2013 AirPort Time Capsule Hard Drive Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by opinio, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. opinio, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

    opinio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #1
    So I upgraded the HDD in my 2013 2TB Time Capsule to a 4TB. It is possible but about the same level of difficulty as a hard drive replacement in a Mac mini if you have done that. You will need some very thin spudgers to get the base off.

    Also there are a few thin wire connectors that are not for the faint hearted.

    Drive used (see EDIT at bottom of post): Seagate Barracuda 4TB 7200rpm (ST4000DX000). It is a hot running drive but does not appear to heat the TC up at all (any different to the 2TB). Even with doing the initial backup of 5 Macs at once it did not get hot. I am guessing the writing speed is not challenging for it, or the internal fan is efficient.

    Drive replaced: The drive in the Apple AirPort Time Capsule 2TB is the Seagate ST2000DM001. See http://www.seagate.com/au/en/internal-hard-drives/desktop-hard-drives/desktop-hdd/?sku=ST2000DM001. It is a 7200rpm SATATIII 64MB cache 3.5" HDD.

    A few tips worth noting:

    1. Find a very thin plastic, but stiff, spudger to get the base of. Two or more would help. The black base is a soft plastic and is marked easy.
    2. You need a torx kit. 8 from memory.
    3. Connectors are very delicate. I used long tweezers as I have used on minis and MacBooks in the past.
    4. I left the sata cable attached to the logic board and only levered it off the HDD.
    5. HDD is a snug fit. I removed it by holding the device end gently letting the HDD drop out the bottom, being super careful it does not grab wiring. Move it left and right to ease it from the rubber edges holding it in inside.
    5. The HDD is only held in with rubber. You may need to reposition the rubber up inside the unit with say a driver before you fit the drive back in. It is very snug because the 4TB drive has a little more alloy on the edges. It fits fine though. There is no forcing it.
    6. Upon rebooting the TC, you rebuild the HDD disk image through the airport app disk tab by choosing erase. You can rename it then.

    I would not recommend it though unless you really want the hard drive space like me. It is a fragile operation - but still doable. Complications could be ripping of the connectors or wires.

    I want to be able to use Time Machine from my 5 Macs on one Time Capsule which I can now do without issue. Yes I know you can plug in the 4TB to the USB port but I want to have it all internal and clean.

    Also I had a 4TB lying around. A 2TB TC purchase plus a 4TB HDD would not be cheap.

    You also need to rebuild the HDD through 'erase' in the AirPort App when you boot back into the TC.

    I used the iFixit teardown for a general reference.

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/AirPort+Extreme+A1521+Teardown/15044/1

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/AirPort+Time+Capsule+A1470+(Mini!)+Teardown/15067/1

    EDIT: Removed the comment I originally made that the AE does not support TM. See P13 of the manual. It is now supported on the 2013 AE.

    EDIT II: Replaced the Seagate Barracuda ST4000DX000 5 platter 7200rpm HDD with a Seagate Desktop HDD.15 ST4000DM000 4 platter 5900rpm. The DM (newer drive) uses less energy and runs cooler than the DX. The DM is a touch slower than the 7200 DX but because the drive is over ethernet (and in the TC) the speed difference between the two is irrelevant. You can't really buy the DX anymore anyway unless it is old stock. Also the chassis of the DM is slightly thinner at the edges (being 4 platter) than the DX and is closer to the OEM TC drive in size than the DX. Although the difference between the DX and OEM drives is only a few mm. The DX still fits fine but the DM is just a touch better for size.

    See comparison:

    http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=26140.0
     
  2. opinio thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #2
    Just did black magic run on the drive.

    Got between 40-45 MB/s read and write over CAT6a through a MacBook Air with T-Bolt Gigabit adapter.
     
  3. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #3
    Thanks opino for posting your experience! I've upgraded the HD in my 1st-gen TC and was wondering about the process for the new design. Good to know it is still possible and what to look out for.


