Airport Extreme and Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by davbeck, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. davbeck macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Reno, NV
    I setup Time Machine on my MacBook using a USB disk attached to my Airport Extreme. It works fine when I select "Backup Now" but it won't backup automatically like it did when I had the disk attached directly to my laptop.

    Is there something wrong? Does Apple not want you to backup wirelessly automatically?
  2. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    Apple does not officially support this setup:

    However, some people have reported some luck. I wouldn't say "most people," and I question relying on an unsupported setup for something as critical as backups, especially given that there may be a reason Apple does not support it (other than, of course, to sell more Time Capsules :)).

    A Google (or whatever) search or a search of this forum will reveal some other information, and I'm sure others will chime in here, as well. However, the most important thing to know is probably that Apple does not support it.
  3. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    RMo summarized it very well.

    One can hack it to make it work, but it isn't supported by Apple, and relying on something unsupported for backup is ... less than wise. Make sure you understand the implications of unsupported if you select that option.

    Even if it works perfectly, keep in mind that if you have to hack a bit to use it, a full system restore will probably be inconvenient to perform. Just restoring a file or so while the system is running on the other hand should work normally.
  4. acevergreen macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    Not all external network HDD are Time Machine compatible. You need to check with the HDD manufacturer handbook. For example, Lacie Network Space 2 1TB HDD is compatible with TM.

    I agree with other users that you may want to think about using Time Capsule if you wish to have the external HDD wirelessly on the network. Otherwise when the time comes for you to restore your backup data you don't want any surprises.
  5. davbeck thread starter macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    Reno, NV
    Looks like I accidentally turned off automatic backups when I was setting it up over the network. Turned them back on and it works fine. Perfectly in fact.

    I prefer this setup over a time capsule because if I ever did have to do a full restore, I could unplug the hard drive and plug it directly in to my computer to save time.
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Are you positive this will work? I haven't looked into it, but I do know that TM backs up differently to a NAS than to an HDD connected directly (ie, creating a sparsebundle on NAS vs copying directly with HDD). Does this translate well for doing a full system restore once connected directly to your Mac?

Share This Page