Airport Extreme + Ext. HDDs for Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bozz2006, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #1
    Hey folks,
    For the past year and a half or so, I've been using a WD external HDD hooked up to my Airport Extreme (Simultaneous dual band N Draft) to do wireless Time Machine backups of my macbook. It works pretty well most of the time.

    I recently sold my Mac Pro and bought a Macbook Pro, so now I have two laptops. Has anyone tried hooking a USB hub to the Airport in order to connect two external HDDs? One to use with Time Machine and the Macbook and the other to use with Time Machine on the Macbook Pro?

    I don't know if the Airport will be able to negotiate this. In the past I have used a USB hub to connect both a HDD and a printer to the Airport at the same time, but never two HDDs. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #2
    Yup, you should be able to do so just fine. They'll appear as separate drives in AirPort Utility under the Disks tab. Then on each computer, you'll need to open up your Time Machine preferences and point it to the appropriate disk. (You shouldn't have to do this step with the MacBook if the name of the external to which it's backing up stays the same.)

    By the way, if the external drives are bus powered, you'll need a powered hub. However if they have their own external power supplies, an unpowered hub should work.
     
  3. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #3
    Thank you sir! Both drives are externally powered so I should be all set there. Once I get things lined up I'll probably end up doing fresh from scratch TM backups tonight and set them up wirelessly tomorrow. I'll report back.
     
  4. bozz2006, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011

    bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    Hmmm.... Can't get it to work. I am using a new HDD for each. Backed up the MB and the MBP last evening over USB. No problem there.

    The MB, which I have been doing wireless TM for a long time now, is currently "Preparing backup". It's been doing this for about ten minutes, but I'm not too concerned about that yet. Sometimes the first time it connects takes forever.

    On the other hand, the HDD I used with the MBP isn't even showing up as connected to the Airport right now. For all intents and purposes, it isn't even there. This particular HDD does have a USB 3 connection, but it should be backward compatible, right?

    I mean, if I go to Finder and connect to the Airport, I can see the HDD I'm using with the MB, but not the one I want to use with the MBP.... Weird.
     
  5. Neous macrumors member

    Neous

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Location:
    Woodstock, CT
    #5
    Try connecting one at a time

    Unplug both HDD
    restart Airport
    Connect the new HDD
    Wait for it to be listed in Airport Utility
    Connect old HDD
     
  6. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #6
    The USB3 WD ext. drive doesn't show up. Now nothing is showing up.
     
  7. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    I'm beginning to wonder if the USB slot on my Airport is broken, or not sending power, or something.
     
  8. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #8
    I re-re-re-started everything and both disks are showing up in airport utility.
     
  9. bozz2006, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011

    bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    It's backing up but apparently Time Machine isn't registering that it already has a full backup that I did last night, as it is doing a full backup now. 370GB for the MBP and 320GB for the MB. That's gonna take a while over wireless.... Yep, only two days, according to the estimate. lol. Oh dear. At least they're both working. Sort of.
     
  10. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #10
    The reason it's not registering the backups you did already is because it backs up differently to a drive connected directly to the computer versus a drive on the network. Whereas it copies the files directly to a USB connected HDD, Time Machine creates a sparsebundle image onto network drives. You cannot continue a USB backup wirelessly, hence it's starting from scratch. If you want to decrease the amount of time for your backups, you'll need to connect your MacBooks to the AEBS via Ethernet for the initial backup.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    Apple does not support the Airport Extreme for Time Machine, I guess because AirDisk is broken.
     
  12. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #12
    Thanks,that is exactlywhat I needed to hear. I have both computers wired tk the airport now and backing up. From here on, I imagine it should just be seamless right? I shouldn't need to monkey wih it anymore I hope. Just leave the two hdds hooked to the airport and they ought to continue to backup wirelessly and automatically right? Thanks again.
     
  13. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #13
    That's right, it's just the initial backup that takes so long. The other backups will be incremental and should be smaller and take less time since only the data that's changed will be backed up. And you're quite welcome. Glad to be of help :)
     
  14. scott.n macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    #14
  15. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #15
    I'll have to read those articles. Thanks. I'm currently about 68GB into a 370GB initial backup, and the estimate has it finishing up around noon tomorrow. lol. so slow! I'm doing the backups for both the MBP and MB at the sametime so they're sharing the bandwidth on the Airport's single USB, which is molasses-slow to begin with, but it's all good. Just glad to have it sorted.
     

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