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05-15-2012 02:48 PM
Correct! According to the WD Dashboard I had backed up over 1.1TB but Time Machine (TM) had only 421GB to back up: the entire contents of my MacBook Pro (MBP). What therefore was TM backing up. Actually I don't think it was backing up. I think it had got stuck in some kind of loop. A pity there isn't a window in the WD Dashboard or TM indicating what files are being backed up. Carbon Copy Cloner, which I frequently use, has a 'file-being-backed-up' window as well as a progress bar.
I lost patience when 1.1TB was reached - SOMETHING WAS OBVIOUSLY WRONG - and I terminated the backup because I could see it continuing up to the full 3TB. This could take another 2 - 3 weeks. I contacted WD Support and they recommended a FULL FACTORY RESTORE, which is what I did.
The restoration has now finished AFTER 2 DAYS and I am back with a virgin 6TB NAS (RAID 0). I have reconfigured it and it is currently converting to RAID 1 ... a few more hours wait. I seem to be spending a lot of time waiting!
But immediately following the restoration I discovered that the 'Network link down ...' warning has disappeared. Yippee! I felt sure this warning first appeared AFTER I converted to RAID 1 originally. Will this warning reappear once I convert to RAID 1 for the second time? I will let you know.
There were no additional HDDs connected to my MBP either directly or connected to the LAN when I attempted the TM backup. I now think the NAS got 'confused' because I had ruled out every other possibility! How,? I have no idea!
Yes, I have backed up to USB / Firewire HDDs umpteen number of times with TM and never a hint of a problem.
As I type this reply the NAS rebuild has reached 17%. It will be a few more hours yet before it completes. It should be finished by tomorrow morning.
I doubt I would have attempted a TM backup had a rebuild not completed. At this moment in time I have disabled TM. I will reactivate it once the rebuild is complete.
I have a couple MBPs but the one I am using at the moment is an early 2006 model which cannot be upgraded to Lion Grrr! Consequently I am forced to use Snow Leopard. My second MBP is an i7 custom model which is running Lion.
You final comment got me thinking ... I have never backed up over a wireless link either. Neither have I backed up over a LAN before, at least not at home. LAN-based backups were normal practice when I was in an office environment 5 years ago but now I am retired and trying to setup my own LAN with a Cloud system, I now realise it can be a little tricky to get it working correctly.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that the current factory restoration will resolve all my issues in one go. Ever the optimist!
05-16-2012 03:50 AM
The rebuild following conversion to RAID 1 took 10 hours and a fresh Time Manager backup has been initiated after the NAS settings were reentered from scratch. I have not noticed anything different during the setting up process and I am monitoring the TM backup closely.
Once again I am attempting a wireless backup with the MBP's inbuilt Airport Extreme. As before, the backup rate is not blisteringly fast. I am seeing a peak of 2 - 3MBps. On this occasion I have 413.32GB to back up. It will take several days to reach 413.32GB and only then will I know if the NAS is working correctly and the TM backup was successful.
At some point I will switch off Airport and use the much faster Alfa wireless adapter which should make backing up quicker. However, I have a driver issue to fix first because the Alfa causes the occasional freeze necessitating a restart.
05-16-2012 02:15 PM
By performing a FULL FACTORY RESTORE followed by a reconfiguration from scratch I seem to have eliminated the 'Network link down ...' warning. I regard this as a success.
I have been performing a TM backup using Airport Extreme but once again it is ponderously slow and no better than before. I have therefore reverted to using a cable link rather than wireless and whilst I have witnessed backup peaks of almost 40MBps there are also long periods when there appears to be very little happening. During these 'slow' periods the backup rate falls to less than 2kBps. I will suggest to WD Support that it would be helpful to see what files were being backed up.
I can now see that it is going to be many days, possibly more than a week, before the backup reaches the 413.32GB and either prove or disprove that TM backups are possible over my LAN to the WD 6TB NAS.
I have not yet resolved the apparent driver conflict between my new Alfa wireless adapter and Airport Extreme.
05-26-2012 04:26 AM
Much has happened during the past week and I am no further forward with backing up with Time Manager. I now believe the NAS firmware is buggy because I cannot fault Snow Leopard. Time Machine backups to USB/Firmware connected drives works OK but not to the NAS.
The primary reason for buying the WD NAS was for automatic Time Machine backups, which it has consistently failed to do, either wirelessly or with cable. But I can drag & drop files between my MacBook Pro and the Network Shares and do it fairly quickly. By comparison Time Machine backups always overrun and can take up to a week for 500GB. I only have 413GB to backup but when that figure is reached the backup continues with never a hint at terminating normally. I have still to make that initial backup
WD Support advised me to use a Static IP addressing instead of the NAS's default DHCP setting. I agreed to a Static IP but I couldn't see why this should make any difference. In switching to a Static IP I made a small mistake, a typo’, which was to have profound consequences and lead me to making new discoveries.
