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Old 11-30-2005, 09:38 PM
fyngyrz fyngyrz is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 13

Hi. I got a new 300 gb HD for backup of my 80 GB Mac Mini. It is USB2, external (obviously, for a mini.) I have it connected through a dedicated 4-port USB2 hub which in turn is connected to one of the ports on the mini. The other port goes to my KB, then my mouse.

The mini itself is running OSX 10.3.9, latest patches from Apple. I bought it 31 (yes, thirty ONE) days before Tiger was released, so Apple won't upgrade it to Tiger. I, in turn, won't turn it into a $100.00 more expensive machine.

So anyway, I chose SuperDuper as the backup tool, seemed nice. Indicates it'll run under 10.3.9, so that's good. I paid, it's registered. Then I try a backup. Erase, then copy. Not the smart option, just kill the drive, then copy.

SuperDuper begins to back up, then slows down, slower and slower, until it is apparently not doing anything any more. I get about 18 GB saved of 36 GB which actually needs to go. I am using the erase then backup option. This takes many hours. SuperDuper reports about 300,000 files (!?) to back up. I know I've put maybe ten thousand files on there, at least 4,000 jpegs, since I bought the machine (hence my itch to back it up!) TOP reports there are stalled threads; I presume this is the disk-writing portion of SD, yes? No? I kill SD. The drive light is red (means it's writing.) It won't go out. I have to physically unplug it, OSX tells me I'm an idiot and I should have ejected (but of course, I can't, the drive is paying no attention to me, attempts to eject result in declarations that something is using the drive) then I plug it back in, OSX fixes (presumably) the drive as the light goes green, then red, then the drive mounts and goes back to green (I am using the journaled filesystem because I'm a coward.) If I select smart backup at this point, it quickly determines that it has about 18 GB of files on the drive (takes maybe 5 minutes) and then it immediately jams up again with a red light on the drive, same deal. No more files are going on there, apparently.

I have killed everything prior to the backup. Nothing is running but Finder, superduper and whatever system stuff usually happens. Let me put it this way: Nothing but SD and Finder on the task bar have arrows indicating they are running during the backup. I have a gig of ram, which I know is mostly free, unless SD is using it all. I think this other info is irrelevant, but just in case, the mini has bluetooth and wifi and the faxmodem as well as the 80gb drive and 1.42ghz cpu.

Plugging this same HD into a PCs USB2 port, it can be formatted, copy 50 gigs to it no problem (different filesystem so no assurance it's going to the same location on the HD) and the surface scan, running overnight, detects no problems with the drive. Copying 50 gigs to the drive takes about an hour and a half or so.

The Mini, up until this backup exercise, has been uniformly well behaved. Nothing else appears to be wrong.

So. Please do some finger pointing for me. The Mini? SuperDuper? The drive? The hub? Bad files on the Mac? Aliens? George W. Bush?

I know a bit about linux, I realize the mac isn't linux but is somewhat similar here and there, but I don't know where to look or what to look for other than what I've described to you.

I am, as you might imagine, a bit frustrated.

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