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Weird Mozy Experience

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MozyI read that Mozy, an online backup service, introduced a beta for Mac users over at TUAW.com. I figured I’d backup a couple of things on Mozy because off-site backup is a good idea in general.

I wanted to backup 90MB worth of documents (Mozy gives you 2GB), so I fired up Mozy and got a Mozy Backup Status window. After 80% or so was uploaded, the upload bitrate dropped to zero and didn’t come back. I checked my internet connection and it was fine. It looked like Mozy locked up.

Then I went over to cancel the backup so I could try again later. The backup would not cancel at first. I tried Activity Monitor to quit the process, but Mozy backup kept coming back after I quit the process. I also noticed in Finder that all my free space on my hard drive (a mere 6GB) was now down to 180KB. I didn’t know what to make of that. I removed Mozy from my login items in System Preferences and restarted. When I restarted, I noticed that I now had 240KB of space left on my hard drive.

I then uninstalled Mozy with Mozy’s included uninstaller and ran Onyx in hopes of regaining my 6GB. After a restart prompted by Onyx, I noticed that my menu bar didn’t look the same. I went into System Preferences and all my login items were gone. No Quicksilver, no iTunes Helper, nothing was left in my login items. Fortunately, I did recover the 6GB of free hard drive space.

While Mozy seems like a great idea in theory, I didn’t have such a great experience with the software.

Try it out if you’d like over at Mozy — maybe your experience will be different.

39 Responses to “Weird Mozy Experience”

  1. Glad I found this thread. I thought I was crazy. I ended up uninstalling Mozy and my Mac seems a lot better so far. My problem was that Google Reader and Newsfire (and other things that seemed to use a bunch of java, but what do I know) would get slower and slower and it eventually took as long as 6 seconds to switch from one app to another. Then Firefox would freeze.

    I tried everything I could think of (prefs, cache, etc.) that didn’t require actual geekiness. Finally, ripped out Mozy. Fine so far.

  2. Peter

    I had the perpetual “verifying” problem as well. I re-selected my backup set, and it cleared the message up. It still reverts to verifying every now and again but it seems legit, e.g. it resumes backing up after a while. I’m most of the way through my 20GB backup, things have been pretty smooth.

  3. Steve S.

    I had the same issues with Mozy, it was recommended by a Windows only friend. I uninstalled it and found BackupRight ( http://www.backupright.com/ ) they have a Mac OS X client and it has worked very time I’ve needed to restore a file back. Its a bit more monthly than Mozy, but hell… its worth every penny to get your files back.

  4. stuart

    I used mozy once. Backed up fine. 650mb.
    I wanted to restore one folder – 388kb (tiny) and it took TWO DAYS to process the restore!

    I have uninstalled it.

  5. I just started receiving the “Too many computers on account” error after two months of roughly successful operation, even though this is the only computer that has Mozy installed. Support said that this is a common problem with the current version and that I would have to wait two weeks for the new version to be released–no backups until then. Mac Mozy is certainly not ready to be your primary backup solution. If you’re thinking of paying for the service, wait until they release a production version.

  6. Brian

    Funny thing with Mac Mozy 0.4.1.1 – I tried to back up ~40GB, but it would never get beyond ~25 GB before reverting to “Verifying…” with the hard drive monitor showing constant read/write for days. The reported storage on mozy.com would drop from ~25GB to under 1GB and slowly climb as it “verified” (Send bit rate = 0 kb/s), but after many weeks it could not complete the backup set. It just kept repeating this cycle. Reports to BDS came back with an auto-thanks email but no request for additional information. Beta is beta but it didn’t work well enough. I canceled. Too bad. No-brainer offsite backup would be ideal. Maybe I’ll try again next year if I don’t find something better first.

  7. If you would like an extra 256MB of storage on top of the 2GB (which will also give me the same), you can use my referral link here:

    https://mozy.com/?ref=CQC6RC

    or alternatively just enter the code CQC6RC by hand during the registration process.

    Also, if you use my code, I will travel to wherever you live and give you a hug*.

