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My computer is showing signs of impending hard drive disaster. Time Machine recently killed all my backups and has not cooperated since. I tried backing up with Super Duper, but it quit after about a minute. The Super Duper log reported 'Too many open files'. I attempted a backup with Rsync and it hummed along fine for about an hour until it too started spitting out 'too many open files' errors and not copying anything. Carbon Copy Cloner worked longer but skipped a bunch of files.
Based on other posts here, I have maxed the open file limit and am running rsync again. Though this process has not completed yet, I am posting here because I do not feel optimistic. I am seeing this 'Too many open files' error all over the place suddenly, so I fear that maxing the file limit is a workaround at best. (assuming it even works)
The first time I saw the 'Too many open files' error, I was running a shell script that involved uploading an archive to a remote server and unzipping it. I had done this numerous times before without incident. The number of files hadn't changed. I got this error again while running a Python script to build files using Jinja2. This was also a script I had run previously without any problems.
The sudden proliferation of errors of this kind coincides with a general degradation in the performance of my computer, which most frequently takes the form of app and system freezes that can only be resolved with forced restarts. At the very same time rsync choked this evening, Safari was hanging also. As ever, Force Quit was not available and so I had to force a shutdown. There are also more crashes than usual. A recent Apple update that crashed my computer on restart seems to have made everything much worse.
Carbon Copy Clone's Disk Center said my Hard Drive seemed to have Read/Write errors, though the Apple Hardware Test and Disk Utility have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Activity Monitor also does not show anything unusual, though I am not an expert in interpreting its output. I think there may be more disk activity than usual. CPU and Memory stats all seem fine.
Any ideas on what's going wrong here? Is it appropriate to assume the hard drive is the problem? It came with the computer, which is now four years old. Any other possibilities? Any recommendations on how to get everything backed up before the drive -- or whatever -- dies altogether?
I am running Snow Leopard on a mid 2010 15" MacBook Pro. I am attempting to back up to a brand new portable USB-connected portable drive which seems to work fine.