i received the infamous “storage location can’t be found” when trying to backup to my time machine one evening. following apple’s tech support forum is not always the best idea, IF you have a “gut feeling”. well i’ve made a misteake of following their advice (instead of just re-booting my mac):

  • per the forum advise i  went ahead to time machine preferences / “change disk” option and re-pointed to my time capsule (DON’T DO THAT –  rebooting will solve 99% of your problems with sparsebundle)

Here’s how i solved this problem without terminal, Disk Warrior or other last resort methods:

[this widget will help you determine what’s wrong – Time Machine Buddy]

1. try to mount your image backup file – aka sparsebundle:
– you’ll find it on your backup drive and just open the file via finder – in my case it was on timecapsule / data / myMBP20348u203984.sparsebundle
– it will take a while to open up – in my case … 4 hours! (my image is over 200gb) – IMPORTANT: you need to be connected to your time machine hard drive directly, so if you have time capulse like me – via ethernet cable (having your laptop connected to electricity helps too, since your bettery will die before 4h …. )
– once it mounts, you’ll see “disk image … your name” under “devices” in finder (if you’re in a hurry to get a particular file, from a particular date / directory – here’s your chance)

2. right-click on the Time Machine icon in the Dock (or , option/TM icon on the top). chose “Browse another Time Machine backup…” and  point it to your image, and the time machine should launch successfully

3. almost there. the trick for the TM to “find” your image at this point is … unmount the image
– then, go to “enter Time Machine”
– if it opens, that’s that! – exit TM, and try “backup now” – again, this might take time, in my case over 2 hours … with status stating “preparing backup”, but in the end it worked

5. for the rest of your poor souls, here are some more complicated links i found to help you:

hard mac rocks – how he recovered this image

original apple thread … with bunch of guesses