I just got an error from my Time Capsule: “Time Machine completed a verification of your backups. To improve reliability Time Machine must create a new backup for you.” I went ahead and started a new backup, but how can I know that my backups are reliable?
Absolutely hitting Start New Backup was the right move!
All we need to do is make sure your Time Capsule has enough room to accommodate the additional information. If it doesn’t, we can archive the existing data to a separate drive.
So here’s what happened: Time Machine [italics mine] is the software that runs on your Mac, and backs up to an external drive or to a network device like a Time Capsule.
The wireless convenience of the Time Capsule comes with a tradeoff: It stores your backups in an encapsulated file called a disk image. It’s like a pretend disk, and like any disk, the file system inside it can corrupt. File systems are weak that way, which is just one of the reasons we keep a backup.
It may help to remember that a backup is just a copy of your files. You need to keep 3 copies of any file — a file doesn’t exist unless it exists in three places — and any of those copies is vulnerable.
Finally, I would recommend running Disk Utility on your Mac, just to make sure your main data drive has not itself become corrupt. Here are easy instructions!