A Fix for Time Machine's Backup Failure

Posted by Aaron West at 1:30 PM in Mac, Leopard

Returning home from the Adobe Community Summit I knew there were a couple of things I had to do. Getting a bit of rest and hanging out with my wife and son were at the very top of the list. Closer to the bottom was plugging my MBP into a power brick in order to backup my computer to my Time Capsule. Little did I know it wasn't going to be as easy as usual.

After plugging in and initiating the backup, Time Machine took over 20 minutes to prepare the data - it simply displayed "Preparing data" for what seemed like ages. Finally, it finished the prepare data phase and displayed how much data it was backing up, about 5.3 GB. I'm simply amazed that one weeks worth of work could generate 5.3 GB of changed data. Realizing it was going to take Time Machine quite a while to copy 5.3 GB wirelessly to the Time Capsule I shut the MBP's screen about 80% of the way and decided to return to the living room to do other things.

A few hours later I came back to my MBP to see the following message:

First, many thanks to Apple for giving me a useful error message I could do something about. Pfff. I tried several things to get Time Machine working again including rebooting, reconnecting to the Time Capsule, and simply restarting the backup process. All failed with the same error message.

After hitting up Google for answers (Google always seems to have answers you know) I found a few posts on the MacCast forums that seemed promising. A user by the name of "karinlord" deserves credit for the right set of steps to mitigate this problem.

I believe my problem started when my computer decided to sleep in the middle of the backup process. I am unsure if this occurred because of my systems preferences or whether I actually shut the computer lid enough to force it to sleep. Regardless, Time Machine seems to freak out if it gets interrupted during the backup process. When this happens several files and folders are left on your backup volume that deter any subsequent backups.

To get Time Machine going again, you need to remove the errant files with the following steps:

  1. Ensure your backup device is turned on and connected to your computer (wirelessly or wired, it doesn't matter)
  2. Turn off Time Machine using the big button in Time Machine preferences. NOTE: I did not execute this step and was still able to fix Time Machine.
  3. Make sure the backup volume (which is just part of the backup drive) is mounted to your desktop/Finder. You may have to initiate (and subsequently cancel) a Time Machine backup process in order to see the drive on the desktop or in Finder.
  4. Access your backup volume in Finder (it should be named "Backup of your-computer-name..." or something similar) and double-click into the "Backups.backupdb" folder.
  5. Next, click into the "your-computer-name" folder. You should see a bunch of folders with dates. These are all the dates corresponding to days you ran a successful backup.
  6. At the bottom of the folder listing will be one or two things you need to move to the trash. You may see only one or both of these, but delete the file that starts with a date (it should be the date the backup failure started) and ends in ".inProgress." Also delete a file named "Latest" if it exists.
  7. Return to Time Machine preferences and turn Time Machine on. Remember, I was successful without performing this step.
  8. Initiate a backup using the Time Machine drop-down in the menu bar or wait until the next scheduled backup run.
  9. A final but important step, be patient. Time Machine may sit in "preparing" mode for a while. It's important to at least let it run for an hour or so to see if the process will continue actually writing files to your backup volume.

If you continue having problems and are unable to get Time Machine to perform a successful backup, I recommend running the following command in Terminal. This command will let you view your system log - where Time Machine errors are located - in order to [possibly] get a clearer picture of what is causing your backups to fail.

sudo grep backupd /var/log/system.log

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About this post:

This entry was posted by Aaron West on May 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM. It was filed in the following categories: Mac, Leopard. It has been viewed 175275 times and has 63 comments.

63 Responses to A Fix for Time Machine's Backup Failure

  1. jeff

    I warned you about Apple! Thats crap!

  2. Thanks for the detailed analysis and solution. I just started using TIme Machine at home and ran into the same error during the very first backup attempt. I loosely arrived at the conclusion that something about going to sleep was interfering with the process. Several subsequent attempts also failed with the same error.

    Since it was my first time backing up to TM, I decided to reformat the external drive (a Maxtor 1TB drive, not TimeCapsule), then disable all energy saving options and sleep mode. This time Time Machine worked.

    Currently, I'm trying to figure out two things... 1) Can I use TM backup *to* multiple hard drives (one local, one wireless), and 2) Can I configure TM to backup *from* a portable external hard drive that is only occasionally connected (TM doesn't give me the option to select the portable USB hard drive, only the primary, built-in hard drive volume).

