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Breeze
04-09-2013, 11:15 AM
I tried to do the weekly SuperDuper backup of my 2007 MBP Lion 10.7.5 boot drive but it failed with the message that the sparsebundle had "no mountable file system". The drive is a 500 GB Samsung in a FW-800 enclosure which has only been used for backups; it runs for a few hours every week or so. I'd be surprised if there's something mechanically wrong with the drive.

In Disk Utility, the drive itself comes up clean. If I run a verify on the sparsebundle backup image, it fails saying "this volume must be repaired".

Obvious questions:

1. is this backup simply borked? Should I trash it and start a new one?

2. If the drive is ok, what could have trashed the image file? There was an unusual amount of disk activity that lasted a good 30-45 seconds when I first connected the drive, which was much more than normal.

3. If I try to "repair" the image file with disk utility, will it in fact repair the image and allow me to continue using this image file for backups? Is it actually possible to repair a sparsebundle image file?

I've been using this drive almost exclusively for my SD backups for the last couple of years, and I've been able to mount the backup image many times.

Thanks for any help!

dnanian
04-09-2013, 11:25 AM
Yes, the volume is borked. Disk Warrior might be able to fix it, though, as might Disk Utility if you try.

Why are you using an image written to the drive, rather than writing directly to the drive? The long delay was likely because the OS was repairing the drive, which was due to some sort of corruption (typically due to a bad shutdown or unplug).

Breeze
04-09-2013, 04:02 PM
Why are you using an image written to the drive, rather than writing directly to the drive? The long delay was likely because the OS was repairing the drive, which was due to some sort of corruption (typically due to a bad shutdown or unplug).
I originally kept this image file on a server and moved it to this drive after I got it so I could store the image offsite. It's a 500 gig drive and it seemed a waste to use it all to back up the MBP's 325 gig HD.

Maybe creating two partitions is a better idea: one for the backup and the balance for other data? Since it looks like I'll have to start a completely new backup, would this make more sense?

BTW, starting over isn't too big a deal other than the time; I also keep an active TM backup.

Thanks!

sjk
04-09-2013, 04:33 PM
Maybe creating two partitions is a better idea: one for the backup and the balance for other data? Since it looks like I'll have to start a completely new backup, would this make more sense?
Whenever possible I'd rather use separate volumes than a disk images for storing SD! backups, which might be specifically recommended in the documentation and/or forum topics. It's faster and less susceptible to problems.

Breeze
04-09-2013, 05:04 PM
Thanks guys. That's what I'm going to do from now on.

dnanian
04-09-2013, 07:29 PM
In addition to what sjk suggested, remember that the "other volume" (for other data) needs to be backed up too!

Breeze
04-11-2013, 12:53 AM
Just as an FYI: turns out the drive was dying and died prematurely, still under warranty and has been sent off for warranty replacement. I managed to get the non-backup data off the drive intact before it keeled over (whew).

I'm surprised: since I used the drive only for backups, it should in theory have outlasted the MBP's drive. It was a Hitachi GST Travelstar 7K500 2.5". It got super hot at the end... got a WD Black 2.5" now (5-year warranty).

dnanian
04-11-2013, 08:25 AM
Alas, you can't predict drive death - MTBF doesn't mean "at least this long"! :)

sjk
04-11-2013, 07:26 PM
Wikipedia's MTBF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTBF) page shows the math. :)