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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Time Machine Back Up Extremely Slow


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Dalmatians

 
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So I have been having problems with my MBP the past couple of days. It takes about 3min to open an app and I can't play any songs in iTunes because the song keeps stopping and loading. So basically my computer is unusable. I decided to buy a LaCie 1TB external HD in the hope to save all of the precious files on my computer and I just got it in the mail this morning. I hooked it up and started running Time Machine for a full back up. Just as I expected it is extremely slow so slow that after 2 hours it has only copied 401.1MB out of 228.87GB. Just to be clear I have a 250GB hard drive and 2GB of Ram in my MBP with a little over 3GB of space left. What can I do to speed up the process. My plan was to back up my entire HD and then try and save my laptop by restoring it.
I would appreciate any help you guys could give me.
Thanks.
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mdfuller

 
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What is the CPU and memory doing in Activity Monitor? It is going to take a boat load of time, but that seems like too much. You might have a drive going bad as well.
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Dalmatians

 
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I am not sure what to look for in the Activity Monitor.
It says 237 Threads and 60 Processes
It is a fairly new HD.
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Sort the CPU and memory columns by highest users and see what/if anything is taking all the resources.
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Dalmatians

 
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Apps open but lag a lot.
For instance it sometimes takes forever just to exit a window.
I just disabled the animation of opening applications which helps a tiny bit.
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Dalmatians

 
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In the CPU tab it looks like kernel_task is the highest. 1.6-2.1 CPU and 150 mb memory
But it keeps changing it also said activity monitor 14.5 CPU now it is down to 1.8.
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As an old hardware guy, first general rule of thumb with reference to your boot drive has always been to maintain 10% free space - minimum. At 1% free space, you're asking for problems, pretty much no matter the OS.

Time Machine - first backup is going to be painfully slow. Typically a first Time Machine backup of only 20-30 GB's is an overnight process. I would recommend you grab SuperDuper! and do a full bootable backup. Then if something happens to your drive during all this process, you'll be able to boot to the external drive at least. Also, recommend partitioning the external into 2 partitions a 350 GB partition at this point for the backup partition and the balance for future storage.

Even SuperDuper will take a few hours to back up 230GB of data, particularly if it's USB.

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Dalmatians

 
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It is firewire. At the rate it is going at right now (2GB in the past four hours) It will take days. Is there anything I can do to speed up the process (quitting programs somehow) without downloading Superduper! I can't really use Safari or download anything right now. When I am finished with backing up do you think restoring my computer will save it?
Thanks.
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Have you tried stopping the backup and rebooting and starting over?
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Sorry, can't tell you what you would like to hear. It will take a long time, quite possibly days with Time Machine and that much data from everything I've read. Part of your issue right now is no free space on your boot drive. This is limiting the amount of virtual memory available and the speed of the reads and writes.

Still recommend two partitions on the external drive. And still stand by recommendation for getting SuperDuper for your first back up. After you back it up with SuperDuper, boot to the backup partition and move as much of your data to the 2nd partition as possible. Then, run SuperDuper from the backup drive and have it copy itself back to your internal in it's new lean state.

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Dalmatians

 
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Okay I will try the things suggested a little later on tonight.
Thanks for your help.
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I agree with bobtomay above on having enough free space on your boot drive.

The first backup on Time Machine takes a lot of time, and interrupting and restarting backups will not improve the situation.

Be patient and let Time Machine do the job.

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Dalmatians

 
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Thanks you guys.
The process has speeded up significantly and I only have 100 GB's to go
I have one question. When I click on my external HD on the desktop I am unable to see the files that have been added so far. Will I have have to wait until the full back up has been completed to see the progress?
Thanks again.
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bobtomay

 
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And what are you planning to do to solve the issue with your internal drive once you have a full Time Machine backup?

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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dsuisman

 
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I recently encountered the same problem--super slow initial backup with Time Machine.

What helped was disabling the VirusScan software I had running on my system. (In truth, disabling required uninstalling it and then reinstalling after the initial backup was completed, because VirusScan 8.6.1 for Mac has no Disable feature.)
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