fixed : delete an old TimeMachine-backup file from a Time Capsule

Question :

I’ve bought a new MacBook and I want to use my existing Time Capsule for it’s TimeMachine-backups, but it’s full. The backup-file, a .sparsebundle-file, from my previous MacBook that I am going to pass on to one of my children, is far too big.

I have installed my new MacBook from the old MacBook’s TimeMachine-backup, so I am not needing that backup again, but I want to make two new TimeMachine-backups as soon as possible : one for my new MacBook and one for the old MacBook right after my child starts using it.

But, I can’t seem to delete the old .sparsebundle-file from my Time Capsule completely… I’ve done several attempts, but I keep running into the same error message “The operation can’t be completed because some items had to be skipped. For each item, choose File > get Info, make sure “Locked” is deselected, and then check the Sharing & Permissions section. When you are sure the items are unlocked and not designated as Read Only or No Access, try again.”. On first sight, the .sparsebundle-file is still there. On further inspection, it turns out the the .sparsebundle-file has shrunken in size.

But… what can I do to completely delete the old .sparsebundle-file ?

 

Answer :

This problem can occur especially with bigger and older .sparsebundle-TimeMachine-backup-files. Note that the really new TimeMachine-backup-files have a .backupbundle-extension, not a .sparsebundle-extension, but there is hardly any difference

To be able to delete the old .sparsebundle-file, start by doing this :

  1. connect your new MacBook to the Time Capsule using a UTP/Ethernet-cable
    • make sure to shut off AirPort/WiFi on your MacBook :
      • in the top menu-bar, click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon (the piece of pie)
      • in the pulldown-menu, set the WiFi-slider to OFF
    • if you do not have an Ethernet-port or a USB-to-Ethernet-converter on your MacBook :
      • connect your MacBook to the Time Capsule using AirPort/WiFi
      • but make sure to disconnect all other AirPort/WiFi-connected devices
  2. Make sure that your Time Capsule has the latest firmware installed :
    • goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
    • open AirPort Utility
    • in the AirPortUtility-window, click on your Time Capsule’s picture
    • when prompted, enter the Time Capsule’s password
    • in the popup-window, at ‘version’ check if there is an update available
    • if so, click on the button to install it
    • if just the version number is shown, you already have the latest firmware installed, so you don’t need to do anything extra here
    • exit AirPort Utility
  3. Make sure that you have read&write-privileges on the .sparsbundle-file you want to remove :
    • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the Finder-icon (blue-grey face icon) in the far left of the Dock
    • from the popup-list, select New Finder Window
    • scroll down to the “Locations” group in the menu list at the left and click on “Network”
    • in the window that opens, goto Network > Time Capsule
      • if you have multiple Time Capsule devices, make sure you select the Time Capsule that the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete is actually on
    • if it says “Not Connected” click the “Connect as”-button and typ the Time Capsule’s password
    • if it says “Connected”, you’re good
    • open the Data folder and right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the TimeMachine-backup-file you want to delete
    • from the popup-menu, choose Get Info
    • in the Get Info window that opens, choose these settings :
      • uncheck the check-box at “Locked” (so the file is unlocked, i.e. delete-able)
      • uncheck the check-box at “Hide extension” (so the .sparsebundle extension will be visible in the file name)
      • at “Sharing & Permissions” set Privilege for “everyone” to “Read & Write”
    • close the Get Info window

Having set the above, there are various options that might enable you to delete the old .sparsebundle-file (or .backupbundle-file). Your options are listed below, from simple to extreme. Read all of them before starting, and choose the option you want to try first. Any of these might be successful, and if the one you chose first doesn’t work, just try another one.

Option #1 : delete the .sparsebundle-file from within the Finder

  • goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Move to Bin”
  • wait for the “Move to Bin” action to complete
  • if it doesn’t end in an error, empty the bin/trash (and you’re done)
  • if this ends in an error, try any of the other options

Option #2a : additional TC reset

  • restart your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable for 30 seconds
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • when the Time Capsule comes back online, follow the directions from Option #1

Option #2b : additional Mac reset

  • shut down your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable (for 30 seconds)
  • shut down your MacBook by selecting Shut Down from the Apple-menu top-left
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • restart your MacBook by pressing the power button
  • when both your Time Capsule and your MacBook have restarted, follow the directions from Option #1

