much success so far. Any more tips or ideas to solve this problem? What is the official answer from Apple to this?
Btw - I do not have Norton running.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 24, 2013 11:54 AM (in response to Turner72)
I have filed this issue with Apple at and noted that the root cause may reside with Apple based on the fact that you do not have Norton running and still see the issue. I too run a Synology NAS for backups in addition to an external USB drive. The issue occurred regardless of the backup medium. It may be that the Norton fix is actually a work-around for an Apple issue somehow.