7/30/08

Time Machine is Working Again

Recently, I blogged that Time Machine Failed Me. You can read it there, but there is a bit more to the story.

I had turned Time Machine off. After all, every time (yes, every) it tried, it failed. (In an earlier post, I mentioned an error that occured when I didn't check the state of my PowerBook before shutting it down. That was my error.)

But, I still used and relied on SuperDuper!. And then the unthinkable happened. For the first time, SuperDuper! failed. Red type in the SuperDuper! window told me, "SuperDuper!: Failed to copy files from Macintosh HD to firewire."

I looked at its log file. The log file is fascinating. I'm... um... seasoned, I suppose is a good word for "old." I've been around a while. I remember doing backups onto 9 Track Mag Tape. You did that with "everything" on the system stopped. Even in more modern times, Backups have given trouble if the system was trying to write anything. SuperDuper! clearly keeps trying and trying. (And, yes, I have booted from and recovered files from my back-up volume.) But, I digress. The last line of the log said this:

| 05:50:20 PM | Error | SDCopy: utimes /Volumes/fredpb2-boot-leopard/ System/Library/Automator/Apply Quartz Composition Filter to Image Files.action/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/main.nib: Invalid argument\n: Invalid argument
So, I tried again. Same error, different place. I ran DiskUtility against the FireWire HD. No problems. I ran it against the system HD. Again, nothing to repair. So, I wrote to Shirt Pocket's feedback address at 17:57:53 -0400. I got a response from customer support (I am joking a bit... "customer support" is the owner and operator, head programmer, and perhaps the only employee, David Nanian). A few hours later I got this response:
It looks like your destination volume failed during the backup. Please power off both the Mac and the backup drive. Wait a few minutes, and then simplify the FireWire bus to just the drive (if there was anything else attached - especially an iSight, iPod or hub).

Power back up, and then use Disk Utility to repair the destination volume (use the buttons on the right side of the Disk First Aid tab, not the left side "repair permission" buttons). Repeat until there are no errors indicated.

When that's done, give it another try, and let me know if that helps!
"Especially an iSight," eh? Darn. I do have an iSight which I cleverly plugged into the FireWire socket on the back of my external drive (since it took the only FireWire port on my PowerBook).

I unplugged the iSight camera, started a backup, and went to bed. This morning I found that it had worked without an error.

Which brings me back to Time Machine. I figure that same iSight camera might have been the problem. So, I restarted Time Machine. And it worked throughout the night (and throughout today) also. So, I'm using Time Machine again. But, I am trusting SuperDuper! Apple has... Steve Jobs, somewhere. SuperDuper has David in Weston, Massachusetts, who wrote the thing and responds to email late at night. Even when he is on vacation!

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