Option #2c : additionally disconnect other devices

  • shut down your Time Capsule by unplugging the power cable (for 30 seconds)
  • now, disconnect all UTP/Ethernet-cables leading to other devices than your MacBook (you can even disconnect the cable connected to your internet modem-router)
  • shut down your MacBook by selecting Shut Down from the Apple-menu top-left
  • plug the power cable back into the Time Capsule
  • restart your MacBook by pressing the power button
  • when both your Time Capsule and you MacBook have restarted, goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
  • in the AirPort Utility window, click on the picture of your Time Capsule, typ your password if needed and check which devices are connected
  • then, one-by-one go to each device listed and shut down it’s WiFi-connection
  • when done, close the AirPort Utility application and reopen it
  • again, in the AirPort Utility window, click on the picture of your Time Capsule, typ your password if needed and check which devices are connected
  • you should now see no devices listed at “wireless clients” (except for your MacBook if you aren’t able to connect it using a UTP/Ethernet-cable)
  • then, follow the directions from Option #1
  • NOTE : do not forget to plug all UTP/Ethernet-cables back into your Time Capsule and switch on WiFi on all devices that were previously connected

Option #3 : by backing up the Time Capsule content

  • NOTE : you will need a Mac-connectable external USB-harddisk for this ! (at least as many GBs as the internal HD of your Time Capsule, so 500G, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB of larger)
    • to check if the USB-harddisk is Mac-connectable, plug it into your Mac and if it pops up you’re okay
    • if it doesn’t show up, it’s a Windows NTFS-disk that needs to be reformatted to Mac Journailed format ( note that this erases all content, so ONLY reformat it if it’s an empty brand-new external harddisk ! )
  • NOTE : this method will work 99% of the time, but it will probably take (far) more time than any other method
  • start by connecting the external USB-harddisk to your Time Capsule’s USB-port
  • then, on your MacBook, goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • then, in the top menu-bar, goto Finder > Preferences
  • in the Finder Preferences window, click the Sidebar tab
  • in the list that shows up, make sure that “External disks” and “Connected servers” are checked
  • then close the Finder Preferences window
  • now select the New Finder Window you had just opened
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule
  • next to the Data-folder, there is now a new folder named after your externe USB-harddisk
    • for the following, assume that your extern USB-harddisk folder is simply called “usb-HD”
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD
    • if the “usb-HD” folder is completely empty, you’re okay
    • else, click on the “More” icon (the circle with 3 dot in it) and in the dropdown menu click “New Folder” and call it “TC-backup”
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • inside the Data-folder select all files (both backup-files and other files) that you DO NOT want to delete
  • drag&drop all the files into Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD
    • it may take some time for all files to copy over, so let it run
    • if you run into an error, try copying over every file one-by-one
    • if you still run into an error, just try again
  • when all files are copied over, you can unplug the external USB-harddisk from your Time Capsule
    • as an extra safety precaution, you can unplug the power cable from your Time Capsule before you unplug the USB-cable and replug the power cable when the external USB-harddisk is disconnected
  • then goto Applications > Utilities > AirPort Utility
  • open AirPort Utility
  • in the AirPortUtility-window, click on your Time Capsule’s picture
  • when prompted, enter the Time Capsule’s password
  • in the popup-window, click the Edit-button
  • in the window that opens, select the “Disks”-tab
  • in the Disks window, click the “Erase Disk”-button
  • next, choose the level of security for the erase (“Quick Erase” should do fine, since you are going to use the disk for the same purpose immediately afterwards)
  • then click “Update” and the Time Capsule’s status light wil flash orange-yellow until the disk is erased and the Time Capsule is accessible again
  • then, exit AirPort Utility
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD or Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > usb-HD > TC-backup (depending on where you put your Time Capsule back-up files)
    • if you don’t see the “usb-HD” folder, make sure your external USB-harddisk is plugged back into your Time Capsule
  • now, select all files from the back-up folder (either “usb-HD” or the “TC-backup” folder within it)
  • drag&drop all the files into Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
    • it may take some time for all files to copy over, so let it run
    • if you run into an error, try copying over every file one-by-one
    • if you still run into an error, just try again
  • when the copying is finished, you should now have your Time Capsule the way you wanted it : exactly the same (backup) files on it’s disk, but without the .sparsebundle(s) you don’t need anymore

