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Question: Airport Time Capsule Sticks at 71% Verifying Backup

I have a mid-2012 MacBook Pro, running High Sierra. I use an Airport Time Capsule 802.11 ac 2TB for backup, which is connected to a cable router by "bridge." A few weeks ago, I changed the names and passwords on my wifi and base station. I didn't realize for a couple of weeks that the name and password change had stopped the automatic backups. When I connected Time Machine to the same Airport Time Capsule with the new name and password - of course -- it spent hours backing up everything and then proceeded with "verifying" the backup. It stuck at 71% verification and would go no further after hours of effort, and even after leaving it running overnight. I then clicked on a box to skip verification. It now backs up automatically again, but it does not verify the backups at all. How can I make sure the backup is working? I went into Time Machine, copied a couple of files, and the files seem to be there. But I can find no way to verify that it is working properly, which concerns me. This MacBook Pro is going to need to be replaced within a few months, and I want to make sure the backup is running correctly in case it crashes sooner. This "verification" issue arose a month after the warranty expired on the Airport Time Capsule, so I don't qualify for Apple customer service. Skipping the rant, how can I make sure the backup is working? Thanks.

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Mar 11, 2018 4:25 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

Hold down the option key while you click on the Time Machine "clock" icon at the top of the Mac's screen

Click Verify Backups


The process will take anywhere from 10-60 minutes or more depending on how much data is stored on the Time Capsule. Let the process run until it completes.


Post back on your results.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 11, 2018 4:25 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

Hold down the option key while you click on the Time Machine "clock" icon at the top of the Mac's screen

Click Verify Backups


The process will take anywhere from 10-60 minutes or more depending on how much data is stored on the Time Capsule. Let the process run until it completes.


Post back on your results.

Mar 11, 2018 4:25 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 4:54 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

Let me strongly recommend you do an alternative backup to external hard disk.

And use Carbon Copy Cloner.. free to use for one month .. to create a bootable clone.. which you then immediately check by booting from it.


It is far more likely to work in the event of computer failure than TM to network target from High Sierra.

Mar 11, 2018 4:54 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:00 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

I suppose a hard drive with a USB cable as a secondary backup wouldn't be a bad idea. I actually bought the Airport Time Capsule after giving up on a couple of external hard discs previously connected by USB cable. The last two I had became corrupt in less than a year. I couldn't tell there was anything wrong with the second one, but it was unusable as corrupt when my laptop crashed. The only option was to send it -- with my personal information on it -- to somewhere in Texas for them to try to get the data off of it, which I wasn't willing to do. Thus the substantial price paid for the Airport Time Capsule 2TB, and the frustration with it not verifying now, as I was left with no usable backup a year or so ago.

Mar 11, 2018 5:00 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:06 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

You asked how to "verify" your Time Machine backups, and we took that at face value.


If you are looking for more reliable Time Machine backups, a USB drive connected directly to your Mac is a far more reliable setup than using a Time Capsule.


If you are looking for alternatives.....Carbon Copy Cloner.....or SuperDuper.....or Chronosync are all more reliable than Time Machine to back up your Mac.

Mar 11, 2018 5:06 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:09 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Yes, what I want to know is how to verify it and what to do to fix it if the verification process sticks at 71% again. It is verifying now, so I will reply later if it sticks again. I don't really want to go to an alternative since, as I said, I gave up on the alternatives when I bought the Time Capsule a year ago.

Mar 11, 2018 5:09 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:14 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

Time Machine has a very nasty habit of corrupting itself.


The advantage of CCC (or other 3rd party Bob listed) is that it produces a clone.. which you test immediately by booting from it. If you still have a USB drive.. wipe it and reformat using disk utility.. you can do a zero out secure format.. which will not only format but will check the disk is viable.. for high sierra see

Disk Utility for macOS Sierra: Erase a volume using Disk Utility

Mar 11, 2018 5:14 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:18 PM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

If the "verification" checks out OK, there is nothing to fix.


If the "verification" fails, then the fix is to erase the Time Capsule drive and start over again with a new backup. Apple has no "fix".

Mar 11, 2018 5:18 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 5:21 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

Thanks. I will give that a try. I think I have at least 2 of them. I don't think disc utility could find them. I was even on the phone with the manufacturer trying to find a way to delete the data so I could securely toss it at an e-disposal facility, and we couldn't find a way. Maybe there is something I can do with one of them with the newer OS.

Mar 11, 2018 5:21 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 10:39 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

The verification stuck at 71% again. I am deleting now. After I delete the data, is there anything else I should do before backing up? For example, should I restart the Airport, or restore the base station factory settings? Or is there something I should do to configure it? Thank you.

Mar 11, 2018 10:39 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 2:31 AM in response to hildegard47 In response to hildegard47

How are you deleting the old Time Machine backup?


Are you deleting the sparsebundle file for the particular Mac......or......are you erasing the Time Capsule disk?


If the Mac is the only product that has been backing up to the Time Capsule, the simplest thing to do would be to erase the Time Capsule hard drive. The Quick Erase option will usually be fine for this purpose, but it would not hurt to do a Zero Out Data erase, which will probably take 3-5 hours or so depending on the size the hard drive.


Restarting the Mac and Time Capsule would be a good idea before you run the first backup to start over again.


Expect to do this all over again in another 6-12 months. As far as the backups becoming corrupted again, the question is not really "if" this will occur, but "when" it will occur.


Keep another Time Machine backup of the Mac on a USB drive that is connected directly to the Mac if you can. You could also keep a "clone" of the Mac on the USB drive using Carbon Copy Cloner if you have enough room on the drive.

Mar 12, 2018 2:31 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 6:53 AM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Thank you. I used "delete zero" last night and started the new backup right before I went to bed. This morning, it had completed the backup. I verified the backup this morning, just to be sure. Looks like this solved the problem. Thank you everyone.

Mar 12, 2018 6:53 AM

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Question: Airport Time Capsule Sticks at 71% Verifying Backup