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Time Machine unable to make backups in macOS Mojave [unofficial fix]

Update: Upon independent investigation by Users on the Apple Support Communities, using MacOS Extended Journaled Case Sensitive for your backup drive appears to fix the issue.

 

Time Machine creates incremental backups of files that can be restored at a later date. It allows the user to restore the whole system or specific files from the Recovery partition or other macOS recovery environment. Time Machine is an incredibly important software of macOS. It has saved countless people who otherwise would have be SoL from data loss, theft, malware/ransom ware, and all other situations where a user might have lost their data. 

 

Since the release of Mojave however, over 69 users (80+ now) have reported that Time Machine is unable to complete a backup. 

 

Quote

When initiating a Time Machine backup progress is made up until 30minutes is estimated to be left in the backup, then Time Machine gives an error message that it was unable to complete the backup due to an error copying files

IMG_7003.thumb.PNG.fa815e1ebab70dd65fbb410c051fb212.PNG

I and may other users have been experiencing a similar issue, and assuming that Mojave did not magically kill over 80 drives, Mojave is the common factor. Seemingly over night people have been unable to make backups, obviously a big problem for anyone serious about computing. 

 

namuang26 on the Apple Support Communities made a thread where [he] described an issue very similar to my own:

Quote

Since installing 10.14 have not been able to complete a full backup using time machine to external drive. All disks check out on disk utility first aid both under OS and stand alone utility under recovery. Have erased and reformatted the external drive. Still no success. Backup begins and runs up to about 80GB ok, then fails. Restart by "back up now" continues for about 500MB and then fails again. My full backup is about 900GB so I am running unprotected.

I believe this is a Mojave problem, not a drive problem.

Any ideas?

 

Another user by the name of sjordi made a discovery that could potentially be the cause of Time Machines issues:

Quote

Yes,

In previous versions, the problem of the ever growing backup (endless) was fixed by excluding the directory where it stored its work files.

Adding /Users/Shared/adi to the exclude list was enough.

It looks like TimeMachine is not using that folder anymore, but stores that always growing data somewhere else, triggering the problem: as TimeMachine moves on, the total size of data to be backed up grows with it until it reaches a full disk, no matter what disk size you have.

Too bad.

 

According to the above statement, it would appear that Time Machine no longer stores its work data in the Shared/adi folder and has instead elected to use a different location. As Time Machine attempts to make a backup of the users computer, that work file increases in size and Time Machine attempts to back it up, cascading until there is no more room left for Time Machine to make a backup, causing the process to fail. I can also back this statement up seeing as the folder does not appear to be increase in size during the backup, which it should be doing under normal operation. 

 

I reached out to Apple and spoke with a Senior Tech to provide a statement. My Technician, Colin, was very helpful and ensured that these concerns would be looked at by Apples engineers. He also helped try and isolate the issue by having me run their CaptureData.app to log for errors during an attempted Time Machine backup. I was told to upload the relevant info (the logs and a screen shot of the error) so the Engineers could take a look and then he would reach out to me to follow up and tell me what the Engineers had to say. 

 

However upon following up with them later in the week, I was informed that their recommendation was to remove 3rd part programs that might be causing issues. Not an admission that macOS Mojave had a bug or that this is an error on Apples end, which at this point it clearly is. 

 

I was told to remove programs like HyperDock, Transmission, and HPs easy scan utility for "testing purposes" and was told that these recommendations do not mean that these apps are at fault. I was also told to install Malewarebytes and run a scan to ensure that the computer had not been infected with anything that could be preventing Time Machine from making a backup. Of Course after running the scan my system is clean. further removal of these apps did not resolve the problem. 

 

It would appear to me that the Engineers did not look through my error logs and simply did not bother to investigate this very serious problem simply because there were a few 3rd party apps that have never causes issues for me before installed on my machine. Because of this I am extremely disappointed with the customer service and the importance of user feedback. However please do not blame the representative  that I spoke to. Colin was an amazing rep, the blame goes to Apples "Engineers" unwilling to take a hard look at the issues facing Apples customers. 

 

Apple has currently not publicly acknowledged that this issue exists. However they have seeded a beta for macOS 10.14.1, but there is no mention of Time Machine in this beta. 

 

I have reached out to Apple on Twitter to provide a statement. 

 

I will update this thread as more information becomes available.

 

 

Sources:

Apple Support Communities Thread: https://discussions.apple.com/message/33970553?start=0&tstart=0

@DrMacintosh

sjordi on the Apple Support Communities

namuang26 on the Apple Support Communties

Colin, Apple Senior Technician

 

(please don't make this a dumpster fire, Lol)

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6 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

However upon following up with them later in the week, I was informed that their recommendation was to remove 3rd part programs that might be causing issues. Not an admission that macOS Mojave had a bug or that this is an error on Apples end, which at this point it clearly is. 

 

I was told to remove programs like HyperDock, Transmission, and HPs easy scan utility for "testing purposes" and was told that these recommendations do not mean that these apps are at fault. I was also told to install Malewarebytes and run a scan to ensure that the computer had not been infected with anything that could be preventing Time Machine from making a backup. Of Course after running the scan my system is clean. further removal of these apps did not resolve the problem.

Not really surprised at that response tbh.

 

For all I know, they probably know about that bug and are fixing it, but they'd rather not say they're working on it until it's out.

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1 minute ago, Arika S said:

Come on Apple, get it together. they've really dropped the ball lately. I dislike the company, but i can respect their products, but now they are even fucking those up.

