UPDATE 2008-12-17: See detailed instructions in the comments.

Since I haven’t found any discussion of this on the web I’ll document my experience and see what web searches bring people to this post!

By way of background, I have two external hard disks that are used for backups, one at work and one at home. When I get home or to work I open the Time Machine control panel and change the backup destination to the appropriate external drive. The system then updates the backup.

Yesterday I let the Mac OS apply the Leopard 10.5.6 update to my MacBook Pro as part of the shutdown. When I next reconnected to a backup disk and attempted to change the configuration, I got the following error:

You do not have appropriate access privileges to save file “.001b63b6df97” in folder “Backup – Work”.

To view or change access privileges, select the item in Finder and choose File > Get Info.

I launched a Terminal and navigated to the backup volume. Sure enough, in the root of the volume

-r——–   1 root     staff   16 Sep 22 09:37 .001b63b6df97

When I remove the file (home) or change the ownership (work), then the backup is able to continue. Evidently something has changed about the permissions or ownership of the process that runs the backup or configures the backup. Comments are invited.