Time Machine Backup Getting Stuck

I recently purchased a Western Digital 750 Gig HDD and placed it inside a Firewire enclosure. I formatted the drive into 2 partitions using Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. Plugged it in and asked Time Machine to run a full backup of my MacBook. An hour or so later I came back to and it seemed stuck at around 41 of 160 gigs backed up. So I stopped the backup and restarted it. Now it is getting stuck at 6.5 Mg or  115.6 GB to back up!

I don't understand what is happening. I went into Disk Utility and ran a Repair Disk on the external drive but it checked out OK.

Shut the MacBook down, powered off the enclosure, disconnected it, reconnected it. restarted the machine but still stuck at 6.5 Mg backed up on Time Machine. I'm running Snow Leopard 10.6.3.
anuneznycAsked:
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
OK, It's now at 8.8 Mg completed. So it's not completely stuck, but moving excruciatingly slowly.
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strungCommented:
Check the drive enclosure manufacturer's website to see if there is updated firmware for the firewire enclosure.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Good idea, but don't see any firmware update on their website. This is an AcomData Samba enclosure.

http://tech.acomdata.com/customer_support/701-Samba-support.asp

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strungCommented:
Is it a dual USB/FIrewire enclosure? If so, try using the USB interfact instead.

Another possibility is a bad firewire cable.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Yes, I tried w/ the USB cable but same problem.

I've now concluded that it's a problem w/ the HDD and not the enclosure. I pulled the HD out of the enclosure and attached it to a Sabrent USB to SATA HD Adapter and plugged it into my MacBook. First 38 gigs or so seemed to copy reasonably fast, but then the transfer rates slowed to a crawl and then became unbearable at around 38.5 gigs. So I canceled the TM backup and restarted it and this time it got stuck at 6.5 Megs backed up, just like I indicated in my original question!

I find this behavior really strange. Why would it start off reasonably well and then just slow to a crawl?? I would think a HD is either good or bad consistently, but not start out OK and then 40 min later start behaving erratically.
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marookCommented:
Yeah, sounds like the drive is not working - get it replaced!
You could try the other partition first, but I don't think that is getting you a lot further, as the drive has problems with the first one... so it's possibly a hardware defect on the first 1/4 of the drive.
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vicmacsCommented:
run disk utility's repair permissions on your internal drive, and from your install dvd also run repair ACL permissions as it can be a file permission problem

try copying some gbs onto the drive (any files) directly w/o using tm to see if you have a bad sector

I always do my first tm directly from the mac as it takes a while, leave it overnight…

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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Thanks Guys. I will try running repair persmissions.
Marook, you said, "I always do my first tm directly from the mac…" I don't understand. Do you mean you initially do a manual copy of the HD w/o TM??
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vicmacsCommented:
What I suggest is to copy a large quatity of files to see if the drive will copy them without a problem (30-40GB) if it does then the drive is probably fine, the time machine back you should do attached to the mac the first time to save time
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marookCommented:
It's a Firewire drive: It will always be directly attached.. ;-)

It it was a Time Capsule, I would use wired ethernet the first time.

You can test the drive's buffer and basic functionality by copying over the suggested 30-40 GB, but that will only test the physical portion of the drive that occupy those GB.. ;-)
The drive can have domaged platters other places.

If you want to test the speed, get a copy of AJA's System Test app (http://www.aja.com/products/software/) and do a check... just make it write/read a huge file. Since this is not a 'video test' you can choose any 'codec'...
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strungCommented:
Also use Disk Utility to run  Verify Disk on your boot drive, to make sure the problem is not that it is corrupted.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Connected a completely different external drive (a WD Elements 320 Gig USB) and ran Time Machine. It was flying through the backup for over an hour but then got stuck at 40.31 Gigs and would not move past that point.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I'm still not sure what is going on here. I may have to back up the whole system and do a full wipe & reinstall of the OS & all apps.
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strungCommented:
Open Disk Utility and run "verify disk" on your hard drive. If it shows errors, then reboot holding down the shift key (which will run Repair Disk Automatically). After booting, re-run verify disk and report back here with your results.
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marookCommented:
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
"Verify Disk" completed w/ no errors found.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I'm going to close this question out now. I think the only option left is to back up my drive, reformat it and reinstall OS.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
I will leave it to the moderator or Zone Advisor's discretion as to accept my point split or if it makes more sense to accept my last post as the solution and refund my points. Either way is OK w/ me.
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