As I mentioned in System Back-ups, I have and do use SuperDuper! for backups, but since installing Leopard, I also let Time Machine do it’s thing. Today, it was showing an error condition. When I queried Time Machine (I opened it then clicked on the little “information” icon, next to the error) it helpfully told me “Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying files to the backup volume.” I tried again. Same thing. I used Disk Utility to check the disk. No problems.
So, first I did a back-up using SuperDuper! I use a different partition for that. Then I queried the Internet, which, as we know, knows everything. I found the solution.
Apparently, Time Machine was interrupted during the last time it was run. Now, a power outtage can do that, and we had one today. But, this was user error. I turned my machine off last night when going to bed. And I did not check to see if it was running.
It was a simple fix. I found it, via a search for the error message, at the MacCast Forum. The answer, from forum user “karinlord,” was:
If Time Machine gets disrupted for any reason during a backup (e.g., hard drive unplugged, power failure) it seems to get stuck. Occasionally it gets stuck for reasons only known to Leopard. It’s a known bug on the Apple discussion boards. What has worked for me is the following:
- ensure hard drive is powered on and connected to computer
- turn off time machine
- go to your backup volume, backups.backupd, “your computer name”, and then select and trash “In Progress” or “Latest” (it will be the last one in your backup folder listing)
- turn Time Machine back on
- either wait for the next backup cycle, or what I do to be sure things are working right: force an immediate backup (control-click on TimeMachine, select “backup now”).
This worked for me.