  3. @Steven - You cannot use Time Machine to backup to multiple drives. TM hooks itself to one drive and will only work with one drive at a time. I used to use an external Firewire drive and then moved to my Time Capsule. I did a lot of research to see if I could move all my backups from the Firewire drive to Time Capsule and determine it wasn't worth the time. A few folks have been successful with it, but it's not a matter of just copying the files from one place to another. You have to use disk imaging / software to perform the move. I decided to just start fresh with the Time Capsule.

    Yes you can backup to portable/external drives. The Iomega Black Series Firewire drive I mentioned above was just that. I'm not sure why your external drive wouldn't show up as an available store in Time Machine.

  4. Eric Foust

    I used automator and "do something when" (software) to create a action that when an external drive is mounted it runs the automator action that renames the file in the prefs folder to another plist file that was setup as a backup for that drive. Basically tricking time machine to use those settings. then when the drive is unmounted it runs the script again in reverse to bring me back to my internal drive backup settings.

  5. @Eric That's pretty clever, thanks for sharing!

  6. Gretchen

    I have been getting the same messages; first few days of backups went fine, and now I can't complete a backup at all. Unfortunately this fix didn't work for me. I wish I'd waited until they got the kinks out. Any other suggestions? Reformat the Time Capsule?

  7. @Gretchen You can reformat your hard drive and start over, yes. In my experience this only fixes things for a month or two. I've had to completely reformat and start over 3 times now and I've only had the Time Capsule for a couple months. That's pathetic.

    Just today Time Machine + Time Capsule started acting up again. This new problem is the most serious I've seen as executing Time Machine backups completely crash my laptop. The error message scrolls from above, covers the entire screen in a dark grayish color and says I must hold down the power button in order to restart my computer. The message is shown in 4-5 different languages.

    I'm researching backup alternatives; I'm sick and tired of Time Machine. I'm looking into SmartBackup ( and Drobo ( first. If anyone else has suggestions please post them.

  8. Steven Erat

    I've resolved a couple of my issues that I mentioned earlier while learning to use TM.

    First the portable, every-day use hard drive (VFAT/FAT32 format) I carry around with me kept showing up in the 'exclude from back up' list without the option to remove it. In other words, Time Machine would not back it up and there were no apparent options to make it do so. It was permanently excluded from backup. I learned that not only must the Time Machine drive itself be formatted as Mac Extended, but the drives that are being backed up to TM must also be Mac Extended (AFAIK).

    To get around that, I have a non-TM drive that uses Mac Extended format to which I manually copy folders from my portable, FAT32 drive. Then I TM backs up that non-TM-MaxEx drive to a TM drive.

    Finally, following recommendations in the blog link below, I have two TM drives where only one is connected at a time. Since there can be only one TM drive attached at any time, I first performed full backups on both drives independently, then I keep one TM attached and remove the other, alternating weekly. The TM drive not being used sits in a software grade, fireproof safe nearby.

    In all, I have three backup drives @500MB. All are Mac Extended (journaled) format. Two are designated to be Time Machine backups, and one is used for manual backups. All three are from different manufacturers as well, so I don't get caught by a flaw from one manufacturer affecting all three drives.

    See also:
    Using multiple backup drives with Time Machine

  9. rbleeker

    Thanks, that fixed it for me.

  10. Michael Goldfine

    Thank You Aaron,

    Your solution worked well. I had an easy time finding and deleting "in progress" and "Latest". Nor did I need to turn off Time Machine

  11. Yermun

    I followed this procedure without anything happening until I - in the Airport-tool - changed TC channel from 7 (my own setting) to "automatic" which is default.

    Earlier I also had to follow another procedure to fix the transfer speed in wireless airport-transfer. You find it here:

  12. KPO'M

    I have tried deleting the "in progress" file, but Finder hangs up when doing so. Any other ideas?

  13. Cindy Ecksol

    Well, nice thought -- but even deleting those files as recommended didn't resolve my problem. I finally just deleted the entire "sparse image" file (which is the "virtual backup volume" and then restarted Time Machine. That worked perfectly -- it took several hours to prepare, create a new volume and do the backup, but I didn't stay around to watch once it got going, so that didn't bother me.

    One tip on mounting the volume so you can get in there and delete those "incomplete" files. Find that "sparse image" file for your computer and open it. Tell it to skip the verification step -- it takes forever. Once you've gotten past that, the drive should be mounted and you can then treat it just as you would any other drive.