Option #4 : manually deleting all files inside

  • goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Open Package Content”
  • in the Finder window that opens click on the “bands” folder
    • if the “bands” folder appears empty, just wait a few moments for its content to appear in the Finder window
  • SHIFT-click on the top file and scroll down to select multiple files, then press the Backspace-button on your keyboard to delete them
    • you are able to select and delete up to 8000 files per batch (according to user ‘cmaryg’)
    • if a batch refuses to delete at the first attempt, just try again – usually it will eventually be deleted anyway (according to user ‘cmaryg’)
    • if a batch refuses to delete after a few attempts, reduce the number of files in it by selecting less files at once and try deleting again
    • if you happen to run into a single file that refuses to delete, do this :
      • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the file
      • from the popup-list, select “Get Info”
      • in the window that opens, make sure that there is no checkmark at “Locked”
      • then try deleting the file again
  • then repeat this for the next batch of files, until the “bands” folder is completely empty
  • if the “bands” file is completely empty, close the Finder window that displays the “bands” folder
  • then, goto Finder > New Finder Window
  • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
  • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
  • from the popup-list, select “Move to Bin”
  • if it doesn’t end in an error, empty the bin/trash (and you’re done)
  • if this ends in an error, you can still try Option #3, but probably this will help too :
    • goto Locations > Network > Network > Time Capsule > Data
    • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the .sparsebundle-file you want to delete
    • from the popup-list, select “Open Package Content”
    • in the Finder window that opens, select the top folder and drag it to the bin (trash)
    • repeat this for all folders listed
    • then, select the top file and drag it to the bin (trash)
    • repeat this for all files
    • if you run into a file that refuses to delete, do this :
      • right-click ( CTRL-click ) on the file
      • from the popup-list, select “Get Info”
      • in the window that opens, make sure that there is no checkmark at “Locked”
      • then try deleting the file again

That should be it !

As mentioned before : the Option #3 method will work (nearly) always, but it’s time-consuming and you will need a lot of extra disk space for it (on an external harddisk).

enjoy ūüėČ

 

fixed : shared disks not visible in Finder

Question :

When I’m at home, I usually am able to see my Time Capsule in the paragraph named “Shared” in the shortlist on the left side of each Finder window.

But today, I don’t even see the “Shared” paragraph… How can I connect to my Time Capsule to view the files I’ve stored on it ?

Answer :

There can be several causes for your problem, but these two are the most common :

#1. you have accidentally switched off viewing of shared volumes in the Finder preferences

to correct this :

– click on the Finder icon in the Dock (the half-blue-half-grey square-face icon)

– then, in the top menu bar, go to Finder –> Preferences

– in the window that opens, click on the “Sidebar” tab

– then, in the “Show these items in the sidebar:” list, make sure there’s a checkmark in front of “Connected servers” (in the “Shared” paragraph)

– then close the Finder Preferences and you’re done ; enjoy !

#2. OSX has automatically¬†logged on to a different WiFi-network than your primary WiFi-network (getting logged on to your Guest-network can cause this problem for instance…)

to correct this :

– click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon in the top menu bar (the ‘piece of pie’-icon)

– in the list of available WiFi-networks that appears,¬†click “Turn Wi-Fi off”

– then click on the AirPort/WiFi-icon in the top menu bar again, click “Turn Wi-Fi on”, wait for the available WiFi-networks to appear in the list, then¬†select your primary WiFi-network to connect to

– this should resolve your problem, but to make sure your Mac won’t auto-connect to the wrong WiFi-network again, do this also :

– go to the Apple-icon (top-left in the top menu bar) –> System Preferences –> Network

– in the window that opens, select “Wi-Fi” in the shortlist on the left

– then click the “Advanced”-button

– in the window that opens, select the “Wi-Fi”-tab and scroll down though the list of “Preferred Networks:” until you come to the name of your Guest-network (or other WiFi-network you unwillingly connected to)

– then click on the ‘Minus-sign”-button to delete your Guest-network (or alike) from the list of preferred networks, then click the ‘OK’-button to save and exit

…that’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

Note : if situation #1. occurs, your Time Machine backup¬†would still be operating, but if situation #2. is the case, Time Machine won’t be able to see your Time Capsule either, even if you have internet access…

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fixed : changing the name of a Time Machine backup .sparsebundle-file

Question :

I have transported my user account from my old Mac to my new Mac (using the Migration Assistant application) some weeks ago. Yesterday, I happend to click¬†on the Data-drive from my TimeCapsule in the Finder, and I noticed that the TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) is still named after my old Mac… the name hasn’t changed to the new Mac’s name…

I find this utterly confusing. Is there something I can do to change the name of the .sparsebundle-file ?

