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When attempting to perform a Time Machine backup, the backup appears to proceed as normal, until it finishes copying files at which point it complains that an "error occurred while linking files for" one of my external hard disks.

During the previous backup that particular disk was in fact empty, and therefore I can't understand why Time Machine is attempting to link back to it. But alas.

I've verified all my disks using Disk Utility and they all appear to be fine.

Does anybody know what causes this error, and how I might go about fixing it?

Failing that is there a way to force Time Machine to create a brand new backup rather than an incremental one?

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The disk is faulty.

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I don't know what could be causing that error, but if you want to start over on that drive, you could turn off Time Machine backups, then "erase" that backup drive using Disk Utility, and then go back into Time Machine preferences, select the disk you just erased, and turn Time Machine backups on again.

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I was hoping I could keep all the incremental backups it's made in the last month or so, but if there's no other way I guess it can't be helped :/ – James Robinson May 10 '10 at 15:23

It sounds weird, but could it possible be that your external drive go to sleep? Maybe you can check in System Preferences --> Energy Saver, and deselect "Put the hard disk to sleep when possible"; it might not be relevant to the external hard drive, but it's worth a try.

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm beginning to suspect the disk is faulty. It refuses to mount now. I'm attempting to reformat it but it seems pretty well borked :/ – James Robinson May 10 '10 at 18:32

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