View Full Version : Back up gone wrong. SD writes files to Start Volume???

09-25-2010, 06:56 AM
Hi everyone.

I seem to have a huge and now rather urgent problem.

I just wanted to backup my girlfriend's MacBook with its 250GB drive. I connected an 250GB external USB drive which I first erased with the disk utility. I then downloaded SD (unregistered) and started the Backup process.

I am ABSOLUTELY sure that I put her Start volume on the left and the external target volume on the right - I even triple checked after the (following) problem occured.

There were some 17 GB free space left on her Start volume.
I started the backup process and everything went as it should for a while.
Then suddenly this OS X warning pops up "Not much space left on start volume, erase some files etc.".

I then checked the space on the start volume and indeed it showed me 0 kb of space left. I then started to panic and stopped the SD process, since it was the only program that was doing anything (it was happily keeping on with the backup) and I suspected it to be the program that was causing the problem.

I then shut down SD (had to force quit it), restarted the MacBook and the space is still gone. And on my USB hard drive are now pretty much exactly 17 GB which seems to equal the amount of data that was also written to the MB.

Does anybody know what is going on? It seems like SD has written some data to my Source volume?
I have been using SD (registered) for years and never had any problems with it. And now something like this happens and I have no clue, what's going on.

Is there a way to fix things back to their old status? And how can I make a proper backup now?



Edit: All the original data seems to be there, but I cannot be sure (if maybe the process after it reached 0 kb of open space started to maybe overwrite original data).
Also when I search one of the files that are already backed up to the USB drive with Spotlight on the MB I do not find the file twice, but only once (I was kind of expecting to maybe find the file a second time in case SD had for some reason started to write the very same files to the Start volume).

OS is 10.5.8 btw.

09-25-2010, 08:33 AM
I'm sure you received an error indicating that the destination volume was disconnected unexpectedly... because the destination failed.

Use Finder's "Go To Folder" command to open


Once there look for a folder (not a link/alias) with the name of the destination. Delete that folder and empty your trash and your space will return.

09-25-2010, 10:09 AM
Hi dnanian,

thank you so much! That brought my disk space back.
And now that you mention it, I think it did indeed say that the volume was disconnected unexpectedly.

But I still do not quite understand SD's behaviour in this case. So when the target volume disconnects unexpectedly SD keeps on writing files to the Start volume? Without giving an error message?

Just to be 100% sure: When it does that, what happens when it reaches the point that the Start Volume is completely filled? Can I be sure that it will not overwrite ANY original files?

Thank you again!



09-25-2010, 12:28 PM
It will not overwrite ANY original files. All of the data is restricted to the /Volumes folder, which ONLY has mount points.

Writing this way only happens when the system converts the mount point to a folder without returning an error to us. We're looking at various ways of detecting it that won't slow things down... but it's extremely rare.

09-27-2010, 11:22 AM
I've had the same problem: http://www.shirt-pocket.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5471

Just go to Finder>Go>Go to Folder>type "/" without the "". Or run the Terminal command given in the above thread.

There you should find a fake "Volume" that has the name of your backup volume. Just delete it, restart, and do the cloning again. Alternatively you may try another cloning app.

09-27-2010, 11:37 AM
No, definitely not "/" - you want to open (using Go To Folder)


Be very careful. If you have something at "/" you have a totally different problem.

05-02-2011, 10:35 AM
We continually have this problem with SuperDuper on a MBP 13" Unibody. Anyone know why we experience this problem on this computer over and over?

05-02-2011, 10:50 AM
This can only happen if the backup drive fails in a pretty unusual way - why that's happening to you over-and-over, in particular, I don't know. Do you have a lot of devices attached?