 

Answer :

Yes there is, but it appears not all versions of the TimeMachine software are happy with changing the name of the .sparsebundle-file by the user.

So if you want to change the name of a TimeMachine backup-file (.sparsebundle-file) but wish to minimize the risk of corrupting your entire TimeMachine backup-file (one thus loosing all your data), follow this procedure :

1- make sure you are operating your Mac from a user account with administrator rights

2- go to Apple –> System Preferences –> Sharing

3- there, change the “Computer Name” to a name that identifies you new Mac (and the .sparsebundle-file)

4- then, go to the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu

5- wait for the TimeMachine backup has finished (this might take longer than normal), and check to see if the .sparsebundle-file has been renamed (go to your TimeMachine backup drive using the Finder to do so)

The above will probably be sufficient if you are running MacOSX 10.7 “Lion”, OSX 10.8 “Mountain Lion” or OSX 10.9 “Mavericks”, and if it works, it’s the preferred way for changing the name of the .sparsebundle -file, as it minimises the risk on corrupting¬†your backups. So, always try the above procedure first !

If you are running MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard” or earlier (probably even Mac OSX 10.4 “Tiger” and even PowerPC Macs with G4 and G5 processors that can run the Time Machine software), and the above procedure didn’t change the name of the .sparsebundle-file, try this :

Рduplicate your .sparsebundle-file to another harddisk, or select a new backup harddisk to make an entirely new TimeMachine backup to  (to make sure you have a backup in case you accidentally mess up ; if your sparse bundle-file is your one-and-only and irreplaceable backup, make sure you do this !)

– make sure the .sparsebundle-file is operating correctly by testing it using the “Enter¬†TimeMachine”-option from the pulldown menu that appears when clicking on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s menu bar

– make sure you are logged in as a user with Administrator rights

– click on the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar and select “Back Up Now”

– after the backup has finished, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder, click on the .sparsebundle-file and change it’s name

– then, go to the TimeMachine Preferences (either through the System Preferences or through the pulldown menu from the TimeMachine-icon in the top bar of the Finder)

– there, switch off TimeMachine and exit the System Preferences

– then, open the TimeMachine Preferences (within the System Preferences) again, and switch TimeMachine back on, then exit the System Peferences

Рthen, go to your (primary) TimeMachine-drive in the Finder again, and check if the name of the .sparsebundle-file has changed

– if the name has changed, check if the TimeMachine-backup works (try to access it by clicking “Enter Time Machine” from the pulldown menu that appears under the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar), if that works, that’s it, you’re done !

– if somewhere along the procedure, something didn’t work as expected, restart your Mac and try again

– if it name change still won’t stick after several tries, make sure the “Computer Name” of your Mac is named exactly as you like¬†in the Network Preferences (within the System Preferences) and then create an entirely new TimeMachine-backup : add¬†a new drive for TimeMachine-backups (or remove¬†the existing drive and then add the same one again) in the Time Machine Preferences (within the System Preferences),¬†then click “Back Up Now” from the pulldown menu when you select the TimeMachine-icon in the Finder’s top menu bar… and wait…

That should be it.

Enjoy !

ūüėČ

Note : the .sparsebundle-file extension might not be visible ; you can turn it on (or off) in the file’s “Get Info”-window (accessible when right-clicking on the file’s icon in the Finder)

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fixed : use internal SATA hard drive in LaCie “Mac mini”-form factor housing

Question :

I have an old, square-ish Mac mini (2005 through June 2010), which back-ups to a LaCie FireWire 400 harddrive with the same square-ish form-factor. This morning however, the harddrive inside the LaCie mini has died…

I could just get¬†a completely new external hard drive (with a different design) for my backups now, but I really like the square-ish housing of the LaCie mini together with the Mac mini, so I’ve decided to replace the internal hard disk.

However, it turns out that the internal hard disk of the LaCie mini is an IDE (ATA) hard disk, which are increasingly harder to get than the current Serial-ATA (SATA) hard disks, and generally even more expensive.

Is there a way to use an internal SATA hard disk inside the LaCie mini housing ?

Answer :

Yes, there is.