    Now all I have to do is figure out how to mount that drive when it's connected to one of the desktops in the network rather than directly to my MacBook Pro. Any suggestions? I can mount that computer, and I can see the drive attached in Finder, but TIme Machine can't see it....


  14. @Cindy - Thanks for the additional tip on fixing incomplete/broken backups with Time Machine!

    As for getting your other machines to see your backup drive, I don't have a solid answer. I've heard of folks adding drives with ethernet to their router (or Time Capsule) and then having some success with this.

  15. Cindy Ecksol

    @Aaron: The heck of it is that it seems like if I can mount that drive attached via USB to another computer onto my laptop, TIme Machine ought to be able to see it from my laptop too. At least one would THINK that would be the case....but it's not. In fact, Finder on my laptop can see both the other computers on my network and that terabyte drive attached to one of them....but none of that is in the Time Machine "Change Disk" window.

    It's a mystery.....or maybe it's just a "feature"? Like you, I'd settle for some error messages that gave me a chance of figuring out what's really wrong....

  16. @Cindy - I've heard of folks daisy chaining external USB hard drives to wireless routers and getting Time Machine to see the drives, but I've not heard of what you are describing being possible. I'd bet it isn't supported even though it seems technically possible. It's probably another case of Apple crippling software/hardware abilities, this time within the Time Machine software itself.

  17. Steve

    Aaron - thanks this helps. However, I also have the issue of the finder hanging when I try to delete the .inProgress file. It is stuck "preparing to delete immediately".

    Any suggestions?

    Looking forward to resolving this issue.

  18. @Steve I haven't had the problem of the .inProgress file hanging Finder. Maybe you'd be successful deleting the file from Terminal. Navigate to Applications - Utilities and double-click Terminal. Then, follow the instructions below. I apologize if you already know all the stuff below; I'm including it as some of my readers may not.

    Next, go back to Finder and navigate to the directory that has the .inProgress file. Now, drag that folder from Finder into Terminal. I know this sounds weird, but doing this will place the path to the folder in Finder into your Terminal window, handy huh? Now, using your keyboard arrows move the cursor to the beginning of the line and add the text "rm ". Make sure there's a space between the "rm" and the start of the path to the folder in Finder. Now, go to the end of the line and type the text ".inProgress". Then, press enter. If you get an error about permissions try adding "sudo " (another space there) to the beginning of the command. You will be prompted to enter your OS X password.

  19. appellations

    thank you! this really helped

  20. Kaos

    addendum. I did this by deleting this .inprogress file without deleting the 'latest' symbolic link and it worked fine. The new backup still has about 74gb to complete, but that's a lot farther than I got before. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Adam Lane

    Tried this, but I just keep getting

    rm: /Volumes/Backup of AdamMac/Backups.backupdb/tchmac-002/.inProgress: No such file or directory

    There clearly is such a file, because I can see it in finder. Is it corrupted? Any other ideas how to delete it, or otherwise get time machine working?

    [Cannot format, due to there being too much other useful stuff on the same drive. Didn't want to lose my backups entirely by removing the whole sparsebundle, but it may be the only solution.]

  22. @Adam, Your Terminal command as posted in your comment shows a colon character after "rm." Is that actually how you typed the command? The colon shouldn't be there, so in your case the command should look like:

    rm /Volumes/Backup of AdamMac/Backups.backupdb/tchmac-002/.inProgress

  23. jessica

    I had the same problem as Adam. I didn't type in a colon, but it added it when i hit 'enter'. Still tells me the file doesn't exist...

  24. Excellent, worked like a charm. Thank you!

  25. Eric

    This worked, but so did stopping and restarting the Time Machine. This has happened several times to me in the past Month or so. I did use your suggestion of reading the LOG file and found this message:

    ... Copy stage failed with error:11

    So what is an error 11?

  26. @Eric I have no idea what error:11 is. If I were in your situation I'd have to do some Googling and research to figure out the problem.

  27. Dave Young

    Great. This worked. Thanks a lot.

  28. Steve

    I had to reset up my Time machine as I moved to a new location. It finished backin up, but I must have named it something different as it did not "continue" to back up but started a whole new series - possibly duplicating every back up I had. The result is that I have 1/2 the space on my Time Capsule. Is there a way to access delete the "old" backups and just keep the "new" in order to free up space on my TC?


