Trou­ble with Time Ma­chine?


If you have a new ex­ter­nal drive that Time Ma­chine won’t let you use for back­ups, make sure that it is for­mat­ted cor­rectly. Time Ma­chine can only write to disks if they are for­mat­ted as ‘Mac OS Ex­tended (Jour­naled)’.

Most USB drives are sold pre­for­mat­ted with the Win­dows NTFS for­mat, so you’ll need to re­for­mat them us­ing Disk Util­ity. You also can’t have a slash char­ac­ter in the vol­ume name. Disk Util­ity won’t let you cre­ate a vol­ume with a slash in the name but if you have re­name the vol­ume us­ing Fin­der, it will al­low slash char­ac­ters to slip past.

Some­times Time Ma­chine will fail with the mes­sage “An er­ror oc­curred while copy­ing files”. The first time this oc­curs, just run the backup again man­u­ally; it may suc­ceed this time if the er­ror was caused by a tran­sient USB glitch. If it fails twice, use the Time Ma­chine Buddy dash­board wid­get (free, blue­ to see which file caused the prob­lem. Try ex­clud­ing this file in Time Ma­chine’s pref­er­ences. If the backup then works, this file may be cor­rupt. Try delet­ing it and recre­at­ing it from scratch. As a last re­sort, turn Time Ma­chine off, delete /Li­brary/ Pref­er­ences/com.ap­ple.Time Ma­chine.plist. Then turn Time Ma­chine back on again.

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