Archive for August 2009

Time Machine backup error solved, for me anyway

I purchased a new Seagate 500 GB FreeAgent USB drive thinking I would simply clone my MacBook Pro's HD. I've done it in the past and it worked like a charm, but this time I thought I'd try Time Machine. I have never been able to get Time Machine to work wirelessly, so I basically gave up on it. When I plugged in my external drive and ran Time Machine it went for a couple hours (trying to backup about 300gb of data) then stopped with the following error: "Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying files to the backup volume."

I Googled "Time Machine Error" and there were tons of people with the same problem. This topic in Apple's Forums had several people complaining of the same issue.

I tried several suggestions like the following:

  • Renaming my Backup HD to not include spaces in the name.
  • Rename my MBP to not include odd character's in its name
  • Delete the "in progress" file on the backup drive
  • Reformat my external drive
  • Check the drive for errors
  • Reboot the OS

None of these worked. What I did next was look at the system log by launching the Console. It's not easy to read so I downloaded these two programs to help:

By looking at the logs through these programs it was obvious that I had one file that could not be copied for some reason. It was a mp4 file of a movie (A Few Good Men). I went to the Time Machine options and excluded that file, ran the backup again, and it worked like a charm.

A couple of things trouble me about this error. First of all, without downloading third party software the error message that Time Machine is of no use. I had no idea why my backup stopped. Secondly, why can't Time Machine just exclude that file and continue while notifying me, or prompt me and give me a choice to continue or not?

In any case I finally got my backup to work. I hope this helps someone.

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Brett Favre just doesn't want to go to training camp

Are you as sick of the Brett Favre stories as I am? He's at the end of a long career, can no longer do what he used to do, fades towards the end of the season, and yet he's still a story. The constant retiring and un-retiring is covered in the press as indecisiveness, but it appears to me that he simply doesn't want to have to go to training camp. Maybe he thinks he's above it or something. Either way, although he's free to do what he wants, I'm tired of hearing about it.


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