What you need is this :

– a high-capacity internal 2.5″ laptop SATA harddisk¬†(it is possible¬†using a 3.5″ desktop SATA harddisk, but that is not recommended as explained at the bottom of this post), like¬†a Hitachi TravelStar 1TB SATA harddisk

– a 2.5″ to 3.5″ bay converter-frame, or preferably just the Digitus 2.5″ to 3.5″ bay converter-brackets or alike

– a Wintech SAK-65 bi-directional SATA-to-IDE converter (because of the limited space inside the LaCie mini housing, most other IDE-to-SATA converters will be too bulky too fit in one direction or another)

Note : the Wintech SAK-65 comes with all cables to connect a SATA hard disk to the LaCie mini IDE/ATA-internal

When you have all these parts, the build-in is rather straight forward, especially if you use the manual provided with the Wintech Converter. In short :

1- unplug the LaCie mini form the power and FireWire cables, then remove the white plastic triangular feet from the LaCie mini housing (the are sticker-type feet, so temporarily stick them to a clean smooth surface to store) and unscrew the  screws you find beneath them

2- gently open the housing, unscrew the broken iDE/ATA-hard drive, and take it out

3- gently disconnect the ATA-to-ATA cable, and take it out also

4- then put the new SATA-hard drive in and screw it into place

5- then connect the Wintech converter as outlined in the instruction manual (so, set it’s switch to “Device” and do not forget to connect it to the power using the provided Molex extension cable that includes an extra power connector for the Wintech connector)

6- then connect both Wentronic cables to the hard disk on one end and on the other end to the Molex cable and the Wintech connector

7- then make sure the Wintech connector is slightly twisted in such a way that it is a flat on the hard drive as possible and gently close up the housing (don’t forget the plastic feet)

8- reconnect the power and FireWire cables, and then the LaCie mini will be recognized as and ‘unreadable’ drive by your Mac mini

9- use OSX’s Disk Utility-app to format the drive to “Mac Journaled” format, and it will appear as a healthy drive on your Mac (ready for use, for Time Machine backups or alike)

That’s it

ūüėČ

—————————

If you really want to build a 3.5″ SATA harddisk into this LaCie mini housing, it can be done, but it¬†will fit¬†so extremely tight that it comes with some extra things you need to address :

1- you will NOT¬†need the 2.5″ to 3.5″ converter brackets

2- the provided cables will not fit in such a way that the housing can be properly rebuilt, so you will also need :

– a Wentronic 4p-Molex-to-angled-15p-SATA power cable (none of the cables with a regular straight SATA-connector will fit, and even most of the angled SATA-connectors will be too bulky too fit, and even this one leaves¬†less than a mm of room for the housing) to extend the “Molex-with-an-extra-power-wire-for-the-converter”-cable

– a Wentronic SATA-to-angled-SATA data cable (most of the other angled-SATA connectors will be too bulky, but the Belkin SATA-to-angled-SATA data cable will fit as well), but you will even have to strip a little extra off the angled connector to enable the cable to make a ‘near-360’-corner

3- the¬†Wintech SAK-65 bi-directional SATA-to-IDE converter¬†needs to be used stripped of it’s plastic housing as it’s too bulky, and you will need to extend the IDE¬†Master/Slave-cable (the wide and flat cable that looks like a lot of tiny wires next to each other) by opening the connection on the converter and putting the original one from the LaCie mini housing in it’s place (after having taken off the connector of that one also)

4- make sure you don’t adjust the 3.5″ SATA harddrive using the screws, just put it ‘on the floor plate'(to make a little extra space)

5- …and then you will have to puzzle quite a bit to fit all of that into the housing

As mentioned before : using a 2.5″ SATA harddrive is far more convenient and straight forward !

Whichever solution you choose :

Enjoy !

ūüėČ

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fixed : use the Terminal to repair corrupt .sparsebundle-file

Question :

I have a corrupt .sparsebundle-file (a¬†TimeMachine-backup file), that I would really like to fix, because there’s some files in there that I need.

I have tried using the Disk Utility app, but that didn’t work.

I also read that it should be possible to use the Terminal app to do this, but I’ve never used the Terminal app before, and I can’t find clear directions on how to do it…

What exactly should I do ?

Answer :

The Terminal app is not a regular OSX-application, it is a command-line tool (a.k.a. console) to program and reprogram in the underlings of OSX (more or less like the DOS-prompt in Windows). So, as you are going out of the ‘OSX comfort zone’ when you start using the Terminal app, you should beware since messing things up there can really mess up OSX, and lead to having to re-install OSX.

