Time Machine Backup Behaves Differently with MyBook Live than Apple Time Capsule

I have been backing up my 3 Macs (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac) to an Apple Time Capsule - without issue.  I recently experimented with backing up my MacBook Pro (mid 2010) to the MyBook Live.  The backup is successful - although it runs slightly slower than the backup to the Time Capsule - but what concerns me is that the backup does not always start when expected - when backing up to the MyBook live.

When backing up to the Time Capsule - all of my Macs will begin the backup within 30 to 60 seconds after waking from sleep and then every hour afterward.  When I back up to the MyBook Live - the backup never starts within 30 to 60 secons of waking from sleep - rather it will start about 20 to 40 minutes after the MacBook Pro wakes.  In many cases - the MacBook pro has already gone back to sleep before the backup starts.

In a couple of other circumstances - the Time Machine backup will not backup (even an hour later) at the stated time - and then waits yet another hour before beginning the backup.

Why is Time Machine behaving differently when it backs up to the MyBook Live - vs - the Time Capsule?  In the MyBook Live scenario - there is a high likliness of many backups being skipped because the backup does not start upon wake from sleep.

Has anybody noticed this behavior.  I have only tested it on the MacBook Pro.

Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support


Thanks - I have several  Macs and several MyBook Live drives.  I will test one of the other drives with one of the other Macs - to see if I see the same behavior - to factor out the problem being isolated to either the specific drive - or specific Mac - and then I will contact WD Tech support with the results.

After some additional experimentation with a different Mac and another MyBook Live drive - I am seeing identical behavior - however - I did notice that if the MyBook Live drive is up and running (not sleeping) at the time that the Mac wakes up -  the Time Machine backup will begin as expected - within 30 to 60 seconds after the Mac wakes from sleep (this is the expected behavior).

It seems that when the MyBook Live is sleeping (blue LED) - Time Machine backup (which probably tries to start within 30 to 60 seconds after the Mac wakes from sleep) is not seeing that the MyBook Live drive is “ready” and is apparently skipping the backup.

When the Apple Time Capsule waskes from sleep - it spis up faster than the MyBook Live spins up from sleep.  Either the Time Machine Backup is not waiting long enough for the MyBook Live to become available - or the MyBook Live is not presenting the correct status while it is spinning up.

Also - when the MyBook Live is sleeping - I can tell Time Machine to “Backup Now” - and it will wait for the MyBook Live to become available and the backup will run as expected (in this case on demand).

I will re-verify this behavior a few more times and then report to WD Tech Support.

I should not that all Macs used in these tests are on OS X 10.7.2 Lion - and all MyBook Live drives are on the latest firmware - 02.02.02-020.

For some unexplained reason - after doing a number of full backups from each Mac onto my multiple MBL’s - all of a sudden all of the Macs now successfully begin the Time Machine backup within 30-60 seconds after the Mac wakes from sleep.  Nothing in my environment changed - other than repeated deleting and recreating of the sparse bundle file for each of the Macs from each of my MBL’s - even with multiple Macs backing up to a single MBL.  This is quite frustrating - to have a problem disappear like this with no apparent explanation.  This started working successfully prior to upgrading to the 02.03.01-024 firnware a couple of days ago.