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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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ERROR MESSAGE: "Time machine

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ERROR MESSAGE: "Time machine could not complete the backup. The backup disk image "/Volumes/Data/(my name) Computer.sparsebundle coue not be accesses (error -1). The Utility Console says " Failed to eject volume /Volumes/Data (FSVolumeRefNum: -141; st This has been going on since April 23. Help please! Thanks, Martha


Disc Utility says sparsbundle is read only.

Hello Martha, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

This is a common issue with Time Machine.
First things first, a little maintenance will help this and may even cure it.

Start with repairing permissions. This PDF explains how and why.

Repairing Permissions

It sounds like you are using a Time Capsule or a hard drive connected to your router like an Airport Extreme, is this correct?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Now Disc utility cannot even see the disc! Yes, I do have it connected to my router. Currently the light is green on Time Machine. When I open Time machine Preferences to select the disc called Data (Marthas-Time-Capsule) it is not available.

Then the best 'fix' for this is Disk Warrior. It will repair the drive, the directory and the spares bundle. Thus making it, once again, useable.
It is $100. but worth every penny.
You will need to connect the Time Machine disk drive directly via USB or Firewire.
The contents are corrupted and this is the best way to repair it.

This may include removing the drive from the Time Capsule and using an interface like this one.

It is very inexpensive and does the job well, it will allow connecting the TM drive via USB so that Disk Utility may be able to work on it, if not then you will need Disk Warrior.

SO I suggest the interface first and then DW.

Let me know if that is helpful.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Current error message is that .sparsbundle is already in use.


If I have AppleCare, shuold they not fix it for me and save me the $100?

Worth a try. I am a firm believer in Applecare.
Have you restated your Mac? Try a cold start by total shut down.
A pram reset wouldn't hurt either.

To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys all together at the same time.
‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P' all together at the same time.
Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes, this is the sound that your computer makes when it starts up, it is like a boonngg. The screen should also cycle from white to black and then back to white along with the chimes.
The sound should also get louder.

If you have a wireless keyboard then the procedure is a little bit different.
Use the very same keys but wait until the first chime and immediately press and hold those keys. I recommend getting your fingers ready because timing is critical.
It can take many tries to get it, any USB keyboard is preferable.
Substitute the Control key for the Command key, Alt for Option, all others stay the same.
This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.
This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Reset PRAM. No dice. ".sparsbundle could not be accessed. I am going to try disconnecting Time Capsule from the router in the event there is an eorr in the cable. Then I will reconnect it. Back in 5.

Is the TM drive separate from the router or internal, as in inside?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Disconnecting the Time Capsule from the separate, external router and then reconnecting it did not work. Light is still green on the Time Machine, but it is not showing up in Disc Utility-- Disc Utility cannot "see" it. Grumble grumble.

Let me get this straight.
You have a modem connected to a router then connected to a Time Capsule?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a laptop connected to my external router for broadband and that router is also connected to the Time Capsule with a blue cable designed for it. All of this did work for about a month. Then one day it did not.

You have one too many devices in the loop.
The Time Capsule is also a first class wireless/wired router.
I suggest removing the extra router and connecting the modem to the TC. That is part of the problem.

It should look like this.
Modem to TC. You will have to unplug the modem, plug the TC into it with the ethernet cable and power it back up. That way the TC and modem will handshake. It will take a few minutes for the TC light to turn green.
Then see if DU will see the TC.
Let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
now Disc Utility sees the TC. I am verifying it now. however I am. To able to send and recieve mail from my laptop. I am on my iPad at the moment.
Your laptop should have no problem accessing the wireless.
The iPad is and so should the laptop.

Since DU sees the TM then you should be able to get Mail.
Please explain what the issue is with mail. How do you normally get it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Still not ableto send or receive mail on laptop since I disconnected the cable from the laptop to the router. ah ha! It went when I switched to my router wireless network. can I have two networks. One for the router and one for the TC?
Ok, you had it hardwired.
Not at all necessary. The TC is also a wireless router, that is how it does the time machine backups or it can use a wired type.
To get on the internet with wireless the Airport has to be turned on.
It may look like one of these images.
That one shows it as Off.
That one as On but not connected.
That one as On and connected.
If you click the Airport icon it will have a selection to turn it on.
Then it will show you a list of available networks. Like this.
Your network from the TC will be Apple something. It will be an open network that anyone can access so some security should be enabled.

This PDF will explain that but I suggest connecting with the laptop first.

Try that and let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is frustrating! I do have two networks. One that is for my broadband router. one that I set up for the TC.. I am noW trying to allow the TC to flash yellow while it tries to connect wirelessly to the router. I seems to want the Ethernet connected.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry. I have to give up. Too tired..
That is ok, I also had to wait until this AM. I will not give up on the problem until you do.
I did explain but it seems I wasn't clear.
The modem and TC (Time Capsule) need to be connected via ethernet cable for it to work correctly.
The way it should connect is cable from the modem LAN port to the TC graphic

That should be a bit easier to use.
One wireless router and wireless network works best so that they do not interfere with each other.
This Apple article shows how to set the TC up with Airport Utility found in your Applications/Utilities.

Try it that way.

This will show how to reset the TC, read it carefully before proceeding please.

Let me know how you do.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good morning. Thanks for the additional info. One last question out of ignorance: Is my modem in my laptop? I have my laptop connected to some external peripherals and use it as a mainframe unless I am working downstairs in my living room. I will not have time to work on this again until tomorrow night or Sunday due to my work schedule which is a dreadful crunch. I assume I can follow the instructions you sent me as they are very clear. Thank you very much for your assistance. After you answer my modem question, we can close this ticket. I will reconnect with you next week if I am sill not able to use my TC. Thank you! Martha

No, the modem is the thing that connects to the internet with your ISP (internet service provider), who ever that may be, mine is Time Warner.
I use mine much the same as you do but I also have many Macs and my main Mac is an iMac with dual screens.
Most peripherals can be accessed wirelessly such as printers, storage hard drives (much like the Time Machine), I have a USB hub connected to my Airport Extreme (a TC without an internal hard drive) that has three USB hard drives including my Time Machine drive.
Three scanners and 4 printers. All useable wireless for the most part.
I hate cables and use them as little as possible.
If you setup your home network using the diagram it can free you from almost all cables and give good access to your devices.
You are doing great and have a handle on what to do. I am here should you need help.
You are very welcome, thank you.
I am in no hurry so please take your time.

Daniel and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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