Previous versions of my free utility The Time Machine Mechanic, or T2M2, have focussed on detecting errors and failures which occur during Time Machine backups. Although these are among the most serious problems you’re likely to encounter when backing up, many users have performance problems which can sometimes make first full backups so slow that they’re simply not feasible. This seems particularly likely in Catalina, and most of all in 10.15.3. This new version of T2M2 now gives access to backup transfer rates and other information which can help diagnose and solve slow backup problems.
It does so through a third and new button, Check Speed, which analyses log entries over the last hour or more for those which report the performance of a backup in progress. I don’t recall when these were introduced, but they have certainly been present throughout Catalina’s release period, and may date back even to Sierra: I’d be interested to know how you get on with older versions of macOS, please.
T2M2 displays all performance entries for backups over the period selected. These provide the following information:
- datestamp of the entry,
- total transferred so far during that backup, in TB/GB/MB and the number of items,
- the total which will be transferred to complete that backup, in TB/GB/MB and number,
- the current transfer rate in MB/s and items/s,
- the path of the last item written within the backup being made.
As I explained a couple of days ago, you can use that information to work out where backups have become interminably slow, and consider adding the item or its folder to Time Machine’s exclude list. This is all explained in detail in T2M2’s Help book. This new feature should work with backups run automatically, those run manually and by tools such as TimeMachineEditor, to both local and networked storage.
In addition to this major new feature, this version includes:
- the font used has changed to the system monospace font, largely to cope with these log extracts;
- the menus have been tidied up, removing redundant items;
- I have improved the robustness of its log parsing, and enhanced its reporting of parsing errors;
- the Help book has been extensively revised.