Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup folder.

5 or so days ago, this error suddenly popped up:

Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup folder.

I have a Raspberry Pi, acting as TimeMachine (using afp/Bonjour/Netatalk).

There are several things I tried to solve this, including messing in the sparebundle from Linux (chowning) and deleting my TM .plist. This probably messed up my backup a bit.

But what seemed to ‘solve’ it for me was:

  1. Start a backup manually (it will fail after a minute or two with the above mentioned error)
  2. Open finder, and go to the now mounted disk
  3. In my case, there was a <date>.inProgress file


    Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.32.19

  4. If TimeMachine mounted the share for you, you will have write access (see notes below)
  5. Delete the inProgress file
  6. Empty your trash
  7. It should be gone:

    Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.43.13

  8. Unmount everything
  9. Try backing up again

In my case it changed to this error, which happens to me every so often due to corrupt backups (loss of network (because the drive is on VPN, and when I connect to my VPN Mac starts backing up, eventhough I actually don’t really need/want that, it just happens to find the LAN), sleeping at the wrong moment, and Apple just generally not supporting DIY-TimeMachine). So this does mean I have to start from scratch anyhow… 🙁

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.58.35

Notes: I’ve tried to manually mount the afp or smb share first, and open  the .sparebundle myself via finder.

Like this:

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.45.04

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.43.21

However, both via Finder as via terminal (including sudo) gave permission errors (partly reading, mostly writing) such as:

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 15.32.38

Rsync backups

My own simple rsync backup ‘script’.

You’ll need a rsync server, something to backup, and ssh-agent running to ease the process (or, fill in your password each time).

Add the following lines (using a terminal text editor) to a text file (“.rsync” for example, hidden files under Unix-like systems), and chmod +x $file.

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rsync --archive -uv --exclude-from=/home/you/.rsync_exclude \
--rsh="ssh -p 222" --delete --stats --progress /Users/you/Documents/ \
you@remost.host.com:/home/you/remote-backup-directory

This will upload any files in /Users/you/Documents to /home/you/remote-backup-directory.

It will use ssh on port 222 to transfer the files.

Just execute ./.rsync (if that’s the name of your file) to run it.

If you make any changes (locally), and run this, the changes will be applied on the remote server (e.g. file changes, renames, deletes, …) — this will delete files on the remote server if you’ve deleted them locally!

The file .rsync_exclude is optional, it includes all files or directories that should NOT be uploaded

This is what I have in my .rsync_exclude:

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Nazgul:~ yeri$ cat .rsync_exclude
Parallels/*

Simple as hell, and yet so handy!