I have Windows 7 installed in Boot Camp. Whenever I go into Windows 7 and then go back to OS X Lion, and then run a Time Machine backup, Time Machine is stuck on the "Preparing Backup" stage for a long time (roughly 30 minutes). It usually takes 30 seconds in this stage in most cases.

The reason it's stuck at this stage is probably because it is re-indexing everything again (per this KB article), but the question is, is there a way to make it so that it does not have to re-index everything again after restarting out of Boot Camp? I think this only started happening in the past few weeks, while I've had Boot Camp installed on this computer for a few years now.

  • Try adding the Boot Camp partition to the "excluded items" list. Does that help?
    – Melwan
    Sep 30, 2012 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


Okay so I figured this out a while ago, but I'll post it here too. The problem was I was using MacDrive, which allows me to read and write to Mac partitions while in Windows (using Boot Camp).

MacDrive sometimes modified files on the Mac partitions even if I didn't open them; I think it sometimes perform optimization actions to speed up the reading of Mac partitions.

This means that when I return to Mac OS X, Time Machine notices that a Mac partition was changed while outside of OS X, so it reindexes everything to be sure it doesn't miss anything.

  • Awesome - thanks so much for answering this with new information.
    – bmike
    Feb 14, 2013 at 15:24

If you stop the backup and delete the 2012-09-30-094332.inProgress folder (substituting your exact date and time) as this will let it start cleanly as sometimes it spends more time deciding what has already been backed up partially to the Time Machine destination

If you don't have a partial backup on the destination, then you might need to look deeper at spotlight indexing issues or perhaps wait it out over night to see if the volume of files actually needs several hours to sort out.

I presume you've used Disk Utility to verify all volumes and if not, that might be a good isolating step to perform if this condition persists.

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