On macOS 10.13 High Sierra, one way to diagnose Time Machine slowdowns and other problems is to use the log shell command. Unfortunately, on my system I sometimes get an error:

% log show --last 2s --style syslog
log: warning: The log archive contains partial or missing metadata
log: cannot use --last when archive metadata is missing

This appears to prevent me from using the --last option to limit output to the most recent time interval. The failed log command returns an exit status of 65, which we can see using echo $? :

% echo $?

For the benefit of web searchers, here is what I have found out about how to resolve this error message. Warning: it won’t be a fix, but I do have workaround.

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