Remove Time Capsule Hard Drive AND Partition

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by beatledud, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #1
    Looking to buy a Time Capsule, but one last hurdle is getting the drive partitioned, 1 for backups and 1 for media storage.

    I've read that you can do it over the network, but only as your computer is backing up, and then you may get errors for several tries or can't load the second partition or Time Machine backs up to your storage partition.

    But apparently the only way to get it to work is remove the HDD and connect it with an eSATA to USB cable. Yet no feedback on how to do this or its functionality exists beyond. The arguments against are it voids the warranty (I don't care and Apple has never said anything to me in the past), use a USB HDD plugged into the TC (USB is slower than an eSATA drive directly connected to Router, partitioning should provide faster transfer) or the data you store on the TC isn't backed up (I'll have a USB drive plugged in to back up that data).

    I have seen guides to remove the HDD and it appears to be rather simple. But beyond that, are there any other tips, experience, etc? Does the data partition auto mount on startup/wake from sleep, no auto script needed? Do I need to archive the TC drive in Disk Utility, partition, and restore the archive to the partition I intend to use for backups?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Given that desktop FW and USB drives are inexpensive, why not have an external drive dedicated to your libraries...and leave the entire Time Capsule for backups of the internal and external drives?

    You can get USB 3 3TB external drives in the range for around $150 or less at Costco, NewEgg, or others.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #3
    I only use a MBP in my living room. I do not want to have a USB plugged in anytime I want to use iTunes or my AppleTV. WiFi access is the only solution I want here. Also I have a 256GB SSD on it. A 2TB or 3TB TC is overkill and I want to use most of it for data storage.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    If you have a decent router you might want to consider a Synology NAS instead of a TC.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #5
    Blueroom, you and I already discussed this.

    Please anyone with experience removing a TC HDD and partitioning it?
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Philscbx

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Location:
    Mpls Mn
    #6
    I use my MBP in LV in similar manor.
    USB would be the last choice for any external drive IMO.
    Over a network - sorta going towards the fragile zone.
    The possibility of things can or will get glitched.

    So I have a 1TB drive hanging on the back of the lid with short FireWire.
    That drive was partitioned through Disc Utility - about 30 / 70.
    TimeMachine resides on the 30 side of HD.
    Media on the 70 side.

    It works seamless - I don't use TM every day - maybe once a week.
    It warns when it's full - and it rewrites over the old stuff just fine.
    MOvies stream perfect from External HD.

    The internal drive is cleaned out regularly to keep it from panic mode of getting too full and moved to the external.

    Finder shows both partitions - and TM can be ejected - leaving the 70GB side open.

    Hope that helps some.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #7
    Sorry but not sure what exactly you were describing. So you just plug an external directly to your MBP via FireWire?

    Again, I'm looking for someone with experience removing a TC HDD and partitioning it. I have tried or researched all alternatives. Thanks for suggesting alternatives but I'm not interested in trying those.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #8
    Ahh it's you LOL. This is why I avoided the TC, the interface is too limited & dumbed down much like the current AirPort setup app on the AEBS.

    iFixit.com shows how to tear the TC down, of course this will probably void the warranty as you have to remove the glued on bottom cover.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #9
    Yeah I've seen iFixit's and other tear downs. Looks pretty easy by Apple standards. You do have to remove the glued bottom cover but it appears to come off pretty easy. If there's enough tackiness to it, should be able to reapply and no one would be the wiser.

    Problem is I see on this forum and other sites that people say "well you'll have to remove the drive and partition it". OK, makes sense, I think I know what to do. But there's no follow up from someone that's actually done it which gives me some pause.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    If it were me, I'd partition one of your other SATA drives and drop it in to test. That way the original drive is still stock.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #11
    I've done it and it's pretty easy.

    Once you connect the TC's internal disk to your computer (via dock or enclosure), it will mount with three partitions. Two of those partitions are fairly small and are hidden when the hard drive is inside the TC. The other, larger one is the main partition that shows up as a shared volume. This is the one that you'll need to partition/resize. It's fairly easy to do in Disk Utility as the drive is formatted HFS+

    Once the large partition is split into two or more partitions, just place the drive back into the TC and it should show up as two separate drives in the Disks tab in your AirPort Utility (it will appear like it would had you just connected an external USB HDD to the TC's USB port).

    Edit: Though what blueroom suggests does have merit. You can try partitioning another spare drive and placing it into your Time Capsule, though I do believe you'll have to erase one or both of the partitions in your AirPort Utility to create the two smaller partitions that appear on the Time Capsule's stock HDD.

    Either option should work
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #12
    Perfect thank you! If I'm understanding you correct you say that the hidden partitions may have to be erased to create the other two partitions? I had wondered if this may happen, but archiving the contents of the hidden partitions and then restoring them when I've got everything set up should be good to go I'd hope.

    Blueroom's suggestion certainly does have merit. But as we discussed in a previous post, the cost of building a Asus Router + Synology NAS was several hundred more than just buying a TC. Finding budget NAS enclosures could bring the price down to about the level of a TC however the drive transfer R/W rates were significantly lower than the TC at that point.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #13
    Oh, I think you misunderstood me. I meant his suggestion on using a different hard drive instead of the Time Capsule's stock drive.

    And my apologies if I wasn't clear in my previous post, but the two hidden partitions shouldn't be affected if you do choose to use the stock TC disk. All you would need to do is select the largest partition in Disk Utility and add another partition.

    Here's a guide on how to create additional partitions using Disk Utility:
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_partition_a_mac_hard_drive_without_losing_data

    But if you choose to swap the HDD in the Time Capsule with one of your own, those two hidden partitions will need to be created. In order to do so you will need to go into AirPort Utility and erase the disk once you've partitioned the new disk and made the swap.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #14
    IMHO I would stay away from this as I would want the TM drive to have as little read / writes as possible as to extend it's life.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #15
    :confused:

    It's a Harddisk not an SSD!
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #16
    except that Every HD will fail at some point.
     
  17. justperry, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    macrumors 603

    justperry

    #17
    A Harddisk is less susceptible to the amount of writes than cheap SSD's but more on the mechanical side.

    SSD's also fail.

    SLC are less likely to fail from writes but MLC's and worse TLC fail even earlier.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #18
    Yes so why would that prevent me from using it? My MBP will be backed up to the TC and my media on the TC will be backed to a USB drive. Im covered with failures from anything. If the TC fails, its really easy to replace the drive.

    And TC has a good temp monitor and fan to keep the drive healthy.
     

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