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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics System 10.5
This took me a long time to figure out. There are some tips here and elsewhere providing fixes for FileVault problems caused by sparse image corruption. I discovered today that similar problems on Time Machine sparse image files were causing reproducible kernel panics (KPs) on remote Macs backing up to these sparse image files via a server Mac. The problem is that there's very little indication to lead one to that conclusion. I was getting predictable KPs as soon as Time Machine backups would begin, and none of the disks involved (remote computer, server computer, attached USB Time Machine disk) showed any problem at all with Disk Utility or DiskWarrior.

The solution was to log in as root on the server computer, and then use the following command to attach (but not mount -- this is key!) the image:
hdiutil mount -nomount -readwrite /Volumes/path/to/sparse/image
I then used DiskWarrior to rebuild the directory. (Disk Utility aborted with a sibling link error or something like that.) Without DiskWarrior, I would have had to delete the entire sparse image file and start a new complete backup series. This not only demonstrates an obscure vulnerability of Mac OS X 10.5.2, but once again reminds me I'm glad I ponied up for DiskWarrior. (More detail at can be found in this post on Apple Discussions.)

[robg adds: Obviously, this hint isn't something that's easily tested. It's posted more as an aid to those who may be experiencing kernel panics for no apparent reason. If you've seen such issues yourself, please post in the comments.]
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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: diamondsw on Mar 10, '08 08:54:20AM

I also had a case where my sparse image became corrupted - my wireless network dropped right as it finished the backup, and managed to corrupt an unknown file, the spotlight index, and the journal. Real mess. I don't have DiskWarrior 4.1 since Alsoft refuses to post an updater for paid customers (and I am <strong>extremely upset</strong> with them for this), but I was able to repair the disk image using the built-in fsck_hfs. Once repaired, everything has been fine since.

In my case the corruption only caused backups to fail, not kernel panics.



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: macandrew on Mar 10, '08 09:28:46AM

I have a plain vanilla Time Machine setup - locally connected external FW drive - and I suddenly began experiencing periodic kernel panics. Tried to repair the TM disk, Diskutil failed! Had to reformat (low level, writing 0s) and set up TM afresh to get things back to normal.



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: krusty76 on Mar 10, '08 12:59:17PM

Minus the KPs, I have been experiencing some oddness with my Time Capsule and Time Machine. One of the things that happened was that one of my backups got corrupted. I hadn't had an outage or anything, but I was getting that same "sibling link" error in Disk Util. I do not have Disk Warrior, unfortunately, so I had to ditch the damn thing and start over. Does not instill a whole lot of confidence in this back up routine!



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: dethbunny on Mar 11, '08 11:33:04AM

I don't have a sparsebundle to try the command out on, but I have been known to use hdiutil quite a bit. Wouldn't the following command be correct?

hdiutil attach -nomount -readwrite /path/to/sparse/image

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attach == mount
Authored by: matthiasr on Mar 11, '08 01:42:07PM
man hdiutil says mount is a synonym for attach.

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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: JMB8877 on Mar 29, '08 04:21:33AM

Great hint! It worked for me and sorted out my corrupt TM backup on a USB drive on my APE base station. Disk Warrior to the rescue again!



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: pixelation03 on Apr 15, '08 06:47:53PM
I would have had to delete the entire sparse image file and start a new complete backup series.
I'm looking at a DMG Image of my Time Machine drive (long story, which I'll post in the forums) and I don't see the .sparsebundle file in my image. Does this mean I have restart all of my backups?

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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: lemoose on May 29, '08 02:57:53AM
I had the same problem after a power outage while the backup was running... I found out doing what you describe and then repairing the sparsebundle using Disk Utility did fix the whole thing... I'm describing the whole process here:
<a href="http://blog.hardmac.com/archives/how-i-saved-my-corrupted-time-machine-sparsebundle-image">; How I saved my corrupted Time Machine sparsebundle image… </a>

Thanks for your help.

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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: higgy on Jun 25, '08 10:32:02AM

Awesome fix - thank you for all who figured this out!

I've not had the KPs, (Time Machine would fail after about 1 month - disk would become "read only") but have had to previously reformat and wipe out my time machine backups (Lacie USB connected to Airport Extreme; OS 10.5.2 Powerbook G4). Nothing else worked - and I've been scouring the Apple discussion boards.

Final fix that worked: the "hdiutil xxx..." terminal command to "attach" the sparsebundle; followed by DiskWarrior 4.1 to repair the corrupt image.

Thank you again to all that contributed to this fix - I'm back up and running time machine backups and didn't have to wipeout a month's worth of backups - which, I believe, is what Time Machine on Leopard is supposed to do.

- higgy



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: cneth on Apr 02, '09 06:23:39AM

Note that if you get "operation not supported on socket" what that really means is that you don't have the right permissions. You'll need admin privs to mount the disk in that case (sudo hdiutil ....)



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10.5: Time machine, corrupt sparse images, and panics
Authored by: djfreak on Apr 19, '09 02:45:04AM

This is a brilliant hint and just saved me a huge headache. Time Machine grrrr. DiskWarrior to the rescue again indeed.



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