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Pat, Mac Enthusiast
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 171
Experience:  10 years of systems administration experience in mixed Mac and Windows environments
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Hi I have been trying to use a WD Passport External HD to

Resolved Question:

I have been trying to use a WD Passport External HD to back up my computer (MacBook Pro running on Snow Leopard) on using time machine but everytime it starts backing up the backing up process freezes while it is only partway through backing up (usually system preferences or Finder is also not responding). I can still use safari etc but not system preferences, finder or time machine once it's stuck
What have I done wrong?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
This seems very strange, could be a problem with Time Machine. I'm guessing that since you are using Time Machine that you didn't install the Western Digital Passport backup software. If you did, you need to remove it as it duplicates the functionality of Time Machine and possibly conflicts with it.

One question I have is are you planning on using this drive just for Time Machine, or will you want to use the storage for other things as well? If so, you'll want to partition the drive as Time Machine will literally take every last free gigabyte on a drive over time.

As for the current problem, I would do this:

1. Turn Time Machine of
2. Use Finder to look at the drive and delete any time machine files that have been place on the drive already. Then create a folder on the drive and call it Time Machine
3. Go back into time machine, and re-specify the location of the backup to the new folder you just created. Then tell it to start making a backup.

Let me know if that fixes it. If not, we'll look at some other items.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I clicked on the time machine icon on the little bar at the top of my screen and selected Stop Backing Up. Now the Stop Backing up & Stopping Backup are light grey in colour, and Enter Time Machine & Open Time Machine Preferences are still black but when I click on Open Time Machine Preferences nothing happens. Plus the little time machine icon is still spinning around like it does while it is performing a back up.
I still can't force quit System Preferences (it still says Application is not responding).

I run a medical practice and was planning on using Time Machine to keep backups of all the practice's info. I have 2 WD ext HDD's set aside purely for this purpose. I managed to backup the computer onto one HD but am having trouble with the 2nd one. Had the same issues at first with the other HD too but I kept trying the same things and eventually for whatever unknown reason, it worked but this one isn't working. do I turn off Time Machine if it isn't responding (without having to resort to holding down the computer's on/off button)?

Time Machine kept freezing until I decided I'd better read that little bit of paper that came with the HDD which said to download the turbodriver (don't know what this is for - just did it because that's what the paper said to do). After I installed the driver, that was when I managed to get a full backup onto the HDD without it freezing, but it has frozen each time since.
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
Holding the power button down to restart the computer isn't the worst thing you can do. It may cause file corruption, but the the computer is unresponsive, you need to do it. It might unlock everything if you just unplug the drive from the system. This way, only the USB backup drive will be improperly removed and not the internal boot drive. So do what you need to do to restart the computer, and then try to back up again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Does it make your computer unstable? Is your computer more likely to freeze in future from shutting down this way repeatedly? I've already shut down this way about five times in last 12 hrs!
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
No, its just a random chance. Data corruption can occur if the drive is actively writing data when you shut down. Sometimes there's just no other choice.

Do you know how to use Disk Utility to verify your disk? Given that you are having so many problems, it would be a good idea to launch disk utility, have it verify the disk. While you're at it, have it "repair disk permissions" as a permission error could conceivable interfere with Time Machine.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will try as u suggest and write back if i still have problems making a backup. Have to leave the computer for a while. U might still b online when I get back. Who knows? Have to go fix Bluetooth headset that is also not functioning...
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
I'm online until about 10:00 PM Pacific, its 6:00 PM here now.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi again. Frustrating day....
Are you saying that I should verify the WD ext HDD or the MacBook Pro or both?
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
The Macbook pro. You can verify the WD for kicks, but if it's having errors, you could just reformat it.
Pat and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
hi Pat - u still around to help?
have done what you suggested & have verified the macbook & repaired the permissions.
did the same with the WD ext HD too. The computer said that everything thing was ok.
I have also gone into disk utility? & put 1 partition into the WD ext HD following the advice of another techie & have tried to back up using Time Machine again. Left it running overnight but it had got stuck again after only having copied 792.5MB. Time Machine ended up saying that backup had failed due to it being unable to copy a file.
do you have any other suggestions?
Expert:  Pat replied 7 years ago.
Hmm, Time Machine is running into a file that it can't copy, possibly because of bad permissions. The permission repair utility only addresses certain system files. We need to check the Time Machine backup log to find out where its getting hung up.

Open Finder and go to your Time Machine backup. Go to:
/WD Passport/Backups.backupdb/MachineName/Latest

There is a file called .Backup.Log. Open it in textedit and see if the log is identifying which file it couldn't back up.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thanks for all your help
my techy friend has had a look and he reckons the ext HD is faulty so I'll just send it back & get another one.
have a great day