Guidelines to Fix Corrupted Time Machine Backup!


About Time Machine – A Short Intro

In Macintosh or Mac OS X computers, there is a backup utility called Time Machine which is developed by Apple. Time Machine is used to create incremental backup of the files that can be restored in the later date. With this application the user can restore the system, multiple file or even a single file. This application also works with other applications like iWork, iLife and other compatible applications that are helpful to restore individual objects without leaving the application.

How Time Machine Works?

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Time Machine creates a folder on the external drive whose name contains the current date and time and it then copies the entire primary hard drive but not those folders which has specially been told not to copy to the folder and after every hour it will start taking backup and create new folder on the remote drive using the same name scheme, but instead of making another complete copy of the primary hard drive, Time Machine only backup the file that have changed and creates hard links to the files that already exist on remote drive. However sometimes when something goes wrong with your Macintosh, it is found that the Time Machine Drive or time capsule has stopped backing up or you may encounter error message like:

“Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while copying backup files.”

If you try to mount the sparseimage then found that it was corrupted. This kind of situation can sudden come in light when you have not checked the backup for last several weeks and all of a sudden when you check the Time Machine drive then you will see that the Time Machine has not taken the backup for several weeks. In this situation if you run the Time Machine over a network or use a sparseimage file then there may still be hope for your backups.

Now you need to follow these guidelines to fix corrupted Time Machine Backup:

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  • First of All Close Time Machine and Shut Down its service. You can take the help of the activity Monitor which is the Mac Task Manager utility. You can find this utility by hit Command+Spacebar to bring up the spotlight search field and there type “Activity Monitor” and click Enter. In the all processes tab, if the process of Time Machine is running then you can see that process. Select the process and kill or stop the process.
  • Now open terminal and type “ hdiutil mount -nomount -readwrite /Volumes/TM/xx.sparseimage ”. Here the /volumes/TM/xx.sparseimage is the full path of your sparseimage. In case you are not so familiar with the terminal, a quick trick to get the full path is to just type in the hdiutil mount -nomount -readwrite part and then drag the image from the finder into the terminal window.
  • Now that you have attached the image, you can repair it. There are two ways to do this, first is Terminal and second is Disk Repair applications.
  • With the Terminal, type the command: “ fsck_hfs –rf /dev/disk1s2” . This command will try to rebuild the file system catalog. Given that this is over a network, it could take long time to process and repair depending upon the size of your hard drive and the data present on it.

If it does not helped then this situation is now really serious and if you don’t use OS X Data Recovery software that perform disk repair then you may encounter data loss. Download the Mac OS X Data Recovery Software and it will work in order to recover all the corrupted, lost, deleted data and restore everything back on some other location. Once all your data is recovered, reinstall Time Machine from the OS X Disk and restore all the data and set your Mac Time machine again for the incremental backups.