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fatespawn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
222
103
Chicagoish
I'm trying to add an old Airport Extreme to a network with a USB Hard Drive for Time Machine backups. I have two laptops - one running High Sierra and one running Ventura. The Airport Extreme won't recognize APFS formatted disks. MacOS extended works fine for a backup on the High Sierra computer. The Ventura computer can see the Hard drive in the finder, mount it fine, write to it etc... but when I go to Settings>general>time machine and try to add a backup drive, it says "no available time machine destinations."

Any Airport extreme suggestions?
 

Gottsey

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2015
22
2
I am having the same trouble. My time machine backup that has been running from my Airport extreme for the last few years was accidentally deleted and now i can not get my MacBook running ventura to see the drive for use on time machine even though it was woking before on ventura ok. Drive is fully accessible normally just not seen by Time machine. I have formatted it and also connected it directly but the mac formats it to APFS which the airport can't read.
 
Apple doesn't seem to be ruling out Ventura AE Time Machine usage yet (or just hasn't updated this to say so yet): https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202784

And of course, you should open Airport Utility on both Macs to check for software updates for AE. There are occasionally such updates so maybe you are not up to date on yours. Open on both High Sierra and then Ventura to see if either wants to update the AE.

I bailed on AE a few years ago but I THINK I remember a time when I attached a USB hub to the USB jack and it worked. If you have a hub laying around, you might try it with the High Sierra setup that already works. If it still works through the hub, try the option lower on the page at the above link: direct connect a second external drive and select it as a Time Machine backup. Backup. Eject and then go attach to the USB hub. See if you can then select it as a TM drive through the AE.

If that doesn't work, format the second external in the older file format, hook it to the Ventura Mac, select as Time Machine backup and see if you can get it to backup with reformatting the drive. If so, backup, eject, take it to the AE and hook it to the hub. Then see if you can select it as TM through AE.

Net result would be having 2 externals hooked to the AE: one for each Mac.

I really can't recall this working but it's easy enough to try if you have the pieces laying around.

When I gave up on AE, I switched TM needs to the Synology network drive option and it works very well. My new router has a USB jack but I haven't even tried anything attached to it. Synology works fine and with both old and new Macs. Consider that option if you would like to replace the aging router.
 
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fatespawn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
222
103
Chicagoish
It's not that Ventura won't support Time Machine. It's that it seems problematic to use Time Machine THROUGH an Airport Extreme to a USB drive. That linked article you posted only talks about backing via Time Machine up to other computer disks (like an extra Hard Drive on a Mac Pro).

Then, at the end it says:

AirPort Time Capsule​


Time Machine can back up to the built-in hard disk of an AirPort Time Capsule on your network.

... but no mention of Airport Extreme with an external USB. Sadly, the Netgear Router I have also supports USB hard drives, and until a recent firmware update, supported Time machine. But no more.

I appreciate the link to the Synology. I'll look into it.
 

LaddieMint

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2023
5
0
I just got bit by this. I had a backup working with my 5th Gen AirPort Extreme when I upgraded to Ventura. It continued to work fine, but recently has been pausing (probably due to the drive being full). I decided to reset it and start over, but Ventura won't recognize it as a usable volume even though it was just using it as one. I suspect this is a bug with the new System Settings app itself and not Time Machine, but I could be wrong.
 

LaddieMint

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2023
5
0
After some tinkering, I figured it out. In the Terminal, enter the following (replacing "Backup-1" with whatever your volume name is:

Code:
sudo tmutil setdestination -a /Volumes/Backup-1

You'll be asked for your password. Go check the Time Machine settings and you'll your network volume in there. I started the backup and it created the .sparsebundle file and started backing up just like before.
 

fatespawn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
222
103
Chicagoish
After some tinkering, I figured it out. In the Terminal, enter the following (replacing "Backup-1" with whatever your volume name is:

Code:
sudo tmutil setdestination -a /Volumes/Backup-1

You'll be asked for your password. Go check the Time Machine settings and you'll your network volume in there. I started the backup and it created the .sparsebundle file and started backing up just like before.
I'll give that a try. How do I get the volume name for my network drive?
 