I am on the defensive about Apple on most things, but this is UNACCEPTABLE 

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10/10 quoting yourself as the source, lol

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Just now, Enderman said:

10/10 quoting yourself as the source, lol

I was a source! LOL

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Just now, DrMacintosh said:

I am on the defensive about Apple on most things, but this is UNACCEPTABLE 

Time machine is something i wish had a proper windows alternative, it's one of the more appealing things about MacOS

🌲🌲🌲

Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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1 minute ago, DrMacintosh said:

I am on the defensive about Apple on most things, but this is UNACCEPTABLE 

 

 

The Workhorse (AMD-powered custom desktop)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X | GPU: MSI X Trio GeForce RTX 2070S | RAM: XPG Spectrix D60G 32GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: 512GB XPG SX8200P + 2TB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda Compute | OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

 

The Portable Station (Intel-powered Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i)

CPU: Intel Core i5 1135G7 | GPU: Intel Iris Xe 80CU | RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X-4267 | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD | OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home

 

The Communicator (Apple iPhone 13 Pro)

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Just now, D13H4RD2L1V3 said:

 

 

Yes

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5 minutes ago, Arika S said:

Time machine is something i wish had a proper windows alternative, it's one of the more appealing things about MacOS

You mean back up and restore?

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1 minute ago, Drak3 said:

You mean back up and restore?

As if anyone has been able to successfully get that to work. 

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Apple_rn:

- can't charge new phones via default cable because of software issues

- passwords were vulnerable yet again in Mojave

- can't back up in Time Machine

 

Come on, Apple. I know making sure shit comes out tip-top ain't easy, but this is just ridiculous.

Check out my guide on how to scan cover art here!

Local asshole and 6th generation console enthusiast.

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1 minute ago, BlueChinchillaEatingDorito said:

As if anyone has been able to successfully get that to work. 

Anyone that can read above a 2nd grade level can.

Come Bloody Angel

Break off your chains

And look what I've found in the dirt.

 

Pale battered body

Seems she was struggling

Something is wrong with this world.

 

Fierce Bloody Angel

The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

The blood is on your hands.

 

The blood is on your hands!

 

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Just now, Drak3 said:

Anyone that can read above a 2nd grade level can.

Yes, a 2nd Grader could operate it. It's just that it will fail pretty much 100% of the time because it's just a very badly written piece of software. 

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Just now, BlueChinchillaEatingDorito said:

t's just that it will fail pretty much 100% of the time because it's just a very badly written piece of software. 

I, nor any of the people I set it up for, haven't had any issues with it.

 

Of course, we can read above a third grade level, remember to plug in the backup disk (if applicable), and just not going back through those settings and fucking it up ourselves.

Come Bloody Angel

Break off your chains

And look what I've found in the dirt.

 

Pale battered body

Seems she was struggling

Something is wrong with this world.

 

Fierce Bloody Angel

The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

The blood is on your hands.

 

The blood is on your hands!

 

Pyo.

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13 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

Anyone that can read above a 2nd grade level can.

 

7 minutes ago, Drak3 said:

Of course, we can read above a third grade level, 

well which is it? 3rd grade or 2nd grade? this is critically required information!!!!

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Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

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Just now, Arika S said:

 

well which is it? 3rd grade or 2nd grade? this is critically required information!!!!

2nd grade. I only work with those that can read on a fourth grade level or higher.

 

Also, some complicated maths, 3 is bigger than 2. If you can read above a 3rd grave level, you can read above a 2nd grade level.

Come Bloody Angel

Break off your chains

And look what I've found in the dirt.

 

Pale battered body

Seems she was struggling

Something is wrong with this world.

 

Fierce Bloody Angel

The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

The blood is on your hands.

 

The blood is on your hands!

 

Pyo.

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@Drak3 I'll have to disagree with you on that. I have had numerous issues with the built-in backup options for the Windows OS, while should be just the opposite. All of my devices are using high-capacity storage, making backups a theoretical breese (in addition to the external drive I used to have). However, it was almost never the case. Even Restore Points have been ruined in Windows 10. I actually ditched the aforementioned external drive as a result. As a part-time Apple user, I must say - Time Machine is an object of envy XD 

 

BTW, I have Calculus I, Discrete Math, and Linear Algebra under my belt. Not so much with Calculus II. Does reading Socrates, Augustine, and other philosophers count as high enough reading level?

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Just now, TopHatProductions115 said:

@Drak3 I'll have to disagree with you on that. I have had numerous issues with the built-in backup options for the Windows OS, while should be just the opposite. All of my devices are using high-capacity storage, making backups a theoretical breese. However, it was almost never the case. Even Restore Points have been ruined in Windows 10. As a part-time Apple user, I must say - Time Machine is an object of envy XD 

Go read Cat in the Hat, and with your heightened reading comprehension, give it another go.

 

Or try external storage. Local backups aren't all that much good.

Come Bloody Angel

Break off your chains

And look what I've found in the dirt.

 

Pale battered body

Seems she was struggling

Something is wrong with this world.

 

Fierce Bloody Angel

The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

The blood is on your hands.

 

The blood is on your hands!

 

Pyo.

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5 minutes ago, TopHatProductions115 said:

BTW, I have Calculus I, Discrete Math, and Linear Algebra under my belt. Not so much with Calculus II. Does reading Socrates, Augustine, and other philosophers count as high enough reading level?

Then git gud and stop faffing about where you shouldn't be faffing about.

Come Bloody Angel

Break off your chains

And look what I've found in the dirt.

 

Pale battered body

Seems she was struggling

Something is wrong with this world.

 

Fierce Bloody Angel

The blood is on your hands

Why did you come to this world?

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

Everybody turns to dust.

 

The blood is on your hands.

 

The blood is on your hands!

 

Pyo.

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aHH zaBENyaaaa, your backup has failed! ahGYEN! 

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