  29. @Steve - When you plugged in your Time Capsule and your computer for the first time in the new place, the Time Capsule should've simply "known" there was already a backup set in place. If this isn't the case and you really do have two different sets chewing up your precious space, I recommend you launch Airport Utility and do some cleaning. You can use Airport Utility to connect to your Time Capsule and wipe the drive, effectively starting all over again.

    I wouldn't recommend you do this unless you're pretty sure your previous backup set is gone for good. After all, if you can maintain your backup history I'd be you'd want to.

  30. David Liscinsky

    I was able to make 3 bups before getting the failure others have described here and elsewhere via posting easily found in a Google search. I like the concept and interface but unfortunately it appears that Time Machine is not ready for prime time


  31. dwlayman

    Thank you! A simple fix to a frustrating problem. I have already lost one set of backups, thinking I needed to reformat the drive. So indeed, the flaw is not in the drive, but in the Time Machine software.

  32. This just happened recently and I could not find anything useful on the Apple sites. I would add the following:

    1. Make sure that the time machine access is completely turned off before trying to correct this problem.

    2. My disk was connected via an Airport Express connection and I could not remove the offending file xxx.inprogress; I had to connect the drive directly to my mac.

    3. Additionally, I had to use the hdiutil mount command to get access to the sparse bundle as a mounted file system. Using the default double click to mount the disk failed.

    4. It did take a long time both to mount the drive and then do the hdutil mounts apparently due to disk verification.

    Thanks for this most useful post!


  33. Thank you for posting your solution to a vexing problem with Time Machine. A seemingly endless 'preparing backup' phase moved into a snail-paced backup, so slow I knew something was terribly wrong. Upon deleting the suggested files from the backup drive, and restarting the process, a long 'preparing backup' phase culminated in normal backup speeds- the process is still going on as I write, but hopefully it will finish without error. Again, thanks for offering your process.

  34. Charlie

    Thank you for the solution to my problem.

    ( Part of the problem was an important Time Capsule software update...but with the two files you suggested be deleted that did the trick. Even with the update it wasn't working. Had to do a hard shut down to get the files to delete though.)


  35. Good to hear Charlie!!

  36. Cowzone

    @Adam You forgot to clean the spaces. Try this:
    rm /Volumes/Backup\ of\ AdamMac/Backups.backupdb/tchmac-002/.inProgress

  37. bob

    I get this problem from time to time when my machine goes to sleep. I tried your fix without success (although it is a great description of a fix), then realized if I physically disconnect the drive (even though the system can read and recognize it) then reconnect, it backs up fine.

  38. My time machine (10.5.8) hung today (5/24/10) for the first time in a year of constant operation. I deleted the files as per above, then used 'back up now' from the menu bar and it worked.

  39. These deleted items always appeared in my Trash, and Trash wouldn't empty when Time Capsule is backing up. So I did "sudo rm -r" on .inProgress via Terminal. It was under /Volumes/BackupXXX/.Trashes/501. It took a loooong time. Maybe "Empty Trash" would've eventually worked, too.

    This post is helpful, but I actually had better results following the advice at Time Machine Troubleshooting

  40. Jon Paul

    I tried deleting the files in the past, but now all of a sudden, it won't let me delete the files, so TM is still hung up, and reports error -50 when I try the delete. As well, over the last couple of weeks, whenever I empty the trash it reports 9 or 10 or 11 items to delete, even though there are only one or two things in there. Are these problems related?

  41. @Jon, That's a new error I haven't seen before so I'm afraid I can't be of much help.

  42. Sally

    This didn't work for me, and I don't understand the gibberish generated by terminal!

  43. Francisco Castellanos

    That "sudo grep backupd /var/log/system.log" worked out for me. told me which files were causing the error. turned out to be some mp3s. Now, both Itunes 10.1 and TM are working as usual. Thanks a lot!

  44. Thank you for this blog. I am also afflicted by the errors. I ran the terminal command and got this:
    Jun 20 06:08:20 Reza-Gorjis-iMac-27-inch[55546]: Backing up to: /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb
    Jun 20 06:08:20 Reza-Gorjis-iMac-27-inch[55546]: Error: (22) setxattr for path:/Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb/Reza Gorji’s iMac 27 inch size:8
    Jun 20 06:08:20 Reza-Gorjis-iMac-27-inch[55546]: Error: (-50) Creating directory 2011-06-20-060820.inProgress
    Jun 20 06:08:20 Reza-Gorjis-iMac-27-inch[55546]: Failed to make snapshot container.