LaddieMint

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2023
5
0
It's just the name of the mounted shared (Command-Shift-C in the Finder to see your mounted volumes). I do have a slight revision on this though. Even though this worked for the first backup, it couldn't find the volume for subsequent backups. I'm guessing every time a network share is mounted as a volume it as a different ID and Time Machine would get confused.

So instead, of adding the mounted volume to Time Machine, I added the network share instead like this:

Code:
sudo tmutil setdestination -ap afp://user:password@192.168.1.1/Backup

For AirPort Extreme routers, the user and password is the same. So if your password is "security", it would look like "security:security" in the example. The IP address is the address of your AirPort Extreme router and "Backup" is whatever the attached volume is called.

You will have to turn the hourly schedule back on if you want that, it default to manual. It's been working flawlessly for me since then.

I reported to this to Apple, I'm assuming they didn't feel it was necessary to include AirPort Extreme support in the new UI since it's been discontinued for so long, but at least it's still possible via the command line.
 

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fatespawn

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 22, 2009
222
103
Chicagoish
Great! I named the drive "Time Machine" so it was giving me fits with formatting.

But:

sudo tmutil setdestination -ap afp://password:password@192.168.1.31/Time\ Machine

...is working now! I'll wait for the first backup to complete and reboot to see if it remounts like you mention. Fingers crossed.
 

flipland

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2022
13
3
Hello,

I found your post this morning. I just migrated from my old iMac 27 Late 2014 for a Mac Studio and discovered the problem with Time machine backup setting and spend 3 hours yesterdey night on phone with an apple tech to try to find out the problem. Based on what he said to me, my AirPort Extreme 802.11N wasn't suppose to support Time Machine backup on HD attach to my AE of my model since day one, but it worked since I bought it for that purpose. On Ventura, AirPort Utility and Finder see my drive under AE, but not Time Machine setting. I figure out, Apple did something on TM but apple tech i not aware of that limitation added in Ventura.

Sorry, I'm not familar with command line and terminal, but I try your command line in terminal. I replaced the 'user assword' and IP address as you said. But for the "Backup" is whatever the attached volume is called, I'm not sure what should I choose.

Let say, in Finder, in the left, I see AirPort Extreme and when selected, I see on the right TimeMachine WD 2750GO. So shoud I replace 'Backup' by AirPort Extreme/TimeMachine WD 2750GO. I run it on terminal and got no error, but when pressing the + option in time Machine, I don't see my drive attach to AE. I also, tried the Command-Shift-C in the Finder, but saw noting other than AirPort Extreme and TimeMachine WD 2750GO.
Thank for your help
 

LaddieMint

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2023
5
0
Yeah, that support tech is definitely incorrect. It was a feature of the AirPort Extreme, has been for some time. My guess is they just didn't think it was worth it to keep it in the new UI.

Is the name of the drive "TimeMachine WD 2750GO"? If so, you need to escape the spaces in the command using a backslash (\):

sudo tmutil setdestination -ap afp://password:password@192.168.1.1/TimeMachine\ WD\ 2750GO
 

flipland

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2022
13
3
Yeah, that support tech is definitely incorrect. It was a feature of the AirPort Extreme, has been for some time. My guess is they just didn't think it was worth it to keep it in the new UI.

Is the name of the drive "TimeMachine WD 2750GO"? If so, you need to escape the spaces in the command using a backslash (\):

sudo tmutil setdestination -ap afp://password:password@192.168.1.1/TimeMachine\ WD\ 2750GO
Hi LaddieMint, it work right away.... Yes a miracle. I stopped one TMB and restart it to be sure I's still working and it's the case.

A big thank's a lot for your help.

Apple support need to know that simple solution or everyone in our case using AE regardless it' a very old technology, slow, but working fine for TMB and in bonus, I can hide it somewhere in the house in case someone steal my equipment in my home office. That was the main goal of my AE, not putting my backup drive in the same room with my iMac and lost everything.

Well, that delays the purchase of a Synology NAS for now....

I just responsed to a survey from Apple and I point out the present helpfull post....
 
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