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Time Machine issues plague Mac owners

updated 02:05 pm EST, Thu November 8, 2007

Time Machine issues

A slew of Mac owners are experiencing two prominent issues with Apple's Time Machine backup software, which comes bundled as part of the company's new Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system. Numerous complaints began pouring in on the Cupertino-based company's own support forums, mostly citing either stalled backups or invisible backup sets, according to Computerworld. Apple failed to properly test Time Machine before it launched Leopard, according to Ombudsman and former vice president of engineering at LaCie, Mike Mihalik. "The two tech notes that it's released clarify what Apple should have done as part of the normal release," Mihalik said, referring to two Apple notices covering the largest of the problems experienced by Time Machine users.

The two primary issues plaguing users are a near immediate failure to complete backups -- which usually occurs after around 10MB of data is copied to the destination drive -- and backups that complete but are invisible, making it appear as though the backup was never performed.

The first issue is a result of improper formatting on some external hard drives, according to Apple. Some drives ship with a Master Boot Record partition, or a segment of the drive designed to point the computer at the proper location on the hard drive to begin the boot process. Drives with Master Boot Record partitions are incompatible with Time Machine, and Apple says users must first format the drive properly before using the storage devices to back up files.

"Apple could have added a simple check to verify that the drive did not have a Master Boot Record partition," Mihalik said.

The second issue which results in 'invisible' backups occurs as a result of computer names that include non-alphanumeric characters. The special characters in a computer's name make backups inaccessible and invisible via the Time Machine interface. Mihalik notes that Apple could have blocked all 'illegal' characters that would cause a backup to disappear from Time Machine, preventing improper names.

Despite these issues, however, the Ombudsman says the current issues related to Time Machine are few in number.

"People look at the messages and think, yeah, there are a lot of problems reported, but [what's there] are only in the tens, or maybe hundreds at the most," Mihalik explained. "That's a very small number compared to the number of people trying out Leopard."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. dscottbuch

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Try to get some balance!

    Title : Time Machine issues plague Mac owners

    Third-party conclusion:

    "People look at the messages and think, yeah, there are a lot of problems reported, but [what's there] are only in the tens, or maybe hundreds at the most," Mihalik explained. "That's a very small number compared to the number of people trying out Leopard."

    How in the journalistic world are these two statements consistent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Don Pickett

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Alternate Headline:

    LaCie covers a**, screams "it's not our fault!"

  1. Pennywigeon

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Um ok

    Mass hysteria!

    Around 10 or 15 users have seen this problem. LaCie wants no part in the blame game.

    All this on a 10.5.0 release (note the zero)

    How about this?

    10.5.1

    Hmmm? I think many problems would be addressed in the first official Leopard update.

    But for now anyone using non-alphanumeric symbols as a HD naming scheme and those that didn't format their back HD before running back up software should run really fast before the sky falls on your heads.

    All 10 of you. Run now!

    [shaking head] This article contradicts itself in so many ways.....

  1. mblase

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Moral of this story:

    Just because it's from Apple doesn't mean you shouldn't expect the same risks as an early adopter.

  1. Kees

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    well

    the article may be inconsistent, but I do concur that these are the kind of bugs that really shouldn't have made it past SQC.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Only on Macnn

    ...can people bemoan the reporting of issues with the new OS. Some people would like to know there are problems. Hey, if you were using Leopard and had a hard drive with an * or _ in the title, wouldn't you like to know that maybe you should replace it with something else?

    Nah, why bother. We all know Apple will fix this, so it shouldn't even be considered an issue!

  1. lepton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Restore took 100 hours!

    Check this out, I had to do a full system restore using a Time Machine backup and it took 100 hours (for 100GB). This should only take a couple of hours! My adventure is related here http://tinyurl.com/2oyd4d

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: well

    the article may be inconsistent, but I do concur that these are the kind of bugs that really shouldn't have made it past SQC.



    Doesn't that imply that Apple actually has a SQC department? And that it actually does anything?

    Perhaps if Apple released to its developers more builds of the OS, rather than keeping them so super-secret and just releasing a couple of builds during the whole year, there'd be more eyes on the software and stupid problems might not come up.

    But, that would be silly, because if they did that, it would also allow developers to make sure their software was Leopard-compatible before its official release. And why would anyone want anything like that...

  1. Neil Anderson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    amazing

    It's impressive that Time Machine works as well as it does. I've experienced worse performance with well known backup software.

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Working Perfectly for me!

    Time Machine is working perfectly for me. I'm backing up multiple drives up to 600gbs. I've changed my selections and all is working fine. So Lacie either doesn't build there drives very well or they just don't know how to use Time Machine.

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