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Yeah, this will be replaced... But please enjoy the search!

Backup failed with error: 11

Thank you apple for this informative error message. What happens is that my backup hangs after approx 10 GB, which sucks a bit since I have lots of more data that needs to be backed up regularly :) So I've spent a few days searching for related information regarding howto's and workarounds solving this error and the most common solutions where

  • Fix your disk permissions and reboot. This one didn't help me at all
sudo diskutil repairPermissions /
  • Rename your computer, if your computer name contains bad characters that is. Well, my computer name "mini" should have passed and renaming it to "tvdator" wasn't the solution either
  • Repartition and format the time machine backup drive, make sure to use GUID Partition Table. This didn't solve my problem either
  • Disable spotlight indexing of the time machine drive. Still no.

My setup was actually a bit more advanced than a usual desktop system. I have a Leopard Server 10.5.something that needs to be backed up since I'm moving all functionality to another Leopard server. This includes the iCal Server, DNS, Mail Server, Open Directory etc. The basics are still the same though.

Figuring it out

Well, i made some deep diving in the system.log file and found error messages like this

Aug  7 13:47:55 herlitz /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[3524]:
Error: (-36) SrcErr:NO Copying /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.
test_methods2.py to /Volumes/Backup of mini/Backups.backupdb/

Ta' Well, I just disabled the backing up of the entire /System/ folder since I really won't need any data from there anyway. If you however do need data the data in this folder

  1. begin with disabling all subfolders of /System/Library/ (like Automator, BridgeSupport, Caches etc), and I mean ALL
  2. backup your disk and then...
  3. recursively remove one folder at a time and backup your machine

Other advices

If your not into the terminal commands, use the Console application found in Applications > Utilities. Enter a filter where it sais "String matching".

> Enter 


> or if you are a bit wild

backupd Error

Now,  you should only be able to see the log lines related to the search filters you just entered. If you are into terminal, or like to learn.

> Open a terminal window and enter

sudo grep backupd /var/log/system.log

> Or if you want a live updating terminal window, enter

sudo tail -f /var/log/system.log | grep backupdb

Thats it Enjoy :)



I've got a few mails that pointed to this solution. At least if your backup-disk is a USB-drive and not a Leo Server.

# Delete this file (Located on your backup drive)
/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/nameOfComputer/date.inProgress

Try it out and let me know!

2010-11-11 - Yet another fail

Funny, got this error again, headed out on the Internet and found my own solution for the error. This time it was a bit different. When checking the system.log in the system util app i fount this error string

Nov 11 00:12:24 Trikks com.apple.backupd[6902]: Error: (-41) SrcErr:NO Copying /Applications/Personal.app/
PersonalCommon.framework/Versions/A/Resources/English.lproj/InfoPlist.strings to /Volumes/Backup320/Backups.backupdb/
Trikks/2010-11-09-213954.inProgress/xxxxx/Mac HD/Applications/Personal.app/Contents/

Nov 11 00:12:24 Trikks com.apple.backupd[6902]: Copy stage failed with error:11

Nov 11 00:12:30 Trikks com.apple.backupd[6902]: Backup failed with error: 11

What it says is that the application "personal.app" has gone fubar and I'm not allowed to backup it for some reason. This I can solve later, to fix the problem right now just exclude the file from the backup!