How to fix Time Machine when it can’t mount the backup volume

I have a server running FreeNAS that I am using it as my Time Capsule for Time Machine backups. Every once and a while the Apple File Protocol share gets corrupted and Time Machine can’t mount the volume after I select it.

To fix this problem we will need to mount the volume as an SMB share and delete some files. NOTE: To do this you will have to enable SMB on your FreeNAS and this is beyond the scope of this post but I have posted some links below that should help.

Alright, let’s get started.

  1. Open Finder
  2. In Finder click Go -> Connect to Server
  3. In the Server Address box type smb:// (Be sure and use  your FreeNAS server IP address)
  4. Open up a Terminal and do the following:

Filesystem              512-blocks       Used Available Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/disk0s2             976101344  876318600  99270744    90%    /
devfs                          219        219         0   100%    /dev
map -hosts                       0          0         0   100%    /net
map auto_home                    0          0         0   100%    /home
//admin@ 1892063336 1394844408 497218928    74%    /Volumes/NAS

$cd /Volumes/NAS/

$mkdir applestuff

$mv .AppleDouble ./applestuff

$mv .AppleDesktop ./applestuff

$mv .AppleDB ./applestuff

$mv .DS_Store ./applestuff

Just to be safe we moved the hidden files and directories to a directory we created called applestuff. Once you are able to successfully mount the volume again with Time Machine you can delete the applestuff directory. These hidden files and directories will automatically get recreated again upon successful mount.

That is it. You should now be able to mount the volume again using Time Machine. Below are a couple of links on how setup FreeNAS for Time Machine backups and how to enable the SMB protocol.

How to setup FreeNAS as a Time Capsule.

How to enable SMB file sharing on FreeNAS.


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Brian Abston is a Java Developer in Oklahoma who also loves technology.