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How to fix a Time Machine hangup Storage Devices
Time Machine, while it does have a very usable interface, is inclined to get stuck sometimes.

Occasionally Time Machine seems to be stuck, but isn't really. When you first do a backup, or when you haven't backed up to a particular disk for ages (perhaps if you have been away on a trip), it can spend several hours 'preparing'. You can tell it is preparing because when you open the Time Machine preferences there is the little barber pole saying 'Preparing.'

The essence of the solution is to open up the backup media and find the file ending in '.inProgress' and then deleting that file. This will be on the backup volume inside the Backups.backupdb folder, and then in the subfolder for the machine and volume which was being backed up at the time of the hangup. These folders may be inside of a Sparse Disk Image if the backup goes to a Time Capsule or other network based backup volume. After rebooting the Mac Time Machine can then startup normally and perform its operations.

For more details and some screenshots see my blog.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. It's worth it to read the blog entry and pay attention to the caveats and the screen shots contained therein. I've been fortunate to not have any problems with Time Machine, but I've had clients who experienced the hangup using a Time Capsule or an Xserve based backup.]
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How to fix a Time Machine hangup | 9 comments | Create New Account
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How to fix a Time Machine hangup
Authored by: asmeurer on Nov 08, '10 09:27:18AM

Another thing to try would be to eject the disk and remount it, forcing Time Machine to stop and restart.



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Does this even happen in 10.6?
Authored by: tempel on Nov 08, '10 11:29:13AM

I wonder - do you see this even in recent Snow Leopard versions?
Because I had these hangs quite often with 10.5, but not ever again recently with 10.6.
Not that it's any help to those with a PPC Mac, but for those with an Intel Mac this might be another reason for them to upgrade finally.



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Having error -41 problems.
Authored by: Bytesmiths on Nov 08, '10 01:42:54PM

Time Machine stopped working on my server. I looked at the disk, and the ".inProgress" file consumed 9/10ths of the disk, and Time Machine had "helpfully" deleted all but the latests successful backup in trying to make more room.

I deleted that file and tried again, this time checking out the log. It got about 20 gigs into a 30 gig backup, then threw up its hands at a particular file with an "Error: -41" which seems to mean "/*memory full (open) or file won't fit (load)*/".

I moved that file (actually, it was a .plist inside an application; I moved the entire application) somewhere else, deleted the .inProgress file, and tried again. It threw the same error, on a different file. Lather, rinse, repeat... same problem on a different file.

I then went to the Apple Support discussion boards and tried to log it. THAT gave me a 404 from their own login link!

I'm beginning to think computers hate me.

Any ideas for getting around this -41 error?

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:::: Jan Steinman, Bytesmiths http://www.Bytesmiths.com ::::



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Having error -41 problems.
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on Nov 08, '10 07:45:00PM

It's quite possible that you didn't actually clear your trash before trying to restart the TM drive. External volumes store deleted data in the /.trashes folder (which is hidden) until they are both mounted and the user clears the trash. Until then, you'll have a huge hidden file on your external drive preventing TM from completing a backup. Do this and your -41 error should be history.

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Manage Mac OSX settings depending on your location - AirPort Location for Mac



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Having error -41 problems.
Authored by: Bytesmiths on Nov 08, '10 09:50:09PM

I'm certain I emptied the trash, because it took about three hours to delete, and the space available went from 17GB to over 300GB!

I've now copied the one good backup (from just before this started happening) onto an external drive.

I'm prepared to re-format the backup drive, but I have a sneaking suspicion that won't solve anything, so I'm going to go delete some Preferences and other stuff related to Time Machine first.

Another thing that makes me think it is NOT the backup drive is that as soon as I discovered it, I turned Time Machine off, but it keeps running every hour. Sounds like a corrupted config or prefs file situation.

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:::: Jan Steinman, Bytesmiths http://www.Bytesmiths.com ::::



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Having error -41 problems.
Authored by: joelseph on Nov 09, '10 01:59:34AM
When I have a file or folder that I know I want to delete for good (especially on an external drive), I run rm -R on it in Terminal, specifically for this reason. Skips the trash, gives me my file space back. Of course, use it responsibly.

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How to fix a Time Machine hangup
Authored by: alandix on Nov 15, '10 04:54:21AM

I sometimes find I need to delete the latest backup as well as .inProgress file. I wrote a short blog about this last July, both with practical 'how to fix it' advice and also reflecting on broader design lessons.

See: Time Machine when it goes wrong and how to fix it



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Unable to delete time machine package from trash
Authored by: pittsborojim on Dec 08, '10 01:21:21PM

Hi, I had a hangup with time machine and trashed the 39GB "package in progress" that was on my backup hard drive. When I tried to empty the trash, I got the following error message: The operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient privilidges for some of the items." I purchased this Power Book G4 laptop used. Whenever I get the dialog box asking for admin password, I just leave the fields blank and click on "OK". Option empty trash won't work either. Can anyone tell me how to empty this "package in progress" from my trash. Until I can do that I will not be able to use either time machine or my trash bin !!! I saw on a forum a suggestion that I drag the folder from the trash to my desktop and rename it, but I am also told via error message that I do not have sufficient privilidges to rename the folder.



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Having error -41 problems.
Authored by: goodiegirl70 on Feb 28, '11 04:37:54AM

hi, i am having the same problem with error 41. i have tried to back up my machine using an external hard drive and it tells me it cant complete the back up and i must go to disk utility and try repair the external hard drive which i did and told me there are no problems. so i tried backing up again and it didnt work. i then decided to re-format my external drive and then tried to back it up again and it didnt work again. i now have tried another external hard drive and that didnt work either. so i have come to the conclusion that it is my MAC book laptop which must have some files (for some reason) that are corrupt? i do not know what to do... how can i clean up my laptop with out deleting files or having to go through all my files to find the specific corrupt files... i try copying certain files and it tells me error 41... please help i am really stuck :(



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