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Question: Failing Time Machine Backups?

I've been manually backing up wifi to an external Seagate NAS 3TB drive for about 2-3 years - successfully. About 2 weeks ago I found my TM backups going back about a month had not been successful. Attempts to backup produced hanging on "preparing backup". I then went to the web and found this solution: http://osxdaily.com/2014/03/31/time-machine-stuck-preparing-backup-mac-fix/


After doing the above I got past the hanging on "preparing backup" and was able to see the backup working, however the backup never completes and there are no error messages on TM telling me why the backup failed.


The above "fix" actually got me back as if I was doing my first backup, all previous backups were wiped out.


This started before the High Sierra update, but continues.


Can someone tell me how to proceed to solve this?


Thanks

Peter

MacBook Pro, macOS High Sierra (10.13.2)

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Received the new router/modem, same type and model as the old one with failing TM backups. Installed and did a backup - completed successfully. Can't explain this but seems something was wrong with the router. I've emailed
ActionTec to see if they can offer an explaination.

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Dec 15, 2017 4:31 PM in response to whyamac In response to whyamac

This series of articles by the late James Pond is still the single best resource for approachable, illustrated guides for how to do stuff on your Mac related to Time machine. It is so good that a frequent contributor here has graciously agreed to re-host it on his own web site since its previous lease expired:



http://oldtoad.net/pondini.org/TM/Troubleshooting.html

.

Dec 15, 2017 4:31 PM

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Dec 15, 2017 4:33 PM in response to missdeeinpre In response to missdeeinpre

for your query, this section of James Pond's site should be helpful:


http://oldtoad.net/pondini.org/TM/Time_Capsule.html

if you get stuck with a specific question, post back here and readers will be happy to help.

Dec 15, 2017 4:33 PM

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Dec 16, 2017 2:25 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

Grant, I looked at the link you gave for TM troubleshooting - none of it applied. That link is out of date for the most part, but I attempted to use what I could and found nothing relating to my problem.


First, TM is not giving me any error message as to why it's not completing the backup. As I said, after I fixed the hanging "preparing backup", I have gotten the backup to go through the process of 1. Looking for backup disk, 2. preparing backup, 3. backing up. All looks OK at that point but about 10 - 15 minutes into the backup it just stops, no reason.


I use this Seagate NAS to also backup my PC - successfully.


I'm going to need more help on what to look for.


Thanks

Dec 16, 2017 2:25 AM

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Dec 16, 2017 3:32 AM in response to whyamac In response to whyamac

I tried again and managed to watch the progress before my screen saver blanked the screen. I have 60.5GB to back up, I got to 1.48GB of the backup when the progress indicator was replaced by "stopping" then the back up just stopped. That's the only message I get.


Not sure if that will help.

Dec 16, 2017 3:32 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 7:45 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

OK, went to "Console" found "System Logs" but got what is to me gibberish. Nothing there leads me to anything. The link on "oldtoad" to a widget to help see problems does not exist anymore.


If you want to be helpful don't refer me to outdated analysis links where I need a computer engineering degree to decipher.


Maybe someone else can do a better job.

Dec 17, 2017 7:45 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 8:03 AM in response to whyamac In response to whyamac

Console:

Most of those messages are inscrutable.

in the selection box in the upper right of the console window, type the word backup.


Most of the general gibberish disappears, leaving only the backup-specific gibberish, stamped with the date&time it occurred.


You can cut and paste up to a few dozen lines of that gibberish here, being sure to include the LAST lines showing.

Dec 17, 2017 8:03 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 8:41 AM in response to whyamac In response to whyamac

OK, then try backupd


backup with a "d" on the end. that should select a few lines.


If not, the logs may have been "rolled over", the the messages with the appropriate dates are in another file, that is a little older (e.g., from yesterday). Finding the older one is one option, attempting a backup again to get new data is another.


to look at yesterday's log, scroll the sidebar until you can see var/log

User uploaded file


click on its disclosing triangle and a whole lot of directories show, scroll down to system.log, which is the one you were just looking at. Yesterday's log will be right below it, and have a name like system.log.0.gz, to indicate it is "put away" (zipped), but it can be opened just by clicking to select it.


User uploaded file


see if entering backupd or backup in the selection box gives any results.

Dec 17, 2017 8:41 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 9:25 AM in response to Grant Bennet-Alder In response to Grant Bennet-Alder

My hope is that the last or next-to-last line in this selection of the log will mention a file that is being "difficult" about being backed up, or cannot be read.


If that is the case, simply adding that file to the exclude list, or attempting to make a new copy of that file, (or if it is no longer needed, deleting that file) will ease the problem and allow the backup to proceed without issue to completion.


Once the Backup runs to completion once, you will likely not have this problem again or ever have to venture into the "plumbing" again.

Dec 17, 2017 9:25 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 9:51 AM in response to whyamac In response to whyamac

OK that is almost it.


Now enter backup in the text selection box at the the upper right, and almost everything will go away except stuff that was directly concerned with backup.


THOSE are the important messages.

User uploaded file

.

Dec 17, 2017 9:51 AM

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Question: Failing Time Machine Backups?