Air Disk and Timemachine through Airport Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by acuriouslad, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. acuriouslad macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Ok I know you can do an Air Disk where everyone can see the disk on the network, wirelessly connect and transfer stuff. Can you however use the harddrive connected to an Airport Extreme for Timemachine to back up stuff, wirelessly without needing to buy a Timecapsule as they are so expensive? Even better yet can you make it so you can use it as an Air Disk and as a Timemachine drive too?

    So if it is a repeat question, I did search but I couldn't find this anywhere
     
  2. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Yes you can! With the AirPort Extreme you can connect a harddrive and use it as an "AirDisk" or as a Time Machine back-up destination. If you want to use 1 drive to do both, however, this can cause problems. You could partition the drive in 2, but if you ever needed to change partition sizes, you would loose all of your data.

    What I would do is buy two hard drives, and use one for TM backups and the other for network file storage. I do something similar where each Mac has it's own Time Machine back up drive connected to the Time Capsule.

    Hope this helps.

    Dylan.
     
  3. acuriouslad thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
  4. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    BTW, if you want to do what dylanbrown suggested, you would need a powered USB hub for your drives since the Extreme only has one USB port.
     
  5. errol macrumors 6502

    errol

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #5
    Just out of curiosity, why would this cause problems?
     
  6. dylanbrown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    This would cause problems because lets say you partition a 500GB into 2 partitions - 1 for Time Machine and 1 as an AirDisk. Lets say you make a 300GB partition for the Time Machine and the remainder for the AirDisk.

    This is where problems can start - I only have around 80GB's left on my Time Capsule, from only backing up my MacBook. So if the 300GB Time Machine partition is slowly filling up, and you want to increase the partition, you will loose all your data.

    Same goes if you buy a small external for your Time Machine. Always buy the largest drive that you can afford - and that way you'll have lots of space for your back-ups.

    Hope this explains my post earlier.
     
  7. primoz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    #7
    Wouldn't daisy-chaining the USB drives work?

    skorpien, you said you'd need a powered USB hub: I'm planning to simply daisy-chain two powered USB drives - or am I missing something here? Thanks. Primoz
     
  8. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #8
    First of all, get a powered hub. USB was not designed to daisy-chain like Firewire.

    By the way, just remember that Time Machine support using an external hard drive and AirPort Extreme is an unsupported feature. You won't be able to receive official AppleCare support for it.

    Don't you still have to place a text-file file named "com.apple.timemachine.supported" on the external drive for Time Machine to recognize it with an AirPort Extreme?

    Note: When you move from one Time Machine drive to another it rebuilds your entire hard drive again (from scratch at the point in time) so if the older Time Machine drive fails you'll just lose your old data and not your current and future data that will be stored on the new drive.
     
  9. SWLinPHX macrumors regular

    SWLinPHX

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #9
    My issues exactly!

    Man, this is just the topic I was looking for! First of all, is there another bigger or older thread on this same topic in this forum or under OS X Leopard "Time Machine"?

    I have two issues, one relating to this:

    1) I got my "Air Disk" (1 TB network-accessible drive) wirelessly mounted on my brand new MacBook Pro with Leopard, my first time using 10.5 and trying Time Machine. The AirPort Extreme Base Station is brand new with the MBPro. I called AppleCare and just discovered what you said, that it is unsupported to use the AEBS with connected USB hard drive with Time Capsule. That kind of sucks because for Time Machine backups on a laptop, who is going to constantly physically re-connect and disconnect an external drive to run Time Machine backups? The whole point of Time Machine is to be automatic and seamless, running on its own. So in essence, Time Machine on an Apple laptop is useless with anything but Time Capsule??? The tech said there was probably a way (since I can mount and manually copy & backup files to the network Air Disk) to make it work, even though they don't support it. Can you tell me more about this "com.apple.timemachine.supported" file, like where you get it, where do you put it on the ext. AEBS-connected drive and does it always enable Time Machine with AEBS or are there still issues? Also, why can't you use the AirDisk with AEBS as normal AirDisk backup for one computer running Tiger or Panther using Retrospect, while using a different part of it (specifying the folder) with my MBPro using Leopard and Time Machine without partitioning? Does an entire independenet volume have to be dedicated to Time Machine only and disabled as backup storage? You can't just specify a "Time Machine folder" since it is a big 1 TB drive?

    2) When I connected my AEBS I connected it from a Motorola SBG900 cable modem/wireless router combo unit (all-in-one). I then connected the AEBS from the modem/router to the AEBS LAN port via ethernet then out from another LAN port to my PowerMac G4 desktop, using the AEBS in "bridge mode". I did this so the Motorola is still running a "g" network for my iPod Touch and iBook G4 (unless I sell it), while the AEBS is on "n only" for the fastest new MBPro speeds (it's sceaming!) and also out to my PowerMac for ethernet internet connection. I assumed you couldn't run both "n" and "g" devices on one network without bringing the entire speed down to "g", but I read about the AEBS setup opton using "n with b/g compatibility" and the tech at AppleCare said this would not slow down the MBPro to "g" speed yet still work fine with my "g" iBook G4 and iPod Touch. Is this true? Did I misunderstand or has something changed since the days when running "b" devices would bring down speed of "g" devices? If necessary, I can disable the Motorola's wireless router function and use it solely as a cable modem connected to my AEBS WAN port using that "n with b/g compatibility" mode. Which is best? It is working now with two networks. Also will switching to just one AEBS "g/n" network allow access to the attached 1 TB AEBS drive to all 4 computers easier, and perhaps make using Time Machine easier?

    Lots of questions, I know, but I would appreciate any answers to as many as you guys know about or can suggest. Thanks! :eek:
     
  10. SWLinPHX macrumors regular

    SWLinPHX

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    ...anyone???

    Gosh, almost three months and not one response?

    I ended up switching off the router function of the Motorola and using it solely as a cable modem and the connected AEBS as the sole router in the b/g/n mode and it looks like it is working with all my devices (g and n) without slowing n. I still would like to know more.

    Also, I still would like to know about that one file you mentioned adding to the AirDisk to support Time Machine, and why it must be partitioned and you can't merely specify a folder on the drive to store the Time Machine backups. I imagine partitioning would be ideal (if I want to erase everything already on there), but I still want to use it as a main backup for all computers, even ones running Tiger or even Panther without Time Machine. I don't see a problem with the split partitoning scheme as described above because 300-500GB should be enough for either, and if I run out of space Time Machine just deletes the oldest stuff anyway (and warns you too). I'm assuming that would still give me decent protection, even though not going back months and months.

    On a side note, I read on Apple's site that if you run into the problem where on the first back up Time Machine stops backing up after 20GB or so (as I just did), the drive was factory-formatted with "Master Boot Record (MBR)" and must be re-formatted using Apple's Partition Map scheme.
     

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