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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:41 am
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Location: Halfway between New York City and Atlantic City
(a revelation since I previously reported Time Machine wasn't backing up every hour)

It was after 10 last night when I noticed that the most recent Time Machine backup was shortly after 2pm. I then noticed why that might have been the case: the icon for the Time Machine volume had disappeared from the Finder window sidebar. But the other volume on that drive was fine.

Disk Utility saw the TM volume, but it was nameless. It reported a problem but could not fix it. This, I thought, was the reason I reported here, earlier, that TM hadn't been backing up every hour.

Ultimately, I remembered having read somewhere that Disk Warrior has been successful in repairing volumes that Disk Utility could not. As there are relatively few TM backups since recently wiping my internal drive and updating it to Sierra (earlier backups are of the environment under Mountain Lion), and I had no need to restore anything from either environment, I figured I'd give Disk Warrior a shot.

You might recall that I had more recently used iPartition to delete an old and unused partition on the TM drive and added that space to the TM partition. That operation went without a hitch. So I can't say whether that had anything to do with the error that Disk Utility reported but couldn't fix.

Disk Warrior did its thing. It found a number of issues and fixed them all, and I was thrilled when the TM volume icon appeared once again in the Finder window sidebar.

Interestingly, though, when I clicked on the icon, the Finder window displayed no contents. So I launched Disk Utility, which now sees the volume, and it surprisingly found several errors and fixed them. Obviously, there was a discrepancy between how Disk Warrior and Disk Utility saw things.

So now, Time Machine has been busy for the past 70 minutes, apparently doing a complete backup (backups done prior to this issue took only several minutes). When it's done, I'll check whether it recognizes the previous backups.

I'm glad I had Disk Warrior and that it was able to resurrect this volume.

Oh, and a final note to users of ClamXav: I can't say for certain, but it appears that the ClamXav Sentry slows down the backup process and even when manually copying data between volumes. Things seemed to pick up when I quit ClamXav Sentry.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
clamXav Sentry will real-time scan whatever folders you have it set to real-time scan. By default I only have it scanning ~/Downloads, ~/Documents, and /Applications since those are the most likely culprits for files coming into the system through normal (not back door) means. If you setup clamXav Sentry to scan all of / or all of ~/ (your user folder and all subfolders) then it certainly will make a big impact. That's why I was very selective about what folders I configured it to scan.

Any time there's a substantial change to the Time Machine volume the next backup will be a full backup. If you have trouble with the TM volume in the future I would give serious consideration to just formatting it and starting over as a new "epoch" for backups... TM creates so many millions of files that it doesn't take much for it to fall off the rails. Once its fallen off its very easy for it to fall off again. On the other hand after you wipe it if it doesn't fall off then it's likely to keep going for years... my old TM volume would go offline every couple months or so and within a year became so unreliable I ended up wiping it. The new volume has been going for 3 or 4 years now without a single hiccup, so hooray for TM being able to run on a smooth unblemished surface.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Yeah, I had ClamXav Sentry set to scan several folders (Applications wasn't one of them; I wasn't aware that there's incoming file traffic there; so thanks for the suggestion) but, still, I did notice Sentry's menu bar icon animating while copying. And it's doing it right now, as a TM backup takes place. That's what caused me to quit it during any large copying jobs or backups.

I'll keep any eye on Time Machine and, if it hiccups again, I'll wipe the volume and do a fresh start.

Thanks, MB!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 8:13 pm
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Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
I have it scanning /Applications since that's where adware likes to install itself. You know, like its a legitimate application that the user intended to install and not something that piggybacked along with something else they installed.

Any time you read from a folder that sentry is monitoring it will trigger and slow down the system. A time machine backup is, by its nature, going to scan the entire disk for changes and then back up the changes, so it should trigger sentry but the effect can be minimized by pointing sentry at a smaller array of folders. The problem of course is that your protection is less, since changes made to folders not monitored won't get caught by sentry. If you have ClamXav setup to perform a weekly scan of the entire system, then that scan would catch whatever Sentry missed.


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