Time Capsule stopped and backups unrecoverable?


(Brian White) #1

2TB AirPort Time Capsule recently stopped backing up files and gave this message:

"Time Machine completed a verification of your backups on “Airport Time Capsule”. To improve reliability, Time Machine must create a new backup for you. Click Start New Backup to create a new backup. This will remove your existing backup history. This could take several hours. Click Back Up Later to be reminded tomorrow.”

Unless I missed it, a Google search turned up no solution to this other than apparently accepting the loss of the entire backup history (in this case 4+ years) and starting over. Is anyone aware of a way this can be fixed and the backups recovered, even if on the same Time Capsule? All the backups are still on this Time Capsule as Time Machine preferences shows “613 GB of 2 TB available”.

The Mac Pro is standalone and backs up to the Time Capsule wirelessly. It’s running 10.11.6 and can’t go past El Capitan. Fortunately since earlier this year it’s also been backed up to Backblaze.

Thanks.
Brian White


(Tommy Weir) #2

Brian, other than the bothersome nature of it and the time it will take etc. is there any particular reason you wish to hold on to the older Time Machine backup?

You could always copy these old TM backups, though they’re over 1Tb so it will be slow, onto a different HD and trawl through them if there was a particular set of files you wished to have available. You can go in and root around and hunt by date for particular files.

Generally I’ve never wanted a corrupted-then-repaired Time Machine backup. Integrity is what I’d want in a backup, I’d worry otherwise. I’ve usually been happy to just start afresh if I get one of these messages. That said, I have regular clones of my drives backed up elsewhere, so access to old files and old versions of files is not a problem


(Will M) #3

Please tell me more. It appears to me that all my Time Machine backups (on a single drive) are in one file. I wouldn’t know how to hunt for something by date, kind, or anything else.

I don’t want to read too much into your statement, but it sounds like you have seen this more than a few times. I haven’t seen it for several months now, but for a while, it seemed like I was getting this every several weeks. Does anyone know what causes the problem? Better yet, how to avoid it?

Thanks.


(Tommy Weir) #4

If you right-click (or Ctrl-click) on the name backup.backups you will get a menu, choose Show Package Contents. Your Computer name will appear as a folder and a set of folders within that showing the backup by date. Browse through them to locate your desired files.

Yes, I’ve seen it a few times over the years. I tend to regard the Time Machine backup as a way to back up to the previous day’s state of play so doing a complete fresh reinstatement of a Time Machine backup is not a particular concern to me. I cannot see myself using Time Machine to revert to a state earlier than that, six months ago say.


(Brian White) #5

October 30
Brian, other than the bothersome nature of it and the time it will take etc. is there any particular reason you wish to hold on to the older Time Machine backup?

You could always copy these old TM backups, though they’re over 1Tb so it will be slow, onto a different HD and trawl through them if there was a particular set of files you wished to have available. You can go in and root around and hunt by date for particular files.

Generally I’ve never wanted a corrupted-then-repaired Time Machine backup. Integrity is what I’d want in a backup, I’d worry otherwise. I’ve usually been happy to just start afresh if I get one of these messages. That said, I have regular clones of my drives backed up elsewhere, so access to old files and old versions of files is not a problem

Tommy, thanks. Your last sentence gets to the main issue. While it would be nice if there was a relatively easy fix, having access to any old files that may not be backed up elsewhere hopefully isn’t ever going to be needed (knock on wood, fingers crossed, etc…).

I’ll let Time Machine start from scratch and go on from there.

Thanks.
Brian White


(gastropod) #6

Will M wrote: “It appears to me that all my Time Machine backups (on a single drive) are in one file. I wouldn’t know how to hunt for something by date, kind, or anything else.”

Time Capsule backups are kept in sparse bundle disk images, one per computer. Backing that up won’t take as long as backing up the same amount of stuff as it would on an external drive TM backup, though it will still take a while. Copy the disk image itself - it’s specially formatted and the contents will be happier that way. To open it once copied, just double click on it and you’ll find a lot of folders named by date and time with your files inside.

If you have a spare old drive, it would be good to copy the TC backup to it and treat it as an archival backup. Store it off-site if possible. You should encrypt the drive in case it gets stolen or lost. These days, everything that can be encrypted should be encrypted. Even non-thieves will prowl through old drives bought at thrift stores to see what they can get or just to snoop.


(Will M) #7

Thanks, Tommy. I should have thought of that possibility.


(Fritz Mills) #8

I have had instances where a file I haven’t opened in some time has become corrupted and I needed to go back quite a ways in TM to find a copy of the file before it became corrupted. If it’s a seldomly used file, you might have to go back several months.


(Jack Clay) #9

In the last week I copied the TM sparse bundle from one drive to another, the original was full, following Apple’s instructions noted from posters on this list: [https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202380?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid%20email&utm_medium=email](https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202380?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid email&utm_medium=email)

One drive is USB the other is USB 3. It took over 12 hours to complete the copy of about 600GB of data.

Jack Clay

[email protected]