    *Hugs valid only for redemption within the greater Reading area of England. All others will receive a mental ‘air hug’ which will make you feel all warm and gooey inside.

  8. like Si said – we really do mean “Beta” when we say it. We’re happy when people use it without problems, but we’re even happier when people that have problems give us details of what happened so we can make Mac Mozy even more awesome.

    here’s an update on where we’re at with these issues:

    > disk space being eaten up like crazy:

    It looks like there are two problems here:

    1) the log file (/var/log/mozy.log) is being filled up with a lot of log lines. We’re actively looking at this problem. if someone could send to [email protected] the last 1MB or so of one of these runaway logs, it would definitely help us figure out what’s going on. under normal usage, the log file should never get above a couple MB, and is rotated regularly. (thanks Elan for sending the relevant lines from your log in.)

    2) mozy is using too much tmp space. Under normal conditions, Mozy does not use very much disk space at all during backups. it does NOT need as much tmp space as everything you’re backing up. you know that tmp space is the issue (and not the log file) if rebooting your Mac frees up the space. if this is happening to you, please let support know. i’ve directed support to escalate these cases directly to the engineers.

    > tomas (Mozy crashes at config): please send us the crashdump so we can see where the crash is happening.

    > peter (doesn’t see all files in folder): this is a known problem that should be fixed in one of the next releases.

    > stephen (not running as admin): we know about this one as well and will address it soon.

    > jonathan (stalls at 75.3%): Please contact [email protected] so we can figure out why it’s stalling.

    thank you everyone for the great feedback, both positive and negative. we will likely release an upgraded beta later this week. this kind of feedback from the community really helps us get to RC quality.

    -josh
    Josh Coates
    Founder,CEO
    Berkeley Data Systems, Inc (Mozy/MozyPro)

  9. I’ve been using Mozy on Windows since it first came out and I seem to remember some strange behaviour with that client early on. It woul halt when “preparing” files. After a few months the problem was gone and the client has gone from strength to strength. I’m sure the same will happen with the OSX client. Personally, I uploaded 1.5GB using the OSX client and it was fine, and very VERY fast.

    Maybe Mozy are just using the term “Beta” as it’s intended to be used, for a tool that isn’t quite ready for primetime yet. Thats the problem with things like Gmail and flickr, they’ve set an unrealistic expectation of Beta products.

  10. We should all keep in mind that Mozy/Mac is still beta software. They’ve specifically requested beta users to tell them about issues such as these via email. I suggest that everyone do that, and wait for a response, before posting a negative experience online. I’m trying the beta, and I’ve encountered some issues – as I expected to. I contacted their mac support address, and they’ve been responsive and helpful. Let’s all hold off on judgement for a while.

  11. Stuart McKnight

    I’ve uninstalled this until the next beta release. I selected about 2GB of files but after starting with 299GB free on my startup drive, Mozy didn’t seem to complete and I ended up with zero free and disk full warning. I restarted my Mac and my disk space came back (phew).

  12. Mozy has worked fine for me so far. I had a problem once where all my startup items disappeared, but that was long before Mozy. My backup is over 1GB, and there hasn’t been any trouble. Of course I had lots of free spac available, so I wouldn’t notic an overgrown log file. However, I checked the size and it seems reasonable.

  13. I’m having problems as well, but not as extreme as yours. I’m trying to backup around 100 Meg, but I can’t seem to get past 75.3 % total prepared.

    Well, the Mac version is in beta right now, so I guess they have some things to work out.

  14. As that old saying goes: Your Mileage May Vary!

    I was a private beta tester and have had none of the problems mentioned here. I opted for the free 2gb service and uploaded about 1.1gb at first. Of course it took a couple of days to complete because my DSL upstream is much slower than downstream.

    I’ve had to retrieve about ten files from Mozy and everything came back just like one would expect.

    Once Mozy gets out of beta I am pretty sure I wil go for the $5/mo unlimited storage. Of course I’ll have to set it and take off for a week while it uploads! :-)

    While I do appreciate the comments by both the poster and other commenters who have had less than optimal experiences with Mozy for Mac, it is a beta and as such, I really hope you folks are letting Berkeley Data Systems (Mozy) know about your glitches. As with all bug reports, let them know what your machine is, what OS you’re using, anything else you think might be important. I’ve done this and Mozy does appreciate all feedback.