    Any insight into this. I even called Apple Care and the gentleman could not help.

  45. Claire

    Just removing the files didn't work for me. I didn't want to reformat the drive, because I did not want to lose all my previous backups, so I turned off TM and went into the TM drive through the terminal. I changed the name of the "Backups.backupdb" folder and two other files that were in the first directory of the TM drive. The terminal commands were:

    cd /Volumes/
    cd Time\ Machine\ Backups/
    sudo mv Backups.backupdb _Backups.backupdb
    sudo mv "Desktop DB" "_Desktop DB"
    sudo mv "Desktop FB" "_Desktop FB"

    (sudo b/c you need root permission to do this)

    Then when I turned TM back on, it essentially didn't realize it had ever done a back up before and started a new directory and recopied my whole HD onto the external drive. This is a waste of space, but at least I didn't have to reformat the drive.

  46. Lily

    @Jon: I had the same error. I turned TM off, rebooted my computer, and then I could delete it.

  47. Carl

    Thanks for taking the time to publish this info... I had the same issue, did what you said to do and now it WORKS!! Thank You Aaron.

  48. Alison

    Thank you so much for these detailed instructions!
    I recently upgraded to ILife '11 and have about 230,000 photos that I had to manually move into IPhotos, and I think this caused Time Machine to get a little crazy.
    It worked like a charm, all backed up properly.

    Thanks again!!!

  49. Barry

    I believe that Apple is well aware of Time Machine's backup problems and knows what the problem is and whether the problem is fixable or not.

    I purchased an IMAC in 2010. Snow Leopard is the operating system.

    I was initially able to use time machine and backup to an external Iomega hard drive. But, I started to get the error message shortly before September 30, 2011. I called Apple Care for help because I purchased the service with the computer.

    I went through a series of tech's who walked me through different solutions. Time Machine would backup for brief periods and then the error messages started again. I started to get very frustrated with Apple Care customer service after numerous attempts to cure the problem.

    One Tech concluded that my problem was hardware related and the problem was with the external hard drive. I was convinced to purchase a replacement HD from the Apple store. I paid about $109 (including tax) for this advice.

    I continued to have problems even though I replaced the external hard drive with a product recommended by the Apple Care tech. I continued to receive the same error message in spite of the investment.

    I called Apple Care again and again and spoke to a different Technician each time. I finally was assigned a senior advisor when I told that latest Tech that it was time for a new computer.

    The senior advisor used a remote access function and directed me on the latest fix which included re-formating and re-indexing the external HD and making some adjustments in time machine's system preferences.

    I also wanted to by-pass time machine if possible and due manual backups. I was told that time machine is part of my operating system and devoted to backing up data to an external source. I could back up an individual file but I could not by pass time machine to do a system backup.

    I still have the same problem and receive the same error message.

    I called again and was assigned to a second senior advisor who now wanted me to reinstall the operating system by using the install disk that came with the computer. I told the Senior Tech that this step was taken during a previous session with Apple Care. The Senior Advisor denied that this attempt is recorded in my case notes.

    I asked the Senior Advisor what will Apple do if this fix does not work. Will the computer be replaced? P.S. the Senior advisor would not give his full name. He only gave his employee ID number (if that information is correct).

    The Senior advisor told me, among other things. that Apple does not replace computers for software problems. This is an odd reply because Apple can not identify the source of the problem and cannot definitely say if it is hardware or software related or a mix of the two. I was also told that if this fix failed that my case would be referred to engineering.

    I checked the web and found that others are having similar problems getting Time Machine to back up correctly. There are various fixes shared on the web by other Apple users.

    My concern is that I purchased an Apple computer with an Apple Care protection plan that expires in 2013. I expect an Apple Tech or a Senior Advisor to be sufficiently trained and capable of resolving what appears to be a problem publicly shared by a number of Apple users. I should not have to surf the web for solutions.

    Apple should be sued if it is unable to stand behind its product whether hardware or software related or a combination of both.

    I am interested in joining a class action lawsuit if one is already filed against Apple for unfair trade practices and other related relief.

    I also invite other Apple users with the same time machine back up problem to form a class action and file suit against the Apple company if a class action suit is not yet filed.

    Apple knows how to market its product and generate computer sales and sell computer accessories. The stock currently trades at over $400 per share. The company has more cash that the US Treasury.