I changed my NAS's settings to 192.168.1.201 (must be an IP outside my router’s DHCP addressing range) and subnet to 255.255.0.0 and my router to provide the NAS with 192.168.1.201 as a Static IP. Upon using these settings I immediately lost connection with the WD Dashboard (UI) and despite many attempts I could not regain control of my NAS. Fortunately I keep records of any settings changes I make and by reviewing them I discovered my error. I had used the wrong subnet mask, which should have been 255.255.255.0. A simple typing error! No problem, I thought. I will reset my NAS, which should return it to DHCP. I decided I would switch my router back to DHCP too but get it to issue a fixed IP of 192.168.1.201 to the NAS, effectively a Static IP. I duly reset the NAS using the button at the rear panel.
Everything should be back to normal and I will have regained control of the NAS and the WD Dashboard will launch, I thought. Wrong! I found I still had no access to the NAS or the WD Dashboard. Why? I launched Activity Monitor and also Net Monitor and its companion Net Monitor Sidekick application and compared their results with the network traffic I was expecting. Their results were identical ... the NAS had not reverted to using DHCP and it was using the Static IP I had previously set and presumably the wrong subnet mask. I tried resetting the NAS using the button several more times but without success, the results were the same. I was still in trouble.
I have known about Bonjour since Panther but I have never found a reason or need to use it. I had some idea of its capabilities but that was the extent of my knowledge. Upon reviewing Bonjour I devised a cunning plan: I would connect the NAS to my MacBook Pro via Ethernet and communicate with it directly. No router. Bonjour (within Safari) with the help of a few temporary changes to my MacBook Pro's network settings gave me back my access to the NAS. They subnet mask settings had to match. Furthermore, WD Dashboard launched OK. Not surprisingly the WD Dashboard reported everything was OK with the NAS, however, its network setting was still static and it was still using the wrong subnet mask. I made the correction to the subnet mask knowing I would temporarily lose control of the NAS until I changed my MacBook Pro's network setting to match those of the NAS. It worked! I had regained control of the NAS and the WD Dashboard launched OK.
I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to attempt a Time Machine backup. My 'network' comprised only of my MacBook Pro and the NAS. It could not be a simpler configuration. I initiated a backup and the target of 413GB came and went. Once again Time Machine backups were overrunning and I still have no idea why. However, I did discover that backing up achieved a sustained rate of approximately 1GBpm over a cable connection. That is more like it!
I reconnected the NAS and my MacBook Pro to the router to see if everything was still working OK. It was! I attempted another backup but once again it overran. Dragging & dropping files was still OK and the Activity Monitor and Network Monitor Sidekick confirmed I was now using the correct Static IP settings.
I have come to the conclusion that there is a bug(s) with the NAS's firmware as far as Time Machine backups are concerned. Also, I thought the NAS’s reset button was supposed to revert the NAS to DHCP operation should there be any problems with Static IP addressing or forgotten passwords?
One final point, when I got the WD Dashboard to launch again I was presented with a stack of about 6 or 7 entries from the NAS's alert log and I had to clear each entry individually. It occurred to me that it would be helpful if users could reset the alert log so these entries would not reappear every time the WD Dashboard was launched.
So there you have it ... Time Manager backups still don't work and resetting the NAS does reset but not back to DHCP.
06-03-2012 11:48 PM
The promised firmware update arrived and installed on my NAS without fuss but Time Machine backups are still not possible. The one 'improvement' I have noticed is that backing up 'appears' not to overrun as before. However, the backups still don't complete ... they just seems to hang ... forever!
Copying files between my MBP and NAS is both reliable and fast provided I use cable rather than wireless. However, using the Alfa 2000mW adapter in preference to Airport gives a useful performance boost which I can live with. The hi-power wireless signal 'punches' through the walls and floors as it they weren't there (100% power, 100% quality).
The inbuilt short diagnostic, which worked fine before the firmware update, now gets to 90% and freezes. It looks as though the firmware has brought a partial improvement but also made matters worse.
I don't seem to have got very much further since my previous update. I was hoping the firmware update was going to solve all my problems.
The issues I was having with IP addressing are behind me. Even the WD Dashboard seems to work better but it was the one thing I had little to complain about from 'day 1' when I originally installed the NAS.
Two months on and I am no further forward with Time Machine backups. Amazon, from whom I purchased the NAS, has requested me to write a review of the WD 6TB NAS. I am in a dilemma concerning what commentary to write. I think a warning to potential buyers has to be included because the NAS is supposed to be a plug & play solution.
As for the WD NAS functioning as my 'personal Cloud', this is another hurdle I have to cross. Remote access has only been partially successful but first things first ... I want Time Machine to work then I will worry about Cloud operation.
06-05-2012 05:23 AM
Thank you for your elaborate and meticulous reports. Very informative and useful. I re-read all after another 4 weeks of wrestling with very comparable problems, and investing in seeking help from official WD Support sources (to no avail, yet).