    But it is good to air these experiences in a forum such as this. It gives us all a feel for an unreleased product. I hope those who have had bad experiences will continue to use newer versions of Mozy to see if things get better. If they don’t, be sure to report them, both to Mozy and here.

    -Tod (no connection with Mozy except as an early beta tester)

  15. Working as advertised for me. 2 GB has been more than sufficient for my needs luckily, but would not shy away from the $5.00 a month if I needed more.

    These guys are great. This will only improve with time.

  16. I haven’t had any problems, I’ve backed up 2.2GB (over 45,000 files) on it so far. I sprung for the $5 a month unlimited plan as well. It’s not fast, (upload rate is capped here on my cable modem) but it’s been working great.

  17. It’s been working as advertised for me. I had one weird issue after I demoted my user login from administrator to user. Mozy complained that I had too many computers registered. I only had 2 and only one had performed any backup. I unregistered the one that had never done a backup, then Mozy failed to see that it had ever performed a backup at all. I uninstalled and reinstalled, then let the backup run over night. Currently I have 3,237 files @ 202.8 MB. I’m pretty happy with it.

    The user interface could use some work, but hey, it’s beta. I can foresee this becoming an awesome service.

  18. I didn’t even get to the backing up part. I installed and selected a folder to backup, but it didn’t seem to “see” all the files in the selected folder, and for some of the ones it did see, Mozy gave incorrect file sizes (e.g., one small Excel file Mozy evaluated at over 1 GB!). Needless to say, I decided to hold off using the app until I was sure it would do what it said it was going to do. Reading this thread, I’m glad I did. I’ll wait until a new beta comes out, thanks very much.

    That said, the app itself looks pretty nice. Hope they work the bugs out soon.

  19. I was looking at Mozy and it seemed like a good idea
    But I was wondering
    I have a 100GB FTP server
    Anybody know of a free program like Mozy that would let me upload to my own web space?
    Pleaseeee email me if you do -> toby [at] tobybenjamin.com
    THANK YOU!

  20. CyborgSam

    It ain’t free, but BackJack (www.backjack.com) works flawlessly. My last job had over 100 Macs on it and I use it at home. Backing up my work, email, & important documents is well worth the $17.50/mo.

  21. Clif Smith

    I recently had the issue with an overgrown log file. Hey, it’s beta! Aside from the issue with the logfile, it’s been a great service. After trying it for a couple of weeks and verifying 3 restores at different times, I gladly ponied up for the unlimited plan!

  22. I had the same thing, GBs big log file. Useless software until they fix it. I complained, and they told me to reply with the log file (even though I had told them it was 6GB big and pasted relevant lines from it in my initial email). Not very impressed.

  23. mozy worked fine for me with A LOT (about 9 000) small files. the problem started with some big files (about 500mb each) – log filled my disk and program died. the idea thought is cool and i will support it. it seems far much better offer than apple’s one. come on, 5$ a month for unlimited storage seems reasonable for a backup place. guys from mozy have much work to do (windows client rulez and works as expected – tested under my works PC). i’ll give them as much tests as i can because it looks like a quite good offer.

    excuse my english – i’m working on it :)

  24. Mozy won’t even start properly for me. Well, it starts, then it begins checking the account info and scanning for backup sets and then it crashes.

    Were those guys at Mozy in hurry or something? Is their storage similarly “reliable”?

  25. Yes, I too had the same experience. The mozy.log file (located at /var/log/mozy.log) grew to over 6.2GB and completing taking OS X down with it.

    I am basically not willing to give it another shot until I see an updated OS X beta. If it happened once, it will likely happen again.

  26. I had a similar experience. I was trying to backup and it stopped at 14%, I then emailed support to ask them what to do. They said to uninstall it and then reinstall it, that pretty much fixed everything but they also said this could be happening because you have to little hard-drive space left, since mozy caches all the files you upload temporarily. You should email the bug in, they have a good support team.