Having that said, here’s a step-by-step guide to fixing your .sparsebundle-file using the Terminal app :

– first, connect your backup-drive (the one with the broken .sparsebundle-file on it) to your Mac, using a USB- or FireWire-cable

note : if the backup-drive is inside a Time Capsule, you’ll probably be best of getting the harddrive out of the Time Capsule (as outlined in this iFixit How-To) and then temporarily hooking it up to your Mac using something like this SATA-to-USB connector¬†(or an old USB-harddrive-enclosure). Even though this breaks the warranty on your Time Capsule, it’s probably the best solution since the direct USB-connection is much faster than the usual network-over-ethernet-connection… (and bringing the Time Capsule in to an Apple-dealer for repair, will definitely mean losing all your data, since that is part of the regular repair-policy… and bringing it to a specialized data-recovery company will cost more than buying a new Time Capsule)

– then, open the Terminal app (which can be found in the Utilities folder that is in the Applications folder)

– in the window that opens, you will see the name of your Mac followed by a colon (:) and a tilde (~), so if the name of your Mac is MacBook Pro, you will see :

macbook-pro:~

that is the “prompt”, when you see that, you can start typing the commands

note : some basic knowledge about working in the Terminal :

  1. each line of commands (a.k.a. “command line”) you type should be activated by pressing the ENTER-key
  2. as long as you do not see the prompt, the Terminal app is still busy executing your last command line
  3. the Terminal can not handle names with spaces in them, as spaces play an important roll in a command line ; they separate the subsequent commands given in one command line, e.g. if your backup-file’s name is MacBook Pro.sparsebundle, the Terminal app requires you to type is as MacBook\ Pro.sparsebundle¬†or you can type the entire path to the file in quotation marks, like : “…/…/MacBook Pro.sparsebundle”¬†(another option is to temporarily change the filename to one that has only letters and numbers in it)
  4. you don’t need to type the entire path to a file’s location in a command line manually, you can just drag-and-drop the file itself onto the command line and the entire path to the file will be automatically generated (a handy trick to prevent mis-typing)
  5. when typing your password in the Terminal, the cursor will not progress, so there will be no visual feedback whatsoever about what you’ve typed… so, type your passwords only with total focus on what you’re typing !
  6. ! BEWARE : be sure to double-check your typing when using the command line, as one mis-typed letter can generate an entirely different, unwanted outcome, screwing up your entire OSX installation !
  7. when working in Terminal app on a MacBook (Pro/Air), the advice is not to use an external keyboard, but the on-board keyboard

Now, when you see the prompt appearing, type this (followed by pressing the ENTER-key) :

admin$ sudo su –

Then, when you see the prompt appearing again, type this (followed by pressing ENTER) :

root# chflags -R nouchg [drag .sparsebundle-file here]

Then, at the next prompt, type this (and press ENTER) :

root# hdiutil attach -nomount -noverify -noautofsck [drag .sparsebundle-file here]

And at the next prompt, type this (and ENTER) :

root# tail -f /var/log/fsck_hfs.log

Look closely in this next file when you need to type what, and what the feedback should look like (kind of) :

  • bold green text = this is the command line prompt
  • bold black text = you should manually type exactly this text
  • bold purple text = drag-and-drop your .sparsebundle-file here, and your sparse bundle’s path will be displayed
  • black text = this text is generated by the Terminal, indicating what is busy and/or finished, and will be the same when your replicate this proces
  • blue text = what is displayed here depends on your specific situation
  • if problems are found, they will be listed in-between these lines, and it will also be indicated how it was fixed

console log sparsebundle repair

note : as you can see from the time-stamps in the picture, the entire process will take quite a long time to complete (it took nearly 6 hours to repair this harddisk – a 500GB harddrive that was temporarily taken out of a Time Capsule and connected via USB2.0)

so, from there on it’s wait, wait, wait, do something entirely different, wait (again), get a good night’s sleep… and wake up in the morning with a repaired hard drive…

that should be it ūüėČ

fixed : “No Volumes Found in backup”-error

Question :

I was trying to get Migration Assistant-app to put all my data on my new Mac, but when I select the sparsebundle backup-file from Time Machine in Migration Assistant, I get an error : “No Volumes Found in backup”.

