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Question:

Question: Is my TC hard disk dead?

Time Capsule 2TB, 5th generation, hourly backup for more than 3 years without any issue, it started throwing error 2 days ago: it couldn't complete backup anymore, said "error occurred while copying files".


I tried to format its disk by quick erase (few times), and even zero out data (which took 5 hours), I still couldn't even complete the new first backup, backup started successfully, but always failed after copied around 4GB files, with the same error message "error occurred while copying files".


I can see TC via AirPort Utility, I can login to TC via Finder and see my backup bundle.


Does that mean its hard disk is dead?

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Mar 12, 2018 2:37 AM in response to s2s In response to s2s

I still couldn't even complete the new first backup, backup started successfully, but always failed after copied around 4GB files, with the same error message "error occurred while copying files".

Make sure that there are no anti-virus applications on your Mac, or any other utility that claims to "speed up", "optimize", "keep" etc your Mac.


If the hard drive really was "dead", you would not be able to to back up at all.


If you continue to have the same issue, there may be a physical defect on the Time Capsule disk surface.

Mar 12, 2018 2:37 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 7:34 AM in response to s2s In response to s2s

How can I perform disk error checking on TC?

Unfortunately, this is not really practical unless you are a dedicated do-it-yourself type of person experienced in small electronic repairs.


You would have to open up the TC, pull the hard drive, install it in a SATA to USB caddy or enclosure, and connect it directly to your Mac to run Disk Utility to see if the application might be able to repair the TC disk.


But....If there really is a physical defect on the disk surface....as I suspect, since you have completely erased the data on the drive......this is not repairable, and the hard drive will need to be replaced.


A repair shop might be able to do this for you, but the cost of a new drive and labor would very likely exceed the cost of a new TC.

Mar 12, 2018 7:34 AM

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Mar 12, 2018 2:03 PM in response to s2s In response to s2s

and even zero out data (which took 5 hours)

The drive systems today use a system called SMART

It keeps pretty accurate track of bad sectors and errors.

If the drive was faulty it would cause a SMART failure and the TC would give you a bad disk error.

The zero out data is a pretty much telling you the drive itself is OK.

A large number of sectors that cannot be written or read.. it would cause a SMART failure.


Every time you turn on the TC it does a check of SMART .. so you can be pretty assured of it working.


Unfortunately your experience is like many others with Sierra or High Sierra to network target.


My recommendation is to download and try out Carbon Copy Cloner. It is free to use for a month.

If CCC can create a working backup to the TC.. that pretty much proves the TC is fine.

Your issues can be TM itself or the computer networking.

Mar 12, 2018 2:03 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 5:38 PM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

i think you are right, i tried other macbook which runs 10.13.3, full backup and incremental backup all work just fine on the same TC in same network.


the macbook I had problem, has 10.13.4 Beta 4 (17E170c) installed,


i have nowhere to rollback since I erased TC already, guess I have to turn off time machine and wait for official 10.13.4 release...

Mar 12, 2018 5:38 PM

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Mar 13, 2018 9:15 AM in response to LaPastenague In response to LaPastenague

just an update.


I upgraded to 10.13.4 beta 5 today, Time Machine now worked fine, full backup and incremental backup all good.


dunno what had happened as I didn't see other beta users reported the same problem.


luckily I didn't throw away TC...

Mar 13, 2018 9:15 AM

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Question: Is my TC hard disk dead?