I too tried several of the work-arounds and would-be solutions you describe, including factory reset (sets you back for many days of waiting & waiting again, "till you weigh an ounce", as we say in Dutch...), changing configurations en resets. I included detailed descriptions, including screen shots and system logs etc. in messages to Support. The last firmware update (kept my fingers crossed!) did solve some problems, but introduced new ones too, like the pop-up "Something wrong with the volume's CNID DB, using temporary CNID DB instead. Check server messages for details. Switching to read-only mode." Most issues persist. My conclusion: this thing is NOT Mac-compatible, and should note be sold as such.
I second your verdict there must still be a firmware bug or some serious compatibility issue with OS X. Some symptoms I encountered you did not mention, point in the same direction, IMHO, like:
1. A folder on 'shared music' is grayed out (= not accessible) when trying to open it within an app (must be that Preferences-related-issue with CNID?)
2. Hang or (at best: changing to weird ASCII-sequences) when transferred files contain fonts with diacritical characters or: / &
3. TM-back-ups not recognized.
You mentioned Carbon Copy Cloner, one time. Have you ever tried using this as an alternative to TM? I found an interesting recipe here: http://help.bombich.com/kb/usage-scenarios/i-want-
Do you think CCC could be used with MBLD? I do not have this app, so I'd appreciate your opinion on this.
06-05-2012 08:19 AM
Have any of you tried to restore your system from time machine? I have TM backups that seem to be fine on my MBLD DUO 4TB, however due to issues with data, I need to restore my iTunes library from an old backup. When I have tried the restore from the login, it keeps telling me (after I have logged on with a password) that my password is wrong or my backup is faulty. I considered installing the firmware update, but if it loses my iTunes library I am out of luck - and a lot of money. I'm not sure where to go from here.
06-05-2012 12:51 PM
I agree that there is still a compatibility issue but I would not like to venture as to where it is. I can still copy files between my MBP and NAS without a hint of a problem but when Time Manager is involved something goes wrong, at least it does in my setup.
I have used Carbon Copy Cloner on USB / Firewire connected HDDs many times and it produces a bootable 'clone' of my MBP's internal HDD. Very occassionally I will boot from the clone and use it to check, and if required, fix my internal HDD before booting from it. However, to be frank, I have never tried using CCC for backing up, only for cloning, which destroys all data on the HDD used as the clone. I will have to look at CCC's backing up features before I risk using it with the NAS. If CCC does work with the NAS and does not delete files, damage or otherwise destroy it then it will prove something but I don't know what.
I haven't noticed any of the other issues you mention but I will now look out for them.
I do have several backup applications I can try with the NAS but I need to be careful because I don't screw it up.
I have fed back a full report to WD Support and await their reply. I am currently attempting another TM backup with Airport Extreme but at 1 - 3MBps it is going to take a looonnng time. I am not expecting any miracles.
I will take a look at the link you provided. Maybe like Archimedes I'll spot the solution and shout 'Eureka!'.
06-05-2012 01:24 PM
I have used Time Machine to restore files that for one reason or other have accidentally become corrupted or deleted. I have not attempted a full restore which your inquiry implies.
I would think you should have no trouble restoring your iTunes library which is not that dissimilar to my restoring thousands of images from my photo archive which I had backed up using TM. I hasten to add that the TM backup was to a USB-connected WD 3TB HDD and not to a network storage device. I do not use passwords for drives I directly connect to my MBP.
'... my password is wrong or my backup is faulty.' Hmm, this seems like an odd choice. An incorrect password is one thing but a corrupted backup is quite different. You should be able to get around the password issue, perhaps by deleting it, but a corrupted backup suggests your iTunes archive may no longer be recoverable. You need a disk checker application to verify the integrity of the backup.
I have been involved with computers for about 45 years and i have learned the hard way not to rely upon a single backup. I currently use 2 external HDDs for full backups and a mix of RW-DVD and memorysticks for backups of files I use frequently, for example, my emails (120,000+) and photo archive (10,000+). If I can get the MBLD working then I will have another backup medium.
I was interested to learn that your 4TB is working with TM. Is the NAS configured as RAID 0 or RAID 1? Which MacOS are you running? Do you have wireless access to the NAS?
It seems to me that NAS owners fall into one of 2 camps: those that have no trouble getting TM to work, and those who, like me, have to struggle to get it to work with the WD NAS.
06-15-2012 01:34 PM
Hello Phil, sorry to muscle in on the Duo forum as I only have the standard MBL. However, Duo or ordinary MBL I'm convinced there is a problem with using TM and MBL drives. From what I've been able to research Apple don't support backing up to network drives.
I have had almost identical problems with MBL and TM i.e.. some backups would race through without issue then the next ones would start but hang part way through, others never complete and I would have to intervene whilst others backups would continue backing up way past what was indicated by TM.
I have now connected a portable USB HD dedicated for TM backups only. The difference is remarkable, TM is now flawless and MBL storing and distributing data only is working just like I thought it would. Common sense would argue one shouldn't be using these network drives for backups as well as data anyway.