Advice on Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Danneman101, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Danneman101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm considering purchasing a Time Capsule, but have a few questions first.

    1. Can I backup windows and mac on the same time capsule, or does it only support mac?

    2. If so, do the mac/win files end up in different "apartments" of the disk, or are they joined in the same file structure and can be accessed from both win and mac?

    3. Can I attach an external harddrive (formatted HFS+) to the Time Capsule, and have it used to mirror the Time Machine backup on the Time Capsule (so the data is backed up in two places)?

    4. Is it possible to split the one usb-input to the Time Capsule with a usb-splitter so that I can attach two devices at the same time (in my case, two harddrives)?
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #2
    If you already have a decent router, you might want to look at a Synology NAS which can do all of those things and more.

    A DS212j or DS213j are excellent entry level dual HDD NAS's
     
  3. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #3
    Well, although probably better in many ways, it falls short on one for me crucial thing, it does not support external harddrives formatted in HFS+ (which supports Time Machine). Qnap does, but the total cost for purchasing both a better router, qnap nas, and harddrives would be much larger than buying a Time Capsule 2gb.
     
  4. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #4
    Why would you need it to support HFS+? The Linux based Diskstation OS takes care of all the file info. It supports AFP so Time Machine is taken care of and works great. Seems faster than the TC for TM but I've got no real benchmarks to prove it.

    I love my Apple gear but the TC albeit a nice device is very dumbed down and inflexible. You're stuck with the factory drive and a very limited feature set.

    As I said, if you have a decent router consider a Synology, QNAP is fine but lacks the finesse of the Synology DS OS.
     
  5. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #5
    The reason I need HFS+ on my external drive is so that when I'm on the road I can use it as a Time Machine backup device directly to my mac via usb.

    I'm ok with limitations to the Time Capsule as long as that does not include limits to the functions in my questions in the first post.

    But perhaps there is another solution to my needs, and I'm definitely open for and appreciate more suggestions :)
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    1. Yes. Windows can use SMB or Apple's Bonjour to see the drive as a network drive and from there you can use whatever Windows utility to backup to it just like you would any other drive.

    2. The TC drive will be in one partition and you can have Mac and Windows files both on that same partition. I would make separate folders for each if it were me just to make it cleaner.

    3. Yes, you could do that. Mountain Lion supports multiple backup sets with Time Machine, so you could just select both the TC and the external on the TC as backup destinations. Time Machine will then take turns each hour backing up to the drives.

    4. Yes, but for multiple drives you will want a powered USB hub.

    If I understand your question, you want to use the drive from question 3 to take with you on trips for Time Machine backup over USB? That won't work. By setting it up as a networked backup like in question 3, the TM backup uses a different file format (sparse bundle) than a directly connected USB drive (uses a normal flat file setup).
     
  7. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for your informed answers :)

    Yes, that was the intention. Shame that won't work. So even if I got a Qnap that support HFS+ on external harddrives and set it up as a Time Machine backup device via the nas, I won't be able to use it directly attached to a mac via usb either?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Location:
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    #8
    Nope. Any network backup with Time Machine will have this issue because the networked backups use a different file layout.
     
  9. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #9
    Ouch :( So there is really no way for me to have an extra Time Machine backup on an external hdd that is supported both via usb and via the nas? Can't I simply copy over the files from the Time Capsule to the external hdd after Time Machine has backed up to the nas?
     
  10. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #10
    Not easily.
     
  11. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2008
    #11
    Just to clarify: if I don't actually use Time Machine to back up to the external hdd, but simply copy the TM backup from the nas to the external hdd, will the result be a valid TM backup (ie. one that I can use to restore my mac or initiate a new mac with)?
     
  12. mfram macrumors 65816

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    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #12
    There might be a way to do it, but it would take some research. I don't think Finder itself would be able to do it. You would need a specialized app or Terminal commands to do it and make the hard links in the TM backup work out. Not as easy as click-and-drag in Finder.
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    Location:
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    #13
    You could use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the TC drive to the external, but it is going to be slow as the files will have to come down the network to the Mac, then back over the network to the external. I would do a test to make sure CCC copies all the files and it works.

    But this will still give you the external drive with the files in the networked TM backup format, and not the local USB flat file format.

    You might just be better off running the TC all the time, then pop the external onto a USB port on the Mac once a week or so for a second backup.
     
  14. Danneman101 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    #14
    Yep, I'm leaning towards that solution. That would also mean I could go for a Synology instead, which has better support for Windows and supports raid mirroring, among many other things.

    Thanks for clearing this out, it's been quite informative to say the least :)
     

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