Airport Express Time Machine Question....

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Broph, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Broph macrumors 6502

    Broph

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hi,

    Looking at getting an Airport Express. I'm also planning to attach my USB powered external hard drive for wireless backups. This HDD is already getting used for Time Machine backups (when I decide to plug it in and do it manually).

    My question is, when I plug this in to the express and do it wirelessly, my understanding is that it will re-backup my whole computer (for some reason)... So, will this new backup overwrite all my previous backups?
     
  2. njaremka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #2
    the airport express only supports wireless printing from its USB port :( you cannot connect a hard drive to it.
     
  3. GGJstudios, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    As njaremka said, you can't use AirPort Express for this. You need to look at the AirPort Extreme.

    Uses for the USB port of Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express
    If you're using the same drive and simply connect it via the AirPort Extreme, it will continue to backup in the same way it has been.

    Edit: It won't work for Time Machine backups, even on an AirPort Extreme. See the post that follows this one.
     
  4. RMo macrumors 65816

    RMo

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #4
    That might be true (a couple years ago, at least, I heard rumors that it worked), but backing up to a USB-connected Airport Extreme disk is not officially supported. See: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2038

    (Of note, it works if the base station is actually a Time Machine, perhaps because they'd rather you buy one instead. :))
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    You're quite right. I keep forgetting that limitation, since I don't use TM. That's one more reason why I prefer Carbon Copy Cloner.
     
  6. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    For 4 years I've been running Time Machine off of a USB connected HD on my old 1st gen Airport Extreme and my current 5th gen unit. It may not be supported, but it seems to work just fine.
     
  7. Broph thread starter macrumors 6502

    Broph

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    ARGH, this whole post has been a fail on my part..... This whole time I meant 'Airport Extreme'..... Express / Extreme confusion..... Alright, I have the answer anyway thanks to you guys!
     
  8. njaremka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #8
    swap "Express" for "Extreme" and yes, you can use an external hard drive for time machine, but it is not officially supported, as has also been mentioned.

    that being said, i have also been using this set-up for quite some time. during that time, i have replaced the hard drive in my macbook pro and performed an upgrade to lion. both time i used my time machine backup to restore my MBP with no issues.

    so, even though this configuration is not officially support by apple, it can be used. just don't go into it thinking it will be as good as a time capsule setup.
     
  9. rofetov macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    #9
    njamerka - you're connecting an external HD to the airport express (via USB?) and it's working with time machine?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    No, an AirPort Extreme, not an AirPort Express.
     
  11. silverjam macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #11
    ??????

    I have an AirPort extreme (NOT EXPRESS) and have a Western Digital 1TB USB2 Bus Powered Hard Drive (Standard WD 1TB Drive) plugged into the USB port of mt AirPort Extreme (Current Version) and I back up two MacBook Airs onto it through Time Machine. Sure it is a perfect Time Machine device. Its a little slower than direct USB but it is designed for Time Machine. You simply mount it by clicking on the drive in Finder then click Select Disk in Tim Machine and it always goes back to the Extreme Disk even if it is not mounted through Finder. Also it shows up as a Time Machine Disk option in Lion Recovery, although you can also unplug the Disk from the Extreme and install directly from the Disk via USB as well. You can also brows the disk via USB directly in OSX as well.

    BUT, to answer your question of whether it will override the old directly connected USB drive files I believe that won't. But I also don't think it will add to your old folders. The Folders in a USB connected Time Machine (Directly connected) are more readily available and appear as folders with dates etc while the Extreme USB drive Time Machine files are a Sparse Disk Image Bundle file. Which is like one file on the drive. Your "Steve's Mac" Time Machine files appear as on file on the drive, not multiple folders with dates etc. I am not sure if your Mac will create its new Time Machine Backup use the old USB system. It should;t delete the old files though as I had other non-Time Machine files on the USB drive on my Extreme and they work well together.

    To access the Time Machine via USB directly after you have used it on Extreme, you simply connect it and click the Time Machine Logo and click "Access other Time Machine backups" and it then appears in a Finder type window like you have with a standard USB Time Machine.

    Simple Answer.... Yes it works and works well for multiple Macs and is reasonably quick for a NAS, but a lot slower than USB on the initial "Mega Backup.

    Final cool point! the USB Drive on the Extreme is accessible via back to My Mac so you can get hold of your Time Machine Files or any other files on the Disk via Back to My Mac (i.e. remotely).

    Silver

    ----------

    On the points about it not being officially supported? Then why does it appear in the Lion Recovery Partition as a a formal option to re-install from when you choose "Time Machine Install from backup" The Disk appears in that window along with any other connect TM disk and it connected via the Extreme at the time via WiFi or Ethernet.

    Silver
     
  12. njaremka macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #12
    this...

     

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