3

Short Description

Automatic Time Machine backups fail (with an error code of '19'), but manual backups succeed. Does anyone know what would cause this behavior?

Long Description & Troubleshooting Recon

On OSX v10.8.4, I've set up Time Machine to write backups to a network-attached storage (NAS) device. When Time Machine attempts to execute an automatic backup, it fails with the following error (appearing in system.log):

Sep  5 10:03:26 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17870]: Starting automatic backup
Sep  5 10:03:26 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17870]: Backup failed with error: 19

If I go into Time Machine settings, right click on the drive icon above the "Select Disk..." icon, and choose "Back Up Now", the backup succeeds:

Sep  5 10:21:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Disk image /Volumes/BA_Backup/local’s Mac mini.sparsebundle mounted at: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups
Sep  5 10:21:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Backing up to: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb
Sep  5 10:21:07 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Using file event preflight for Macintosh HD
Sep  5 10:21:10 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Will copy (24.7 MB) from Macintosh HD
Sep  5 10:21:10 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Found 10645 files (230.8 MB) needing backup
Sep  5 10:21:10 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: 1.31 GB required (including padding), 3.59 TB available
Sep  5 10:22:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Copied 16396 files (173 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.
Sep  5 10:22:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Using file event preflight for Macintosh HD
Sep  5 10:22:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Will copy (442 KB) from Macintosh HD
Sep  5 10:22:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Found 23 files (442 KB) needing backup
Sep  5 10:22:06 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: 1.04 GB required (including padding), 3.59 TB available
Sep  5 10:22:11 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Copied 461 files (2.6 MB) from volume Macintosh HD.
Sep  5 10:22:11 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Created new backup: 2013-09-05-102211
Sep  5 10:22:12 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Starting post-backup thinning
Sep  5 10:22:12 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: No post-back up thinning needed: no expired backups exist
Sep  5 10:22:12 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Backup completed successfully.
Sep  5 10:22:12 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Ejected Time Machine disk image: /Volumes/BA_Backup/local’s Mac mini.sparsebundle
Sep  5 10:22:13 shaun-macmini.local com.apple.backupd[17955]: Ejected Time Machine network volume.

Subsequent automatic backups still fail, however everytime I've executed one manually, I have no issues.

Research into whatever the cause of "error 19" is hasn't revealed anything useful so far. Most advice on the Apple forums ranges from resetting the Time Machine backup to replacing the NAS device. Since the manual backup succeeds, that would seem to indicate some issue with the NAS mount. The manual backups seem to both mount and unmount the NAS device (or so says the logs), but the automatic backups do not appear to do the same thing.

I tried adding the mount of the NAS device to my user's "Login Items" and re-establishing the mount, but that does not appear to resolve the issue, either.

If I right-click the Time Machine icon in the top menu and select "Back Up Now", I get an error that the backup disk is not available. However, I can immediately go into the preference pane as described earlier and invoke a successful backup there.

What's causing my automatic backups to fail?

  • How comfortable are you with the terminal? Next time things fail, run sudo tmdiagnose and it might be able to capture some details that would lead to the root cause of error 19. It also would allow you to summit a bug to Apple and perhaps get the software more smart to handle that specific error with a message that is meaningful. – bmike Sep 5 '13 at 19:54
  • @bmike I'm pretty comfortable with a command prompt and was able to execute the command, although the contents of the resulting archive file has a lot of diagnostic info. Could you provide any guidance on what parts of the archive may be able to provide insight into my issue? – Shaun Sep 6 '13 at 0:13
  • Does this thread help at all? – tubedogg Sep 6 '13 at 0:58
  • @tubedogg That did not help... I did not find a .sparsebundle file in the share even after showing hidden files in OSX. – Shaun Sep 12 '13 at 18:24
  • Any joy on this @Shaun? Others are having the same issue: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/103801/… – AllInOne Oct 1 '13 at 19:23
1

Not a real answer, more a workaround to have your backups automatically despite this bug. That worked for me (see this answer of my own question).

Open a command line and say tmutil destinationinfo. Copy the ID you see in the ID line (a long suite of alphanumerical characters and -'s).

Now type tmutil startbackup -d TheID replacing TheID by the ID you just noted before (so something like tmutil startbackup -d 11326F32-D5BA-4FE8-83FB-E9CBD8F6FF2D but with an other ID). Open Time Machine Preferences and check if the backup is running. You may have to wait a few seconds before you see anything.

If that works, you can add it to your crontab so it is automatically run manually every hour (sounds contradictory?). Type crontab -e on the command line to edit your cron jobs, and add the following line in it:

0 * * * * tmutil startbackup -d TheID

again replacing TheID by the ID of your backup. Next hour check if anything is happening. You can replace the leading 0 by the minute you want it to be run.

  • You may also have some luck removing the backup disk and adding it with the command line sudo tmtutil setdestination /Volumes/TheBackupDisk. See this comment. – Calimo Oct 10 '13 at 7:32
  • 1
    The manual method on the command-line did work. I am forgoing the cron edit for now and seeing if merely setting the destination of the backup will work. It was referring to a network location according to the destinationinfo command and I changed it to refer to the local /Volumes/ path using setdestination. Will update when the TimeMachine backup executes to report if that solves the issue. – Shaun Oct 25 '13 at 18:22
  • @Camilo Apparently the path I mounted to in /Volumes/ disappeared before the automatic backup could execute, and thus it failed. I could go the cron route, but I'd really like something that isn't a workaround, so I'm going to poke at this as I have time and see if I can dig up how to keep that mount from disappearing. – Shaun Nov 4 '13 at 17:48
  • This is now working for me, but I didn't come across a really firm fix. I upgraded to Mavericks and kicked off a manual update since it had been a while since my last one. When I went back to debug this issue a little more, I discovered that the automatic backups were working consistently without fail. It's hard to say it was the upgrade to Mavericks for sure without others confirming it, though. :( – Shaun Nov 6 '13 at 17:50

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