Time Machine Preparing Backup

We recently had a client that was having problems with Time Machine backups failing. They were getting stuck at “Preparing Backup” In this case the backups were being stored on an Apple Airport Extreme. We could access the shared folder on the AirPort Extreme and could see the backup file. This tells us that most likely the storage location isn’t an issue and we have connectivity. We tried rebooting the AirPort Extreme, which didn’t help. We also tried forgetting the backup drive in Time Machine and re-adding it, but each time we were stuck at “preparing backup”. What ended up fixing the issue was renaming the computername.sparsebundle file in the backup location (in this case on the AirPort Extreme shared folder). I then setup a new backup profile in Time Machine and after a couple minutes of clicking Run Backup Now, the backup started to run correctly. At this point we deleted the old sparsebundle file and let the backup finish. Hopefully this helps you. If you need any help with this process call us at 319-227-7000 or fill out our contact form.