Check tutorial of Fix Time Machine When Stuck on “Preparing Backup” in Mac OS X
So after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about Fix Time Machine When Stuck on “Preparing Backup” in Mac OS X.
Time Machine is by far the easiest way to back up a Mac on a regular and reliable basis, and usually the automatic backups start and end without incident. However, in some rare cases, Time Machine may crash for an unusually long time * in the “Backup” phase.up prepare “, thus creating a back-up can never start, let alone end. It is these failed backup attempts that we want to fix here.
We must point out that if you have not supported up a Mac in a while, say a few months, it is normal for the “Back-up Preparing “of Time Machine takes some time to collect data before you start, especially if you need to backup a large disk. What’s not normal is that the prep backup phase lasts 12-24 hours, for example overnight or get stuck at that stage all day (unless you maybe have a really absurd amount of disk space, it can take that long and normal).
Either way, having consistent and reliable backups is important so let’s fix this particular Time Machine issue in OS X.
How to Fix a stuck problem “Back-up prepare “in Time Machine for Mac
We’ll go through a multi-step troubleshooting process to fix preliminary backup problem and get Time Machine working again in Mac OS X.
Stop the currently failed backup attempt before starting
The first thing to do is to discontinue the currently failed backup attempt while it is stuck “preparing the backup.upthis is simple enough:
- Open the “Time Machine” settings panel in System Preferences (go to the Apple menu or the Time Machine menu)
- Click the small (x) icon until the backup attempt stops
When the progress bar disappears and “Back-up preparing… “, you can begin the troubleshooting process below.
1: Recycle the “inProgress” file
Now the backup stopped, the first thing to do is delete the Time Machine placeholder file on the backup disk:
- Open the Time Machine drive in the Finder and navigate to the “Backups.backupd” folder
- Open the folder in Backups.backupd, the name of the current Mac that is stuck during preparation
- Put this folder in “List View” and sort by ‘Date modified’, or search the folder for a file with the file extension “.inProgress”
- Delete the file “xxxx-xx-xx-xxxxxx.inProgress”
The .inProgress file is always in the form xxxx-xx-xx-xxxxxx.inProgress, where the first 8 digits are the year-month-day (date) and the next approximately 6 digits are random numbers, followed by the inProgress file extension.
Just put that file away, it should be about 3kb or so.
2: Reboot with the Time Machine drive connected
Then give the Mac an old-fashioned reboot with the Time Machine drive connected to the Mac, you’ll see why that’s so important:
- Open the Apple menu and choose ‘Restart’
- Once started, let Spotlight run completely (you can just wait and see the mdworker, madam and related processes in Activity Monitor)
This should cause OS X to reindex the connected Time Machine drive when needed, which can get in the way of Time Machine support up properly, causing the computer to hang for a very long time on “Backupup Preparing. ”Even if the drive was recently indexed by Spotlight, a reboot appears to be necessary, regardless of whether the problems encountered with backupd should be resolved or not.
3: Start a backupup as usual
Now that your Mac has restarted with the Time Machine drive connected, you can back upup start up yourself. The easiest way to do this is through the Time Machine menu icon or System Preferences:
- Pull down the Time Machine icon and choose Back Up Now”
You will still see the message “Back-up to prepare …” but it should be gone in a few minutes depending on the size of the hard drive, the speed of the Mac and the size of the backup to be madeup. At this point, your Time Machine backup willup Continue as expected, so just let it run and you’re good to go again.
* For those who like to get technical, when “preparing the backupup”crashes, does the actual” backupup”process usually nothing at all, with no disk activity or CPU usage shown by Activity Monitor, fs_usage, and opennoop. Granted, a bit advanced, but those tools show a definitive way to demonstrate this particular problem and solution.
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