    I invite Apple customers to share their problems in a public forum.
    Apple execs may take action if their stock price and company reputation is threatened by adverse public reaction.

    I hope Apple is not putting a defective product on the market with the expectation that product problems will be tested and de-bugged by its customers.

    I fear that the Apple company may be saving money by having the public do its testing. The Apple execs may be using public test results (i.e. complaints) to determine how the next generation of the same Apple product will be manufactured and advertised for sale.

    Please reply- Barry Byrnes
    P.S. the time machine error message appeared while I was creating this posting.

  50. @Barry - Wow, that was one long comment! It sucks that you are having issues but I'm afraid when it comes to Apple / Time Machine you aren't alone. This blog post of mine is about a specific Time Machine issue I ran into and my solution appears to have worked for many. Sorry it has not worked for you. Unfortunately, I can't be of any help with the rest of your comment about class action lawsuits. My blog isn't really a good place to get that kind of attention and I certainly don't know enough about global Time Machine issues to know if any extreme action such as lawsuits are warranted. Good luck getting your issue fixed.

  51. Sarah Scott

    I've been trying to delete the .inprogress file and I'm having no luck. When I try doing it through terminal this is what happens.
    I type:

    rm /Volumes/GoFlex\ Home\ Backup\ Disk/Backups.backupdb/Maccius/2011-11-13-180410.inProgress

    And when I get press enter I get the following message.

    rm: /Volumes/GoFlex Home Backup Disk/Backups.backupdb/Maccius/2011-11-13-180410.inProgress: is a directory

    What does it mean that this is a directory? Can I still delete it? If so, how? Anyone know?

  52. Sarah, use this command: rm -fR <path>. If this results in the system complaining about access privileges, use the command: sudo rm -fR <path>.

  53. Stu


    Just wanted to say thank you for the time you spent researching, posting, and following up with users. Tried it out and worked like a charm!

  54. Stephen Whiteside

    My Time Machine has the error message you list on the top of this thread. I have tried to do what you say, but I keep getting stopped. I am running Snow Leopard. Using the Finder I go to my firewire connected external hard drive to the folder you talk about and the last one is entitled "Latest". I have right clicked to move to the Trash and used the mouse to literally move it to the trash. Each time I have use my password, then I am given an error message. "This operation can't be complete because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)". I tried using the terminal window first with rm {space} dragging over the folder to establish the path AND that didn't work. Don't have permission. So I tried the sudo rm then the space and path. It was a no, saying I didn't have rights.

  55. Daniel

    Thanks Aaron - it worked! YDM.

  56. Bob

    many thanks aaron, that fixed worked for me :)

  57. Tracy

    Thanks so much! Worked like a charm. Simple to do - after I spent all of yesterday trying to figure this out. I really appreciate it : )

  58. Darrell

    We use SuperDuper OSX disk image software to compliment Time Machine and get the added bonus of a bootable copy of all the files. We've also used Drobo with Time Machine. No one seems to know why Time Machine just stops working one day and the disk has to be reformatted and start over...the BOFH blames the sun spots? WWSJD?

  59. All, Macworld has released a post about Time Capsule performance doubling on Macbook Air's. Here's the article in case it helps anyone in this thread. Cheers.

    "OS X update doubles 802.11ac Time Capsule's performance" -

  60. Grace Galang

    Thank you, Aaron for this post especially the sudo command on terminal and I was able to see the real culprit all along. It's been more than a week or two that I started having problems with my iMac and my time machine and time capsule. Now I am able to backup successfully.

  61. Vishal

    Here is my experience: If and when Time Machine fails, try to get it image using a clone software. All of the Mac cloning tools allows creation of DMG sector-by-sector of the external hard drive including Time Machine. Download Stellar Phoenix Mac data recovery software and upload the image and start recovery of the Time Machine hard drive.

  62. Nicole

    All the steps were working great up to the point when it said to delete the file from backup ending in "inProgress." It will not allow me to trash this file!

    Now what? Grrrh!

  63. Angie

    I'm having these problems now and looking back over all these comments apple haven't solved anything and this problem has been going on for years!

    If you shut down the external back up disk and restart it you can delete the evil in progress file. I often have to force quit it.

    Reading the last few posts is it a rogue file that causes the glitch as someone above stated MP3 files?

    How do up find which files may be causing the problem? This is happening constantly to me at the moment.