Time Machine and corrupt sparse bundles

Remove stuck sparse bundle from Time Machine backup.

Time Machine is a very useful tool, and so is a NAS device, I have been able to recover what I thought was once lost many times. But There are some annoying issues that can cause problems. One of which is corrupted permissions related to a variety of issues, for me the most common problem is when the ReadyNAS Duo tries to renew a backup, the process goes well but the renewed backup's login ID gets corrupted. This often means that you have to remove the old sparse bundle so that a new one can be created.

You will know that there is a problem when you navigate to the time machine backup and see only a red dot icon on the Time Machine Backup folder.

If you are having trouble removing the Sparse bundle from time machine by the normal means or Time Machine has locked you out because of corrupted pemissions, then you can manually delete the sparse bundle by manually mounting the time machine volume and deleting the sparse bundle. Please be aware that this will take a very long time to complete.

Below are the following steps, The Time Machine backup should be already configured and setup.

  1. Finder, select the "Connect to Server" menu

  2. Enter smb://ip.address.of.nas/c/.timemachine into the Server Address text field.

  3. Click Connect button.

  4. Enter Admin Login and Password for ReadyNAS.

  5. Go to the ReadyNAS IP Address folder and click on the volume marked "c"

  6. You will see a folder called "./timemachine", this is where the sparse bundle is located.

  7. Click time machine sparse bundle, right click then select delete.


Once the old sparse bundle is deleted, you should be able to create a new backup and use Time Machine normally again.