Fix Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup Error in Mac OS X 10.5




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Time Machine is undoubtedly a smart piece of application residing inside the Mac operating system which creates the backup of all the data located on the hard drive hourly basis. Daily backup is also available for the past month and it continues to go on until and unless the memory of the backup disk is full. As a result of which the personal data of yours can be retrieved in the event if they are deleted or inaccessible due to one reason or another. But Time Machine sometimes generates some problems and it is unable to create backup at certain times. Imagine a situation that you try to create a backup of some data using Time Machine, but it fails to do so and you get the following error message popping in front of the PC screen of yours:



Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup
The backup disk image '/Volumes/my_name_backup-1/my_name's mimi mac.sparsebundle" could not be accessed (error 109)


The aforesaid error message generally arises when you try to backup data after installing a new hard drive to your old backup. It runs nicely for a couple of minutes until when the aforesaid thing happens. After this very error message, the entire backup disks that were mapped to the Time Machine become inaccessible.

If you are getting Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup error message, then you need to open the System Preferences and click on the “I” icon from where you would get the additional error messages like the ones mentioned below:

  • The backup volume could not be found
  • Unable to complete backup
  • Backup volume is Read Only



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The aforesaid error message generally affects Macintosh products like Mac OS X 10.5, Time Machine and Time Capsule. There are many reasons responsible for the Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup to arise and they are mentioned below:

  • The system name of yours was changed in the Sharing Preference
  • You might have performed a full system restore lately
  • Undesirable changes in the system when you might have sent the PC for hardware repair

Manual methods to fix Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup error message is available and users need to adhere to the guide in a step by step manner. Look if you are using AEBS or Airport Extreme Base Station. If you are doing so, replace it with the Time Capsule because Apple does not recommend the usage of the former one with Time Machine. Then into the Mac hard drive, delete all the names that contain spaces, special symbols, punctuations etc and try to rename it with a simple name if possible. Change the name of the system by going to System Preferences >> Sharing >>. After that change the rename the hard disk from TM Preferences >> Change Disk. This process would take some amount of time and you need to be patient with it.

If you are still experiencing the Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup error message, you will then need to change the network interface and the complete step is explained below:

  • Enable Unsupported Network Volumes for Time Machine and type in the following command: defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
  • Select the place where you want to store the Time Machine backup after mounting the network volume using Bonjur; which is recommended.
  • Get the Ethernet Address of the Mac OS X and open the Disk Utility and create a new disk image and save it then on the desktop.
  • Change the image format to sparse bundle disk image and select No Partition Map from Partitions. Set the Encryption to None and change the volume format to Mac OS Extended.
  • Change the Volume Name to something other like “Computer Name Backup” and set “Where” to desktop.
  • Finally choose Save As in the name of “ComputerName_MACAddress.sparesebundle” and finish the process after clicking on “Create”.
  • Exit the Disk Utility and eject the disk by dragging and dropping into the Mac Trash. Move the disk image that has been created previously to the mounted network location.
  • Click on “Choose Backup Disk” from the Time Machine Preferences. After that select the disk image and then click on the “Use for Backup”


In this way the Time Machine would once again start creating the initial backup process. If still the problem is not resolved and you are experiencing Time Machine Could Not Complete Backup, then the only solution that is left is to opt for 3rd party Mac OS X Data Recovery software that would first scan the hard drive and locate the reason behind the problem. Once the problem is detected, the software would make powerful algorithm and scanning methods to fix the problem.