Follow Island in the Net on

Time Machine and Time Capsule Backup Failure

Time Machine TC Backup Failed

This is a followup to the problems I was having with Time Machine backups to Time Capsule. Time Machine would start preparing a backup and after about 10 would fail. After a few weeks of failed backups or backups taking hours I called Apple support. They had me try several things including reseting Time Capsule. One of the things that we tried was using the Disk Utility to mount the sparse bundle files as a OS X volume. That's when I got this error message.

After almost an hour on the phone with first level and second level support I decided on a drastic course of action. I used the AirPort Utility to erase the Time Capsule disk. Once that completed I configured Time Machine to point to the Time Capsule disk and Time Machine has successfully completed two weeks worth of backup.

Author: Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

3 thoughts on “Time Machine and Time Capsule Backup Failure”

  1. LuzCool says:

    Hey I had same problems for a month i give up and turn off my Time Machine, today I update my Time Capsule and erase the TC disk, and all of the sudden start to buck up again, I hope this helps.

  2. Khürt says:


    Your issues are similar ( but not the same ) to mine. Even though the Time Capsule has been working since I deleted the sparse bundle recently Time Machine has failed backup several times in a day. I don't know if it's related but my MacBook hard drive failed last night. I am taking it to the Apple store for repairs. I'll have to monitor Time Machine/Time Capsule on my Mac mini and see how things go.

  3. Carole says:

    On Saturday I was working in iPhoto on a slide show. During that time the Time Capsule backup started to run and then I received an error message that there was a problem creating the backup directory. The next time I tried to backup, there was a message in several languages that told me the backup failed and I'd need to restart my computer. That continued to occur, so I disconnected Time Capsule. On Monday I called Apple support. The second level support tech told me to go to the console so we could review the messages for some insight. There was a message posted at the time when the backups failed which said there was a faulty jpg file. That didn't seem to make sense, since I never imported any photos over the internet. The tech then worked with me to repair the sparse bundle, but the repair failed. So he told me to delete the entire sparse bundle from my system... which meant my entire backup directory... ouch. I tried backing up again and I still had the same problem. The third level support tech was concerned when I said my time capsule was hot even though it hadn't been backing up. He sent me a new one and so far everything is working ok. But I don't understand what was going on with that error message... or if this might happen again!

Comments are closed.