Time Machine Backup Troubles after El Capitan Update

I recently updated to El Capitan 10.11.2 of OSX and within the same day after the OS tried to do a backup on my Time Capsule at home the backup does not work anymore. I have already posted the problem on apple support communities. Backups from other versions of OSX run perfectly correct against the same Time Capsule so don’t let you lure into support procedures like do a clean install….this is a problem with the OS. It seems that the sparesbundle gets corrupted and therefore can only be mounted in readonly mode because there are no more mountable filesystems. Link to the Support Community entry.

Restoring a hanging osx system with all your data

Hi I had a problem recently with the osx system of my daughter. The SSD disk I built in 1 year ago started to get corrupted file systems. Long boot times (gray progress indicator), failing fck calls have been the result plus at last a system which won’t boot any more. I had no current backup of the system so there was also the problem of the data.

Luckily I had a ccc (carbon copy clone) of my own system. So all you need is the following:

  • usb disk/stick with a ccc clone of a working osx
  • usb disk/stick for the clone of the broken system
  • a little time at your hand
  1. Boot up the system holding the „shift“ key on startup. Afterwards you will get a list of volumes to boot from, select the ccc clone of your working system.
  2. When the system is booted open up ccc and create a recovery partition on the destination usb disk you will use for the clone of the broken system, remind to select the matching osx version.
  3. Clone the entire disk content using ccc from the broken system to your prepared destination usb disk, this may take a while regarding the amount of data you have on your broken system.
  4. After cloning succeeded, open up disk utility and reformat the disk of the broken system. Remind to check the GUID partition table option and use the journaled HFS filesystem type.
  5. Now open up ccc again and clone the content from the prior cloned broken system back to the new formatted harddisk of the system. After finishing this, reboot the system.
  6. Hold down „CMD“ + „R“ to boot into recovery mode. Once there select „Reinstall OSX“, this will again take a little time but afterwards you will be rewarded by a system working the same way as it has before stopping booting. No user data lost, no settings lost, everything is fine.

Corrupted OSX filesystem – mac constantly shutting down on startup

Hi if you have experienced the following behavior of you mac there has to be something wrong with your filesystem:

the grey progress bar is coming up on startup (fsck is running long in the background)

a little later (days, weeks) the mac is shutting down short after progress bar appears

you may have a corrupt BTree in your filesystem. This is normally a sign that your hard disk fails and will soon die. But you want to make a backup but can’t right?

Then do the following:

  1. Right after switching on press CMD + S for entering single user mode
  2. on the command line enter: fsck -f
  3. mount the filesystem: mount -uw /
  4. check what name your disk device has by entering: df -hl (there should be an entry like /dev/disk0s2, note it down)
  5. reboot into safe mode
  6. type the following: fsck_hfs -y -rc -d /dev/disk0s2 (what you noted down earlier)
  7. wait for the process to complete. If the message „The volume…. could not be repaired after 3 attempts“ appears repeat step 6 until you get the message „The volume…. was repaired successfully“
  8. reboot your system
  9. Voila



MacBook Air Battery Drain – LogMeIn

Hi. I have experienced a significant battery drain throughout the last months. I recently changed to a 2013 MacBook Air from my late 2010 Air and was disappointed because I thought the newer faster macbook took up more battery and therefore has less runtime. But I got curious when I saw the mds and mdworker processes come up in the activity monitor application with cpu load off 100% and higher. I therefore changed to the terminal application and used the lsof command to identify which files are currently in use and I found out that mds and mdworker are permanently using a file located in the LogMeIn Directory. LogMeIn is an application for remote access to you Mac. It is deactivated on my system currently but nevertheless recently updates a log file in this directory:

/Library/Application\ Support/LogMeIn/log

Not always but sometimes there are recent changes to the log file every few seconds and spotlight tries to add the changes to the index but has to do so every few seconds, what results in high cpu load for mds and mdworker process, what eats up your battery.

Simply add the following directories to the privacy area of the spotlight configuration in system settings panel:

/Library/Application\ Support/LogMeIn

/Library/Application Support/LogMeIn Plugin

You are done and you should not loose any battery any more on this issue.

Usefull Apple Shortcuts Nr. 5 – Parallels and Windows Ctrl + Alt + Del

If you have to have a windows vm on board of your mac using parallels desktop and you have to have a user logon on startup of the machine let’s say because of your companies security settings you might have run into this problem earlier. Windows unlock screen request to ctrl+alt+del for login from you which does not work out of the box with your apple keyboard. In parallels you have 2 possibilities:

A) go out of full screen mode of your vm and select the keyboard icon at the bottom of the vm status bar and the keyboard shortcut menu will come up where you can select ctr+alt+del for login (see image).




B) you can use the short method by simply pressing the following keys on your keyboard:

Ctrl + ⌥ + fn + ⌫

(means: Ctrl + alt + fn + backspace)

this works because the fn key changes the functionality of  the backspace key to a delete key.

2 Screens, Problems using active corners…

If you have configured active corners on OSX and you are wondering why they don’t really work on your main screen I’ve got the reason why. If you look at your screen order from the screen settings dialog under system settings you can see if your screens are not of the same size, that the second screen is aligned on top right to your main screen. So the active let’s say top left corner of your main screen does not work because your mouse cursor is directly going to your 2nd screen. If you position the screens that way that the smaller screen starts a little below the main screens corner and above the main screens corner (see image) your active corners on the main screens side where the second screen is aligned to will work again. For example see my screenshot below, where my main screen is the big one on the right and the 2nd screen the small one on the left.


Disable Time Machine Mobile Backups

If you are a OSX user with a notebook and you are using TimeMachine for backups OSX has per default the mobile backup option enabled and you cannot switch it off from within TimeMachine options. I would suggest Apple should include this checkbox so the user can decide if backups on the local disk should apply or not. Mobile Backups can use up quite a bunch of disk space and if you are recently doint backups using TimeMachine and/or CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) you can disable the mobile backups by executing the following from within a terminal window:

sudo tmutil disablelocal


Change Timemachine Backup Intervall

If you do not like the aggressive way Time Machine does it’s backups (on an hourly base) you can change this. It is possible to to this by using the command line (terminal). So start the terminal application. On the prompt you can issue a command like this:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto StartInterval -int 14400

where 14400 is the interval time in seconds, here 4 hours. If you want to let the backup happen hourly use 3600 and so forth. If you don’t like the command line, you can use the free tool TimeMachineScheduler.

Loose some weight in OSX – removing unused languages

If you are like most of the average mac user out there, you should normally need no more than 1 – 3 languages installed on your mac. Per default there are a lot more language pack installed for each application on your system. It is possible to free up significant space by removing the unused language data. I do this after each OSX upgrade (major version) because they are delivered with each new realease (e.g. snow leopard, lion, mountain lion). I could regain more than 3GB of disk space with removing the unused languages. You can do it on your own, if you search the web a little and have some scripting skills, but to speed up the process, simple download the open source tool monolingual (click for link) which does the work for you. Simply download the .dmg file, install the package and launch monolingual. At the main app screen monolingual_main

you see a list of all installed languages on your system. Per preset there are some deselected, these ones will reside on your system. Please go through the list and select all languages which have to be deleted and deselect all languages you want to stay on your system. Afterwards hit the remove button in the bottom right corner of the main window. The removal process will take a little to finish depending on how many applications you have installed on your system.