    My understanding is that for the earlier TCs, all the way back to the 1st-gen models, using a USB hard drive plugged into the TC for TM backups is supported by Apple. What isn't "supported" was doing that with an AEBS, although it works for some people.

    Has this changed for the new 2013 TC? That is, now you're not supposed to plug in an external USB drive and use it for Time Machine backups?

    Thanks again for your excellent info!
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    External USB drives for TM backup is supported now on both the newest Extreme and Time Capsule.
     
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #5
    Wow, that would be great news. Where did you see it? I tried to confirm it from some Apple document and so far I've just found a conflicting statement:

    "Important: Every available drive that can be used to store backups is listed. If you’ve partitioned a drive, the available partitions are listed. Time Machine can’t back up to an external drive that's connected to an AirPort Extreme or a drive formatted for Microsoft Windows (NTFS or FAT format)."

    (emphasis mine, and we know that TM can, at least sometimes.) Excerpted from: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427, updated on Jun 11, 2013.

    It could be that the above statement was just overlooked, buried as it is in a larger-scope document. I do hope you're right and Apple has decided to officially allow TM backups to go to AEBS connected USB drives, though.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Below from page 13 of the manual.

    [​IMG]

    This came up in another thread and another user noticed it in the manual.
     
  7. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #7
    Super! Thanks for the link, too. Sorry opino for the tangent...
     
  8. opinio thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #8
    Yes I agree.

    At the time I wrote that TM was not supported on the AE I had not known this so I was incorrect on that. It was only a few days after the release so the new manual info had not trickled through. Also the way Apple advertises the two it is inferred that only the TC supports TM. It is not until you read P13 in the AE manual that you find out.
     
  9. kenfused macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #9
    both drives?

    Anyone know if you can use BOTH the TC drive built in and an external USB drive for TM backups?

    For example Macbook Air backs up to built in TC disk and iMac to the external USB connected to TM?

    I have a feeling you can't do this, but wasn't sure.
     
  10. opinio thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #10
    Yes, I do that.

    I run 5 macs on TM on the internal drive on the TC and also back up two of those Macs on to two 1TB WD Passports on a LogiTech USB 2.0 hub on the external USB port on the TC. In other words two of the Macs have two TM backups (internal and external).

    I should note, Time Machine is supported on the current Extreme and TC for external drives, but is not supported on older models.
     
  11. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #11
    Yep, as of a few days ago I'm running that way too (except my iMac goes to the TC internal disk and my MacBookPro goes to the USB disk). Seems to work great!

    One odd thing I have just noticed relates to the permissions of the ".Backup.log" file you can get to if you mount sparsebundle and drill down to a backup date. On my iMac backups to the internal disk, it's readable only by "system", but on my MBP backups to the external disk, it's readable only by my regular login id, "brian". I'm wondering why the difference...
     
  12. Tim0 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Russia
    #12
    Any new advice on 4TB drive choice for TC 2013?
     
  13. opinio thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #13
    My Seagate Desktop HDD.15 ST4000DM000 5900rpm is still working perfectly.
     
  14. iYak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    #14
    6tb?

    Has anyone tried this drive? Any idea whether it would fit?
    Seagate STBD6000100 6TB 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
     
  15. groovyd macrumors 65816

    groovyd

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15
    I am very curious as well about this... I would like to upgrade my 2TB as it is now no longer big enough for my backups since I added a 4TB external drive to my mac which I store lots of music and videos on. The 4TB is cutting it close but the 6TB would be safe for the forsee-able future for me. If this is possible I would do it in a flash.
     
  16. jagooch macrumors regular

    jagooch

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, co
  17. Fean0r macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    #17
    I hope reviving this doesn't breach any thread from the dead rules, apologies if it does.

    I've just ordered a 2TB TC and once I've tested it thoroughly plan on replacing the HDD with a 4TB one.

    Does anyone know if there are warranty void stickers inside the thing?

    I'm wondering whether, if something goes wrong with it during the warranty period, I'll be able to put the 2TB drive back in and take the TC to Apple.
     

Share This Page