How can that be ? I’ve made a new TimeMachine-backup just minutes before, and I didn’t get any errors there… what is wrong ?

What can I do to fix this ?

Answer :

Time Machine is great. But there seems to be a bug in the backup-software that causes this “No Volumes Found in backup”-error you’ve encountered. Normally, this error-message should only be displayed when a sparsebundle backup-file is corrupt (for some reason), but it turns out that it is now also displayed when a sparsebundle backup-file is incomplete…

This is probably due to a disconnection from the backup-disk during the TimeMachine-backup process (for instance because of shutting down the Mac, or switching from WiFi- to Ethernet-connection or vice-versa, during backup).

If the original files are still available on your Mac, the solution is rather simple : just go back to your Mac and use Time Machine to make a new backup. If you want extra insurance to prevent this error, either make a new Time Machine backup to a new/fresh harddrive (preferable an external USB- or FireWire-harddisk), or follow the backup-routine outlined in this post.

If the original files are no longer available on your Mac (e.g. your Mac is stolen, sold or you’ve just done a clean install on it, wiping off all of it’s data), you are in trouble…

…in that case, you could try using Disk Utility to repair the sparsebundle-file. If that works, you are in extreme luck… if that doesn’t help, you have very few options other than using the Terminal-app or a specialized expensive retrieving app like DiskWarrior (the cheaper knock-offs turn out not to work in most cases… too bad…).

I will be posting instructions on how to use the Terminal-app for this shortly (in a new post).

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tip : make sure your TimeMachine-update is useable

Question :

While doing a regular check on my Mac with Disk Utility, it just informed me that I have a potential hardware failure, should save a many data as I can and reinstall.

So I was planning on doing a TimeMachine-backup and disk-reformat, followed by a clean install of OSX and copy-back from TimeMachine.

But… I recently found reports on a bug in TimeMachine, that might prevent TimeMachine from recognizing the latest backup…

Is there a way to make sure that my latest TimeMachine-backup is useable ?

 

Answer :

This bug seems to occur with unfinished TimeMachine-backups, either due to disconnection, unplugging or switching from WiFi to Ethernet or vice-versa…

As with all things in life, nothing is 100% sure or secure…

But if you want near-100% assurance that your latest TimeMachine-backup will work after a ‘clean install’, do this :

– make sure your Mac is connected to your TimeMachine-backup-disk in only¬†one way, so if it’s an external harddisk disconnect the Ethernet-network cable and set AirPort/Wifi to OFF, to have the connection¬†‘only via USB’ or ‘only via FireWire’ and if your TimeMachine-backup-disk is a NAS or TimeCapsule, disconnect from AirPort/WiFi (and preferably connect the Ethernet-cable from the NAS or TimeCapsule straight into your Mac, and if possible, stop all other network-connections over Ethernet, by disconnecting all cables, and shutting down AirPort/WiFi) to have the connection ‘only via Ethernet’

– do a new “Back Up Now” in TimeMachine, and make sure it finishes completely before you do anything else (preferably, shut down all other apps before backing up also)

– then startup the Migration Assistant-app (from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder), and type your Mac’s administrator-password when asked

– in the first window, select “From a Mac, Time Machine Backup or startup disk”, and click “Continue”

– in the next window, select the disk that your TimeMachine-backups are on (if you’re on a Time Capsule, you will need to type your TimeCapsule-password when asked), and click “Continue”

– in the next window, a list of all backups (a.k.a. sparsebundles) available on the disk will be displayed ; now you will have to wait a little for each sparsebundle to display what the date is of the backup-version that can be retrieved… if that date matches today’s date, you have a perfect backup available, and you can exit the Migration Assistant-app by repeatedly clicking the “Back”-button

…but if the date is different, or the “No Volumes Found in backup”-error is displayed, your backup is useless for easy recovery ;¬†you will have to exit the Migration Assistant-app, and start over the entire backup-routine explained above, and then check again in the Migration Assistant-app …you have to keep repeating this entire routine until you get today’s date displayed below the backup’s name

If you do not do as described above, you are in serious, enormously time-consuming trouble… ¬†(even though this doesn’t always mean that your personal data is lost… everything might be lost, but… it could also mean you will have to repair the sparsebundle-files and/or it could also mean that you will have to copy everything back ; folder-by-folder or even file-by-file… either in the Time Machine-app or in the Finder ; and all applications will have to be manually reinstalled again…)

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