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R.A. McConnell
R.A. McConnell, Mac Support Tech
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Experience:  A-Plus, MCP, 18+ years experience, LINUX admin
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My Time Machine stopped backing up. When I try to choose my

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My Time Machine stopped backing up. When I try to choose my external drive as a backup disk, I get this message: The file “.00233291761c” could not be saved in folder “FreeAgent Drive”. (I cannot find this file on my computer).

In trying Disk Utility Verify, this message:Disk Utility stopped verifying “FreeAgent Drive” because the following error was encountered:
Filesystem verify or repair failed.

In trying Disk Utility Repair, this message: The disk "FreeAgent Drive" could not be unmounted.

Step-by-step help in novice terms would be appreciated!
Thanks! Susan
Hello, I'll be glad to help you with this.

First, have you restarted the computer since you first got the error? OS X forces an unmount of any attached drive when it restarts? Give that a try, if you haven't already.

Also, if that fails, start the system up off of your OS X install disc (press and hold "C" if your install disc is a CD and use "D" if it is a DVD) and run the disk repair from within Disk Utility there.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I have tried restarting and have the same issue. I will try your second suggestion and get back to you. Thanks.
No problem. Let me know if you need further help.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Restarted with OS X install disc and computer does not recognize external drive. Ran Disk Utility on HD and appears to be ok.
OK, the next step is to try to Safe Boot OS X (immediately after you power the system on hold the "Shift" key on the keyboard down and keep it down until you see the gray Apple logo and the progress indicator).

Once you have started the system with in Safe Boot mode, run Disk Utility on your FreeAgent drive again. It should be able to run in this state.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
FreeAgent Drive does not show up in Safe Boot Mode either. Ran Repair Disk Permissions on HD and got this:

Permissions differ on "Library/Application Support/Apple/ParentalControls/ALRHelperJobs", should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x .

Permissions differ on "Library/Application Support/Apple/ParentalControls/ContentFiltering", should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x .

Permissions differ on "Library/Applicati

Group differs on "private/etc/cups", should be 0, group is 26.
on Support/Apple/ParentalControls", should be drwxrwxr-x , they are drwxr-xr-x .

As I said, I am a novice, and this means nothing to me....

At this point, just go ahead and repair the listed problems, although they should have nothing to do with the problem that you are experiencing.

Well, just go ahead and restart the system again, normally, and see if you can use Disk Utility now. I don't know whether or not you will be able to, but it's worth a try.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Restarted normally, and external drive still not showing up. By the way, I've already tried different cables, so that doesn't seem to be the problem.
With OS X started normally, when you run Disk Utility, do you see the drive there, even though it doesn't show up on the Desktop?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It looks like your FreeAgent drive is going to need to go in for service, then. About the only other test is to see if it is accessible when attached to another Mac. If you have another Mac, or know someone else who has one, you might try to hook it up there. If it still won't show up there, it absolutely will have to go in for service.

You can contact Seagate here (within 30 or 90 days of purchase).
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay, still working on this thing. Turns out power supply cable was unreliable, but still have other issues.

FreeAgent Drive now visible, but backup failed.

Tried Repair Disk in Disk Utility from OS X Install and got:
Invalid node structure
Volume check failed
Error: Filesystem verify or repair failed

Then tried Disk Repair in Safe Mode and got error message upon startup:
The disk "FreeAgent Drive" was not repairable by this computer. It is being made available to you with limited functionality. You must back up your data and reformat the disk as soon as possible.

Then tried Disk Utility again (Why? I really don't know) and FreeAgent Drive got renamed disk2s2.

Can I reformat or do you think the drive is shot?

Give a reformat a try. It is less likely to have problems that way.

Let me know if you need additional help on this.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reformatted. External Drive is recognized and on desktop. When I try to backup, it fails and I get the message "The backup volume could not be found".

Ran Disk Utility: "Drive could not be unmounted". ugh!
The problem is, most likely, that Time Machine is still trying to use the drive, which will result in the error. First, I would recommend that you restart the system (again, I know, this is getting repetitive, but it's part of computer troubleshooting) and then try to run Disk Utility.

Failing that, shut down your Mac, disconnect the external drive, restart the Mac, get into the Time Machine preferences and turn off Time Machine, shut down again, reconnect the drive, power back up, and try the repair again.

There is a long history of corrupted external drives and Time Machine. This tends to make the drives usable again. When you're all done, get into the Time Machine preferences and turn it on again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay, did all that. No luck. Repair failed.

Then turned Time Machine on anyway, and computer didn't recognize it.

Seems I'm at a dead end. Do you agree?

If my external drive is corrupted and I get a new one, do you recommend I backup manually, without Time Machine?
Backing up is always a good idea, whether or not your regular backup devices are working. Yes, go ahead and backup manually, even though Time Machine is not working.

I have to agree with your assessment that your external drive is unusable as it is. As a point of technical curiosity, I wonder what kind of effect the unreliable power cord was having on it (might it have caused some type of hardware damage?).

About the only other thing to try is to go to someone with a PC and have them erase and format the drive with the NTFS files system. This is kind of out there, but I have read some reports of Mac users rescuing drives that Disk Utility could not repair by doing this. If the PC user can successfully repartition and format the drive, then when you attach it to your Mac, you will need to use Disk Utility to repartition and format it for your Mac (HFS+, journaled, but not case-sensitive).

My condolences on the state of your drive. Let me know if there's anything else that I can help you with.
R.A. McConnell and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much for your condolences and all of your help. This has taken a considerable chunk of time out of my life and I am ready to move on.
Best of luck. I'm glad to have been able to help.

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