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I recently had a drive fail in a laptop and after replacing it and restoring a Time Machine backup onto it, any new backups to the same Time Machine backup get this error:

May 24 02:10:00 Foobar /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[9605]: Bulk setting Spotlight attributes failed.

How does one fix Spotlight to remove this error?

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Rebuilding the Spotlight index evidently fixes this:

  1. System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy: add the affected drive (to stop indexing it)

  2. use to delete the affected drive's invisible ".Spotlight-V100" folder*

  3. System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy: remove the affected drive (to start indexing it again)


sudo rm -rf /Volumes/YourVolumeNameHere/.Spotlight-V100

Remember, be careful when using "rm -rf" to avoid typos, or you could delete the wrong folder!

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An easier method is sudo mdutil -E /Volumes/YourVolumeNameHere to reset Spotlight. This will perform all 3 steps above in one shot. The -i flag will allow you to turn it on and off as well. – Chealion May 24 '09 at 21:40
Thanks guys. Even after running mdutil -E on the volume being backed up, I got this error: May 26 00:02:22 Foobar /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd[14331]: Bulk setting Spotlight attributes failed. I also tried running it on the volume that is the Time Machine volume, which is mounted over the network. – Blair Zajac May 26 '09 at 13:19

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